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The First Intermediate Period ushered in a time of political upheaval for about 150 years.
Stronger Nile floods and stabilisation of government, however, brought back renewed prosperity for the country in the Middle Kingdom c.
Egypt's current government is a semi-presidential republic headed by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, which has been described by a number of watchdogs as authoritarian.
Islam is the official religion of Egypt and Arabic is its official language.
In 1978, Egypt signed the Camp David Accords, officially withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and recognising Israel.
The country continues to face challenges, from political unrest, including the recent 2011 revolution and its aftermath, to terrorism and economic underdevelopment.
From the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century, Egypt was ruled by foreign imperial powers: The Ottoman Empire and the British Empire.
Egypt's economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, and is projected to become one of the largest in the world in the 21st century.
During the Neolithic era, several predynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt.
The Badarian culture and the successor Naqada series are generally regarded as precursors to dynastic Egypt.
In 1958 it merged with Syria to form the United Arab Republic, which dissolved in 1961.
Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Egypt endured social and religious strife and political instability, fighting several armed conflicts with Israel in 1948, 1956, 19, and occupying the Gaza Strip intermittently until 1967.