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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
The “SOUL” of Ancient Egypt
A View of Egypt by Satellite
Geography: Populated Areas
There were three main populated areas in
1. The Nile Valley
sole source of water for Egypt
Predictable flooding provided rich
fertile soil
Both revered and feared (too much
flooding or droughts)
The Nile Delta
Area were Nile empties into
Mediterranean Sea
Largest piece of fertile land
Encompassed major centres of Egypt
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
• Fertile soil
Geographic Effects
• 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
Ancient Egyptian History
Time Frame
Nile Culture Begins
3900 B. C. E.
Old Kingdom
Middle Kingdom
New Kingdom
Late Period
Greek Ptolemaic Era
3100 – 2650 B. C. E.
2650 – 2134 B. C. E.
2040 – 1640 B. C. E.
1550 – 1070 B. C. E.
750 – 332 B. C. E.
332 – 30 B. C. E.
Egyptian Social Hierarchy
Important Pharaohs
•1470 BCE – Reign of Hatsheput (one of four female Kings)
•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
Unifier of Upper & Lower Egypt
c. 3050 B. C. E. ?
Some Famous Egyptian Pharaohs
1336-1327 B. C. E.
Thutmose III
1504-1450 B. C. E.
Ramses II
1279-1212 B. C. E.
ghlights of Ancient Egyptian History
UNIFICATION OF EGYPT: King Menes unites Upper and Lower Egypt
d wears double crown in 3100 BCE. Following Menes came 31 dynastie
er 3000 years.
AGE OF PYRAMIDS: Era of the Old Kingdom (2690 BCE), Pharaohs
re absolute rulers and viewed as a god holding absolute secular and
gious power. Stone monuments were embodiment of Pharaoh's power
d a medium of immortality. Pyramids evolved from mastabas, then Ste
amids, most known are Pyramids at Giza (2600-2500 BCE)
MHOTEP: not a ruler but revered and his life was recorded (architect,
dicine, right hand to Pharaoh Djoser (2686-2613 BCE)
NATIONAL GOD “AMON-RE”: Middle Kingdom: Under Theban King
uth), the Theban god “Amon” merged with sun god “Re” which became
yptian national god “Amon-Re”
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
•People followed their orders because they
believed they were from god
•No one would challenge the King’s
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 king’s sister
•Pharaohs owned all the land – they
had a hierarchy of government
officials to help him rule
•Second to the Pharaohs were the
scribes who would record the doings
of the Pharaoh
Egypt’s economic prosperity
• Agriculture made up most of Egypt’s wealth
– grain, vegetables, fruit, cattle, goats, pigs and fowl
• Abundance and management of food supplies
(not royal treasury) was the measure of Egypt’s
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
• Based on food production and minerals from
the desert
• 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, wheat)
• 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
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
(2575-2134 BCE)
Pharaohs organized a
strong central state,
were absolute rulers,
and were considered
Khufu and others built
pyramids at Giza.
(2040-1640 BCE)
Large drainage project
created arable farmland.
Traders had contacts with
Middle East and Crete.
Corruption and rebellions
were common.
(1532-1070 BCE)
Powerful pharaohs
created a large empire
that reached the
Euphrates River.
encouraged trade.
Tutankhamen: boy-king
Power struggles, crop
failures, and cost of
pyramids contributed to
the collapse of the Old
Hyksos invaded and
occupied the delta
Ramses II expanded
Egyptian rule to Syria.
Egyptian power
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.
Drawings of
Two Different
Tribes of Sea
Routes of the “Sea Peoples”
The end of the Bronze Age!
Comparison of Mesopotamia
and Egypt
+“Land between the rivers”
(Tigris and Euphrates forms
Fertile Crescent
+Artificial irrigation
+”Gift of the Nile”
+Artificial irrigation
+Pottery, textiles, woodworking,
leather, brick making,
stonecutting, masonry
+Pottery, textiles, woodworking,
leather production, stonecutting,
-Numerous, densely populated
city-states (Ur and Babylon)
-Fewer cities with high
centralization (Memphis and
Social Hierarchy
-Noble class
-Absolute authority of the
pharaoh made a noble class
unnecessary (had bureaucrats
-Patriarchal, but the presence of
Queen Hatsheput may indicate
greater opportunities for women
Comparison of Mesopotamia
and Egypt (cont.)
Religion and Education
-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,
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
-Hieroglyphs (more pictorial
than cuneiform)