Third Intermediate Period

The Third Intermediate Period is a time in Egypt that was from 1069 B.C. to 664 B.C.

This was a period of time that came after the New Kingdom.

This was a period that ended with the 26th Dynasty.


The Third Intermediate Period had 5 different dynasties:

  1. The Twenty First Dynasty
  2. Twenty Second Dynasty
  3. Twenty Third Dynasty
  4. Twenty Fourth Dynasty
  5. Twenty Fifth Dynasty.


When the Third Intermediate Period happened, there were little changes that were happening to the Egyptians.

This was a time that was a little chaotic but there is not a lot of information about this period of time.

Much of the information that was made such as writings and art work were destroyed and even the names of kings and when they ruled were destroyed so there is not a lot of information that historians have about this time period.


During the Intermediate periods, Egypt was divided into 42 different areas that were similar to the states that are in the United States.

These areas were called nomes.

These nomes had different cities and states and the leaders of these areas were called Nomarchs.

A Nomarch was a person that was a head of the government in that area.

During the time that the area was strong and that they were doing well, the Nomarchs would be appointed by the kings and they would help rule their area.

When the area was weak though, the Nomarchs would try to take over the area and it would make the area even more weak because the Nomarchs thought that they were more powerful than the king.

The Nomarchs would sometimes challenge the king and try to take over rulership of the kingdom.

End of the New Kingdom

When the end of the New Kingdom came, this was the time when the Third Intermediate Period began.

This was a time when there were different areas that were going to war.

There was a period of time when foreigners came and took over ruler-ship of Egypt and when this happened there seemed to always be some type of war going on during this period.


It was during the Third Intermediate Period that Egypt was very weak, and this is what made foreigners come in and take the region over.

The kings did not have the power that they once had, and Egypt was ruled by Amun-Ra who was a priest.

This led Egypt to many attacks from the Assyrians, the Libyans and the Nubians.

What Does Intermediate Mean?

The term Intermediate during the Egyptian history means a time when the area was divided, and they did not have any unity.

This caused there to be a shift of power and it was a time where Tanis and Thebes had most of the power.

Tanis and Thebes were cities in Egypt, and they had different beliefs.  Tanis believed that there were many gods and Thebes believed in only one god, the god Amun.

Thebes even considered their king to be Amun, even though he was not a real person.


During the Third Intermediate Period, the way art was done changed.

There were more temples that were built and there were also large monuments that were built and decorated.

When there was a funeral, the rich would be buried in fancy coffins and some would have their own tombs.

The coffins were painted with artwork and some of them had wooden objects on them so that they could look nice.

It was during this time that making jewelry became very famous and the Egyptians would make jewelry and people that had riches would purchase jewelry and would wear a lot of it.


During the Third Intermediate Period, people believed strongly in mythology.

They believed that some kings were born by a pair of gods and that the sun goddess helped to make children born.

They also believed that temples should be built for the gods and this was very important to the Egyptians.

 Facts About the Third Intermediate Period:

  • Egypt was conquered by the Assyrian Empire during the end of the Third Intermediate Period.
  • This period of time was considered a destructive period of time for the Egyptians.
  • Since Egypt was weak, that is why foreigners were able to take over the land.
  • Art and architecture were still important during this time, it just was changing.
  • Tombs were made of bronze, silver and gold.
  • There were many writings and paintings during this time.
  • Amasis or Ahmose II ruled during the Twenty Sixth Dynasty.
  • Pharaohs were considered to be children of the gods.
  • A mammisi or a birth house was made to celebrate when a pharaoh was born.

What Did You Learn?

  1. What was the period of time between 1069 B.C. to 664 B.C. called?  This period of time was called the Third Intermediate Period.
  2. What was happening in Egypt during this time? During the Third Intermediate Period, Egypt was weak because they did not have one strong ruler and they were being taken over by foreigners.
  3. What were the two cities that had the most power during this time? The two cities that had the most power during this time were Thebes and Tanis.
  4. What was it like for rich people when they were buried? Rich people were buried in coffins that were painted and very fancy or many of them had their own private tombs.
  5. Was mythology important during this time?   The Egyptians even believed that the pharaohs were born by two gods and they would make temples to celebrate this.