Talk:Third Intermediate Period of Egypt

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removing the 25th Dynasty[edit]

I believe there is a good case for removing the 25th Dynasty from this Third Intermediate Period and allocating it to the Late Period.... Intermediate Periods generally speak of division and weakness. The 25th Dynasty, in fact, re-unified the country, even if it was under 'foreign' (Kushite / Nubian) rule.... In fact, the Nubian kings prided themselves on being more Egyptian than the Egyptians! As regards weakness, the 25th Dynasty, amongst other things, led a valiant resistance to repeated Assyrian incursions. Such a re-allocation, although not shared by all modern chroniclers, would therefore better reflect the themes of Egyptian history - this schema is supported by Baines and Malek, however, in their authoritative Atlas of Ancient Egypt.... Comments? Pjamescowie 14:30, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Well quite, I mean the whole concept of the 3rd intermediate period is a load of old rubbish isn't it? An overgeneralisation of a complex period, the characterisation actually inhibits understanding of the span it's meant to illuminate. e.g. was it really a period of division and weakness? Is the 21st dynasty really significantly different to the end of the 20th? Why not end the period with dynasty 26, since that represents the greatest break: namely Egypt's long running occupation by an external empire? As for 'the themes of Egyptian history', well that's just it isn't it? The Victorians were just aching for a decline and fall narrative and here's the period for the icing on the cake. But far better, surely, to address these questions in the historiography section of the article. I haven't the sources, personally. --Mr impossible 22:04, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Vandalism[edit]

This article has fallen victim to some bizarre vandalism by anons. I just removed "the pogo stick" as a title of Osorkon III, but there are some other inane if slightly amusing insertions. If someone is caretaking this article, they should keep an eye out for this and possibly get the vandals blocked by reporting them the administrators' noticeboard. Jalapenos do exist (talk) 00:17, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Napata was no backwater[edit]

The uncited and non-neutral statement that Napata was a "backwater" has been removed and will be removed at any time that is inserted. It is common knowledge that Napata was the seat of a powerful civilization, the Kingdom of Kush, that periodically challenged Egypt for control of the Nile valley [1]and in the case of the 25th dynasty conquered the entire Nile valley. The 25th dynasty gave the Nile valley the largest empire that it had seen since the New Kingdom. It was from this "backwater" that Nile valley pyramid construction was resurrected. There are approximately 220 pyramids in Sudan and less than 150 in Egypt. Art, religion, and temple construction were restored to their Old, Middle, and New Kingdom forms from Napata. The sacred mountain of Jebel Barkal is there. This mountain is referenced in iconography of Ramses II, as well as 25th dynasty rulers. There are 13 temples and 3 palaces in the area. There was a continuous civilization in the area for thousands of years. It was at the center of a trade crossroads and the Ancient Egyptians were in continuous contact with this region from the beginning until the end of the Ancient Egyptian civilization. The Egyptians built cities in the area, such as Pnubs and Doukki Gel. The area has been extensively excavated by:

  • George Reisner [2]
  • The Univ. of Chicago team [3]
  • The Boston museum and Harvard team [4]
  • The Swiss team and Charles Bonnet [5]

It would be a waste of anyone's time to try to refute that the civilization based in Napata was one of the most important in world history.Rod (talk) 16:12, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

I believe the point of that sentence was simply to note Napata's position relative to Thebes and Memphis. Thanatosimii (talk) 18:40, 3 October 2011 (UTC)


  • We have to be careful with our choice of words, as the term "backwater" is loaded. Take a look at the second definition for the word from Merriam dictionary. I'm sure that the first definition didn't apply because there was no Aswan dam and Lake Nubia/Nasser at the time.


1 a) water backed up in its course by an obstruction, an opposing current, or the tide b) a body of water (as an inlet or tributary) that is out of the main current of a larger body 2 a) an isolated or backward place or condition b) an unpopular or unimportant field (as of study or business)


Rod (talk) 21:18, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

And compared to Thebes or Memphis, that description is fairly accurate. It's not to imply that Napata had no meaningful culture at all, simply nothing that rivaled the Egyptian capitals. Thanatosimii (talk) 21:28, 3 October 2011 (UTC)


  • Let's agree to disagree. During the time period in question, the Napatans easily conquered both Memphis and Thebes. The God's Wife of Amun in Thebes was a Napatan woman. Taharqa greatly improved the Karnak temple. Therefore, during the 25th dynasty, the glory of Thebes and Memphis and the glory of Napata were one and the same thing.Rod (talk) 21:58, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
That seems rather like saying Karakorum rivaled Beijing because the former raised an empire that conquered the latter. Military power and the ability to absorb major cities doesn't make a site as developed and connected to the centers of trade and thought as the cities one conquers. Thanatosimii (talk) 22:27, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

It's more like saying:

  • They built pyramids when no one else in 800 years managed to do so
  • They improved temples throughout the Nile valley (including at Memphis and Karnak) using new stone, as opposed to stealing stone from previous buildings
  • They unified the Nile valley, which hadn't been all that glorious since the New Kingdom
  • They were the legitimate religious leaders of the Nile valley, including installing their women as the god's wife of Amun
  • They resurrected the old art forms, including producing some of the most beautiful monumental statues that the Nile valley had seen since the New Kingdom
  • They built cities, temples, pyramids, etc. throughout Nubia
  • They successfully fought back the Romans and negotiated a peace treaty
  • They saved the Hebrews from being slaughtered by Sennacherib during his siege on Jeruselam.
  • Taharqa was described by Strabo as having "Advanced as far as Europe",[6]
  • Their achievements outshone all other dynasties in the 3rd Intermediate/Late period

What did the other 3rd Intermediate or Late period rulers do that was so remarkable in Ancient Egyptian history??? I'm not talking about the Greeks, Persians, or Romans, because they have their own great histories. Rod (talk) 00:06, 4 October 2011 (UTC)


Napata isn't a they, it's an it. It's not the civilization or the dynasty, it's the city. Most of the things you cite refer to the work done by the 25th dynasty or even later Nubian leaders, not the intellectual, economic, or demographic aspects of the city of Napata circa the Assyrian conquests. And I don't think you can make an argument that the resurrection of Pyramids indicates a great achievement on the part of the 25th dynasty, as opposed to their predecessors in the New Kingdom and 3rd intermediate who chose not to build them. The Nubian pyramids are rather small, and the style had simply fallen out of fashion in Egypt. Thanatosimii (talk) 04:33, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Napata was the capitol of the Kingdom of Kush (and Egypt while the 25th ruled both) and the place where all of the 25th dynasty rulers wanted to be buried (at el-Kurru and Nuri). Napata was the essence of the Nubian civilization until the Nubians were forced to move to Meroe. I will wait patiently for you to list the achievements of the 21st-24th dynasties.Rod (talk) 07:04, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Again, the problem here is that you're including the accomplishments of the 25th dynasty and even later rulers into the prestige of the physical city circa the Assyrian invasion. We are not comparing the accomplishments of dynasties - that is not how "backwater" is defined. Thanatosimii (talk) 17:42, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the healthy discussion. This is probably no longer helpful for either of us.Rod (talk) 18:18, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Notes[edit]