The purpose of these pages is to present a short history of Ancient Egypt from the founding of the monarchy until the disintegration of the empire 3,000 years afterwards. The material for such a work has for many years been accumulating, and we therefore venture to lay before those interested in Egypt and the students of allied subjects this attempt at an interpretation of the existing material upon historical principles. The progress which research has made, both in Egypt upon the ancient sites and in the study of the original language and literature, has seemed to us sufficient authority for setting aside the traditions of later historians, and accepting instead the evidence of the monuments as the ground for the opinions we have expressed. It has been our aim to make no statement which does not rest upon the substantial basis of a fact. Many of our opinions are new, and they express our mutual explanation of the real meaning of the monuments, arrived at often only after prolonged consideration. Opinions of others may naturally differ from these interpretations, and in this respect criticism which aims in scientific spirit at unravelling the real history will be welcomed. Believing the general course of Egyptian history to be continuous, we have avoided in the following pages, so far as possible, any use of those terms and arbitrary divisions of periods which tend to suggest repeated breaks in the sequence of events. Chronology is certain only as far back as 1600 B.C.; for dates before that time the latest possible year has been appended.
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