The ancient Egyptians presented themselves as superior to all other people in the world; on temple walls, the pharaoh is shown smiting foreign enemies - people from Nubia, Libya and the Levant - or crushing them beneath his chariot. Officially, foreigners represented disorder and chaos - the opposite of Egypt's perfect land of justice and order. But despite such imagery, from the beginning of their history, the Egyptians also enjoyed friendly relations with neighbouring cultures; both Egyptians and foreigners crossed the deserts and seas exchanging goods gathered from across the known world. They shared knowledge and technology, and sometimes settled abroad, marrying and acculturating. Through such interactions, the Egyptians influenced other cultures, and at the same time were themselves shaped by foreign contacts and external events.War & Trade with the Pharaohs explores Egypt's connections with the wider world over the course of 3,000 years, introducing readers to ancient diplomacy, travel, trade, warfare, domination, and immigration - both Egyptians living abroad and foreigners living in Egypt.
It covers military campaigns and trade in periods of strength - including such important events as the Battle of Qadesh under Ramesses II and Hatshepsut's trading mission to the mysterious land of Punt - and Egypt's foreign relations during times of political weakness, when foreign dynasties ruled parts of the country. From early interactions with traders on desolate desert tracks, to sunken Mediterranean trading vessels, the Nubian Kingdom of Kerma, Nile fortresses, the Sea Peoples, and Persian satraps, there is always a rich story to tell behind Egypt's foreign relations.