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Ancient Egypt


Ancient Egypt Egypt s Powerful Kings and Queens Egypt s God-Kings From Dynasty to Dynasty The Intermediate Periods The First Dynasty The Old Kingdom The Sphinx ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt
  • Egypts Powerful Kings and Queens

Egypts God-Kings
The rulers of Egypt held the respected title of
pharaoh (FAIR oh). The pharaohs were
all-powerful. Whatever the pharaoh decided
became law. The pharaoh decided which fields
should be planted, and was also the religious
leader of Egypt. The people of Egypt believed
that the gift of the Nile, the yearly floods, was
provided by the pharaoh.
From Dynasty to Dynasty
Ancient Egypt has a history of dynasties. A
dynasty is a family of rulers. Egypt had 31
dynasties before it was conquered by the Greeks
in 332 B.C.
Historians separate Egyptian history into three
main time periods, which they call kingdoms. The
time periods are called the Old Kingdom, the
Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom.
Old Kingdom
2575 BC - 2150 BC
Middle Kingdom
2040 BC - 1640 BC
New Kingdom
1540 BC - 1070 BC
The dates in this table are not exact.
The Intermediate Periods
The times between the kingdoms were called the
intermediate periods. These were troubled times
for Egypt. They were marked by weak rulers and
These in-between periods were rare, however, as
most of ancient Egypts history is characterized
by stable rule.
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The First Dynasty
Ancient Egyptian tradition states that the first
king was a man named Menes. Though there is not
a lot of archaeological evidence to support his
existence, he is credited with many achievements.
Menes was the founding king of the 1st Dynasty,
and he unified Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt into
one kingdom. He also founded the capital city at
Memphis. Memphis was built on an island in the
Nile River, so that it would be easy to defend.
Menes was also referred to as Aha and King
Scorpion, or, the Scorpion King. Menes sent
ambassadors to Canaan and Byblos in Phoenicia and
established peaceful trade with them. He also
attacked Nubia, and held influence as far south
as the first cataract.
It is said that Menes ruled for 62 years, and
that he was killed by either a hippopotamus or by
The Old Kingdom
Egypt became rich and powerful due to irrigation
and trade. This allowed several projects to be
funded, such as the pyramids. All of the
pyramids were built during the Old Kingdom.
This step-pyramid was built by the pharaoh
Djoser, during the 3rd Dynasty.
Here is the Great Pyramid of Giza. It was built
by Khufu (a.k.a. Cheops) during the 4th Dynasty.
The Sphinx
The Sphinx is believed to have been built by the
pharaoh Khafre, sometime in the 4th Dynasty.
There are scholars who think that the Sphinx may
have been built earlier than that, though. The
issue is still being debated.
The Middle Kingdom
After almost a century of chaos and civil war,
which happened during the first intermediate
period, Egypt was finally reunited under the rule
of the pharaoh Menuhotep II.
During the Middle Kingdom, the Egyptians also
conquered Lower Nubia.
There was an increase in art and literature
during this time. The Shipwrecked Sailor is a
famous story that was written at this time.
The New Kingdom
This time is known as the Age of Empire, as
Egypt expands its control over Nubia and the
Near East.
The Valley of the Kings was built during the New
Kingdom. This burial ground houses the tombs of
many of the great New Kingdom pharaohs, including
King Tutankhamun and Ramses II.
Hatshepsut was the stepmother of a child named
Thutmose III. Thutmose III became pharaoh around
1500 BC. Since he was very young, his stepmother
was appointed regent. A regent is someone who
rules in place of a child until the child is old
enough to rule.
Hatshepsut decided to declare herself pharaoh.
She ruled for 22 years, and during her time as
pharaoh, she found new trading partners. Egypt
enjoyed peace and great wealth during her time as
pharaoh. She built monuments as well during her
time as pharaoh.
Hatshepsut refused to give up power when Thutmose
III was old enough to rule. When she died, he
had all of her statues destroyed.
Akhenhaten and Nefertiti
Another pharaoh of the New Kingdom, Akenhaten
(a.k.a. Amenhotep IV), tried to end polytheism in
Egypt. Though he still mentioned other gods,
Akenhaten elevated the sun-god Aten as the one
true god. His wife, Nefertiti, supported this
belief. They closed the temples of other gods,
and promoted monotheism 100 years before the time
of Moses and the Israelites. Akenhaten claimed,
however, that to worship the one god Aten, one
had to give gifts to the pharaoh (which was him!)
The change in religion was not popular with the
Egyptians, and when the next pharaoh,
Tutankhamun, began his rule, he restored the old
King Tutankhamun
King Tutankhamun (or, King Tut) is one of the
most famous Egyptian pharaohs. He became a
boy-king at about the age of 9. He died about 9
years later, possibly from a wound to his head.
King Tuts tomb was discovered in 1922. Many
treasures were also found in his tomb. His
innermost sarcophagus, or coffin, was made of
beaten gold.
King Ramses II
Ramses II was also known as Ramses the Great. He
regained many lands that Egypt had previously
lost. He also built a great deal of temples and
monuments. Ramses II ruled for 67 years and lived
to be over 90 years old.
Was Ramses II the king who enslaved the
Israelites? Historians and scholars disagree
about this. Some think that Ramses father
enslaved the Israelites, and that Ramses may have
been the pharaoh during the exodus that followed.
Many others believe that the pharaoh of the
exodus was either Amenhotep II, or Thutmose III.
Ramses rule was characterized by war and
conquest. He is given wide praise for the peace
treaty that he created with his primary enemies,
the Hittites.
The End of the Egyptian Dynasties
Eventually, the Nubians conquer the Egyptians and
take over. Then, Egypt is briefly conquered by
the Assyrians. Later, the Persians conquered
Egypt. Egypt became independent again around 404
BC. Then, a Macedonian named Alexander the Great
conquered Egypt, and he made one of his generals,
Ptolemy, the king.
Ptolemy created a dynasty of his own, though he
was a Macedonian and not an Egyptians. His
descendents ruled for 300 years, and Egypt became
a learning center. The Great Library of
Alexandria was built (incidentally, the city of
Alexandria was named after Alexander the Great).
Cleopatra VII - The Last Pharaoh
Cleopatra was part of the Ptolemy dynasty, but
her dynastys power was declining. Meanwhile,
power in Rome was growing, and they resented her
for being treated as a pharaoh. The Romans
wanted to be viewed as the governors of Egypt.
Rome declared war on Egypt, and the Romans
defeated Cleopatras armies, thus ending the rule
of pharaohs in Egypt. This marked the beginning
of Roman rule.
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