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Ancient Egypt 3100-1069 B.C.E. Geography of Ancient Egypt Egypt is located in the northeastern corner of Africa. This region is mostly desert (hot and dry). It receives little rainfall. Egypt relied on predictable yearly floods which left water and fertile soil behind. Geography of Ancient Egypt The Nile is the longest river in the world (4,150 miles). It’s a unique river because it flows north. The Egyptians learned to use the water from the Nile River to grow crops. The process is called irrigation. Irrigation allowed the people to grow many crops and to survive. The Nile River Valley is divided into Lower and Upper Egypt Around 3000 B.C.E. King Narmur of Upper Egypt invaded and conquered Lower Egypt. Historians have organized dynasties to describe Ancient Egypt. Old/Middle/New Kingdoms Timeline of Kingdoms Dates Significant Events 3411 - 3100 Unification of all Egypt Old Kingdom 3100 2181 Construction of the pyramids begins First Intermediate 2181 - 2125 Political chaos Middle Kingdom 2125 1650 Recovery and political stability Second Intermediate 1650 - 1550 Hyksos "invasion" New Kingdom 1550 1069 Creation of the Egyptian Empire Archaic The Old Kingdom (31002181B.C.E.) Upper & Lower Egypt became a strong national government. Egyptian Government was a Theocracy which is a government ruled by a religious authority, where religious beliefs are the basis of government. Power flowed from the king to a system of government which controlled: trade/taxes/infrastructure. The Middle Kingdom (2125-1650 B.C.E.) This kingdom came about due to a period of upheaval and violence in the city of Thebes. During the 1700’s, Theban kings faced problems of their own. These problems opened the door for an overthrow. The Middle Kingdom (continued) The Middle Kingdom ended when people named the Hyksos from Western Asia invaded. The Hyksos were successful because they had advanced weapons. They ruled for a period of about 110 years. The New Kingdom (1550-1069 B.C.E.) Egyptian prince Ahmose overthrew the Hyksos in about 1600 B.C.E. Around 1480 B.C.E. Queen Hatshepsut carried out an extensive building program Thutomose III expanded empire The New Kingdom (continued) The empire now reached as far as Syria and the Northern Euphrates Empire grew rich from commerce, tribute, and cultural diffusion King Tutankhamen ruled a short time from 1333 B.C.E.-1323 B.C.E. Ramses II reigned by expressing power through statues of himself and building towers and tombs Pyramids Pyramids were built to honor their god-kings or pharaohs and to provide them with an eternal resting place. They were burial tombs. The Egyptians believed people lived again after they died, and so they needed a good place to spend their next life. Pyramids They left food, water, clothing, and treasures inside for the pharaoh to enjoy. The walls were decorated with pictures of people who could be friends with the pharaoh in their next life. Pets and plants were mummified and put in the pyramids. Pyramids It took 100,000 men twenty years to build the great pyramid for the Pharaoh Khufu. There were different rooms or chambers. The pyramids were set up in a maze to throw off robbers. The Sphinx It had the head of a human and the body of a lion. It was built by Pharaoh Khafre to guard his pyramid from robbers. It is about 4,636 years old. Mummification Process: 70 day process Brain was taken out through the nose Important organs were removed and stored in canopic jars • liver, lungs, stomach, and intestines Heart was not removed Natron salt was used to dry the body Body was anointed with oil Body was wrapped with linen Materials used in mummification: • linen • sawdust • lichen • beeswax • resin • natron • onion • Nile mud • linen pads • frankincense • • • • Mummification tools: Brain hooks (replicas ) Oil jar Funnel (replica) Embalmer's knife Hieroglyphics • There were over 800 different hieroglyphs. Some stood for words and others for sounds. Hieroglyphics or Picture Writing They used a reed pen to write. They wrote on papyrus, which is a kind of paper. Hieroglyphics • The Rosetta Stone was found in 1799 A.D. and it cracked the code of Egyptian hieroglyphics. This stone has allowed people to learn a lot about ancient Egypt. Life In Ancient Egypt Religious Beliefs: Religion guided every aspect of Egyptian life. Egyptian religion was based on polytheism. The Egyptians had as many as 2000 gods and goddesses. Often, gods and goddesses were represented as part human and part animal. Life In Ancient Egypt Status of Women: Egyptian women enjoyed more freedom than any of their counterparts from other places in ancient times.