The Story of Egypt

The Story of Egypt

Egypt is home to one of the world’s earliest civilizations. Its settlements date back to 17000 BC. It was a powerful and influential empire that grew from the Nile River Valley to the eastern Mediterranean. In this fascinating series, Professor of Egyptology Joann Fletcher examines Egypt’s extraordinary rise and fall, from the empire’s humble nomadic beginnings to its zenith as pyramid builders.

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The Story of Egypt on BBC Select

Episode 1: The Road to the Pyramids
How did the ancient Egyptians transform from simple farmers to mighty pyramid builders?

How did the Egyptians, over the course of only a few hundred years, grow from primitive farmers into empire ruling pyramid builders? Professor Joann Fletcher is looking for the building blocks of the Egyptian civilization. On the journey, she discovers how the first writing was used to calculate taxes and explores one of the earliest stone structures on Earth-Egypt’s first pyramid.

Episode 2: Chaos
Why did the great age of pyramid building lead to famine and civil war in ancient Egypt?

The first great age of Egyptian pyramid building was followed by a period of famine, strife and civil war that nearly ended the fledgling empire. Professor Joann Fletcher investigates the turmoil of this period, where poverty and a climate catastrophe split the nation into smaller states. But soon the empire made a comeback and began building even more temples and palaces for the mighty pharaohs.

Episode 3: Zenith
How Egypt’s dizzying heights under the great pharaoh Amenhotep III led to its destruction.

The golden age of ancient Egypt resulted in the magnificent Valley of the Kings, built by its greatest pharaoh, Amenhotep III. But as the domination of the empire grew, turmoil at home increased. As Joann Fletcher reveals, conflict between the pharaohs and powerful priests threatened the stability of the nation. As religious influence flourished, the seeds for Egypt’s destruction were sown.

Episode 4: Invasion
How Egypt’s enemies exploited a country weakened by internal strife, leading to disaster.

Turmoil within Egypt gave its enemies the opportunity to invade and conquer the empire. Professor Joann Fletcher journeys to Sudan where she finds the remarkable story of the forgotten, conquering Nubian Kings. Their rule was followed by the Assyrian and Persian empires until the Romans, as Cleopatra ruled Egypt, invaded and the mighty Egyptian empire was lost forever.

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