Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt
The Egyptian Civilization • Can be divided into three main periods: • Old Kingdom • 2700 B.C.-2200 B.C. • Middle Kingdom • 2050 B.C.-1800 C..C. • New Kingdom • 1550 B.C.- 1100 B
What was the “SOUL” of Ancient Egypt? Click here for Creation Story
The Nile River • The Egyptian Civilization developed along the Nile River Valley. • The Nile River floods annually soaking the soil and depositing a rich layer of silk, or soil.
Location • The Egyptian civilization developed in North East Africa along the Mediterranean and Red Sea.
ATUM NUT Gods and Goddesses Creation Story GEB NUT TEFNUT MA’AT HORUS SHU ANUBIS ISIS Website: Gods and Goddesses ATUM
Atum Religion: How did it contribute to stability? • The Egyptians were deeply religious people • religious roots were in the worship of nature deities – their first gods were in animal forms • Those responsible for creation were the most important gods (Atum is the creator God) • They later developed national gods around the Middle Kingdom (Amon- local god of Thebes; gods of Dead: Osiris, Anubis, Horus and Thoth) • Religion was instrumental to stability of Egypt (life, social structure, education, laws, rule of Pharaoh, economy, death, afterlife)
Geography: Populated Areas There were three main areas that were populated in Egypt: 1. The Nile Valley • sole source of water for Egypt • Predictable flooding provided rich fertile soil • Both revered and feared (too much flooding or droughts) • The Nile Delta • Area were Nile empties into Mediterranean Sea • Largest piece of fertile land • Encompassed major centres of Egypt • Faiyum • Lake Moeris lies at end of branch of Nile is centre of oasis called Faiyum • Irrigation from Nile made Faiyum the third most populated land
Fertile soil deserts provided protection and shelter from outside influences Access to Mediterranean increased and expanded trade and culture culture was one of stability and not rapid change Deserts were an important source of minerals and building supplies (copper, tin, gold and natron, the drying agent used in mummification) Geographic Effects on Egypt’s stability and history
Highlights of Ancient Egyptian History • UNIFICATION OF EGYPT: King Menes unites Upper and Lower Egypt and wears double crown in 3100 BCE. Following Menes came 31 dynasties over 3000 years. • AGE OF PYRAMIDS: Era of the Old Kingdom (2690 BCE), Pharaohs were absolute rulers and viewed as a god holding absolute secular and religious power. Stone monuments were embodiment of Pharaoh's power and a medium of immortality. Pyramids evolved from mastabas, then Step Pyramids, most known are Pyramids at Giza (2600-2500 BCE) • IMHOTEP: not a ruler but revered and his life was recorded (architect, medicine, right hand to Pharaoh Djoser (2686-2613 BCE) • NATIONAL GOD “AMON-RE”:Middle Kingdom: Under Theban Kings (south), the Theban god “Amon” merged with sun god “Re” which became Egyptian national god “Amon-Re” • EXODUS: under the leadership of Moses, Hebrew slaves under Rames II leave Egypt in mass migration called Exodus (end of 13th century BCE). Moses receives the 10 Commandments at Mount Sinai but never find the “Promised Land” Geography
Pharaohs • 1470 BCE – Reign of Hatsheput (one of four female Kings) • 1350 BCE – Reign of Akhenaton (Wanted to change religious beliefs to monotheism) • 1334 BCE – Reign of Tutankhamun (Religious revolution is reversed) • 1297 BCE - Reign of Ramses II. He had over 200 wives and concubines, approximately 90 sons and 60 daughters and reigned over 67 years! His reign saw massive building projects in Egypt. The Exodus of Jews from Egypt also occurred during his reign. • 525 BCE – Persians conquer Egypt • 332 BCE – Alexander the Great defeats the Persians and considered savior of Egypt • 50 BCE – Cleopatra VII is crowned Queen of Egypt • 30 BCE – Egypt becomes part of Roman Empire after death of Cleopatra VII and Mark Anthony
How did Pharaoh's rule? • absolute rulers of the land • believed to be the earthly embodiment of the god Horus who was the son of Amon-Re • Therefore they had the divine right to rule • This allowed them to move between god and their people • People followed their orders because they believed they were from god • No one would challenge the King’s authority and he could rule in relative peace Politics
The throne passed on to eldest son of Principal Queen who was usual the eldest daughter of the previous king therefore the king’s sister • Pharaohs owned all the land – they had a hierarchy of government officials to help him rule • Second to the Pharaohs were the scribes who would record the doings of the Pharaoh
What were the legal traditions? • Law was governed by religious principle of Ma’at • GODDESS MA’AT represented truth, righteousness and justice= balance and order • Laws were applied equally to all classes specifically protected the family (children and wives) • Punishments could be quite severe- act as a deterent or disgrace the guilty (Examples: minor crimes had 100 lashed; rapist were castrated; corrupt officials had their hands amputated; crimes that resulted in a death sentence could have choice= devoured by a crocodile, suicide, burning alive)
Role of Women Well treated and had considerable legal rightscompared to other civilizations Same legal rights as men (land, property, divorce) Left women to be economically independent Primary role was in domestic life Common title for a married women in ancient Egypt was “nebet per” meaning “the lady of the house” Bear and raise children Role of Men Head of the family Men could have numerous wives but economically men had only 1 wife Labourers, craftsmen Jobs were hereditary Jobs Labour required for construction projects and was mostly filled by poor, serfs Stability of Egypt thrived as skilled trades were passed from father to son Children always learned the trade from parents; seldom could choose occupation Social Roles
What determined Egypt’s economic prosperity? Wealth • Agriculturemade up most of Egypt’s wealth – grain, vegetables, fruit, cattle, goats, pigs and fowl • Abundance and management of food supplies (not royal treasury) was the measure of Egypt’s wealth = full granaries, plenty of wildlife and fish, and thriving herds were the signs of prosperity. These were the images used in the tombs of the Pharaohs to illustrate the wealth of their reigns Economy • Simple economy based on food production and minerals from desert • access to the Mediterranean their routes extended trade as far as Northern Europe, subtropical Africa and the Near East • Trading was done by bartering goods (grain, oil, wheat) • Taxes, salaries and loans were all paid entirely on goods • extensive trading made Egypt a powerful influence on culture, art, ideas and technology (ie. Western calendar was taken from the Romans who had borrowed it from the Egyptians) • Trade eventually grew and expanded, bringing new ideas and goods into Egyptian society
Education • Contributed to stability and continuity of Egypt • All children, regardless of social class, received some education • Followed a moral and ethical guide “Instructions in Wisdom” • Goal for education was to ensure youth exhibited self control and good manners • At 14, young boys followed fathers in jobs, and girls learned from mothers in the household • Children of priests were schooled more formally • Literacy was stressed for government jobs • Education respected for creating a well rounded individual
History of Writing: 1) pictograms (sun= sun) 2) ideograms (sun = sun, daylight, warmth, light)3) phonograms: symbols that suggest a particular sound; related ideas and also sound (Sun = sun, son, Sunday) • Each hieroglyph found in pyramids and tombs often symbolized more than one consonant. Not only that, but actual Egyptian hieroglyphs were a combination of sound-signs, pictograms, and ideograms. No wonder it was so hard to decode them!
New Kingdom= 700 hieroglyphs in common usage, while rest were phonograms • 100 were strictly visual, while rest were phonograms • Eventually scribes adapted hieroglyphic symbols • By 700 BCE, script was refined to the demotic (or popular script) was used for secular matters such as letters, accounts and record keeping
Rosetta Stone What is the Rosetta Stone? • The Rosetta Stone is a stone with writing on it in two languages (Egyptian and Greek), using three scripts (hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek). It was carved in 196 BCE. Why is it in three different scripts? • The Rosetta Stone is written in three scripts (hieroglyphs for religious documents; demotic- common script of Egypt; Greek- language of the rulers of Egypt at that time) • The Rosetta Stone was written in all three scripts so that the priests, government officials and rulers of Egypt could read what it said. When was the Rosetta Stone found? • The Rosetta Stone was found in 1799 by French soldiers who were rebuilding a fort in Egypt (in a small village in Delta called Rosetta (Rashid) What does the Rosetta Stone say? • The Rosetta Stone is a text written by a group of priests in Egypt to honour the Egyptian pharaoh. It lists all of the things that the pharaoh had done that were good for the priests and the people of Egypt.
Life and Death • Life and death was measured in accordance to Ma’at: the goddessand symbol of equilibrium of the universe and the king had to rule according to her principles Death viewed as a new beginning • Afterlife common to all, regardless of social status (preparation varied as well as goods stored in tombs) • 2 Common Principles: 1) body preservation in a lifelike form2) the deceased must have items necessary for life in the afterworld • Personal belongings were usually placed in the tomb to make the Ka more at home and to assist the dead in their journey into the afterlife. • Text was read from the 'Book of the Dead' which was a collection of spells, charms, passwords, numbers and magical formulas for the use of the deceased in the afterlife. MA’AT-symbol of the equilibrium of the universe
This scene depicts what occurs after a person has died, according to the ancient Egyptians. panel of 14 judges Ka (soul /spiritual duplicate), ba (personality) ankh (form mummy took in afterlife / the key of life) Weighing of the heart vs Ma’at Judgment of scale record of the outcome
Mummification focused on Egyptian belief of the importance of preserving the body Afterlife would be spent enjoying best of life experiences Body covered with natron and dried for up to 70 days Body wrapped in linen coated with resins and oils Middle Kingdom became customary to place a mask over the face Removal of organs (lungs, stomach, intestines, liver) in Canopic Jars were closed with stoppers fashioned in the shape of four heads -- human, baboon, falcon, and jackal - representing the four protective spirits called the Four Sons of Horus. brain was sucked out of the cranial cavity and thrown away because the Egyptian's thought it was useless. Mummification
Ancient Egypt: Why so stable? • Ancient Egypt lasted for 3500 years due to factors in: • Geography • Politics • Social structure • Education • Economy • Religion = Stability was goal and change slow and cautious
The NILE RIVER , the longest river in the world (6,650 kilometers), flows north from the heart of Africa to the Mediterranean Sea. Its flood plain was a magnet for life -- human, plant and animal. Humans were drawn there because they could grow crops and settle into permanent villages.
For centuries, THENILE RIVER FLOODED THE VALLEY, enriching the land with a thick layer of alluvial soil. Flooding occurred from July to September as the result of the tropical rains in the Ethiopian tableland. The river attained its highest level in October, then began to recede to its lowest point sometime between April and June.
The Nile River • The Nile River provided the Egyptians with much needed water. • To support agriculture the Egyptians developed a complex irrigation system.
TRANSPORTATION: The Nile River was the highway that joined the country together. Up until the nineteenth century, travel by land was virtually unknown.
ARCHITECTURE: The ancient Egyptians built their pyramids, tombs, temples and palaces out of STONE, the most durable of all building materials. These building projects took a high degree of architectural and engineering SKILL, and the organization of a LARGE WORKFORCE consisting of highly trained craftsmen and laborers.
Apart from the pyramids, EGYPTIAN BUILDINGS were decorated with PAINTINGS, CARVED STONE IMAGES, HIEROGLYPHS, and THREE-DIMENSIONAL STATUES. The art tells the story of the pharaohs, the gods, the common people and the natural world of plants, birds and animals.
One of the oldest mysteries surrounding ancient Egypt concerns the building of the PYRAMIDS. How did humans move such massive blocks of stone using only Stone Age tools? The Egyptians left thousands of illustrations depicting daily life in the Old Kingdom. Curiously enough, none of them show how pyramids were built. SEVERAL THEORIES attempt to explain how pyramids were constructed, but for now, the mystery has yet to be solved.
Other Pyramid-Construction Theories THE WOODEN CRANE THEORY suggests that a wooden crane with a counterweight on one end may have been used to lift the blocks from one level to the next. This theory has been DISPUTED, since the Egyptians did not have access to trees that were strong enough for this type of work. The average weight of the STONE BLOCKS used to build the Great Pyramid at Giza has been estimated at 2.5 TONS. Such an enormous weight would undoubtedly break a wooden crane before the block could be lifted. THE PULLEY AND FULCRUM THEORY: Another possibility involves the use of pulleys to hoist the blocks up the ramps and fulcrums to manipulate the blocks into place. Pulleys were used on ships at the time.
The pyramids were probably NOT BUILT BY SLAVES because slave labor was not widely used in Egypt at the time. PEASANT FARMERS, however, were required to spend a number of weeks working on construction projects. This provided the paid labor needed to build these gigantic structures. Since the fields were under water during the summer, wages earned in building the gigantic pyramids SUPPLEMENTED THE FAMILY'S INCOME.
Pyramids did not stand alone; they were part of a FUNERARY COMPLEX. The complex includes a PROCESSIONAL CAUSEWAY that links a FUNERARY TEMPLE to the pyramid, SOLAR BARQUES buried on the four sides of the pyramid, and MASTABAS and smaller pyramids where the family of the king and nobles were buried
GOVERNMENT and RELIGION were inseparable in ancient Egypt. The PHARAOH was the head of State and the divine representative of the gods on earth. • Religion and government brought order to society through: • The construction of TEMPLES • The creation of LAWS • TAXATION • The ORGANIZATION OF LABOR • TRADE with neighbors • The DEFENCE of the country’s interests.
Ancient Egypt achieved stability through the co-operation of all levels of the population. • The PHAROAH was at the top of the social hierarchy. • Next to him, the most powerful officers were the VIZIERS, the executive heads of the bureaucracy. • Under them were the HIGH PRIESTS, followed by ROYAL OVERSEERS (administrators) who ensured that the 42 DISTRICT GOVERNORS carried out the pharaoh's orders. • At the bottom of the hierarchy were the SCRIBES, ARTISANS, FARMERS, and LABORERS.
The EGYPTIAN LANGUAGE was one of the earliest languages to be written down, perhaps only the Sumerian language is older. First appearing on stone and pottery dating from 3100 B.C. to 3000 B.C., it remained in use for almost 3,000 years. The last inscription was written in A.D. 394.
Tombs Sheets of papyrus Wooden boards covered with a stucco wash Potsherds Fragments of limestone. The word HIEROGLYPH literally means "sacred carvings". The Egyptians first used hieroglyphs for inscriptions carved or painted on temple walls. This form of PICTORIAL WRITING was also used on:
The ancient language was written by SCRIBES who, from a young age, went through a long apprenticeship before they mastered the skill of writing. The ability to write guaranteed a SUPERIOR RANK IN SOCIETY and the possibility of career advancement. CLIMBING THE SOCIAL LADDER was difficult, but it could be achieved through outstanding accomplishments in professions such as that of the scribes and the military.