Ancient egypt
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Ancient Egypt. The Gift of the Nile. The Nile Valley, 3000-2000 BCE. Gradual, predictable flooding Inundation (July-October) Sprouting Summer. Unification of Egypt. Legendary conqueror Menes, c. 3100 unifies Egyptian kingdom

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Ancient Egypt

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Ancient egypt

Ancient Egypt


The gift of the nile

The Gift of the Nile

The Nile Valley, 3000-2000 BCE

  • Gradual, predictable flooding

    • Inundation (July-October)

    • Sprouting

    • Summer


Unification of egypt

Unification of Egypt

  • Legendary conqueror Menes, c. 3100 unifies Egyptian kingdom

    • Tradition: founder of Memphis, cultural and political center of ancient Egypt

    • Instituted the rule of the Pharaoh

      • Claimed descent from the gods

      • Absolute rulers, had slaves buried with them from 2600 BCE

      • Most powerful during Archaic Period (3100-2660 BCE) and Old Kingdom (2660-2160 BCE)


The pyramids

The Pyramids

  • Symbols of the pharaoh’s authority and divine status

  • A testimony of the pharaohs’ ability to marshal Egypt’s resources

  • Largest Khufu (Cheops) 2.3 M limestone blocks avg weight 2.5 tons

  • Role: burial chambers for Pharaohs


The new kingdom

The New Kingdom

Imperial Egypt, 1400 BCE

  • Few pyramids, but major monumental architectural projects

  • Engaged in empire-building to protect against foreign invasion

  • Invasions of Kushites, Assyrians destroy Egypt mid 6th century BCE


Hieroglyphs

Hieroglyphs

  • “Holy Inscriptions”

    • Writing appeared at least by 3200 BCE

    • Pictographic supplemented with symbols representing sounds and ideas

    • Survives on monuments, buildings and sheets of papyrus


Mummification and the afterlife

Mummification and the Afterlife

  • It was inspired by the cycles of the Nile

  • Belief in the revival of the dead

    • First: ruling classes only, later expanded to include lower classes

  • Cult of Osiris

    • Lord of the underworld

    • Power to determine who deserved immortality

    • Held out hope of eternal reward for those who lived moral lives


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