Egypt's Golden Empire
Home New Kingdom Special Features The Series Resources For Educators
Seqenenre Taa I
When Ahmose (reigned from c1550 – 1525 BC) became king, Egypt was in crisis. It was occupied in the north and threatened in the south. It was a shadow of its former self. But by the time he died, Ahmose had liberated his country and started the new Egyptian empire.

Egypt, once a powerful kingdom, was sandwiched between two enemies when Ahmose was born. In the north, the land of the pyramids was occupied by the Hyksos people, whose king had declared himself pharaoh. To the south, Egypt was threatened by the warlike Nubians.

This was the first time that Egyptian land had ever been under foreign rule. As a result, a civilization that had already existed for 1,500 years was threatened with extinction.

At the time, Ahmose’s elder brother, Kamose, had become king following the death of their father, Seqenenre Taa I. The Hyksos had brutally killed Seqenenre Taa I, along with his entire army.

Kamose’s brief reign

Kamose was keen to avenge their father’s death and reunite Egypt. To have foreign occupiers on their land was a humiliation they could not bear. Although many Egyptians did not want to fight, war became inevitable after Kamose’s men intercepted a message from the Hyksos to the Nubians, inviting them to join forces and conquer what was left of Egypt.

Only 10 years old, Ahmose watched Kamose lead the Egyptian army north against the Hyksos. They captured the first Hyksos town they encountered and headed on to the Hyksos capital, Arvaris. But just when they were about to push the Hyksos out of Egypt, Kamose died, leaving the Hyksos in northern Egypt.

Account of Ahmose victory

The boy king

Following Kamose’s death, Ahmose became Pharaoh, but he was still a boy. His mother, Ahhotep, ruled as regent and educated her son in his future duties. Ten years later, Ahmose was ready to take on the Hyksos and avenge the deaths of his father and brother. He marched on Arvaris, defeated the Hyksos and liberated Egypt from foreign occupation.

This was a great victory. Ahmose was now pharaoh of a united Egypt that stretched from the borders of Nubia in the south, to the Mediterranean in the north.

When he got back home to Thebes, Ahmose was a hero and was worshipped as a god. But running the Hyksos out of Egypt was just the beginning: Ahmose wanted to build a powerful Egypt.

Good as gold

This required money, so Ahmose traveled south to Nubia, home to some of the richest gold mines in the ancient world. In a series of battles, Ahmose’s Egyptian army defeated the Nubians and their king in another great victory.

By the time of his death, Ahmose had reunited Egypt. He had expanded its borders beyond the Sinai desert in the north-east and deep into Nubia in the south. He had also given it financial security – laying the foundations for a new empire and a golden age.

Where to next:
Women in power
Egyptian society – Soldiers

Related Links:

Virtual Library   Virtual Libray
New Kingdom

The Pharoahs
- Ahmose
- Hatshepsut
- Tuthmosis III
- Amenhotep III
- Akenhaten
- Tutankhamen
- Ramesses II

Women In Power
- Nefertiti
- Tiy
- Nefertari

- Natural Resources
- Architecture
- Farming
- Religion

Egyptian Society
- Priests
- Workers
- Women
- Soldiers

Egypt's Golden Empire