The 24th and 23rd Centuries are the fifth section of the Bronze Age of history.
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|Bronze Age Pt. 5|
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With Huni taking the throne and nearing the end of his reign he saw the final group of Nubian and Canaanite slaves be freed from servitude. Those willing to stay within the kingdom instead of returning to the homeland still had to deal with the prejudice that followed them from the slave class era. Huni spent the end of his reign was spent mending relations with the local tribes, the Western Oases, and the Canaanites in the Levant. Sneferu's reign was known for the continuation of building up of more pyramids for previous rulers of the kingdom. Though not to the same economic success as Senedj's construction of his pyramids, it still effectively reinvigorated the crafts and architectural workers, and opened more jobs for the lower class.
Khufu was Sneferu's oldest child among his thirteen brothers and sisters. Many believed he would follow in his father's steps in trying to effectively rebuild the pyramids he had laid the foundation to finish. Instead Khufu was a notorious racist towards the Canaanites and Nubians that lived within his kingdom. His fifty year reign would be the longest among any ruler of the Second Dynasty. His aggressive personality led to the annexation and conquest along the Red Sea and with his conquests he brought in new slaves and forced them back into menial labor much like Sekhemkhet had done to those he had newly conquered. Khufu also made sure to keep the slave population low to ensure their numbers would not grow to a number his military could not contain. Djedefre would continue his father's actions but invading the new homeland of the Canaanites that had been mover northward after Khufu's expansion into that region. Djedefre would eventually annex and control all of the Canaanites homeland, forcing many into to slaves or to flee to find a new home.
The rapid expansion in the past one hundred years by the Egyptians had led them to border the Akkadian Empire, just to the east of them. Khafara, the current Pharaoh at the time was dealing with disputed territory claims between the nations. The Egyptians had done trade with the Akkadians and ancestors, but never had both nations bordered a nation of quite their size. Khafara was just as expansionist as his predecessors however he knew about the fertile lands that the Tigris River contained, and he needed the land to feed not only the slave class, but a rapidly expanding empire and population. Border clashes were commonplace mainly among the very few citizens that lived near the border of the two nations. In 2250 BCE however both nations declared war on one another with individual goals in mind, Khafara's was to gain farmland, though he would never learn of the Akkadians' ambitions.
The Akkadian Empire's great rise can be traced back to a single man who united the region under his single rule, Sargon of Akkad. Sargon overthrew the king of the city state of Kish and with his takeover forced the armies of Kish under his control. Sargon led his expansion across Mesopotamia from the Northwest bordering the Canaanites in the Levant and into bordering the Persian Gulf in the southwest.
The Egyptian-Akkadian War began over minor disputes in farmland, but grew to become the first major war in known history. The Pharaoh of Egypt at the time, Khafara I, was extremely interested in expansion in the lower Levantine area. However, the Emperor of the Akkadian Empire, Naram-Sin, did not like this. Naram-Sin had brought the Akkadian Empire to it's zenith, and would not let the ever-expanding Egyptian Empire get in the way of this.
The Akkadians built a small army, in order to check the larger army to the north and west. However, this would not be enough for the Akkadians. Eventually Naram-Sin and Khafara reached an agreement, and it seemed like peace would occur. However, the overload of Canaanites entering Akkadian territory, due to Egyptian slavery and racism was overwhelming, and Naram-Sin accused Egypt of being the cause of this. The Canaanites were quickly removed from the Akkadian Empire, but the spite for Egypt remained. After six months of disputes over farm land in what would one day become Syria, the Akkadians struck.
This was one of the worst decisions Naram-Sin would make in his time as emperor. Egypt won the first few battles and, angry at the Akkadians, began to go on the offensive. They quickly secured the disputed farmland, and sent armies into the northern part of the Akkadian Empire. These battles were some of the most deadly, with both sides suffering heavy casualties. However, the Akkadian armies were finally getting the defense they so desired, and were able to hold their ground for the last few battles. Egypt won the war, and ended up taking the northern sixth of the Akkadian Empire. Naram-Sin was also required to pay Egypt a large sum of gold, right out of his own coffers. Even though the Akkadians had their constituent empire mostly secure, Naram-Sin was willing to pay the war costs, to avoid more of his army dying. This signaled the beginning of the end for the young Akkadian Empire, and led to its demise less than a hundred years later.
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