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pageId="iii"Oxford Bible Atlas Contextualizes the stories and lands of the Bible through user-friendly maps and illustrations.

Egypt

During the Proto‐dynastic period (c.3100–2650 BCE) Upper and Lower Egypt were united by Menes of the 1st Dynasty. Already the hieroglyphic script was in use. In the Old Kingdom period, in the middle of the 3rd millennium, particularly in the 3rd and 4th Dynasties, Egypt rose to great power. To the 3rd Dynasty belongs Djoser's step pyramid at Saqqarah, and the great pyramids at Gizeh to the 4th Dynasty. From the 5th and 6th Dynasties come the pyramid texts, which shed considerable light on Egyptian religion. After a period of decline during the 1st Intermediate Period, Egypt revived at the beginning of the 2nd millennium (the Middle Kingdom), and its control over much of Syria‐Palestine was reasserted. A large and varied literature comes from this period. But there was then another period of weakness, and during the 15th and 16th Dynasties Egypt was under the Hyksos, who, towards the end of the 18th century BCE swept along the Levantine coast and infiltrated Egypt. Memphis was their capital at first, but Avaris became the centre of their rule.

The New Kingdom (18th and 19th Dynasties) was the golden age of Egyptian expansion and power. Thutmose III (1479–1425), at the battle of Megiddo, defeated a revolt headed by the prince of Kadesh, and his armies reached the Euphrates. Evidence that Egyptian power in the Levant weakened in the 13th century is found in the Tell el‐‘Amarna letters. These were found at Tell el‐‘Amarna, ancient Akhetaten, the capital of the so‐called heretic pharaoh Akhenaten (1352–1336), who sought to institute a new form of religion involving the worship of the solar disc. Correspondence was found from the kings of Babylonia, Assyria, the Hittites, Mitanni, Cyprus, Cilicia, Syria. There were also other letters from many places including Ugarit, Gebal, Berytus, Sidon, Tyre, Acco, Damascus, Megiddo, Ashkelon, Jerusalem, Shechem.

Egypt

The Land of Canaan

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Pharaoh Rameses II (1279–1213) of the 19th Dynasty has been associated with the oppression of the Hebrews in Egypt. From the time of his successor, Merneptah (1213–1203), comes an inscription containing the earliest reference to a people called Israel.

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