Egypt’s First Intermediate Period

Most importantly, please note that the students have a test on Monday. They received a review sheet this last Monday, so they know exactly what to expect. Please encourage them to study.

We are about halfway through our unit on Egypt, and this week’s material covered the end of the Old Kingdom, the First Intermediate Period, and the beginning of the Middle Kingdom. Egyptologists use these historical conventions as a means to divide up ancient Egyptian history according to its “peaks and valleys,” so to speak. The Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms refer to times of Egyptian unification and relative stability, whereas the First and Second Intermediate Periods refer to those times when Egypt was neither unified nor stable. The students learned what made for the instability of the First Intermediate Period—in short, climate change, famine, a weakened central government at the command of the pharaoh, and greater power held by provincial governors called “nomarchs” who tended to vie with each other for even more power.