Egypt, a new beginning
Foreign relations and internal reforms
in Egypt of the Saite pharaohs, 664–525 BC
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Psamtek I successfully resisted an incursion by western tribesmen in his early years, and by the end of his reign he was successfully campaigning in the Levant against the Babylonian Empire, the new powerful force in the east. During his fifty-four-yearreign Psamtek reformed the political landscape of Egypt, politically reunifying the country and reforming the administration. This reforming spirit of times was also reflected in art and architecture, and one of the most salient features of the culture of this period is archaism. Standards of workmanship in the visual arts, particularly in sculpture, was high. There was a nationwide temple-building and renovation programme, and monumental elite tombs were now being constructed, such as that of Montuemhat, Mayor of Thebes. Changes in funerary practices were evident and the cult of divine animals underwent a considerable degree of development and proliferation.


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