Change is something we all accept as part of contemporary life, so the apparent rigidity and stasis of the ancient Egyptian state is difficult for us to grasp today. Over three thousand years of recorded history, from the emerging authority of the so-called King Scorpion to the final days of doomed Cleopatra, ancient Egypt shows a remarkable continuity in its culture, language, and mode of governance. What was the reason for the inviolacy of their core beliefs, and why, when so advanced, vigorous, and innovative, did they choose to remain mired in their own well-worn rituals and decaying social order when the rest of the world, slowly at first, began to develop their own dynamic civilizations?
To Dr. Toby Wilkinson, an impressively credentialed Egyptologist, asking these questions is essential to understanding ancient Egyptian history and, in his doorstopper-length work...
Beyond the Book
One of the most difficult things to keep straight about ancient Egypt is its dynastic chronologies, thirty-three families of rulers over thousands of years, full of contradictions, inaccuracies, and outright lies. To offer some assistance I have included an incomplete list of the important dynasties, with a few details about each period; relevant Pharaohs, important events and so forth, from Wilkinson's timeline.
First Dynasty. c.2950-c.2750 BCE
The unification of Upper and Lower Egypt.
Third Dynasty, c.2650-c.2575 BCE
Notable for the construction of the Step Pyramid of Djoser, one of the first...