Egypt's Golden Empire | 2001
Documentary that focuses on the period from 1560 B.C. to 1080 B.C., when the Egyptian Empire reached its apogee.
"The Warrior Pharaohs" focuses on the year 1570 B.C., when Egypt lies divided among foreign rulers. Ahmose, one of the last Egyptian princes, rises to defeat the Hyksos and the Nubians. The New Kingdom is born, uniting Egypt once again. After Ahmose dies, Hatshepsut becomes the first female Pharaoh. Striving for legitimacy, she embarks on an ambitious building program and opens new trade routes. Her son and successor, Thutmosis III, campaigns extensively in the Near East, and brings much of the ancient world under Egyptian rule.
In "Pharaohs of the Sun," it is 1400 B.C. and the Egyptian empire stretches from Northern Syria to the Sudan in Africa. Led by Amenhotep III, it is a golden age of wealth, power and prosperity. Diplomacy is used to keep the empire's rivals at bay, while the provinces of Egypt revel in their protection. Art, technology and new ideas flourish, and Egyptian rulers are seen as gods. After the death of Amenhotep III, his son Akhenaten initiates drastic changes. Consumed by a monotheist belief, he orders a new capital built in the desert, marries the beauty Nefertiti and embarks on a campaign of religious repression. When he dies, the new capital is abandoned. The death of his son-in-law, the boy-king Tutankhamen, marks the end of the Ahmose dynasty.
In "The Last Great Pharaoh," a new dynasty emerges. Threatened from abroad, Ramses II leads an army north to fight the Hittites at Kadesh. The battle becomes his crowning achievement and the basis for a new period of stability and wealth. Resources flood into Egypt. A new capital is built, artisans revel in an explosive period of building and The House of Life becomes the intellectual center for the empire. However, foreign powers once again threaten, and some provinces question their allegiance. After the long reign of Ramses II, the great tombs are systematically looted and civil war ensues. Though Egypt is once again divided, the period known as the New Kingdom has left a rich legacy that reverberates through the ages.