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Egypt Land of the Pharaohs Early Egypt c.5500BCEc.3100BCE Background • Prehistoric people were attracted to the Nile for the plentiful food sources in the area. • Like in Mesopotamia the people turned to agriculture to assure that there would be plenty of food to feed their growing population. Background • They began to settle into permanent villages. • They began to create pottery and to decorate it. • They made tombs for their dead and developed a complex religion. Political Developments • Two separate kingdoms developed along the Nile. • One in Upper Egypt and one in Lower Egypt. • King Narmer united them around 3100 BCE. Dynasties • Dynasty 0 (3150-3050): Scorpion, Narmer • Dynasty 1 (3050-2890): Aha, Dejer, Dejet, Den • Dynasty 2 (2890-2686): Hetepsekhemwy, Peribsen, Khasekhemwy Achievements • These early kings built the Egyptian capital at… Memphis Old Kingdom c. 2686BCE-c.2181BCE Time of the pyramid builders • This period is when Egyptologists see the organizational skills of the Egyptians combine with the prosperity of the Nile flood plain combine to create the biggest and most successful civilization yet. Political developments • The crown in this period had tight control over its people and its resources. So much so that it could make the people build the most remarkable buildings, the Pyramids. • These huge buildings were still the tallest in the world in the 19th century CE when Napoleon conquered Egypt and were definitely one of the wonders of the ancient world. • More remarkable to us today may be that they did it without wheeled vehicles of any kind. Kings • Kings expected to go on to the afterlife and continue to enjoy the same lifestyle they had enjoyed in their earthly life. • The pyramids they built were designed so that they could do this. Son of Ra • The king in this period was an intermediary between the Gods and the people. • He was introduced as “son of Ra” and it was believed the Gods chose him and when he died he would go back to them. • Ordinary Egyptians believed the King could guarantee the Nile flood cycle would continue. • It was therefore in their interest to be sure he had everything he needed/wanted for the afterlife. Owner of all he surveys • The Kings of Egypt owned outright all of the resources and commander of the people, could extract taxes and lay claim to any and all land at will. • Egypt was not at this time a culture built on the backs of slaves, but during the flooding seasons people could not farm and therefore were available in mass to build monuments. Dynasty 3(2686-2613BCE) • Djoser, Sekhemkhet, Khaba, Huni • By this period the hieroglyphic system was fully developed , The step Pyramid of Djoser Imhotep son of Ptah • The architect of Djoser’s pyramid was rewarded with deification for his work and was said to be the son of the God Ptah and the patron of scribes and physicians, his name was Imhotep. • Imhotep was also a high priest of the temple of Heliopolis pointing to the early importance of the sun god Ra (Ra-atum). Dynasty 4 (2613-2498BCE) • Snefru, Khufu, Djedefre, Khafre, Menkaure, Shepseskaf • Snefru’s pyramids, The Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Great Sphinx, and the pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure. The great pyramid of Kufu • Some of the Old Kingdom Kings were very devoted to their wives too. • Kufu had temples built for three of his wives next to his. This side of Kufu seems to be different from his reputation for being a harsh ruler which he gained by the size of his Pyramid. • A boat was even brought to the site to aid the king on his journey. Kufu’s burial also has a huge guardian statue…The Great Sphinx. Dynasty 5 (2498-2345BCE) • Userkaf, Sahure, Neferirkare-Kakai, Niuserre, Unis • Achievements: Abusir pyramids of Sahure, Neferirkare-Kakai and Niuserre, The Sun Temples at Abu Girab, Saqqara pyramid of Unis with the first pyramid texts and the Tomb of Ti. Ra and the cult of Osiris • The sun temples tell us of the growing importance of the sun God Ra and how he was becoming almost the state God at this time. • It is also during this time that the cult of Osiris grew. • It was believed that when a person died they entered the kingdom of Osiris. Dynasty 6(2345-2181BCE) • Teti, Pepi I, Mernere, Pepi II, Nitocris (?) • The pyramids of Teti and Pepi I at Saqqara. • The status of the king in this period began to weaken. • The king was no longer untouchable. This didn’t mean that they were short-lived kings, Pepi II was king for some 94 years! • His reign was full of problems and the economy of Egypt began to collapse and the local administrators began to run everything instead of the central government headed by the king. First Intermediate Period Dynasties 7-10 (2181-2160BCE) • Egyptologists label the periods of ancient history by the political state of the country. The intermediate periods are called this because during these times there was a lot of fighting for power and not much central organization. • Ancient Egyptians too found this period very different when the capital of Egypt moved from Memphis to Herkleopolis. Dynasty 11 (2133-2160) • Wahankh Antef II, Mentuhotep I-III • It was not until the Theban ruler of the 11th dynasty, Nebheprtera Mentuhotep II defeted the Herklepolitan ruler and reunited Egypt under Theban rule which began… Middle Kingdom (20401782BCE) A regional power to recon with • Egypt strengthened its control of Nubia in this period. They were getting mostly gold, but also amethyst, turquoise, copper, etc. from Nubia. In this period there was a shift in beliefs as well. Egypt also looked out to the wider world of Asia and the Agean. The ba • Now people began to believe that all people, not just the king had a ba, of spiritual force. • This brought a new emphasis on personal spirituality and early writings on the consequences of suicide to the progression of the soul. Literacy • Literacy was also more widespread than in the Old Kingdom period. The usurper • Amunemhet I may have usurped (taken the throne by force) and also may himself, have been assassinated, but Egyptologists are not sure. Some political propaganda still exists from this period. The Prophesy of Neferty p146(written at the time of Amunemhet I) Then a king will come from the South, Ameny, the justified, by name Son of a woman of Ta-Seti, child of Upper Egypt. He will take the white crown, We will wear the red crown; He will join the Two Mighty Ones [the two crowns] Dynasty 12 (2060-1991BCE) • Amunemhet I, Senwosert I, Amunemhet II, Senwosert II, Senwosert III, Amunemhet III, Queen Sobekneferu • Dynasty 13 (17821650BCE): Khendjer Portraiture • The White temple at Krnak, tomb of SarenputII at Aswan, and some of the earliest examples of portraiture are from this time. The Royal Palace • There were 3 inner divisions in order of importance. • The kap or residence of the royal family, including the nursery for the royal children, and their schoolroom. • The wahy was next the columned audience area where banquets were held. • The khenty, or outer palace, where business of the court was conducted and the vizier and other officials stayed. • Outside this was the shena where servants stayed. Second intermediate period (16501570BCE) • Another intermediate or disunited period and one where foreign Asiatic kings ruled part of Egypt, they were called the Hyksos kings. • The Hyksos kings ruled until Kamose and then Ahmose reunited the kingdom and destroyed their remaining power bases. • Dynasty 14 (1650 BCE) • Dynasty 15-16 (1663-1555BCE): Hyksos kings • Dynasty 17 (1663-1570BCE): Sekhnnre Tao II and Kamose New Kingdom (c.1550-1069) Not king but Pharaoh • Egypt’s kings began to go by the title Pharaoh in this period and they began to build their tombs in the Valley of the kings. Dynasty 18 (1570-1293BCE) Ahmose, Amunhotep I, Thutmose I, Thutmose II, Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Amunhotep II, Thutmose IV, Amunhotep III, Amunhotep IV/Akhenaten, Semankhare, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb Aegean connections • This period saw many new tombs built and a lot of temples like the Luxor temple, and the Colossi of Memnon, there is also increased trade and international relations in this period, we know this from Minoan art that has been found in upper Egypt from this period. (The Minoans were from Crete in the Mediterranean) Hatshepsut • After the death of Thutmose II his queen Hatshepsut ruled Egypt as regent and then retained power preventing Thutmose III from ruling until her death. She ruled as a Pharaoh not as a queen. Religious revolution • With the reign of Amunhotep IV there is a break with religion in Egypt. The pharaoh felt the priests had gained too much power and so he becomes a heretic (someone who goes against their religion) so he changed his name to Akhenaten and says that people are only to worship Aten and that only he can access Aten. The Amarna period • This is seen by some as an early form of monotheism, though others say because people were still supposed to worship the Pharaoh that this is still polytheism. Akhenaten also moved the capital to Tell el-Amarna, beginning what is called the Amarna period. Queen Nefertiti • Akhenaten seems to have had a very happy marriage to the famous Queen Nefertiti. This period also had a distinctly different artistic style of elongated figures. Religious restoration • The old religion was restored by Tutankhamun, whose name he had changed to signify the return of the old religion. His successor was his vizier Ay who may have switched his own tomb for Tut’s so that his could be grand. He also tried to erase Tut’s name from history. Ay also married Tut’s young wife (and sister). Dynasty 19 (1293-1185BCE): • Ramesses I, Seti I, Ramesses II, Merneptah, Amenmesses, Seti II, Siptah, Tausret. Builders • Seti I built the Temple of Osiris. • In the reign of Ramesses II there is a war with the Hittites and a peace treaty followed by Ramesses II marrying the Hittite princess. • The Capital was moved again to per-Ramesses in the Delta very close to where the Suez Canal is today. • The Ramesseum and Abydos temple is built and other temples are expanded. Dynasty 20 (1185-1069 BCE) • Sethnakht, Ramesses III, Ramesses IV-XI, Herihor Third Intermediate period (c.1069-c.747) • In this period the North was ruled by kings from the Delta and the South by High priests from Thebes and other local rulers. The Late Period (c.747-332BCE) • This period is characterized by foreigners ruling Egypt. Most of them are from the areas in Mesopotamia like Assyria and Persia The Macedonian • In 332 there is a new kid on the block (and I do mean kid he was only 23 and he was taking the world by storm. He was from Macedonia, just North of Greece, and his name was…Alexander and he changed everything for good in Egypt) The Ptolemy’s and the Hellenistic period (332-30BCE) • Ptolemy was one of Alexander’s generals and after Alexander died he became ruler of Egypt. • His decedents ruled until 30 BCE • The dynasty’s last ruler was one of the most powerful women in the ancient world. Cleopatra the grand finale • Cleopatra Philopater was the last of the Ptolemys, and the last Pharoah. • She, as a Greek queen spoke Greek and Latin (handy because all of her boyfriends were Romans) and she was the first in her family to learn the Egyptian language of her people. • More on her next year… A lost Egypt • Much of the grandeur of Egypt was lost to the sands of time with the tides of political change and people from outside of Egypt ruling a country whose language virtually none of them knew, the old temples, and religion were eventually abandoned. Napoleon • When the French invaded in the 18th century it was the first time Europeans had really experienced Egypt in centuries and by this time the new field of archeology was beginning to grow and Egyptology was born. Romantic ruins • When the Ramesseum was found it prompted Percy Bysshe Shelley to write the famous poem ‘Ozymandias’ (Usermaat-re Setep-en-re) Ozymandias I met a traveller from and antique land Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the hear that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear: ‘My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’ Nothing beside remains, Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.