Ancient Egypt Early River Valley Civilizations
Geography • Settled along the Nile • Yearly flodding – but predictable! • Flood, plant, harvest, flood, plant, harvest… • Considered “Egypt, the gift of the Nile” • Deserts on both sides of the Nile • Natural protection against invaders • Reduced interaction with other people
Egypt’s Government • NO independent city-states in Egypt • Menes, king of Upper Egypt, • Unites Lower & Upper (3100 BCE) • Captial– Memphis • First Egyptian Dynasty • Pharaohs considered as • Gods • Served both political and religious roles • Theocracy-type of government in which the ruler is a divine figure
Egypt’s Government • Egyptians believe in afterlife • Pyramids built as final resting place for pharaohs • Tomb – very important place • Built during the Old Kingdom
Kingdoms • Old Kingdom (2660-2180 BCE) • Great pyramids built • Weak rulers • Middle Kingdom (2180-1550 BCE) • Properous period • Kings in Thebes establish control over all Egypt • New Kingdom (1550-1070 BCE) • Egypt reunited
Egyptian Religion • Polytheistic – belief in many gods • Ra – sun god • Horus – sky god • Osiris – god of the dead • Believe in an afterlife • Would be judged by Osiris • Mummification – embalming and preserving the corpse to prevent it from decaying Osiris would weigh each person’s heart on a scale against the weight of a feather. If the heart tipped the scale, heavey with sin, the Devourer of Souls would pounce on the heart
Mummification Mummy of Ramses II still preserved today!
Egyptian coffins PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.; photo British Museum
BURIAL MASKS The famous golden mask of Tutankhamun and the less well known solid gold mask of Psusennes. Tjuyu and Yuya - Parents of Queen Tiy - Mother of Akhnaton. PP Design of T. Loessin; Akins H.S.
Egyptian Writing • Hieroglyphics • Written on papyrus, reed from the Nile dried into strips • Rosetta Stone – 1799 • A polished black stone with hieroglyphics • Took a very long time to decipher
Science & Technology • Written Numbers • Collect taxes • Add • Subtract • Geometry – survey and reset property boundaries • Accurate Calendar • Stone columns – architects use in homes, palaces, and temples • Medicine – most famoous in the ancient world