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Title: The%20Ancient%20Egyptians

Ancient Egypt
A View of Egypt by Satellite
The Fertile Nile Valley
The Annual Flooding of the Nile
Nile Irrigation-the Shaduf
Farming in the Nile floodplain
The Nile floodplain
Felucca boats
The SOUL of Ancient Egypt
A View of Egypt by Satellite
Geography Populated Areas
  • There were three main populated areas 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 Egypt
  • 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)

Ancient Egyptian History
Periods Time Frame
Nile Culture Begins 3900 B. C. E.
Archaic 3100 2650 B. C. E.
Old Kingdom 2650 2134 B. C. E.
Middle Kingdom 2040 1640 B. C. E.
New Kingdom 1550 1070 B. C. E.
Late Period 750 332 B. C. E.
Greek Ptolemaic Era 332 30 B. C. E.
Roman Period 30 B. C. E. 395 C. E.
Egyptian Social Hierarchy
  • Important Pharaohs
  • 1470 BCE Reign of Hatsheput (one of four female
  • 1350 BCE Reign of Akhenaton (Wanted to change
    religious beliefs to
  • 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
  • 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

Menes Unifier of Upper Lower Egypt
c. 3050 B. C. E. ?
Some Famous Egyptian Pharaohs
Tutankhamon1336-1327 B. C. E.
Thutmose III1504-1450 B. C. E.
Ramses II1279-1212 B. C. E.
  • 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

Pol itics
  • How Pharaoh's ruled
  • 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

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
  • Based on food production and minerals from the
  • Access to the Mediterranean trade 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
    in goods
  • Trading made Egypt a powerful influence in
    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

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

Three Kingdoms of Ancient Egypt
NEW KINGDOM (1532-1070 BCE)
OLD KINGDOM (2575-2134 BCE)
Powerful pharaohs created a large empire that
reached the Euphrates River. Hatshepsut
encouraged trade. Tutankhamen boy-king Ramses
II expanded Egyptian rule to Syria. Egyptian
power declined.
Large drainage project created arable
farmland. Traders had contacts with Middle East
and Crete. Corruption and rebellions were
common. Hyksos invaded and occupied the delta
Pharaohs organized a strong central state, were
absolute rulers, and were considered gods. Khufu
and others built pyramids at Giza. Power
struggles, crop failures, and cost of pyramids
contributed to the collapse of the Old Kingdom.
The Hyksos utilized superior bronze weapons,
chariots, and composite bows to help them take
control of Egypt, and by about 1720 BC
Starting in 1567 B.C., the pharaoh Ahmose I
eventually managed to defeat the Hyksos from
Egypt, reuniting Egypt and establishing the New
Kingdom (c. 1567-1085 B.C. A more professional
army was developed.
Ahmose and his army driving out the Hyksos.
The Sea People
The Sea Peoples is the term used for a mysterious
confederacy of seafaring raiders who sailed into
the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, invaded
Cyprus, and the Eastern Mediterranean, and
Egyptian territory
Invasion of the Sea Peoples around 1200 B.C.
The days of Egyptian empire were ended, and the
New Kingdom expired with the end of the twentieth
dynasty in 1085 B.C. For the next thousand
years, despite periodic revivals of strength,
Egypt was dominated by Libyans, Nubians,
Persians, Macedonians.
Egyptian Drawings of Two Different Tribes of Sea
Routes of the Sea Peoples
The end of the Bronze Age!
Comparison of Mesopotamia and Egypt
Mesopotamia Egypt
Agriculture Land between the rivers (Tigris and Euphrates forms Fertile Crescent Artificial irrigation Gift of the Nile Artificial irrigation
Specialization Pottery, textiles, woodworking, leather, brick making, stonecutting, masonry Pottery, textiles, woodworking, leather production, stonecutting, masonry
Cities -Numerous, densely populated city-states (Ur and Babylon) -Fewer cities with high centralization (Memphis and Thebes)
Social Hierarchy -Noble class -Patriarchal Slaves -Absolute authority of the pharaoh made a noble class unnecessary (had bureaucrats instead) -Patriarchal, but the presence of Queen Hatsheput may indicate greater opportunities for women Slaves
Comparison of Mesopotamia and Egypt (cont.)
Mesopotamia Egypt
Religion and Education -Polytheism -afterlife was bad -Polytheism, but brief period of monotheism under Akhentan -Afterlife and judgment - could be good or bad (mummification)
New Technologies -Superior in metallurgy -Papyrus, shipbuilding, pyramids
Economic exchange -Trade by land and water -Trade principally by water along the Nile -Trade more important because Egypt lacked natural resources beside the Nile
Art and Writing -Cuneiform -Hieroglyphs (more pictorial than cuneiform)