Egyptian Timeline:

Third Intermediate Period (1070 B.C. 747 B.C.)


Prehistoric and Predynastic Periods First Intermediate Period The Middle Kingdom Second Intermediate Period New Kingdom Third Intermediate Period Late Period Graeco-Roman Period Byzantine Period Early Dynastic Period Old Kingdom
The Dynasty 20 pharaohs, with their capital at Pi Ramesses in the Delta, were not able to maintain control over the High Priests of Amen in Thebes. At the end of Dynasty 20, the Viceroy of Kush, Panehsy, began a civil war with Rameses XI, which was put down by his General Herihor. After the war, Herihor took control of Thebes as the High Priest of Amen and depicted himself as a pharaoh and inclosing his name in a cartouche at Karnak [17450]. At the same time, Smendes, the new pharaoh in Lower Egypt, moved the capital to Tanis in the Delta. The new Temple of Amen at Tanis was modeled after the Temple of Amen at Karnak. The dynastic rivalry was subdued when the High Priest of Amen, Pinedjem I, married into the royal family at Tanis. 17450
The local populace had been robbing the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings since Dynasty 20. This prompted the High Priests of Amen to rebury many of the royal mummies in a hidden location above Dayr al Bahri (TT 320) [13615]. Pharaohs of Dynasty 21 to 24 were buried within the walls of Temple of Amen at Tanis, thus adding a level of security, perhaps due to the tomb robberies of the Valley of the Kings. Likewise, the High Priest of Amen and other local clerics were buried within the enclosure wall of Madinat Habu. 13615
The beginning of Dynasties 22 and 23 witnessed political stability, during which Libyan pharaohs ruled from the Delta, first in Tanis and then Bubastis. The Libyan kings were able to maintain control from the Delta over the High Priests of Amen by placing their children in high positions in the clerical hierarchy. They carried out various building works at Karnak and throughout Egypt [17430]. 17430
The reunification of Egypt under Libyan rule did not endure. Centralized authority declined further and further until three dynasties were ruling simultaneously from three cities in the Delta (Tanis, Bubastis and Sais), along with smaller chiefdoms, toward the end of the Third Intermediate Period.
Published or last modified on: August 23, 2002
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