The Fall of the Egyptian Old Kingdom
By Professor Fekri Hassan
Last updated 2009-11-05
Climactic change and the political administration destroy the Empire in Egypt.This was so severe that famine gripped the country and paralysed the political institutions. People were forced to commit unheard of atrocities such as eating their own children and violating the sacred sanctity of the royal dead. The Egyptian sage Ipuwer gives a graphic description of the horrendous events of that time.
..a pronounced shift in atmospheric circulation occurred in around 2150 BC. This data indicates that an abrupt, short-lived event of cold climate led to less rainfall and a reduction of water flow in a vast area extending from Tibet to Italy. This had catastrophic effects on such early state societies as the Egyptian Old Kingdom.
Lo, the desert claims the land Towns are ravaged, Upper Egypt became a wasteland Lo, everyone's hair [has fallen out] Lo, great and small say, 'I wish I were dead' Lo, children of nobles are dashed against walls Infants are put on high ground Food is lacking Wearers of fine linen are beaten with [sticks] Ladies suffer like maidservants Lo, those who were entombed are cast on high grounds Men stir up strife unopposed Groaning is throughout the land, mingled with laments See now the land deprived of kingship What the pyramid hid is empty [The] People are diminished.
... the Nile can be considered as the force which destroyed the civilization that it had nurtured.
All Upper Egypt was dying of hunger, to such an extent that everyone has come to eating his children ... The entire country had become starved like a starved grasshopper, with people going to the north and to the south (in search of grain).(Al-Baghdadi, a physician / scholar from Baghad)
The low Nile episode that devastated the Old Kingdom was, however, of greater magnitude and duration than that of 967 or AD 1201.