Timeline of World History: Year by Year from Prehistory to Present Day


  Illustrated History of the World

First Empires - ca. 7000 B.C. - 200 A.D.

First Empires

ca. 7000 B.C. - 200 A.D.


Ancient Egypt

CA. 29OO-332 B.C.


The Third Intermediate Period and the Late Kingdom
1070-332 в.с.

During the Third Intermediate Period, Egypt once again fragmented. The Late Kingdom then saw alternating periods of foreign occupation and independence.

The pharaohs who followed the 20th dynasty only held sway over the lands of Upper Egypt. The leaders of the Libyan mercenary troops employed by the kings grew in power until one of them, 1 Shoshenq I (ca. 945-924 B.C.), managed to seize the throne. Through their dynastic connections, the Libyan pharaohs were initially able to exert a certain influence in Upper Egypt, but Lower Egypt eventually disintegrated into a multitude of principalities and kingdoms.

1 Pharaoh Shoshenq I holds Israelite captive,
hieroglyphic inscription, ca. 930 B.C.


The 2 high priests of Amun, in Thebes, had already established a form of theocracy in Upper Egypt, which they legitimized through the prophecies of the 4 "god-wife of Amun." The functions of this high office were usually performed by the princesses of Libya, and later by princesses from the Kushite roval families.

The Kushites began advancing out of Nubia into Egypt in about 740 B.C. They established themselves as pharaohs, first in Thebes and then, under the 3 25th dynasty, in Lower Egypt as well. They succeeded in establishing a single Egyptian state in 712.

2 Egyptian priest reading scrolls

3 Taharka, from the 25th dynasty, bows before the falcon god Hemen, statue


4 The "god-wife of Amun" Karomama,
 statuette, ca. 870 B.C.

After 671 в.с, the Assyrians launched repeated invasions of Egypt. They installed Psamtik I, a Libyan prince from the Nile Delta, as governor. In 663, with the help of Greek mercenaries, he declared independence and founded the 26th dynasty. He forced the Kushite god-wife of Amun to name one of his daughters as her successor and thus brought Upper Egypt under his rule by 656. Psamtik I also brought Greek tradesmen to Egypt, who settled primarily in the Nile Delta. Overtime, the relationship with the Greeks became ever closer. The pharaohs married Greek women, donated votive offerings to Delphi, and minted coins after the Greek model.
The Persians 5 conquered Egypt in 525 в.с. and incorporated it into their empire. After many uprisings, Egypt regained its independence only to fall to the Persians a second time in 343. When Alexander the Great conquered the Persian empire in 332 B.C., Egypt also came under his rule and he founded the city of Alexandria. After his death Egypt once again rose to a position of supremacy in the Eastern Mediterranean region under the rule of the Ptolemies.

5 Pharaoh Psamtik III defeated and made to submit to his conqueror,
Persian King Cambyses, painting, 19th century




Egyptian hieroglyphics were a pictographic script, primarily used on monuments and for religious texts. The Egyptians continued to use simplified forms of hieroglyphics in their daily lives until the time of the early Christians, when they switched to writing the Egyptian language with the Greek alphabet. Over the centuries, the understanding of ancient hieroglyphics was lost. In 1799, a French military officer, who had come to Egypt as part of Napoleon's expedition, discovered the "Rosetta Stone." On this monument from the second century B.C. he found a text chiseled in both hieroglyphics and Greek. With this new evidence, philologists finally deciphered hieroglyphics in 1822.

The Rosetta Stone, ca. 196 B.C.


see also:  Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Egyptian Religion

see also: Egyptian Goddess

Illustration from the "Book of the Dead"