Ancient Kingdoms of the Nile Geography – Annual flooding that leaves behind silt Floods needed to be controlled via dikes, reservoirs, and irrigation ditches Two distinct regions – Upper Egypt in the south Lower Egypt in the north Cataracts Nile empties into the Mediterranean Sea Nile Delta
Ancient Kingdoms of the Nile The Old Kingdom – 2700 B.C. – 2200 B.C. –Power passed from 1 ruling family to another—DYNASTY Pharaohsorganized strong central states and ruled with divine power (Absolute Power). Sought to preserve justice and order Depended on a Vizier – Chief Minister Ptah-hotep – most famous; trained young viziers. Pyramid Age – majestic tombs; Symbols of strength. Pyramids were assembled by hand with use of sleds (2 ½ tons each); costly and time consuming. Collapsed due to power struggles, crop failures, and cost of pyramids.
Ancient Kingdoms of the Nile The Middle Kingdom – 2050 B.C. – 1800 B.C. –Turbulent period with corruption and rebellion. Organized large drainage projects and create farmable land. Armies occupied bordering Nubia (gold rich) and cultural diffusion took place with a variety of groups. Collapse took place around 1700 when the Hyksosdominated the region. Cultural Diffusion – Chariots, technology, customs, beliefs, and names.
Ancient Kingdoms of the Nile The New Kingdom – 1550 B.C. – 1100 B.C.--Powerful and ambitious pharaohs created large empires that reached the Middle East and Africa. Queen Hatshepsut – Ruled in the name of a male; took on male characteristics. Encouraged trade with new lands; explored new territories; Cultural Diffusion (ebony, ivory, spices, animals, etc.) Ramses II – Famous due to military victories Expanded kingdom to the North in Palestine and Syria Fought with the Hittites and eventually signed the 1st peace treaty*. Declined due to foreign invaders such as the Assyrians and Persians, and later Greeks and Romans.
Egyptian Civilization Religion – Belief in eternal life Monuments & tomb painting Mummification – tombs loaded with riches (KingTut). Chief god Amon-Re but more common gods were Osiris (Nile god) & Isis (women & children). These gods had stories that dealt with real life. Eternal life was judged by passing a test. Akhenaton “one who serves Aton” had radical beliefs with wife Queen Nefertiti – belief in 1 god.
Egyptian Civilization Social Classes – Pharaohs High Priest/Priestesses Nobles Merchants, scribes, artisans Farmers – Slaves who worked the land and provided the Pharaoh with labor, goods, resources. New Kingdom – great deal of trade & warfare. Women – had high status – property, business, goods, courts, divorce, and work outside home.
Egyptian Civilization Lasting Records – Hieroglyphics – symbols carved in stone – Rosetta Stone. Demotic – everyday simple form of writing. Papyrus – plant fibers used for writing on (Paper not until 100AD) Scribes – read & write but skilled in math, medicine, etc. Kept all of the needed records.
Egyptian Civilization Learning – Medicine – observation, prognosis, anatomy, surgery, prescriptions. Astronomy – map stars/planets, Calendar (accurate) Math – geometry to survey land Literature – Hymns, poems, prayers – used to view themselves & society – Tale of Sinuhe Paintings – show daily scenes with gods being larger than people.