Egypt • Began about 3500BC • Independent for 2000 years • 31 dynasties • 4 great kingdoms or periods • Old Kingdom • Middle Kingdom • New Kingdom • Late Period (non-independent) • Geography was a blessing and a downfall
Geography and Stability The Nile River • Predictable and gentle flooding • Replenished the soil, thus allowing for 3000 years of continual planting • Consistent flood times • Consistent flood amounts • Planned irrigation • Allowed for enough crops for a very large population
Geography and Stability Isolation • Only realistic route for an invader is over the Isthmus of Suez • Egypt able to defend it • Egypt was not influenced by outsiders for 1000s of years • Even when Egypt became dominated by outside rulers, it held onto its own laws, culture, religion and kings.
Creativity • Creativity and Change • Old Kingdom was uniting and conquering • Temples and religion demanded creativity • Surplus of labor. The Pharaoh put them to work on elaborate construction projects. • Stagnant but Stable • Middle and New Kingdoms • Fear of upsetting the profitable system, Egypt stopped creativity • Delicate balance between gods, nature, and choices of the people • Pharaohs lost the ability to bring change
Creativity “The cost of Egyptian survival was the loss of its creativity.” -Dr. Strong
Pre-Dynastic Period 3500-3100 B.C. • Time of tribal and nomadic wanderings • The Egypt territory was divided roughly to upper and lower Egypt • Simple boats made of reeds sailed on the Nile
Old Kingdom(3100 - 2200 BC) • Menes combined the upper and lower kingdoms into one (powerful ruler) • Memphis-capital • Creativity: • Papyrus • Hieroglyphics • Pyramids (Architecture and Engineering) • Religion (Pharaoh was part god) • Calendar • Mathematics • Art
Old Kingdom(3100 - 2200 BC) Papyrus and Hieroglyphics • Papyrus first made during time of Menes • Easy material for writing • Hieroglyphics: Sacred writings • Used for over 2000 years • Done by priests • Usually concerned Pharaohs
Old Kingdom(3100 - 2200 BC) Pyramids: Pharaoh burial place • Built by both slaves and Egyptians • Created a strong relationship between the people and the government • Make-work projects • Extensive engineering used to build pyramids larger and higher • Built pyramids of Giza and step pyramids
Old Kingdom(3100 - 2200 BC) Religion: • Principal gods: Osiris (father), Isis (mother), Horus (son), Set (evil), Amon-Re, Aten (later)
Old Kingdom(3100 - 2200 BC) Religion: • Be buried on Egyptian soil • Be properly prepared (embalming) • Pyramid built for afterlife • Must preserve name in writing • Judgment and afterlife
O my heart of my being! Do not rise up against me as a witness,Do not oppose me in the tribunal, do not rebel against me before the guardian of the scales!
Old Kingdom(3100 - 2200 BC) Calendar and Mathematics • Created a calendar with 12 months of 30 days each, which equals 360 days a year. To match solar year they had 5 days of holidays at the end of the year. • Created a numbering system based on 10 • Used accumulation and place holders
Old Kingdom(3100 - 2200 BC) Art • Representational rather than realistic • Standardized poses • Generic faces
Old Kingdom(3100 - 2200 BC) The Old Kingdom was the Golden Age for Egypt. Why? • Energy from forming a new country? • Innovation from conquering? • Leadership of Pharaohs • Strong leaders who know how to motivate their people are capable of great accomplishments
Middle Kingdom(2000 - 1800 BC) Creativity? Not much. • Tried to recapture Old Kingdom’s glory • Not able to build a conquering army • No massive public works projects (lack of funds) • Capital moved to Thebes for new temple, it was never completed. • Weak Pharaohs forced to share power with priests and landholders • Ended with an invasion • Invasion by the Hyksos (Shepherd Kings or Semitic people) • Hyksos ruled from 1800 to 1550 BC • Joseph, son of Jacob, is believed to have lived during this time.
New Kingdom(1550 - 1050 BC) • Began with overthrow of the Hyksos. The pharaoh knew not Joseph (Exodus 1:8) • Ended with the Third Intermediate Period, led by foreign rulers and internal fighting • Creativity • Temples • Luxor and Karnak • Strong pharoahs Luxor
New Kingdom(1550 - 1050 BC) • Strong Pharaohs • Akhenaton (monotheistic)
New Kingdom(1550 - 1050 BC) • Strong Pharaohs • Queen Hatshepsut
New Kingdom(1550 - 1050 BC) • Strong Pharaohs • Rameses II (military) • Moses' enemy?
Late Period (700 - 332 BC) • Capitals – Tanis and then Alexandria • War – internal and external • Government fractured • Ruled by outside rulers • Libyans • Persians • Greeks (Ptolemy) • Egypt given as a gift to Ptolemy, a general to Alexander the Great • Last of the Ptolemies was Cleopatra • Romans
Egypt – Overall Creativity • Development and organization period was high creativity • Later periods were weak kings, strong priests, and low creativity • Trying to move to the past • Religious conservatism • Isolation • What societies today have these characteristics?