Egypt “The Gift of the Nile” 3100 B.C.E.
The Gift of the Nile Outside the Nile river valley, was desert Survival and success= source of fresh water
Egypt Survival benefits Rule by king • Floods every July, August, and September. • Natural irrigation, nutrient silt for fertilization • Flanked by desert protected against external invasion on the east and west • Cataracts- impassable waterfalls in the river, buffer invasion from the South • Mediterranean Sea was easy to defend on the North • Rule by king- 3100 BCE • Continued for 2600 years • Eventually called Pharaohs after the palaces they built
Early Egypt: before the kings 12,000 BCE using stones to grind wild grasses into food, eventually became flour 6,000 BCE wheat, barley, grasses and cereals, domesticated sheep and goats 3,600 BCE first string of villages every 20 miles along river 3,300BCE first walled towns appear as population grows
Egypt Egyptian history is broken into four time periods: • Old Kingdom (2700-2181 BCE) • First intermediate period (2200-2040 BCE) • Middle Kingdom (2040-1640 BCE) • Second intermediate period (1640-1540 BCE)
Written word One of the first written word developed: Hieroglyphs- ‘sacred carvings’ Wrote on stone, limestone, pottery, and papyrus Start for business and administration Grew into autobiographies, stories, wisdom texts of moral instruction, love poems, chronological lists of kings, religious inscriptions, spells to protect the dead, biographies, hymns to gods, prayers, and mathematical, astronomical and medical texts
Unification of Egypt • Menes- first king of Egypt • Known as Early Dynastic period • Lasted about 400 years- 3100-2686 BCE • Monumental building and funerary objects increase • Uneven distribution of wealth • National religious ideology • Centralized control of political administration • Artistic productivity
Egyptian Religion • Polytheistic- many gods with different roles • Isis, Osiris, and Horus- most important gods Chief gods of Egypt • Amon re- universal god- ram headed • Anubis- god of funerals- Jackal headed • Hathor- goddess of love, woman with cows horns • Horus- god of light-falcon headed • Isis- goddess of magic and fertility • Nephthus- funerary goddess • Osiris- ruler of the underworld- breaded man • Ptah- patron of the arts- mummy • Seth- god of evil • Thoth- supreme scribe- dog headed baboon
Horus Anibus Isis Osiris Ptah
Hathor Seth Thoth
Egyptian Mummification Horus became the patron god of the kings. Kings believed if they lived ordered lives, they would be reunited with Horus in the afterlife This inspired mummification and the construction of the pyramids as final resting places for the pharaohs until they their soul and life force could make its way to the afterlife.
Egypt- period of disunity Old Kingdom falls First intermediate period • Provincial officials collected taxes privately and kept private armies. • Famine was prevalent • The Nile didn’t flood as high, irrigation technology couldn’t keep up • Old Kingdom fell in 2181 BCE • Local officials held power • Then two cities emerged in a contest for power: • Herakleopolis in the North • Thebes in the south
Egypt - reunifies Middle kingdom Second Intermediate period • King Mentuhotpeof Thebes defeats his rivals and reunifies the kingdom • Trade flourished • Arts flourished • Egypt’s power and influence spread to countries in the Middle East. • Invasions by the Hyksos ended the Middle Kingdom influence and control • King Amenhotep IV • Changed the religion to monotheistic • Aten- god of the sun chief god • Built a new capital city to practice his new religion • When he died future Egyptian kings dismantled the city and moved the capital back to Thebes, changed the religion back to its original form
Indus Valley Moved into the forested river valley in the winter months Moved back to the hills in the summer Started to farm along the river Trade by boat along the Indus and into the Persian gulf Arts and crafts: Pottery making, dying, metal work, bead making, sculpture in stone and bronze, first use of cotton as a fiber Artifacts show a classless society