Ancient Egypt lasted from about 3000 B.C. to 525 A.D . It began like many other civilizations. Neolithic villagers began irrigation projects to control and use the Nile. Thus, many independent city states called nomes formed. These nomes were completely independent, ruled by independent chieftains, except for the frequent wars they fought with each other for power and territory. These wars led to the formation of two kingdoms. There was Upper Egypt in the south and Lower Egypt in the north. This was called Predynastic Egypt. In 3100 B.C, King Menes or Narmer of Upper Egypt conquered Lower Egypt and united the two kingdoms. King Menes became the first pharaoh of Egypt and formed the first dynasty and second dynasty. This was the Early Dynastic period of Egyptian History.
Egyptian history is divided into nine periods:
Early dynastic period (3100-2686 B.C.)
Old Kingdom (2686-2181 B.C.) This was a peaceful and prosperous period of time. This was a time of economic wealth and political stability. It was the time of great pyramids, massive tombs, and mummification.
1st intermediate period (2181-2040 B.C.) This was the decline period of the old kingdom. It was caused by the low floods of the Nile resulting in full crops and political instability due to powerful priests and governors. This was a period of anarchy. The pharaohs lost power and could only control one part of the kingdom at a time.
Middle Kingdom (2040-1640 B.C.) This was a stable period beginning with one dynasty that was strong enough to control all of Egypt. During this time, Egyptian influence spread to Nubia.
2nd intermediate period (1640-1550 B.C.) This is another period of anarchy, this time caused by the high floods of the Nile. During this period, a group called the Hyksos was able to invade Egypt and rule it for a time. It is believed that the Hebrews were able to enter Egypt at this time.
New Kingdom (1550-1070 B.C.) This was a stable time period, full of military expansion. This was also the time that the Temple of Karnak and The Valley of the Kings were built. It is also believed that this is when the Hebrew slaves were able to escape Egypt under the rule of Ramses II.
3rd intermediate period (1070-712 B.C.) Another period of anarchy and chaos. For a short time the Libyans conquered Egypt and ruled as part of the 22nd dynasty.
Late Period (712-332 B.C.) During this period Egypt was not progressing. It was ruled by the Nubians, then by the Assyrians, and then by the Persians.
Greco-Roman Period (332 B.C.-395 A.D.) Now Egypt was ruled by Greece and Rome. From now on there were no more Egyptian rulers.
After thatm the Egyptians were ruled by other countries such as the Byzantine Empire.
Egyptian myths however, tell a different beginning of Egypt. This myth is known as the Heliopolitan Origin myth. The story goes that the world began as a watery chaos called Nun. The god Atum, later known as Re emerged on a mound from the chaos. He created the twin deities, Shu and Tefnut. These two gods bore the deities Geb and Nut. They begot Osiris, Isis, Seth, and Nephthys. These nine gods formed the divine ennead. There were several other myths as to how the world was created which were variations of the Heliopolitan Origin myth.