Military Campaigns of the New Kingdom Pharaohs

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The new kingdom period (1550-1070 BC) or what is otherwise known as the ‘Golden Age’ of Egyptian history was born in warfare, it emerged from the struggle of the Theban rulers of upper Egypt to rid themselves of Hyksos rule. The Hyksos kings, based at Avaris in the Delta, had dominated Egypt for much of the second intermediate period. King Kamose, and later his brother Ahmose, expelled the Hyksos in a series of battles over a thirty year-period. This resulted in the reunification of upper and lower Egypt and established the 18th Dynasty. A campaign to rid Egypt of the Hyksos was begun by Sequenre Tao II. He led his troops in the first of many bloody clashes, his mummy, now on display in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, bears the marks of wounds inflicted by a dagger, an axe, a spear and even a mace. The axe marks on his forehead match Hyksos weapons found at Tell el-Dab’a. When he died during battle, his son Kamose continued the war. But, he also was unsuccessful in defeating the foreign rulers and he too died in battle. A remarkable inscription relating to Kamose battle on the south has recently been revealed in the tomb of Sobeknakht. The second son of Tao II, Ahmose I, continued these campaigns. To counter Hyksos military dominance, he copied their tactics and weapons, and the use of Nubian troops. His army was equipped with bronze daggers and shields, the composite bow and the war chariot. This chariot was large enough to allow for a charioteer to control the horses, leaving the archer free to use his weapons while on the move. Ahmose began a bloody, hard-fought war with a vengeance, attacking the Hyksos bastions of Avaris and Memphis. Eventually, he succeeded in routing the Hyksos and pursuing the retreating forces back to Palestine. Egypt was again united under one pharaoh, heralding the dawn of the New Kingdom. Ahmose I established the 18thDynasty, and
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