Middle and New Kingdom

New Kingdom pharaohs controlled vast wealth. Thebes was the religious center of the period, and Pharaohs built mortuary temples here and were buried in huge rock-cut tombs.

c. 2030 - 1070 B.C.E.

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Barry X Ball on an Egyptian fragment of a queen’s face
Barry X Ball on an Egyptian fragment of a queen’s face

"It's balanced between this incredible idealization and humanity."

A bottle and a toy: Objects from daily life
A bottle and a toy: Objects from daily life

Egyptian archaeological finds tend to be remnants of the rich—little remains from the rest of society.

Paintings from the Tomb-chapel of Nebamun
Paintings from the Tomb-chapel of Nebamun

Scenes show Nebamun’s family at work and play, giving vibrant insight into the lives of ancient Egyptian elites.

The tomb-chapel of Nebamun
The tomb-chapel of Nebamun

These lush wall paintings have been called “antiquity’s equivalent to Michelangelo.”

<em>Head of Tutankhamun</em>
Head of Tutankhamun

At only 6 years old, Tutankhamun is crowned pharaoh by the god Amun-Ra.

Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis
Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis

From temples on the east bank of the Nile to the Valley of the Kings, Thebes was a wonder of Egyptian Civilization.

<em>Standing Hippopotamus</em>
Standing Hippopotamus

This hippopotamus, found in a tomb, carries symbols of life and death, regeneration and chaos—why was it broken?

<em>Hunefer’s Judgement in the presence of Osiris</em>
Hunefer’s Judgement in the presence of Osiris

Did Hunefer live an ethical life? See the judgment of the Egyptian gods—who weigh Hunefer’s heart.

<em>Portrait Head of Queen Tiye</em>
Portrait Head of Queen Tiye

Tiye was a powerful figure, but her royal life was complicated, as demonstrated through this changing statue.

Thutmose, <em>Model Bust of Queen Nefertiti</em>
Thutmose, Model Bust of Queen Nefertiti

Found in an artist’s studio, this stunning bust exemplifies a change in style, and may have been an early prototype.

<em>House Altar depicting Akhenaten, Nefertiti and Three of their Daughters</em>
House Altar depicting Akhenaten, Nefertiti and Three of their Daughters

Upon becoming pharaoh, Akhenaten revolutionized the religion and artistic style of Egypt—at least until his death.

Temple of Amun-Re and the Hypostyle Hall, Karnak
Temple of Amun-Re and the Hypostyle Hall, Karnak

This massive temple complex was a major religious center—and its architecture mirrors ancient Egyptian creation myths.

Selected Contributors