The expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt by King Ahmose (1550–1525 BCE), founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty, marks the beginning of the New Kingdom in Egypt, when ancient Egyptian civilization reached its military, economic, and cultural peak. This was a period of conquest and expansion into Nubia in the south and Canaan in the north, resulting in the formation of an empire that was to last some 350 years. The early pharaohs of the Eighteenth Dynasty launched military campaigns in Canaan aimed primarily at destroying Hyksos-associated strongholds and warding off the rulers of Mitanni, a kingdom situated east of the Euphrates in northern Syria that threatened Egyptian interests in the region. It was only the fifth pharaoh of this dynasty, Thutmose III, who established the Egyptian Empire in Canaan, after a victorious campaign at Megiddo against a rebellious coalition of Canaanite rulers around 1457 BCE.