Ancient Egyptian Warfare

Ancient Egyptian warfare was a crucial part of the civilization’s history. From the onset of the Early Dynastic Period (c. 3100 BCE), Egypt sought to expand its territories and control its borders against marauding raiders. The Egyptians possessed a well-trained army, comprising of elite charioteers, archers, and infantry. The pharaoh was the commander-in-chief who led his troops into battle, often carrying symbols of divine authority and protection. The Egyptians relied on defensive fortifications to protect their cities and territories. These included mud-brick walls, watchtowers, and moats to deter enemy forces. At times, aggressors breached these fortifications, leading to battles in open fields and along riverbanks.

During the Old Kingdom (c. 2686 BCE-2181 BCE), the Egyptians used primitive weapons such as maces, battle-axes, and daggers made of copper. They also employed the throw-stick (a precursor of the boomerang) to strike down enemy warriors. The use of chariots became widespread in the Middle Kingdom (c. 2055 BCE-1650 BCE), providing the Egyptians with a fast and deadly weapon.

The Egyptians also relied on their navy to defend their coastline and launch amphibious attacks. They built large warships, known as “ships of the gods,” capable of carrying up to 120 men. These vessels were armed with bronze-tipped spikes to impale enemy boats and rams to smash through their hulls.

During the New Kingdom (c. 1550 BCE-1077 BCE), the Egyptians built a vast empire that encompassed territories in Nubia, Canaan, and Syria. They fought several major battles, including the Battle of Megiddo (c. 1457 BCE), in which pharaoh Thutmose III defeated a coalition of Canaanite forces.

In conclusion

Ancient Egyptian warfare played an essential role in expanding the kingdom’s territories and safeguarding its borders. The Egyptians utilized various weapons and tactics to defeat their foes, from primitive copper weapons to elite charioteers and warships. Today, we can still marvel at the legacy of this iconic civilization.

Ancient Egyptian Ruler