‘The Egyptian Renaissance – Early Decline and Late Resurrection’

Following on from the ‘The Steps to Giza’ and the huge demands made on the nation, its wealth and manpower, there was a decline in pyramid building as they became smaller and less well-built.

However, wishing always to hark back to the ‘glory days’ when Egypt was at its most powerful; and to associated themselves with the mighty pharaohs and pyramids of the past, the Ancient Egyptian obsession with monumental building did not easily wane or die.

This presentation is a story of decline and resurrection, of ambition and aspiration: ambitions to create enduring, personal mortuary monuments; aspirations held not only by the kings of ancient Egypt, but by the increasingly powerful elite of the land.

In this presentation I investigate some of the lesser-known pyramids: pyramids which, whilst they may appear less impressive than their earlier counterparts, never-the-less have fascinating and different stories to tell.

In the Old Kingdom, we encounter the 5th Dynasty kings and their innovations: the decline of royal power and rise of the elite; the decline of the pyramids and the rise of the Sun Temples; and the oldest known theological writings in Egypt, if not the world.

The Middle Kingdom sees a return to pyramid building in; and a period which produced some of the finest jewellery ever created in Ancient Egypt.
The New Kingdom saw a halt in pyramid building as pharaohs turned to the Valley of the Kings to provide their eternal resting places.

The Nubian KingsHowever, hundreds of years later, in the dying days of the Empire, Egypt experienced its own ‘Renaissance’; a late ‘Resurrection’ which came, surprisingly, from foreign kings who came to ‘rescue’ and rule Egypt as pharaohs devoted to the gods, beliefs and traditions of the ancient Egyptian Empire.

It was a resurrection which produced many more pyramids; but which ultimately saw the end of pyramids in Ancient Egypt and end of ‘the Age of the Pyramids’.

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