New Kingdom of Egypt

The New Kingdom, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire, is the period in ancient Egyptian history between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC, covering the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties of Egypt. Radiocarbon dating places the exact beginning of the New Kingdom between 1570 BC and 1544 BC.[1] The New Kingdom followed the Second Intermediate Period and was succeeded by the Third Intermediate Period. It was Egypt's most prosperous time and marked the peak of its power.[2]

The later part of this period, under the 19th and 20th Dynasties (1292–1069 BC), is also known as the Ramesside period. It is named after the 11 Pharaohs that took the name Ramesses, after Ramesses I, the founder of the 19th Dynasty.[2]

Possibly as a result of the foreign rule of the Hyksos during the Second Intermediate Period, the New Kingdom saw Egypt attempt to create a buffer between the Levant and Egypt proper, and during this time Egypt attained its greatest territorial extent. Similarly, in response to very successful 17th century attacks during the Second Intermediate Period by the powerful Kingdom of Kush,[3] the rulers of the New Kingdom felt compelled to expand far south into Nubia and to hold wide territories in the Near East. In the north, Egyptian armies fought Hittite armies for control of modern-day Syria.

New Kingdom

c. 1550 BC – c. 1069 BC
New Kingdom at its maximum territorial extent in the 15th century BC.
New Kingdom at its maximum territorial extent in the 15th century BC.
Common languagesAncient Egyptian, Nubian, Canaanite
GovernmentDivine absolute monarchy
• c. 1550 BC – c. 1525 BC
Ahmose I (first)
• c. 1107 BC – c. 1069 BC
Ramesses XI (last)
• Established
c. 1550 BC 
• Disestablished
 c. 1069 BC
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Second Intermediate Period of Egypt
Kingdom of Kerma
Third Intermediate Period of Egypt
Kingdom of Kush


Rise of the New Kingdom

The 18th Dynasty included some of Egypt's most famous Pharaohs, including Ahmose I, Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun. Queen Hatshepsut concentrated on expanding Egypt's external trade by sending a commercial expedition to the land of Punt.

Thutmose III ("the Napoleon of Egypt") expanded Egypt's army and wielded it with great success to consolidate the empire created by his predecessors. This resulted in a peak in Egypt's power and wealth during the reign of Amenhotep III. During the reign of Thutmose III (c. 1479–1425 BC), the term Pharaoh, originally referring to the king's palace, became a form of address for the person who was king.[4]

One of the best-known 18th Dynasty pharaohs is Amenhotep IV, who changed his name to Akhenaten in honor of the Aten, a representation of the Egyptian god, Ra. His exclusive worship of the Aten is often interpreted as history's first instance of monotheism. Akhenaten's wife, Nefertiti, contributed a great deal to his new take on the Egyptian religion. Nefertiti was bold enough to perform rituals to Aten. Akhenaten's religious fervor is cited as the reason why he and his wife were subsequently written out of Egyptian history.[5] Under his reign, in the 14th century BC, Egyptian art flourished in a distinctive new style. (See Amarna Period.)

By the end of the 18th Dynasty, Egypt's status had changed radically. Aided by Akhenaten's apparent lack of interest in international affairs, the Hittites had gradually extended their influence into Phoenicia and Canaan to become a major power in international politics — a power that both Seti I and his son Ramesses II would confront during the 19th Dynasty.

Height of the New Kingdom

The Nineteenth Dynasty was founded by the Vizier Ramesses I, whom the last ruler of the 18th dynasty, Pharaoh Horemheb, had chosen as his successor. His brief reign marked a transition period between the reign of Horemheb and the powerful pharaohs of this dynasty, in particular, his son Seti I and grandson Ramesses II, who would bring Egypt to new heights of imperial power.

Ramesses II ("the Great") sought to recover territories in the Levant that had been held by the 18th Dynasty. His campaigns of reconquest culminated in the Battle of Kadesh, where he led Egyptian armies against those of the Hittite king Muwatalli II. Ramesses was caught in history's first recorded military ambush, although he was able to rally his troops and turn the tide of battle against the Hittites thanks to the arrival of the Ne'arin (possibly mercenaries in the employ of Egypt). The outcome of the battle was undecided, with both sides claiming victory at their home front, and ultimately resulting in a peace treaty between the two nations. Egypt was able to obtain wealth and stability under Ramesses' rule of over half a century.[6] His immediate successors continued the military campaigns, although an increasingly troubled court—which at one point put a usurper (Amenmesse) on the throne—made it increasingly difficult for a pharaoh to effectively retain control of the territories.

Ramesses II was also famed for the huge number of children he sired by his various wives and concubines; the tomb he built for his sons, many of whom he outlived, in the Valley of the Kings has proven to be the largest funerary complex in Egypt.

Hitt Egypt Perseus

Egyptian and Hittite Empires, around the time of the Battle of Kadesh.

Final years of power

The last "great" pharaoh from the New Kingdom is widely considered to be Ramesses III, a 20th Dynasty pharaoh who reigned several decades after Ramesses II.[7]

In the eighth year of his reign the Sea Peoples invaded Egypt by land and sea. Ramesses III defeated them in two great land and sea battles (the Battle of Djahy and the Battle of the Delta). He incorporated them as subject peoples and settled them in Southern Canaan although there is evidence that they forced their way into Canaan. Their presence in Canaan may have contributed to the formation of new states, such as Philistia, in this region after the collapse of the Egyptian Empire. He was also compelled to fight invading Libyan tribesmen in two major campaigns in Egypt's Western Delta in his sixth year and eleventh year respectively.[8]

The heavy cost of this warfare slowly drained Egypt's treasury and contributed to the gradual decline of the Egyptian Empire in Asia. The severity of the difficulties is indicated by the fact that the first known labor strike in recorded history occurred during the 29th year of Ramesses III's reign, when the food rations for Egypt's favored and elite royal tomb-builders and artisans in the village of Deir el Medina could not be provisioned.[9] Air pollutants prevented much sunlight from reaching the ground and also arrested global tree growth for almost two full decades until 1140 BC.[10] One proposed cause is the Hekla 3 eruption of the Hekla volcano in Iceland but the dating of this remains disputed.

Decline into the Third Intermediate Period

Rameses III's death was followed by years of bickering among his heirs. Three of his sons ascended the throne successively as Ramesses IV, Rameses VI and Rameses VIII. Egypt was increasingly beset by droughts, below-normal flooding of the Nile, famine, civil unrest and official corruption. The power of the last pharaoh of the dynasty, Ramesses XI, grew so weak that in the south the High Priests of Amun at Thebes became the de facto rulers of Upper Egypt, and Smendes controlled Lower Egypt even before Rameses XI's death. Smendes eventually founded the 21st Dynasty at Tanis.


Relief of a Nobleman, ca. 1295-1070 B.C.E. 36.261

Relief of a Nobleman, c. 1295–1070 B.C.E. Brooklyn Museum

Ahmes Nefertari Grab 10

Queen Ahmose-Nefertari

Hatshepsut-SmallSphinx MetropolitanMuseum

Hatshepsut as a Sphinx. Daughter of Thutmose I, she ruled jointly as her stepson's (Thutmose III) co-regent. She soon took the throne for herself, and declared herself pharaoh.

Il tempio di Hatshepsut

Queen Hatshepsut's Temple at Deir el-Bahari, was called Djeser-Djeseru, meaning the Holy of Holies, in ancient times.

Thutmosis III wien front

Thutmosis III, a military man and member of the Thutmosid royal line is commonly called the Napoleon of Egypt. His conquests of the Levant brought Egypt's territories and influence to its greatest extent.


Colossi of Memnon. Representing Amenhotep III, this statue sits outside Luxor.

Tiye, born a commoner, became queen through her marriage to Amenhotep III. In the New Kingdom, women gained influence in court, and Tiye soon helped run affairs of state for both her husband and son during their reigns.


Akhenaten, born Amenhotep IV, was the son of Queen Tiye. He rejected the old Egyptian religion and went about promoting the Aten as a supreme deity.



Nofretete Neues Museum

Bust of Nefertiti. The wife of Akhenaten, she held position as co-regent with Akhenaten. She may also have ruled as pharaoh in her own right as she is one of few candidates for the identity of Pharaoh Neferneferuaten.


Tutankhamun's mask. King Tutankhamun, son of Akhenaten, restored Egypt to its former religion. Though he died young and was not considered significant in his own time, the 1922 discovery of his KV62 intact tomb by Howard Carter, made him relevant as a symbol of ancient Egypt in the modern world.


Detail Temple of Rameses II

Nefertari Temple Abu Simbel May 30 2007

Nefertari's Temple at Abu Simbel


Giant Ramses II

Abu Simbel Temple May 30 2007

Abu Simbel Temple of Ramesses II


Abu Simbel

King Tutankhamun Guardian Statue

King Tutanhkamun Guardian Statue

See also


  1. ^ Christopher Bronk Ramsey et al., Radiocarbon-Based Chronology for Dynastic Egypt, Science 18 June 2010: Vol. 328, no. 5985, pp. 1554–1557.
  2. ^ a b Shaw, Ian, ed. (2000). The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press. p. 481. ISBN 978-0-19-815034-3.
  3. ^ Alberge, Dalya. "Tomb reveals Ancient Egypt's humiliating secret". The Times. London. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  4. ^ Redmount, Carol A. "Bitter Lives: Israel in and out of Egypt." p. 89-90. The Oxford History of the Biblical World. Michael D. Coogan, ed. Oxford University Press. 1998.
  5. ^ Tyldesley, Joyce (2005-04-28). Nefertiti: Egypt's Sun Queen. Penguin UK. ISBN 9780141949796.
  6. ^ Thomas, Susanna (2003). Rameses II: Pharaoh of the New Kingdom. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 9780823935970.
  7. ^ Eric H. Cline and David O'Connor, eds. Ramesses III: The Life and Times of Egypt's Last Hero (University of Michigan Press; 2012)
  8. ^ Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, Blackwell Books, 1992. p.271
  9. ^ William F. Edgerton, "The Strikes in Ramses III's Twenty-Ninth Year", JNES 10, no. 3 (July 1951), pp. 137–145.
  10. ^ Frank J. Yurco, "End of the Late Bronze Age and Other Crisis Periods: A Volcanic Cause," in Gold of Praise: Studies on Ancient Egypt in Honor of Edward F. Wente, ed: Emily Teeter & John Larson, (SAOC 58) 1999, pp. 456-458.

Further reading

  • Bierbrier, M. L. The Late New Kingdom In Egypt, C. 1300-664 B.C.: A Genealogical and Chronological Investigation. Warminster, England: Aris & Phillips, 1975.
  • Freed, Rita A., Yvonne Markowitz, and Sue H. d’Auria, eds. Pharaohs of the Sun: Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Tutankhamun. London: Thames & Hudson, 1999.
  • Freed, Rita E. Egypt's Golden Age: The Art of Living In the New Kingdom, 1558-1085 B.C. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1981.
  • Kemp, Barry J. The City of Akhenaten and Nefertiti: Amarna and Its People. London: Thames & Hudson, 2012.
  • Morkot, Robert. A Short History of New Kingdom Egypt. London: Tauris, 2015.
  • Radner, Karen. State Correspondence In the Ancient World: From New Kingdom Egypt to the Roman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • Redford, Donald B. Egypt and Canaan In the New Kingdom. Beʾer Sheva: Ben Gurion University of the Negev Press, 1990.
  • Sadek, Ashraf I. Popular Religion In Egypt During the New Kingdom. Hildesheim: Gerstenberg, 1987.
  • Spalinger, Anthony John. War In Ancient Egypt: The New Kingdom. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2005.
  • Thomas, Angela P. Akhenaten’s Egypt. Shire Egyptology 10. Princes Risborough, UK: Shire, 1988.
  • Tyldesley, Joyce A. Egypt's Golden Empire: The Age of the New Kingdom. London: Headline Book Pub., 2001.
  • Wood, Jonathan. R. and Hsu Yi-Ting, An Archaeometallurgical Explanation for the Disappearance of Egyptian and Near Eastern Cobalt-Blue Glass at the end of the Late Bronze Age, Internet Archaeology 52, 2019. Internet Archaeology

External links

Preceded by
Second Intermediate Period
Time Periods of Egypt
1550–1069 BC
Succeeded by
Third Intermediate Period

The Amduat (Ancient Egyptian: jmj dwꜣt, literally "That Which Is In the Afterworld", also translated as "Text of the Hidden Chamber Which is in the Underworld" and "Book of What is in the Underworld") is an important ancient Egyptian funerary text of the New Kingdom of Egypt. Like many funerary texts, it was found written on the inside of the pharaoh's tomb for reference. Unlike other funerary texts, however, it was reserved only for pharaohs (until the Twenty-first Dynasty almost exclusively) or very favored nobility.It tells the story of Ra, the Egyptian sun god who travels through the underworld, from the time when the sun sets in the west and rises again in the east. It is said that the dead Pharaoh is taking this same journey, ultimately to become one with Ra and live forever.

The underworld is divided into twelve hours of the night, each representing different allies and enemies for the Pharaoh/sun god to encounter. The Amduat names all of these gods and monsters. The main purpose of the Amduat is to give the names of these gods and monsters to the spirit of the dead Pharaoh, so he can call upon them for help or use their name to defeat them.

As well as enumerating and naming the inhabitants of the Duat, both good and bad, the illustrations of the work show clearly the topography of the underworld. The earliest complete version of the Amduat is found in KV34, the tomb of Thutmose III in the Valley of the Kings.

Bayuda Desert

The Bayuda Desert, located at 18°N 33°E, is in the eastern region of the Sahara Desert, spanning approximately 100,000 km² of NE Sudan north of Omdurman and south of Korti, embraced by the great bend of the Nile in the N, E and S and limited by the Wadi Muqaddam in the W. The north to south aligned Wadi Abu Dom divides the Bayuda Desert into the eastern Bayuda Volcanic Field and the western ochre-coloured sand-sheets scattered with rocky outcrop. Gold mining occurs today from Oct. to March, as labourers work auriferous quartz found in wadis and shallow mines. These workings are usually in areas previously worked during the New Kingdom of Egypt and the Early Arab Period.

Book of Gates

The Book of Gates is an Ancient Egyptian funerary text dating from the New Kingdom. It narrates the passage of a newly deceased soul into the next world, corresponding to the journey of the sun through the underworld during the hours of the night. The soul is required to pass through a series of 'gates' at different stages in the journey. Each gate is associated with a different goddess, and requires that the deceased recognise the particular character of that deity. The text implies that some people will pass through unharmed, but that others will suffer torment in a lake of fire.

Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt

The Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XVIII, alternatively 18th Dynasty or Dynasty 18) is classified as the first dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt, the era in which ancient Egypt achieved the peak of its power. The Eighteenth Dynasty spanned the period from 1549/1550 to 1292 BC. This dynasty is also known as the Thutmosid Dynasty for the four pharaohs named Thutmose.

Several of Egypt's most famous pharaohs were from the Eighteenth Dynasty, including Tutankhamun, whose tomb was found by Howard Carter in 1922. Other famous pharaohs of the dynasty include Hatshepsut (c. 1479 BC–1458 BC), the longest-reigning woman pharaoh of an indigenous dynasty, and Akhenaten (c. 1353–1336 BC), the "heretic pharaoh", with his Great Royal Wife, Nefertiti.

The Eighteenth Dynasty is unique among Egyptian dynasties in that it had two women who ruled as sole pharaoh: Hatshepsut, who is regarded as one of the most innovative rulers of ancient Egypt, and Neferneferuaten, usually identified as the iconic Nefertiti.

High Priests of Amun

The High Priest of Amun or First Prophet of Amun (ḥm nṯr tpj n jmn) was the highest-ranking priest in the priesthood of the ancient Egyptian god Amun. The first high priests of Amun appear in the New Kingdom of Egypt, at the beginning of the Eighteenth Dynasty.

Kingdom of Kush

The Kingdom of Kush or Kush () was an ancient kingdom in Nubia, located at the Sudanese and southern Egyptian Nile Valley.

The Kushite era of rule in Nubia was established after the Late Bronze Age collapse and the disintegration of the New Kingdom of Egypt. Kush was centered at Napata (now modern Karima, Sudan) during its early phase. After Kashta ("the Kushite") invaded Egypt in the 8th century BC, the monarchs of Kush were also the pharaohs of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, until they were expelled by the Neo-Assyrian Empire under the rule of Esarhaddon a century later.

During classical antiquity, the Kushite imperial capital was located at Meroë. In early Greek geography, the Meroitic kingdom was known as Aethiopia. The Kingdom of Kush with its capital at Meroe persisted until the 4th century AD, when it weakened and disintegrated due to internal rebellion. The seat was eventually captured and burnt to the ground by the Kingdom of Aksum. Afterwards the Nubians established the three, eventually Christianized, kingdoms of Nobatia, Makuria and Alodia.

Late Egyptian language

Late Egyptian is the stage of the Egyptian language that was written by the time of the New Kingdom of Egypt around 1350 BC – the Amarna Period. Texts written wholly in Late Egyptian date to the Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt and later. Late Egyptian succeeded but did not fully supplant Middle Egyptian as a literary language.

Late Egyptian is not descended directly from Middle Egyptian, which was based on a different dialect.

List of conflicts in Egypt

This is a list of conflicts in Egypt arranged chronologically from ancient to modern times. This list includes nationwide and international wars, including: wars of independence, liberation wars, colonial wars, undeclared wars, proxy wars, territorial disputes, and world wars. Also listed might be any battle that occurred within the territory of what is today known as "Egypt" but was itself only part of an operation of a campaign in a theater of a war. There may also be periods of violent civil unrest listed, such as: riots, shootouts, spree killings, massacres, terrorist attacks, and civil wars. The list might also contain episodes of: human sacrifice, mass suicide, massacres, and genocides.

List of largest empires

The following is a list of the largest empires in world history. Rein Taagepera has defined an empire as "any relatively large sovereign political entity whose components are not sovereign" and its size as the area over which the empire has some undisputed military and taxation prerogatives, and these are the definitions used by this list.

Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt

The Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XIX, alternatively 19th Dynasty or Dynasty 19) is classified as the second Dynasty of the Ancient Egyptian New Kingdom period, lasting from 1292 BC to 1189 BC. The 19th Dynasty and the 20th Dynasty furthermore together constitute an era known as the Ramesside period. This Dynasty was founded by Vizier Ramesses I, whom Pharaoh Horemheb chose as his successor to the throne.

Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt family tree

The family tree of the Egyptian 19th dynasty is the usual mixture of conjecture and interpretation. The family history starts with the appointment of Ramesses I as the successor to Horemheb, the last king of the 18th Dynasty who had no heirs. From Ramesses' line came perhaps the greatest king of the New Kingdom of Egypt, Ramesses II. He ruled for nearly 67 years and had many children (see List of children of Ramses II).

Following Ramesses II's death, his granddaughter declined the throne and the succession remains unclear. The parentage of Pharaoh Amenmesse and his exact relation to Siptah is unknown.


Nubia () is a region along the Nile river encompassing the area between Aswan in southern Egypt and Khartoum in central Sudan. It was the seat of one of the earliest civilizations of ancient Africa, with a history that can be traced from at least 2500 BC onward with the Kerma culture. The latter was conquered by the New Kingdom of Egypt under pharaoh Thutmose I around 1500 BC. Nubia was home to several empires, most prominently the kingdom of Kush, which conquered Egypt during the 8th century BC during the reign of Piye and ruled the country as its Twenty-fifth Dynasty (to be replaced a century later by the native Egyptian Twenty-sixth Dynasty).

The collapse of Kush in the 4th century AD after more than a thousand years of existence was precipitated by an invasion by Ethiopia's Kingdom of Aksum and saw the rise of three Christian kingdoms, Nobatia, Makuria and Alodia, the last two again lasting for roughly a millennium. Their eventual decline initiated not only the partition of Nubia into the northern half conquered by the Ottomans and the southern half by the Sennar sultanate in the 16th century, but also a rapid Islamization and partial Arabization of the Nubian people. Nubia was again united with the Khedivate of Egypt in the 19th century. Today, the region of Nubia is split between Egypt and Sudan.

The primarily archaeological science dealing with ancient Nubia is called Nubiology.

Ramesses VIII

Usermare Akhenamun Ramesses VIII (also written Ramses and Rameses) or Ramesses Sethherkhepshef Meryamun ('Set is his Strength, beloved of Amun') (reigned 1130-1129 BC, or 1130 BC), was the seventh Pharaoh of the Twentieth Dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt and was one of the last surviving sons of Ramesses III.


Userkhaure-setepenre Setnakhte (or Setnakht, Sethnakht) was the first pharaoh (1189 BC–1186 BC) of the Twentieth Dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt and the father of Ramesses III.

Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt

The Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XVII, alternatively 17th Dynasty or Dynasty 17) is classified as the third dynasty of the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt. The 17th Dynasty dates approximately from 1580 to 1550 BC. Its mainly Theban rulers are contemporary with the Hyksos of the Fifteenth Dynasty and succeed the Sixteenth Dynasty, which was also based in Thebes.

In March 2012, French archeologists examining a limestone door in the Precinct of Amun-Re at Karnak discovered hieroglyphs with the name Senakhtenre, the first evidence of this king dating to his lifetime.The last two kings of the dynasty opposed the Hyksos rule over Egypt and initiated a war that would rid Egypt of the Hyksos kings and began a period of unified rule, the New Kingdom of Egypt.

Kamose, the second son of Seqenenre Tao and last king of the Seventeenth Dynasty, was the brother of Ahmose I, the first king of the Eighteenth Dynasty.

Slavery in ancient Egypt

Slavery in ancient Egypt existed at least since the New Kingdom (1550-1175 BC). Discussions of slavery in Pharaonic Egypt are complicated by terminology used by the Egyptians to refer to different classes of servitude over the course of dynastic history. Interpretation of the textual evidence of classes of slaves in ancient Egypt has been difficult to differentiate by word usage alone. There were three types of enslavement in Ancient Egypt: chattel slavery, bonded labor, and forced labor. But even these types of slavery are susceptible to individual interpretation based on evidence and research. Egypt's labor culture is represented by many men and women, and it is difficult to claim their social status into one category.

The word "slave" or even the existence therefore, has been translated from Egyptian language into modern terms with consideration of the time period and traditional labor laws. The distinction between servant, peasant, and slave describe different roles in different contexts. Egyptian texts refer to words 'bAk' and 'Hm' that mean laborer or servant. Some Egyptian language refer to slave-like people as 'sqrw-anx', meaning “bound for life” Forms of forced labor and servitude are seen throughout all of ancient Egypt even though it wasn’t specifically declared as the well known term we have today, slavery. Egyptian wanted dominion over their kingdoms and would alter political and social ideas to benefit their economic state. The existence of a slave culture not only was profitable for ancient Egypt, but made it easier to keep power and stability of the Kingdoms.


Thebes may refer to one of the following places:

Thebes, Egypt, Thebes of the Hundred Gates, one-time capital of the New Kingdom of Egypt

Thebes, Greece, Thebes of the Seven Gates, a city in Boeotia

Phthiotic Thebes or Thessalian Thebes, an ancient city at Nea Anchialos

Thebes (Ionia), in Asia Minor

Cilician Thebe, a mythological city in Cilicia, near the Troad

Thebes, Illinois, a village in the United States

Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt

The Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XX, alternatively 20th Dynasty or Dynasty 20) is the third and last dynasty of the Ancient Egyptian New Kingdom period, lasting from 1189 BC to 1077 BC. The 19th and 20th Dynasties furthermore together constitute an era known as the Ramesside period.


The tyet (Ancient Egyptian: tjt), sometimes called the knot of Isis or girdle of Isis, is an ancient Egyptian symbol that came to be connected with the goddess Isis. Its hieroglyphic depiction is catalogued as V39 in Gardiner's sign list.

In many respects the tyet resembles an ankh, except that its arms curve down. Its meaning is also reminiscent of the ankh, as it is often translated to mean "welfare" or "life".

The tyet resembles a knot of cloth and may have originally been a bandage used to absorb menstrual blood.An early example of a tyet sign comes from a First Dynasty tomb at Helwan, excavated by Zaki Saad in the 1940s. This example predates the first written references to Isis and may not have been connected with her at the time. In later times, it came to be linked with her and with the healing powers that were an important aspect of her character.Tyet amulets came to be buried with the dead in the early New Kingdom of Egypt (c. 1550–1070 BC). The earliest examples date to the reign of Amenhotep III, and from then until the end of dynastic Egyptian history, few people were buried without one placed within the mummy wrappings, usually on the upper torso. Ancient Egyptian funerary texts included many passages describing the use of different types of amulets and include spells to be recited over them. Chapter 156 of the Book of the Dead, a New Kingdom funerary text, calls for a tyet amulet made of red jasper to be placed at the neck of a mummy, saying "the power of Isis will be the protection of [the mummy's] body" and that the amulet "will drive away whoever would commit a crime against him." Such amulets were often made of red jasper or similarly colored materials, such as carnelian or red glass. However, many others were made of green materials such as Egyptian faience, whose color represented the renewal of life.Another type of knot is sometimes called the "Isis knot": a large knot in a mantle worn by Egyptian women from the Late Period onward. It is associated with Isis because it often appeared on statues of her in Hellenistic and Roman times, but apart from the name it is not related to the tyet.The tyet can be compared with the Minoan sacral knot, a symbol of a knot with a projecting loop found in Knossos, Crete.


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