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Standard Textbook CH2,Sct2 The Nile is the longest river in the world and is the single geographic feature which allows life in Egypt. Egypt is surrounded by deserts to the west, east and South… with the worlds largest desert “The Sahara” forming its southern border. UNLIKE most rivers on Earth the NILE river flows from South to North. WHY? - the elevation of central Africa is higher in the Southern regions than in the Northern regions, so water flows downhill, and North to the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile river is over 4,000 miles long or approximately the same distance from Cape Hatteras N.C. to Honolulu Hawaii. The Nile divides Egypt into 2 territorial boundaries over millennia: Upper Egypt is Southern Egypt because it is UP stream. Lower Egypt or the land near the Nile Delta. The Egyptians, like the people of Ancient Mesopotamia, relied on their Nile river to survive. The Nile provided: a.) water to drink b.) transportation c.) fertilization of the soil through the annual flooding d.) source of irrigation (made the desert bloom) The Nile River unified the Egyptian civilization, and the deserts which surrounded the Nile River valley protected the Egyptians from invasion throughout most of their history. Religion in Egypt was the glue that bound the Egyptian civilization together. The Egyptians believed that their King or Pharaoh, or “great house” was the son of their god… Ra – or the “sun god”. Other important gods in Egyptian religion… and the ones on which the polytheistic religion was founded upon were: A.) Isis B.) Osiris C.) Seth Story time….. Osiris – the god of resurrection, and the deity on which the Egyptians developed there belief in the afterlife. Seth – The Brother of Osiris… he was the god of the underworld, doomed to rule the netherworld due to his transgressions against Osiris. Isis – the wife of Osiris, and goddess of life, and fertility in ancient Egypt. Isis was represented in the physical world by the Nile river or the source of life for ALL Egyptians. Egyptian history is divided into three large time periods. They are: a.) Old Kingdom b.) Middle Kingdom c.) The New Kingdom The Old Kingdom: This period lasted from approximately 2700-2200 BC, which was about 4700-4200 years ago. The King or Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt was a absolute ruler of a unified state, unlike Mesopotamia, where Kings were absolute rulers of city states and small territories. The Pharaoh was believed to be a god in the flesh and he held ABSOLUTE power in ancient Egypt, however Pharaoh’s did have help in ruling their country do to its large size. Bureaucracy – ALL the government officials and workers necessary to operate a government. In ancient Egypt a government official who held the title of Vizier was the 2nd in command to the Pharaoh and he made ALL the day to day decisions in Ancient Egypt. The grand vizier answered to the Pharaoh only. Egypt had 42 provinces, each with a governor, in the Old Kingdom, with each governor answering to the vizier and in turn the Pharaoh In ancient Egypt a system of writing was developed which used pictures of Hieroglyphics to represent individual words in some cases or phonetic sounds in others. ALL important buildings were covered in Hieroglyphics, including important monuments and temples, such as tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the temple at Karnack. Mummification is the process wherein a body preserved by a multi step process. The steps involved in Egyptian Mummification are: a.) Embalming b.) Drying c.) anointing d.) wrapping e.) packing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MQ5dL9cQX0 Why make mummies? The Egyptians believed that a body would be needed for the afterlife or their rebirth. This was due to the story of the rebirth of Osiris that was commonly known to ALL Egyptians. (you should be familiar with this story.) After a body was mummified it was placed coffin, provided with a death mask, and then later the mummy and its coffin were placed into a larger stone coffin known as a sarcophagus. Depending on your status in ancient Egypt, you would be placed into large tomb (pyramid) as in the case of the Pharaoh, or a small burial chamber (mastabas) in the desert. The Pyramids of Giza, were one of the great achievements of the Old Kingdom. They were included in the original “7 wonders” of the Ancient World, and are the ONLY one of the seven still around. The pyramids of Giza were built as part of a larger complex of buildings – or a city of the dead. Each pyramid had associated buildings around it where the Pharaoh’s were well supplied for the afterlife. Within these subterranean warehouses the Egyptians buried: a.) boats/ships f.) horses b.) Chairs g.) Supply of food c.) weapons and soldiers to wield them d.) Dishes e.) Gold Inside the Tomb itself, decorations and furnishings were placed for the afterlife. The Middle Kingdom lasted from approximately 20501652 BC. The middle Kingdom has been regarded as the golden age in Egyptian history. This is due to several facts: 1.) The Egyptians began to build large public works projects such as canals and irrigation systems – which made the population grow to its highest point in Egypt’s ancient history. 2.) Egypt conquered territory outside what it possessed in the Old Kingdom to include Nubia(Sudan) as well as Palestine (Israel) and Syria. 3.) Egypt was stable economically and politically with little competition from the outside world. The new kingdom lasted from 1567-1058. During the New Kingdom, (approximately 150 years of it) Egypt was conquered by an Bronze age people known as the Hyksos. These people taught the Egyptians how to make Bronze tools and weapons but ultimately this lead to their downfall. The new Kingdom was a time of great upheaval when Egypt struggled between being a state with many gods, or a state with a single god. Also, Egypt began to lose territory that was gained by early great Pharaoh’s of the period such as Ramses' II. Following the collapse of the New Kingdom in 1058, Egypt would be rule by successive empires including the Nubians, Persians, Greeks and ultimately the Romans.