The Defences of Egypt c. 1500 BCE


Map Code: Ax01095

Pharaoh Senusret III (1878–1839 BCE) was venerated as a god in the Semna region on the Nubian borders, out of awe for the scale of his building projects. He erected massive twin fortresses at Semna and Kumma on opposite banks of the Nile. To reinforce Egypt’s defences against Nubian or Kushite incursion, he added a string of supporting forts upriver, from Uronarti to Ikkur. A further wave of expansion occurred during the 18th Dynasty under Thutmose I, when the front line was marked by a fortress at Tombos. Later, the Kushite capital Napata at the 4th cataract was seized, and a fortress erected. In the New Kingdom, Buhen became a garrison town supplying the region’s fortresses: it had concentric sets of ramparts, Egyptian troops in the inner zone, mercenaries in the outer ring. In the north, early Delta fortresses at Avaris and Sile backed the new border fortresses at Beth-shean and Megiddo.

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