The Rise of Egypt Chapter 2 Lesson 1
Summary • Along with the rise of civilization in Mesopotamia, Egypt emerged along the Nile River. • Developing into a vast empire that had a stable monarchy, religion, languages, and trade networks in the Mediterranean Sea.
Guiding Question • What was the significance of geography to Egypt’s development?
Geography • The Nile River played an important role in Egyptian civilization. • The Nile River begins in the heart of Africa and flows northward for more than 4,000 miles. • It is the longest river in the world.
Nile Delta • Before it empties into the Mediterranean sea, the Nile splits into to major branches. • This split forms a triangular territory called a delta. • The Nile Delta region is called Lower Egypt. • The land upstream, to the south, is called Upper Egypt.
Hymn to the Nile • The Egyptians wrote of their reliance on the great river in “Hymn to the Nile” • Hail to thee O Nile!Thou showest thyself in this land,Coming in peace, giving life to Egypt:O Ammon, (thou) leadest night into day,A leading that rejoices the heart!Overflowing the gardens created by Ra.Giving life to all animals;Watering the land without ceasing:The way of heaven descending:Lover of food, bestower of corn,Giving light to every home, O Ptah!
Flooding of the Nile • The Ancient Egyptians referred to the river’s yearly flooding as the “miracle” of the Nile. • The river rose in the summer from heavy rains in central Africa. • Reached its highest point in early Autumn • Left a layer of mud that created an area of rich soil several miles wide on both sides of the river.
Surplus • Farmers in the Nile Valley grew a surplus of food, which made Egypt prosperous. • The river also unified Egypt. • The Nile was the fastest way to travel through the land, making communication easier. • North winds pushed sailboats south, and the Nile’s current carried them north.
Natural Barriers • Egypt’s natural barriers provided protection from invasion and a sense of security. • Deserts to the west and east • Red Sea to the east • Rapids on southern part of the Nile • Mediterranean Sea to the north.
Stability • The regularity of the Nile floods and the isolation of Egyptians created a feeling of security and changelessness. • Unlike Mesopotamia, Egyptians faced life with confidence in the stability of things. • Ancient Egyptian civilization was characterized by remarkable continuity over thousands of years.
Bellringer • Ancient Egyptian civilization was characterized by remarkable security andcontinuity over thousands of years. • What explanation can you think of for this?
Egyptian Kingdoms • Historians divide Egyptian history into three periods. • Old Kingdom (2700 BC – 2200 BC) • Middle Kingdom (2000 BC – 1600 BC) • New Kingdom (1550 BC – 1069 BC)
King Menes • Egypt’s history began around 3100 BC when King Menes united upper and Lower Egypt into a single kingdom. • Menes created the first royal dynasty. • Dynasty: a family of rulers who’s right to rule is passed down within the family.
Double Crown • From then on, Egyptian rulers would wear the double crown, indicating the unity of all Egypt.
The Old Kingdom • The Old Kingdom (2700 BC – 2200 BC) was a time of prosperity and splendor. • The Pharaohs (kings) of the Old Kingdom were powerful rulers • Egyptian Pharaohs possessed absolute power • They had complete, unlimited power to rule their people.
Bureaucracy • During the Old Kingdom, a government bureaucracy developed. • Bureaucracy: government by a hierarchy of bureaus, administrators, and officials.
Pyramids • An example of the splendor of the Old Kingdom is the building of the pyramids • One of the greatest achievements of the Egyptian Civilization. • The Egyptians built pyramids as tombs for the pharaohs and their queens. • The pharaohs were buried in pyramids of many different shapes and sizes
Pyramids at Giza • There are about eighty pyramids known today from ancient Egypt. • The three largest and best-preserved of these were built at Giza at the beginning of the Old Kingdom. • The most well-known was built for the pharaoh Khufu, known as the 'Great Pyramid'.
Pyramid of Khufu • The largest of the pyramids was constructed under King Khufu in 2450 BC. • Measures 756 feet (230 meters) at each side of its base • Stands 481 feet high (147 meters). • People still debate how they were build with such great precision.
Steps in Pyramid Building • Rocks were quarried from as far as 600 miles away in Aswan • Transported to Giza, probably on rafts down the Nile during the rainy season. • A level surface was prepared and a causeway was built from the Nile toward Giza. • The stones were pulled on sleds or over rolling logs near the pyramid, where stonemasons prepared the slabs. • Once the four sides of the foundation of the pyramids were set, each layer was added smaller in area but higher off the ground.
The Great Sphinx • Guarding the Great Pyramid at Giza is a huge figure carved from rock known as the Great Sphinx. • 240 feet long (73 m) and 66 feet (20m) high. • Body of a lion and a human head. • Historians debate the function of the Sphinx. • Many Egyptians claim that it was an important guardian of sacred sites.
Mummification • To preserve the physical body after death, Egyptians practiced mummification. • Mummification: a process of slowly drying a dead body to prevent it from rotting. • The process took place in workshops run by priests. • Primarily for wealthy families who could afford it.
Process of Mummification • Pull brain out of nose using a hook • Make a cut on the left side of the body near the tummy • Remove all internal organs • Let the internal organs dry • Place the lungs, intestines, stomach and liver inside canopic jars • Place the heart back inside the body • Rinse inside of body with wine and spices • Cover the corpse with salt for 70 days • After 40 days stuff the body with linen or sand to give it a more human shape • After the 70 days wrap the body from head to toe in bandages • Place in coffin
Materials Used in Mummification 1. Linen 6. Natron2. Sawdust 7. Onion3. Lichen 8. Nile Mud4. Beeswax 9. Linen Pads5. Resin 10. Frankinsense
Egyptian Mummies Ramses II1279-1212 B. C. E. Seti I1291-1278 B. C. E. Queen Tiye, wife of Amenhotep II1210-1200 B. C. E.
The Osiris Myth • Significance • The Osiris myth is central to Egyptian conceptions of kingship and succession, conflict between order and disorder and, especially, death and the afterlife. • It also expresses the essential character of each of the gods at its center, and many elements of their worship in ancient Egyptian religion were derived from the myth.
Osiris, the king of Egypt, and Isis, his queen, was beloved by all his people. • He was kind and just and taught them to plow the earth, how to honor the gods and he gave them laws to live by. • But his brother Seth was jealous and plotted against him to take over the throne. • Queen Isis was constantly on her guard when Osiris traveled around his kingdom, she never felt safe from Seth´s scheming.
One day Osiris held a big banquet for his court and as he was kind and just Seth was also invited. This was the moment he had long waited for.
Seth began to describe a wonderful coffin that he had been given, and soon enough he was asked to have it brought in for people to see. • It was indeed beautiful, made of the finest wood and gilded and painted. He promised to give it as a gift to whomever fit exactly into it.
And as he already had acquired Osiris´ measurements, the king was the only one that fit into the coffin. • Osiris was persuaded into testing it, Seth´s servants quickly nailed the lid to it. • While the rest of the court was held back, it was taken away and thrown into the Nile where the current carried it away.
Isis was overcome with grief and cut off a length of her hair, dressed herself in mourning clothes and went on her way to look for the coffin with her husband´s body. • She wandered for years without finding a trace, until she heard some children saying that they had seen the golden coffin being thrown into the waters.