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Ancient Egypt

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Ancient Egypt. Post-Glacial ... 3100 BC - Egypt was split into upper and lower nations; ... pantheon when Horus worshippers invaded pre-dynastic Egypt ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Ancient Egypt


1
Ancient Egypt
2
Post-Glacial Climate Change
  • We can tell from natural indicators that the
    climate of North Africa has changed a great deal
    over the past 14,000 years
  • Pollen can be connected to plant species, and
    plant species are a very good indicator of climate

3
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4
Paleovegetation Maps from Quaternary Environment
Network J.M. Adams and H. Faure, editors
http//www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/
5
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8
Earliest Inhabitants
  • There were hunter/gatherer societies in the
    Egyptian region as far back as 5000-6000 B.C.
  • Cave paintings in Sahara region show elephants,
    rhinoceroses, buffalo, hippopotami, crocodiles,
    antelopes, giraffes, and fallow deer (see picture
    in Lamb, p. 122)
  • Obviously, most of these animals are not present
    in great numbers today in the Sahara region
    this confirms an earlier wetter climate.

9
Departure of Big Animals
  • Elephants, giraffes, and rhinos were rare by 2900
    B.C., gone by 2600 B.C.
  • Some elephants still remained in Algeria
    (Hannibal used them militarily to invade Europe
    in 218 B.C.)

10
Drying Event
  • Drying of Egypt and Sahara from 3500-2800 B.C.
    was mirrored in European forest species and in
    North American forests (warm-loving species like
    elm and linden reduced)
  • Re-advance of mountain glaciers in the Alps
  • Some say the great reduction in habitable land in
    Egypt actually forced the development of
    agriculture and therefore gave rise to the mighty
    Egyptian civilization

11
Egyptian Geography
  • Nile river valley and delta is very fertile, but
    surrounded by two deserts
  • Arabian Desert (Eastern) - few oases, sparse
    population
  • Libyan Desert (Western) - no oases, very harsh
    climate

12
Egyptian Climate
  • Two seasons
  • Hot season (May-October) - inhabited areas reach
    over 100F.
  • Cool season (November-April) - 55-70F
  • Deserts have more extreme seasons - average 114F
    maximum during daytime, 42F minimum during
    nighttime

13
Egyptian plants and wildlife
  • Most common is date palm others include the
    carob, tamarisk, and sycamore.
  • Rushes grow along streams. In the arid regions
    halfa grass and thorn trees are common.
  • Lack of forest and grassland limits wildlife. The
    few species found include the fox, jackal, boar,
    and hyena. Crocodiles are found in the Upper
    Nile.
  • Lots of birds and fish.

14
Vegetation of the Nile Delta
15
Agriculture
  • Limited to Nile delta and flood plain
  • Flood plain soils tend to be rich and need little
    or no fertilizer
  • The rest of Egypt has very poor soil

16
Prehistoric Egypt
  • North Africa was green and verdant after the last
    ice age until things started going gradually bad
    after about 5000 BC
  • Nile delta has been inhabited by farmers since
    5000 BC. Even this early on, they buried their
    dead with elaborate ceremony. At around 3800 BC,
    they began interacting with other cultures,
    trading and exchanging ideas and goods.
  • By 3100 BC, irrigation, writing and government
    were well established.

17
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18
Early Capital of Lower Egypt
19
Early Capital of Upper Egypt
20
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21
Two Lands to One
  • Two major cities arose Nekheb (Hierakonpolis in
    Greek) in the south and Nekhen(Buto) to the
    north.
  • 3100 BC - Egypt was split into upper and lower
    nations these were united according to legend by
    King Narmer (Menes in Greek) who set a capital at
    Memphis. In reality, the unification probably
    took several generations.
  • This unification was tremendously important. By
    centralizing government, great projects could be
    undertaken, including irrigation, food
    distribution, trade policies, and construction of
    temples and tombs.

22
Egyptian Historical Periods
  • Old Kingdom (2700-2200 BC) - Pyramid builders -
    most successful time
  • Middle Kingdom (2050-1800 BC)
  • New Kingdom (1570-1090 BC)

23
New developments
  • Following unification, Egyptians developed an
    elaborate culture which produces the plow, a
    complex religion, copper working, hieroglyphic
    writing, and 365 day calendar.
  • Egyptians called writing medu netcher, or "the
    words of the gods - it was thought that writing
    was granted to Egyptians by their god Thoth - All
    of the universe was interpreted as writing

24
Hieroglyphics
  • Writing was pictorial at first - everything was
    represented by a picture
  • This was inefficient (too many pictures and
    uncertainties in representation), so glyphs came
    to represent syllables.
  • The catch is that they only represent the
    consonants to the syllables - vowels are missing.

25
Hieroglyphics
26
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27
Egyptian Gods
  • Egyptian religion included many deities
  • The culture lasted so long that many of these
    deities came and went or changed form
  • Many of the deities had naturalistic attributes
    from animals or the sun

28
Ra
  • Sun god, grandfather of Isis and Osiris
  • Sometimes merged with other gods (e.g. Amun-Ra)
  • Often depicted with a barge

29
Osiris
  • Supreme god
  • God of the dead
  • Instrumental in creation myth

30
Isis
  • Main female deity
  • Mother figure
  • Sometimes winged

31
Horus
  • Sometimes son of Osiris
  • Sometimes human with falcon head, other times a
    falcon
  • Was added to Egyptian pantheon when Horus
    worshippers invaded pre-dynastic Egypt

32
Anubis
  • Guardian of the underworld

33
Aten
  • Unifying deity, lord of all
  • Akenaten (heretic king) tried to unify religions
    and kingdoms
  • No physical form just sun rays
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