What Period Does The Middle Kingdom Follow In Ancient Egypt


The Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt spanned approximately two hundred and forty-two years, from the eleventh dynasty to the thirteenth dynasty. This period was an especially dynamic period, largely due to the rule of the strong Pharaohs of the 12th Dynasty. Egypt during this period was divided into two spheres, with the north centered around Lower Egypt and the south around Upper Egypt.

The Middle Kingdom was marked by the emergence of many new ways of life. The development of writing, art, music, literature, and trade flourished during this time. Furthermore, cities and even entire civilizations were developed during this period, such as the city of Menes in Lower Egypt and the kingdom of Kush in upper Egypt.


The Middle Kingdom was important for a variety of reasons. This period was a period of population growth and improved technology, which resulted in higher standards of living for the Egyptians. The Mitanni-Akkadian period was also important to the development of Egypt’s empire, with many Mitanni-Akkadian influences persisting in Egypt long after the Middle Kingdom had passed.

The Middle Kingdom also was a time period where improvements were seen in engineering devised by the ancient Egyptians. Some of this technology included the introduction of the chariot, advances in building materials such as mud-brick, fiber and vegetable plaster, as well as the development of tools suitable for mining. This accompanied the building of fortifications around the kingdom to protect it from invaders, which resulted in the unification of Egypt.

Culture & Religion

The Middle Kingdom saw a surge in the development of religion and culture in ancient Egypt. During this time, the worship of multiple gods became customary, thus providing another source of power for the Pharaohs and their associated gods. Furthermore, a primitive version of hieroglyphic writing was developed, which allowed the Egyptians to write down their histories, laws, and religious beliefs. This was also accompanied by the emergence of the Egyptian language, which further allowed the Egyptians to convey their thoughts, ideas, and beliefs in a more advanced fashion.

The astronomical accomplishments of the Middle Kingdom are also notable. This includes understanding of the stars and constellations, calculation of the moon’s orbit, use of the calendar, and the mapping of the Nile River. Such accomplishments demonstrated the sophistication of the Egyptians during this period.

Art & Architecture

The Middle Kingdom of Egypt is noted for its distinctive art forms, which are distinctly Egyptian in style and technique. This includes the development of sculptures, paintings, and reliefs that depict everyday life, gods, kings, and other scenes from the time period. Furthermore, the development of the sarcophagus and mummy masks (popularly known as the death mask), which were popular with their funerary and religious uses, further demonstrate the craftsmanship associated with this period.

Architecturally, this period is noted for its two distinctive styles of temple building: the multiplex style and the single-roomed style. This period also saw the construction of many palaces, such as the Great Monuments of Menes. This period of architectural development is further seen in the development of fortifications around the entire kingdom, as well as the construction of canals and dams.


The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt was an era of immense economic prosperity. This was, in part, due to the assurance of peace in the region and a unified Egyptian kingdom. This allowed for the emergence of buying and selling around the Nile, as well as the trade of copper, gold, and other goods throughout this period. This allowed Egypt to become one of the most powerful and wealthy empires of its time.

The Middle Kingdom also saw the emergence of writing, which allowed the Egyptians to keep records of the level of production in the country and allocate resources suitably. This allowed for better management of the large population during this period, which also allowed for the domestic production of a variety of crops, as well as the production of garments for sale in both the domestic and international markets.

Technology and Inventions

The development of technology advanced significantly during the Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. This is evidenced in the development of the chariot, which allowed for increased mobility of the Egyptians. The construction of dams and canals also allowed for the control of the Nile River’s water levels, as well as the development of methods to irrigate the land so that it could be more fertile.

The use of bronze also made a significant impact during this period. This allowed for the mass production of weapons and tools, which resulted in increased efficiency in production and the increased trade of goods. This, in turn, led to the emergence of a money economy and the use of hieroglyphs for recording transactions and writing.

Who Ruled?

The Middle Kingdom of Egypt was ruled by several powerful Pharaohs during this period. This includes Pepi I and Mentuhotep II, both of whom were important in continuing the strong rule of the 11th Dynasty. Senusret I established the 12th Dynasty, which was also a strong period of rule in Egypt. During this period, Egypt saw much advancement in writing, literature, engineering, and art. The Middle Kingdom ended with the rule of Ramesses III, who was the last Pharaoh of this era.


The clothing of Ancient Egypt greatly changed during the Middle Kingdom period. This period saw the growth of an upper class as well as an increase of available fabrics and other materials. This is evidenced in more luxurious versions of traditional clothing, such as the ‘kilt’. Women wore ankle-length, pleated linen robes, with traditional patterns from the Old Kingdom remaining in popular prominence.

The clothing of this period also saw an increasing use of color, with red being an especially important hue. The clothing of the Middle Kingdom period was also often adorned with flower or bead decorations. This period also saw a rise in the popularity of jewelry, especially among the wealthy classes, and the introduction of shawls and headscarves.


The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt was an important era in Egyptian history, as it saw the emergence of an abundance of technology, art, and culture. These developments allowed for a unified kingdom under the rule of strong Pharaohs, as well as the development of literature, writing, engineering, and many other innovations. The advances of this period allowed for great prosperity, as many of the advancements of the Middle Kingdom would remain in Egyptian culture for centuries to come.

Clarence Norwood

Clarence E. Norwood is an author and scholar specializing in the history and archaeology of ancient peoples. He has written extensively on the civilizations of the Near East, Egypt, and the Mediterranean. He has authored numerous books and articles on a wide range of topics, including the evolution of the alphabet, the rise of the ancient nations, and the impact of ancient cultures and religions on modern society. He has also conducted archaeological field research in North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.

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