The Decline of Ancient Egypt
The Ancient Egyptian Empire was one of the oldest and longest ruling empires in history. The empire spanned over 3,000 years. During that time the empire rose and fell as power shifted from one dynasty to the next and the occasional invasion from neighboring empires. However, history shows that even the mightiest empires can fall and after 1,100 BC, Egypt went into decline. There were several reasons for this including a loss of military power, lack of natural resources, and political conflicts.
The reigns of the last great pharaohs Ramses II and Ramses III (1,189 BC to 1,077 BCE) are characterized by strength and ability to defend Egypt against invaders. However, it took significant manpower and resources to ward off these continual attacks and these defenses left the economy’s empire struggling.
Egypt experienced a civil war and remained split between two regions. This left it vulnerable to further invasions and control from the Assyrians in 671 BCE, the Persians in 525 BCE and finally the Greeks in 332 BCE.
At the end of Egypt’s empire the climate became erratic and unstable. The Egyptians relied on the water from the Nile floods to help their crops grow, but the Egyptian climate experienced roughly a hundred of years of dry spells and water became scarce.
There were also periods of unusually cold weather that further stressed the crops and led to a drastic decrease in harvests. Crops were also destroyed by sporadic and unpredictable flooding of the Nile. With little to no food or surplus for long periods of time, hunger and famine spread.
Economic and political unrest also led to the weakening of the Ancient Egyptian empire. There were huge inequalities in the distribution of wealth among the elites and the rest of the population. Many people began to distrust the government and religious authority. The continuous wars created huge expenses and weakened the economic power of the Pharaoh.
Christianity began to spread through Egypt and brought the adoption of the alphabet instead of hieroglyphics creating major changes in Egyptian culture. Many ancient practices such as mummification ended.