Ancient Egypt
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Ancient Egypt. Time Line. A.D. B.C. 500. 500. 3000. 2500. 2000. 1500. 1000. 3500. 270 B.C. Meroitic Period In Kush. 2625 B.C. Old Kingdom Begins. 1539 B.C. New Kingdom Begins. 730 B.C. Nubian Dynasty Rules Egypt. Geography of Northern Africa. Vocabulary:.

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Time Line











270 B.C.

Meroitic Period

In Kush

2625 B.C.

Old Kingdom


1539 B.C.

New Kingdom


730 B.C.

Nubian Dynasty

Rules Egypt

Geography of Northern Africa


A grassy plain with many

trees and animals.


Low land formed at the

mouth of some rivers by

the silt the river drops



A series of rapids and



The Nile Valley

During the Old Stone Age, the

Paleolithic period, the area we know

today as the Sahara Desert was

a savanna. The people living

there were hunters and gatherers.

Around 5000 B.C., the climate began

to change and the Sahara began to

dry. Animals left and plants died.

People were not able to survive in the

harsh desert and began to move into

the Nile River Valley.

  • TheNile River Valley hasfertile land

    along each side of the river.

  • It is the world’s longest river.

  • The river flows northward for more

    than 4,000 miles from its main source

    at Lake Victoria in central Africa.

The river flows to the Mediterranean

Sea where the Nile Delta is formed.

The land around the river is higher

at the beginning of the river and lower

near the mouth of the river.

The ancient people called the higher

land in the south “Upper Egypt.”

The land in the north, the delta area,

was called “Lower Egypt.”

  • The delta forms a huge triangle at

  • the mouth of the river. Long ago the

  • river broke up into many branches, but

  • today there are only two.

  • High cliffs surrounded the Nile in

    Upper Egypt. In some places there

    was a narrow strip of flat fertile land

    between the cliffs and the river.

  • Farther south, in the area once known

  • as Nubia, the cliffs are made of granite.

  • The river hasn’t been able to cut a clear

  • path through the hard granite and runs

  • through cataracts, a series of rapids

  • and waterfalls.

Upper and Lower Egypt

  • Both had rich soil.

  • The land was perfect for growing crops.

  • People were able to settle around the

  • river and farm instead of hunting and

  • gathering.

Sound Familiar ?

Black Land

Each year heavy rains in central

Africa caused the river to overflow

its banks. When the floodwaters

drained away, a rich silt remained.

The silt was a natural fertilizer.

The dark soil was called “Kemet”

meaning “black land.”

Black Land

The Ancient Egyptians believed

their god Hapi caused the yearly


The yearly flooding continued until the

Aswan Dam was built in 1972.

Now the people use pumps,

canals, and chemical fertilizer

to keep the land suitable for farming.

Red Land

The dry, barren lands of the Sahara

were known as “Deshuret,” or the

Red Land.

The Nile River cuts the eastern part

of the Sahara in two.

The land on the west side of the river

is called the Western Desert.

The land on the east side of the river is

called the Arabian Desert.

Farming in the Valley

Wealthy landowners controlled almost

all of the farmland.

Farmers rented and the owners

took part of the crop as payment.

Typical crops included wheat, barley,

onions, lettuce, and beans.

  • Farmers also raised cattle, goats, sheep,

  • and pigs for food.

    • Meat

    • Milk products – including cheese

    • Beef – mainly for the wealthy

    • Most could only afford beef for

      special days, so they caught fish or

      used nets to catch geese or ducks.

  • Fibers of flax plant – used to spin

    linen thread

  • Sheep’s wool – woven into cloth

  • Leather – continers, sacks, shoes

  • Other plants – sandals, boxes,



Describe the Nile River.

Why was the flooding of the Nile River

so important to the Egyptians?

What is the difference between the Black Land and the Red Land?

How might Egypt have developed if the

Sahara had not dried and become a


Importance of ...

The Nile was know as the giver of life.

It united the populous of Egypt into one Nation-State.

the Nile River



A region with a single

government and a united

group of people.

To be able to tell ahead of time.



Yearly flood in Ancient Egypt.

Life after death



Towns that were capitals

of city-states.

Giver and Taker of Life

  • The Nile River affected all Egyptian

  • activities.

  • Farming

  • Religious Beliefs

  • Ways of Governing

The Nile was called the “Giver of

Life” and helped bring the people


  • The Nile became a river highway.

  • Ancient Egyptians became expert


  • The first ships were made of reeds.

  • Later ships were made of wooden

    planks,and some were 60 feet long.

  • Boats going downriver (north) could

    use the strong current to travel.

  • Boats going upriver (south) used sails

    to catch the steady north wind.

Concerns About the Nile

  • Light rains upriver - no overflow

  • Land baked in the sun – crops died

  • Too much rain at river’s source –

    Wild flooding

  • Crops washed away

  • People and animals drowned

Source of Innovation

  • Common problems helped unite the

  • Ancient Egyptians.

  • They were able to predict when

    the yearly floods (inundation) would


  • To keep track of this event they

    created a 365 day calendar based

    on the sun.

Three Seasons

The Egyptians divided the year into three seasons based on the river’s actions.

Inundation – the start of the new


Emergence – land emerged from

beneath the water

Harvest – the time when crops were


Inundation – The land was made new

by the rich silt left by


Emergence – Farmers planted using

plows or hoes to create

furrows. They dropped

seeds and led cattle or

other animals through the

fields to push the seed

into the ground.

Harvest – The final season. In most

years farmers would have

a large crop.

Very little rain fell in Egypt.

The hot, dry climate was very harsh.

The Ancient Egyptians developed

irrigation so they could water their crops.

During Emergence they trapped water in ponds to use in case of drought.

They also built dams and dikes to hold back the river when there was too much flooding. Canals were built to carry excess water back to the river from the fields.

Source of Religion of drought.

The Ancient Egyptians believed in many

gods and used stories about them

to explain events in nature.

They believed the sun was a god

that was born each day and died

each night.

They believed religion was important to

their survival in the Nile River Valley.

Egyptian gods of drought.

god of wisdom



goddess of love

ruled over the dead


god of the river



the sun god (most important)

Afterlife of drought.

The Egyptians prayed to their gods

and believed in life after death.

A book of prayers called The Book

of the Dead was placed in their tombs

To be used as a guide in the afterlife.

Unified Egypt of drought.

About 5000 B.C. small farming villages

grew up along the Nile.

As populations grew, villages became


Some towns became capitals of city-

states called nomes. Leaders of nomes

competed for wealth and power.

By around 3,500 B.C. the city-states of drought.

joined together forming two large


The kingdoms were known as the “Two

Lands.”(Upper Egypt & Lower Egypt)

Around 3000 B.C. the Upper Egyptian

Kings had gained control of Lower

Egypt. Uniting Egypt marked the

Beginning of the world’s first nation-state,

which lasted for 3,000 years.

Who Really United the of drought.

Two Kingdoms?

No one really knows. Legend says

King Menes did. Some experts think

King Narmer did because in artwork

he is shown wearing a double crown

that combines the white crown

of Upper Egypt and the red

crown of Lower Egypt.

Think Time of drought.

How did the Nile bring

people together?

What did the Egyptians do to control

the river?

How did the Egyptians explain events

in nature?

Why was uniting Egypt important?

Early Egyptian Rule of drought.

3000 Years

Over 33 Dynasties

Vocabulary - Lesson 3 of drought.


A series of rulers

from the same family.



Important government

official, advisor




Vocabulary - Lesson 3 of drought.


Ancient system

Of writing using over

700 symbols


Paper made from reeds that

grew along the Nile.


A burial place for the dead


A preserved body

Egypt's Early Period of drought.

  • Egyptians called their kings “pharaoh.”

  • The word pharaoh means “great house”

    and referred to the ruler’s palace.

  • Pharaoh had total authority and was

    believed to be the son of Re, the sun


  • Pharaoh was believed to be a link

    between man and the gods.

Why did the Egyptian civilization last so long? of drought.

  • The pharaoh was obeyed without


  • The structure of the government

    didn’t change.

  • Viziers carried out the pharaoh’s

    decrees and took care of running

    the government.

  • There were many officials to help

    govern Egypt.

How do we know about the early kings? of drought.

  • Egyptians left written records.

  • They developed hieroglyphics, a

    system of writing.

  • more than 700 symbols

  • most stood for sounds

  • some stood for whole

    words or ideas

  • Scribes studied for years to learn of drought.


  • They also learned math.

  • A scribe’s job often involved tax

    collecting and record keeping.

  • They wrote on stone and on papyrus.

  • Books were scrolls – rolls of papyrus

    joined end-to-end. Some were over

    100 feet long.

  • Scribes recorded Egyptian history.

Three Main Divisions of Egyptian History of drought.

The Old Kingdom

2625 to 2130 B.C.

Great achievements in building

Intermediate period

The Middle Kingdom

1980 to 1630 B.C.

Changes in government, trade expanded,

changes in society

Intermediate period

1539 to 1075 B.C.

The New Kingdom

First full time army, empire expanded

The Old Kingdom of drought.

  • Dynasties 4- 8 ruled

  • Pharaohs began to look outside of

    Egypt for resources

  • Colony started in Nubia

  • Traders sent south in Africa to find

    incense oils, ebony, ivory, & other


  • Trade in Asia – cedar wood & silver

Old Kingdom - Age of Pyramids of drought.

  • Largest stone buildings in the world

  • Built as a burial place for the dead

  • Pyramids built for rulers and other

    important people

  • Egyptians believed they would need

    their bodies in the afterlife.

Are You My Mummy? of drought.

  • Preserving a body took about 70 days

  • All internal organs removed except the


  • Organs placed in canopic jars

  • Heart – believed to be the home of the


  • Body covered with natron –a kind of


  • Natron absorbed the water in the body

Where Did My Mummy Go ? of drought.

The Egyptians believed the soul

appeared before the god Osiris and

a group of judges.

The dead person’s heart was

placed on one side of a

scale and a feather (the

feather of truth) was placed

on the other side.

  • A balanced scale meant the soul would of drought.

  • live forever.

  • An unbalanced scale meant the soul

  • was heavy with sin.

  • Egyptians believed the sinful soul

  • would be eaten by an animal that

  • was part crocodile, lion, and


The Pyramids of drought.

Imhotep, architect for King Zoser, built

the first stone tomb – a step pyramid.

Egyptians believed that pharaoh went to

Live with Amon-Re, their most powerful


The step pyramid may have been

Imhotep’s way to help the king “climb the

stairway to heaven.”

The best known pyramids were built at of drought.

Giza beginning in about 2600 B.C.

The largest pyramid was built for

Pharaoh Khufu.

The citizens of Egypt had to pay a

labor tax by working for the government.

As many as 10,000 farmers worked on

the pyramids during inundation.

Workers cut and moved more than 2 of drought.

million stone blocks.

Each block weighed about 5,000 pounds.

The blocks were probably moved on


The Great Pyramid of Khufu is about

480 feet high and covers 13 acres.

Egyptian Way of Life of drought.

Clothing –

Women – long sleeveless dresses

made of linen

Men – knee-length linen skirts with

or without short-sleeved shirts

Men & Women wore jewelry and makeup

Wealthy often wore fancy wigs

Houses – made of mud brick & had a of drought.

shrine for worship of household gods

Farmers worked for the government

during inundation.

Men – artists, carpenters, builders,

stonecutters – worked 10 days,

off 1 day

They listened to music, sang, & danced

at religious festivals & parties.

Women in charge of household matters didn t hold government jobs
Women - in charge of household of drought. matters, didn’t hold government jobs

Some women were craft workers.

Most weavers were women.

Women could own property and had

full legal rights.

Children were seen as gifts from the gods. of drought.

They played games such as leap frog,

tug-of-war, and wrestling.

Education –

Girls learned weaving & household skills from their mothers.

Boys learned their father’s trade.

Upper class children learned math,

literature, and writing.

Use Your Brain of drought.

Who controlled the land and people of

ancient Egypt?

Why did the Egyptians preserve their


How did the Egyptian government get

workers to build the pyramids?

What were the periods between the

three main kingdoms called?