The Ancient Middle East
The Nile • Longest in world • South to North • Delta Mediterranean • Seasonal flooding • Fertile valley agriculture by 5000 BCE • Sahara west; Red Sea east
The Fertile Nile Valley • Natural barriers • Nile and deserts • Few foreign incursions unlike Mesopotamia • Floods every fall from rains in Central Africa • Prosperity /food surplus • Unifying factor • Transportation / communication • Orderly and cyclical view of universe (unlike Mesopotamia)
Menes: Unifier of Upper & Lower Egypt c. 3050 B. C. E. ?
Egyptian Social Hierarchy Bureaucracy
God-Kings • 30 yr renewal ritual • Absolute power therefore no need for written code like Hammurabi’s • Return to Ra @ death • Built temples to ensure cont’d goodwill of gods • Provide priests for upkeep • Balance, order (goes back to Nile) • Upright souls believed their spirits would live eternally)
Ancient Egyptian Housing Middle Class Homes Peasant Homes
An Egyptian Woman’s “Must-Haves” Mirror Perfume Wigs
Daily Life • Married young; arranged by parents • Monogamous • Additional wives if first is barren • Divorces occurred; women compensated • Husband: head of house • Wife: well respected; educated children • Women's’ rights” • Controlled own property and inheritance • Operate businesses, few involved in politics • Priestesses, 4 became pharaohs
Papyrus Paper Hieratic Scroll Piece Papyrus Plant
Egyptian Math & Draftsmanship What number is this?
Hieroglyphics “Alphabet” 24 “letters” + 700 phonetic symbols
Egyptian Creation Myth The Goddess Nut
Creation Myths • Sun god Ra (Ra-Atum) • Waters of chaos • Created gods of wetness and dryness (Tefnut/Shu) • male Geb (earth) female Nut (sky) 2 sons (Osiris/Seth) 2 females (Isis/Nephthys) • Isis/Osiris king of Egypt • Seth kills Osiris takes throne • I/N patch Osiris up (Anubis) conceives son (Horus) • Horus def. Seth & becomes king of earth • Osiris king of underworld • Humans from tears of Ra’s eye http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcxgzMwcqN8&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1
Egyptian Gods & Goddesses:“The Sacred ‘Trinity’” Osiris Isis Horus
Iconography • Hathor (cow/love-fertitlty) • Thoth (ibis/writing-sci-law) • Maat (feather/truth-order-justice) • Anubis (jackal/embalm-cemetery) • Bastet (cat/daughter of Ra)
Conventions • Customary way to represent people and world • Accepted by both artist and patrons • Images based on memory • Characteristic viewpoints • Formulas & proportions
Preparations for the Underworld ANUBIS weighs the dead person’s heart against a feather. Priests protected your KA, or soul-spirit
The Mummification Process http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MQ5dL9cQX0&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1 1. Linen 6. Natron2. Sawdust 7. Onion3. Lichen 8. Nile Mud4. Beeswax 9. Linen Pads5. Resin 10. Frankinsense
Egyptian Mummies http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReCxCL64p9k&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1 Ramses II1279-1212 B. C. E. Seti I1291-1278 B. C. E. Queen Tiye, wife of Amenhotep II1210-1200 B. C. E.
Funerary Architecture • Ka (life spirit lives after death) • Sculpted likenesses work! • Comfy home for departed king’s ka so he continues to ensure well-being if Egypt • Safety in moving from one world to next (preservation)
Mastaba (flat topped one story bldgs / slanted walls above burial chamber) • Serdab: small sealed room for ka statue & chapel for mourning • vertical shaft to burial chamber w/sarcophagus • Necropolis: city of dead on edge of desert • Saqqara and Giza
Djoser & Saqqara • 3rd Dynasty • Djoser 3650-2631 • Imhotep 1st architect • Mastaba step pyramid (like ziggurat) • Intentions: • Stairway to Ra • Protecting tomb • Adjacent funerary temple for rituals
Old Kingdom c.2575 – 2150 BCE • Giza (3) • 4th dynasty • Khufu (2551-2528) • 13acres, 481’, • Khafre (2520-2494) • Menkaure (2490-2472) • Site follows east-west • Causeway to valley temple
Lions-throne’s legs, lotus(upper, papyrus (lower), short pleated kilt, linen headress w/cobra (Ra), false beard (royalty), 4th dynasty, c. 2520-2494, anorthosite gneiss (from Nubia, changes color), 5’6 1/8” tall Horus
Menkaure and a Queen (Khamerernebty?) • 4th dynasty (2490-2472) • Queen’s symbolic embrace • King: athletic, young, nude to waist, kilt, headcloth, • Balanced pose (one foot forward) • Queen smaller steps
Journey to the Underworld The dead travel on the “Solar Bark.” A boat for the journey is provided for a dead pharaoh in his tomb.
Egyptian Book of the Dead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnO3XsDFHe8&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1
The Final Judgement Anubis Horus Osiris