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First Intermediate Period of Egypt

From Academic Kids

Dynasties of Pharaohs
in Ancient Egypt
Protodynastic Period
Early Dynastic Period
1st 2nd
Old Kingdom
3rd 4th 5th 6th
First Intermediate Period
7th 8th 9th 10th
11th (Thebes only)
Middle Kingdom
11th (All Egypt)
12th 13th 14th
Second Intermediate Period
15th 16th 17th
New Kingdom
18th 19th 20th
Third Intermediate Period
21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th
Late Period
26th 27th 28th
29th 30th 31st
Graeco-Roman Period
Ptolemaic Roman Empire
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The First Intermediate Period is the name conventionally given by Egyptologists to that period in Ancient Egyptian history between the end of the Old Kingdom and the advent of the Middle Kingdom. As such, depending on when individual historians place the 'downfall' of the Old Kingdom - with the end of either the Sixth or the Eighth Dynasties - the First Intermediate period (sometimes abbreviated as 'FIP') can be considered to embrace the Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth and most of the Eleventh Dynasties.

The Old Kingdom was weakened by famine and weak leadership. One theory holds that a sudden, unanticipated, catastrophic reduction in the Nile floods over two or three decades, caused by a global climatic cooling which reduced the amount of rainfall in Egypt, Ethiopia and East Africa, contributed to the great famine and the subsequent downfall of the Old Kingdom.

The last Pharaoh of the 6th dynasty was Pepi II (or possibly Nitocris). He was 6 when he ascended the throne and believed to have been 100 years old when he died, for a reign of 94 years, longer than any monarch in history. The latter years of his reign were marked by inefficiency because of Pepy's advanced age.

A dark time marked by unrest followed. The Union of the Two Kingdoms fell apart and regional leaders had to cope with the famine.

Around 2160 BC a new line of Pharaohs (the 9th and 10th Dynasties) consolidated Lower Egypt from their capital in Herakleopolis Magna, descended from a Pharaoh named Akhtoy. In the meantime, however, a rival line (the 11th Dynasty) based at Thebes reunited Upper Egypt and a clash between the two rival dynasties was inevitable.

Around 2055 BC a descendant of Inyotef defeated the Heracleopolitan Pharaohs, reunited the Two Lands, and ruled as Mentuhotep II thereby ending the First Intermediate Period.

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