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Ancient Egypt


Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt What was the SOUL of Ancient Egypt? Click here for Creation Story Creation Story ATUM NUT GEB SHU TEFNUT Gods and Goddesses NUT ATUM ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
What was the SOUL of Ancient Egypt?
  • Click here for Creation Story

Creation Story
Gods and Goddesses
  • ATUM
  • NUT

Website Gods and Goddesses
Religion How did it contribute to stability?
  • The Egyptians were deeply religious people
  • religious roots were in the worship of nature
    deities their first gods were in animal forms
  • Those responsible for creation were the most
    important gods (Atum is the creator God)
  • They later developed national gods around the
    Middle Kingdom (Amon- local god of Thebes gods
    of Dead Osiris, Anubis, Horus and Thoth)
  • Religion was instrumental to stability of Egypt
    (life, social structure, education, laws, rule of
    Pharaoh, economy, death, afterlife)

Geography Populated Areas
  • There were three main areas that were populated
    in Egypt
  • 1. The Nile Valley
  • sole source of water for Egypt
  • Predictable flooding provided rich fertile soil
  • Both revered and feared (too much flooding or
  • The Nile Delta
  • Area were Nile empties into Mediterranean Sea
  • Largest piece of fertile land
  • Encompassed major centres of Egypt
  • Faiyum
  • Lake Moeris lies at end of branch of Nile is
    centre of oasis called Faiyum
  • Irrigation from Nile made Faiyum the third most
    populated land

Geographic Effects on Egypts stability and
  • Fertile soil
  • deserts provided protection and shelter from
    outside influences
  • Access to Mediterranean increased and expanded
    trade and culture
  • culture was one of stability and not rapid change
  • Deserts were an important source of minerals and
    building supplies (copper, tin, gold and natron,
    the drying agent used in mummification)

(No Transcript)
  • Highlights of Ancient Egyptian History
  • UNIFICATION OF EGYPT King Menes unites Upper
    and Lower Egypt and wears double crown in 3100
    BCE. Following Menes came 31 dynasties over 3000
  • AGE OF PYRAMIDS Era of the Old Kingdom (2690
    BCE), Pharaohs were absolute rulers and viewed as
    a god holding absolute secular and religious
    power. Stone monuments were embodiment of
    Pharaoh's power and a medium of immortality.
    Pyramids evolved from mastabas, then Step
    Pyramids, most known are Pyramids at Giza
    (2600-2500 BCE)
  • IMHOTEP not a ruler but revered and his life
    was recorded (architect, medicine, right hand to
    Pharaoh Djoser (2686-2613 BCE)
  • NATIONAL GOD AMON-RE Middle Kingdom Under
    Theban Kings (south), the Theban god Amon
    merged with sun god Re which became Egyptian
    national god Amon-Re
  • EXODUS under the leadership of Moses, Hebrew
    slaves under Rames II leave Egypt in mass
    migration called Exodus (end of 13th century
    BCE). Moses receives the 10 Commandments at
    Mount Sinai but never find the Promised Land

  • Pharaohs
  • 1470 BCE Reign of Hatsheput (one of four female
  • 1350 BCE Reign of Akhenaton (Wanted to change
    religious beliefs to monotheism)
  • 1334 BCE Reign of Tutankhamun (Religious
    revolution is reversed)
  • 1297 BCE - Reign of Ramses II. He had over 200
    wives and concubines, approximately 90 sons and
    60 daughters and reigned over 67 years! His
    reign saw massive building projects in Egypt.
    The Exodus of Jews from Egypt also occurred
    during his reign.
  • 525 BCE Persians conquer Egypt
  • 332 BCE Alexander the Great defeats the
    Persians and considered savior of Egypt
  • 50 BCE Cleopatra VII is crowned Queen of Egypt
  • 30 BCE Egypt becomes part of Roman Empire after
    death of Cleopatra VII and Mark Anthony

  • How did Pharaoh's rule?
  • absolute rulers of the land
  • believed to be the earthly embodiment of the god
    Horus who was the son of Amon-Re
  • Therefore they had the divine right to rule
  • This allowed them to move between god and their
  • People followed their orders because they
    believed they were from god
  • No one would challenge the Kings authority and
    he could rule in relative peace

  • The throne passed on to eldest son of Principal
    Queen who was usual the eldest daughter of the
    previous king therefore the kings sister
  • Pharaohs owned all the land they had a
    hierarchy of government officials to help him
  • Second to the Pharaohs were the scribes who would
    record the doings of the Pharaoh

What were the legal traditions?
  • Law was governed by religious principle of Maat
  • GODDESS MAAT represented truth, righteousness
    and justice balance and order
  • Laws were applied equally to all classes
    specifically protected the family (children and
  • Punishments could be quite severe- act as a
    deterent or disgrace the guilty (Examples
    minor crimes had 100 lashed rapist were
    castrated corrupt officials had their hands
    amputated crimes that resulted in a death
    sentence could have choice devoured by a
    crocodile, suicide, burning alive)

Social Roles
  • Role of Men
  • Head of the family
  • Men could have numerous wives but economically
    men had only 1 wife
  • Labourers, craftsmen
  • Jobs were hereditary
  • Jobs
  • Labour required for construction projects and was
    mostly filled by poor, serfs
  • Stability of Egypt thrived as skilled trades
    were passed from father to son
  • Children always learned the trade from parents
    seldom could choose occupation
  • Role of Women
  • Well treated and had considerable legal
    rightscompared to other civilizations
  • Same legal rights as men (land, property,
  • Left women to be economically independent
  • Primary role was in domestic life
  • Common title for a married women in ancient Egypt
    was nebet per meaning the lady of the house
  • Bear and raise children

What determined Egypts economic prosperity?
  • Wealth
  • Agriculture made up most of Egypts wealth
  • grain, vegetables, fruit, cattle, goats, pigs
    and fowl
  • Abundance and management of food supplies (not
    royal treasury) was the measure of Egypts
    wealth full granaries, plenty of wildlife and
    fish, and thriving herds were the signs of
    prosperity. These were the images used in the
    tombs of the Pharaohs to illustrate the wealth
    of their reigns
  • Economy
  • Simple economy based on food production and
    minerals from desert
  • access to the Mediterranean their routes extended
    trade as far as Northern Europe, subtropical
    Africa and the Near East
  • Trading was done by bartering goods (grain, oil,
  • Taxes, salaries and loans were all paid entirely
    on goods
  • extensive trading made Egypt a powerful influence
    on culture, art, ideas and technology (ie.
    Western calendar was taken from the Romans who
    had borrowed it from the Egyptians)
  • Trade eventually grew and expanded, bringing new
    ideas and goods into Egyptian society

  • Contributed to stability and continuity of Egypt
  • All children, regardless of social class,
    received some education
  • Followed a moral and ethical guide Instructions
    in Wisdom
  • Goal for education was to ensure youth exhibited
    self control and good manners
  • At 14, young boys followed fathers in jobs, and
    girls learned from mothers in the household
  • Children of priests were schooled more formally
  • Literacy was stressed for government jobs
  • Education respected for creating a well rounded

  • History of Writing 1) pictograms (sun sun)
    2) ideograms (sun sun, daylight, warmth,
    light)3) phonograms symbols that suggest a
    particular sound related ideas and also sound
    (Sun sun, son, Sunday)
  • Each hieroglyph found in pyramids and tombs often
    symbolized more than one consonant. Not only
    that, but actual Egyptian hieroglyphs were a
    combination of sound-signs, pictograms, and
    ideograms. No wonder it was so hard to decode

  • New Kingdom 700 hieroglyphs in common usage,
    while rest were phonograms
  • 100 were strictly visual, while rest were
  • Eventually scribes adapted hieroglyphic symbols
  • By 700 BCE, script was refined to the demotic (or
    popular script) was used for secular matters such
    as letters, accounts and record keeping

Rosetta Stone
  • What is the Rosetta Stone?
  • The Rosetta Stone is a stone with writing on it
    in two languages (Egyptian and Greek), using
    three scripts (hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek).
    It was carved in 196 BCE.
  • Why is it in three different scripts?
  • The Rosetta Stone is written in three scripts
    (hieroglyphs for religious documents demotic-
    common script of Egypt Greek- language of the
    rulers of Egypt at that time)
  • The Rosetta Stone was written in all three
    scripts so that the priests, government officials
    and rulers of Egypt could read what it said.
  • When was the Rosetta Stone found?
  • The Rosetta Stone was found in 1799 by French
    soldiers who were rebuilding a fort in Egypt (in
    a small village in Delta called Rosetta (Rashid)
  • What does the Rosetta Stone say?
  • The Rosetta Stone is a text written by a group of
    priests in Egypt to honour the Egyptian pharaoh.
    It lists all of the things that the pharaoh had
    done that were good for the priests and the
    people of Egypt.

Life and Death
  • Life and death was measured in accordance to
    Maat the goddessand symbol of equilibrium of
    the universe and the king had to rule according
    to her principles
  • Death viewed as a new beginning
  • Afterlife common to all, regardless of social
    status (preparation varied as well as goods
    stored in tombs)
  • 2 Common Principles 1) body preservation in a
    lifelike form2) the deceased must have items
    necessary for life in the afterworld
  • Personal belongings were usually placed in the
    tomb to make the Ka more at home and to assist
    the dead in their journey into the afterlife.
  • Text was read from the 'Book of the Dead' which
    was a collection of spells, charms, passwords,
    numbers and magical formulas for the use of the
    deceased in the afterlife.

MAAT-symbol of the equilibrium of the universe
  • This scene depicts what occurs after a person has
    died, according to the ancient Egyptians.
  • panel of 14 judges
  • Ka (soul /spiritual duplicate), ba (personality)
    ankh (form mummy took in afterlife / the key of
  • Weighing of the heart vs Maat
  • Judgment of scale
  • record of the outcome

  • Mummification focused on Egyptian belief of the
    importance of preserving the body
  • Afterlife would be spent enjoying best of life
  • Body covered with natron and dried for up to 70
  • Body wrapped in linen coated with resins and oils
  • Middle Kingdom became customary to place a mask
    over the face
  • Removal of organs (lungs, stomach, intestines,
    liver) in Canopic Jars were closed with stoppers
    fashioned in the shape of four heads -- human,
    baboon, falcon, and jackal - representing the
    four protective spirits called the Four Sons of
  • brain was sucked out of the cranial cavity and
    thrown away because the Egyptian's thought it was

Ancient Egypt Why so stable?
  • Ancient Egypt lasted for 3500 years due to
    factors in
  • Geography
  • Politics
  • Social structure
  • Education
  • Economy
  • Religion
  • Stability was goal and change slow and cautious
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