"Third Intermediate Period of Egypt", in
The Third Intermediate Period of Ancient Egypt begins with the death of Pharaoh Ramesses XI in 1070 BC, ending the New Kingdom, and ends with the start of the Late period, for which various points are offered, though it is most often regarded as dating from the foundation of the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty by Psamtik I in 664 BC, following the expulsion of the Nubian rulers of the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty by the Assyrians under King Assurbanipal.
The period was one of decline and political instability, marked by division of the state for much of the period and conquest and rule by foreigners. But many aspects of life for ordinary Egyptians changed relatively little.
The period of the Twenty-First Dynasty is characterized by the country’s fracturing kingship. Even in Ramesses XI’s day, the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt was losing its grip on power in the city of Thebes, whose priests were becoming increasingly powerful. After his death, his successor Smendes I ruled from the city of Tanis, but was mostly active only in Lower Egypt which they controlled. Meanwhile, the High Priests of Amun at Thebes effectively ruled Middle and Upper Egypt in all but name. However, this division was less significant than it seems, since both priests and pharaohs came from the same family.