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Transcript
Nile Civilizations
Section 1
“History is more or less bunk.”
- Henry Ford
Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months,
two rats could have over one million
descendants.
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The Kingdom of Egypt
Main Idea
Egypt was one of the most stable and longlasting civilizations of the ancient world.
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Geography and Early Egypt
• The Nile
– Most important physical feature in Egypt
– 4,000 miles long; flows through the Sahara Desert
• Without the Nile’s waters, no one could live there.
Geography of Egypt
• The Nile flooded every year
– Predictable floodwaters with spring rains
– Left rich, black silt
• Narrow band of fertile soil became home of Egyptian
civilization
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Geographical Features
Delta
Cataracts
• Egypt’s most fertile soil
in Nile Delta
• Nile provided protection
• Silt deposits at mouth
of river
• Red Land unlivable but
afforded protection
• Flowed through
cataracts to the south
• Currents and waterfalls
made sailing impossible
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Two Kingdoms
• First farming villages as early as 5000 BC
• Northern Kingdom, Lower Egypt
– Mild climate; cobra goddess worshipped
• Southern Kingdom, Upper Egypt
– Warmer climate; prayed to a vulture goddess
Unification
• Two kingdoms unified around 3100 BC
• Upper Egypt ruler Menes conquered north
– Founded capital city of Memphis
– Adopted both symbols, the snake and the vulture
• First of 31 dynasties
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Wadjet: The Cobra goddess
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Nekhbet : The Vulture goddess
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Menes
+
Hedjet
Deshret
Upper
Lower
=
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Question:
How did geography affect where the early
Egyptians lived?
Answer(s): They lived in a narrow strip of fertile
land where they could raise crops. It was
surrounded by inhospitable desert, which would
not easily support life.
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The Old Kingdom
Many of the institutions for which the Egyptian civilization is known
were created during the period which began around 2650 BC.
The Pyramids
Building Pyramids
• Took great planning and skill
• Largest located near Giza
• Built as tombs for rulers
– Hollow chamber for burial
– Treasures buried with them
– Deadly traps within
• Design changed to smoothsided over time
• Ordered when kings took the
throne
• Built from the inside out
• Not built by slaves
– Peasants required to work
one month per year
– Professional craftspeople
like architects, artists
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The Pharaohs
• The head of the government was the king
• Became known as pharaoh (“great house”)
• Had great power because he was believed to be a god
• Egypt a theocracy, a state ruled by religious figures
Egyptian Bureaucracy
• Pharaoh could not rule Egypt alone
• Aided by bureaucracy, many of whom were pharaoh’s relatives
• Most powerful official was the vizier
• Hundreds of lesser officials kept Egypt running smoothly
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Question:
What Egyptian institutions were developed
during the Old Kingdom?
Answer(s): a government headed by the
pharaoh, highly structured bureaucracy
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The Middle Kingdom
Old Kingdom collapsed around 2100 BC
Warfare, economic strife for almost 200 years
• New dynasty began Middle Kingdom 2055 BC
– Strong leadership brought stability
– Trade with surrounding lands encouraged
• Trade routes not always safe
– Fortresses built along the Nile
– The Hyksos invaded, conquered around 1650 BC
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Question:
How did the Middle Kingdom rise and fall?
Answer(s): new dynasty came to power after
almost 200 years of chaos; brought stability and
economic prosperity; Middle Kingdom fell when
Egypt was invaded by the Hyksos, who conquered
Lower Egypt
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The New Kingdom
Hyksos ruled almost 100
years
• Not harsh, but resented
Securing Egypt
• Egypt could not rely on
geography for protection
• Defeated by nobles from Thebes
who became new rulers of Egypt
• Had to build powerful military
First permanent army
Created an empire
• Traditional foot soldiers
• Archers and charioteers
• Adopted weapons from
Hyksos
• Egypt to rule beyond Nile
Valley
• Headed south into Nubia and
east into Asia
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The Reign of Hatshepsut
• Hatshepsut best known for encouraging trade
• Only woman pharaoh
– Wanted to be treated like any other pharaoh so dressed like a
man, statues of her as a man
Monotheism in Egypt
• Amenhotep IV, 1353 BC
– Worshipped only one god, Aten
– Banned worship of all other gods
• Built temple to Aten at Akhetaten
• The next pharaoh restored worship of traditional gods
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Amenhotep IV Tutankhamun’s Father?
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Hatshepsut
and Family
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Amenhotep IV and Family
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Temple to Aten at Akhetaten
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Ramses the Great
Egypt expanded empire
• Fought campaigns in Nubia and Syria
• A new foe around 1250 BC: Hittites invaded from Mesopotamia
Confrontation with Hittites
• Ramses the Great vs. Hittites = truce signed
• Ramses married Hittite princess and conflict ended
Ramses’ rule
• Reign marked with extravagant splendor
• Built more temples and monuments than other pharaohs;
political/artistic achievements
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Avaris (Pi-Ramesses)
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Ramesseum
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Abu Simbel
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Ramesses II Temple at Abu Simbel
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Nefertari's Temple at Abu Simbel
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Egypt’s Decline
• Ramses’ successors faced challenges to
authority
• Major invasions of Egypt
– Sea Peoples devastated empires
– Ended Hittite Empire, weakened Egypt’s control
of Syria
• Egypt broke into small states
– Foreign rulers over next 700 years
– Kushites, Libyans, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks,
and Rome
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Question:
How did Egypt grow and change during the
New Kingdom?
Answer(s): built strong military, created own
empire, increased trade
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“History, n. An account mostly false, of
events mostly unimportant, which are
brought about by rulers mostly knaves,
and soldiers mostly fools.”
- Ambrose Bierce
Wearing headphones for just an hour will
increase bacteria in you ear by 700x.
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Egyptian Culture
Main Idea
The ancient Egyptians are famous for their
religion, their burial practices, and their
advances in art, writing and science.
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Egyptian Religion
Egyptians worshipped many gods (polytheistic)
• Some from the earliest days of the Old Kingdom
• Believed that gods controlled all natural events
Chief gods and goddesses
• God of sun always a key figure, Re in Old Kingdom
• Later linked to sky god, Amon (Amon-Re)
• Sun god temple at Karnak the largest ever built in Egypt
Anubis
• The protector of the dead, weighed souls to decide fate
• Light souls had been good in life and were rewarded; unworthy souls
fed to terrible monster
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Sun god temple at Karnak
Karnak
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The Sacred Lake of Precinct of Amun-Re
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Osiris, Isis and Horus
• Osiris introduced civilization into Egypt
• Brother Seth killed Osiris, scattered pieces of his body around Egypt
• Wife Isis reassembled pieces and brought Osiris back to life
• Osiris became new judge of dead, replacing Anubis
Hathor and Thoth
• Hathor was the cow-headed goddess of love
• Thoth was the god of wisdom
• There were also local gods with power over small areas or single
households
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Re (Ra)
Amon
Anubis
Osiris
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Seth (Set)
Isis
Horus
Hathor
Thoth
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Temples and Religious Practices
Temples built to honor, provide homes for gods
Ruins can still be seen in Egypt
• Features
– Decorated with massive statues
– Elaborate paintings, detailed carvings
• Obelisks
– Tall, thin pillars with pyramid-shaped tops
– Made from single piece of stone
– Carved with intricate designs
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Temples and Religious Practices
• Rituals to fulfill gods’ needs
– Cleaned and refreshed statue of god daily
– This kept gods alive
– In return gods would bring Egypt prosperity
• Priests had responsibility for care
– Common people had no part in rituals
– Ordinary Egyptians never entered temples
– People worshiped gods at annual festivals
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Question:
What religious practices did the Egyptians
follow to honor their gods?
Answer(s): They built temples to honor them and
provide homes for them. In the temples, priests
performed rituals to fulfill the gods' needs.
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Mummification and Burial
Central to Egyptian religion was the belief in an afterlife, a land of the
dead where souls would go to live. Because of this belief, Egyptians
developed elaborate rituals regarding death and burial.
Teachings
Mummification
• Physical body dies,
releases ka
• Developed process
to prevent
breakdown of body
• Ka was individual’s
personality
• Ka needed food
and drink to survive
• Sought to prevent
decomposition so
ka would not vanish
Process
• Internal organs
removed
• Heart left in body
• Mummification
only for kings, royal
family at first
• Body wrapped with
linen strips
• Process available
later to any who
could afford
• Features painted
on mummy to help
ka recognize its
body
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Burial
Possessions
• Dead Egyptians buried with possessions needed for afterlife
• Food and drink for the ka
• Pharaohs and nobles buried also with treasures and riches
Pharaohs’ tombs
• Filled with statues of servants
• Egyptians thought statues would come to life to serve ka
• Also contained models of animals, chariots and boats
Decorations
• Walls painted with scenes from person’s life
• Walls painted with stories about the gods
• Egyptians believed figures would come to life and maximize ka’s happiness
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Four sons of Horus, the guardians of the organs: Imsety (manheaded): liver; Hapy (baboon-headed): Lungs; Duamutef (jackalheaded): stomach; Qebehsenuef (falcon-headed): intestines
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Question:
How did beliefs about the afterlife shape
Egyptian burial practices?
Answer(s): Egyptians believed in an afterlife for
the ka, or life force. The ka needed food and drink
to survive, so both were buried with bodies. Great
care was taken to keep the body from
decomposing so that the ka would not shrivel
away and vanish.
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Daily Life
Burial Practices
Social Structure
• Archeologists learned much from
items buried in tombs and images
painted on tomb walls (pictures of
society, culture)
• Highly layered: 1) Pharaoh, 2)
nobles/priests, 3) artisans, scribes,
merchants, doctors, etc., 4)
peasants and slaves
Social Structure
• 90% of society were peasant
farmers
• Sometimes recruited to build large
public works, pyramids
• Recruited also for mines, army
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Class System
Pharaoh above all
Ruling Class-Nobles (government offices
and large homes) and priests
Middle Class- Merchants, Scribes,
Physicians, Soldiers, and Skilled Workers
Peasants and Slaves- Largest groupFarmers and they gave 3/5 of the crop to
the pharaoh
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Daily Life
Slaves
• Slaves were not a large part of the
population
• Most convicted criminals or prisoners
of war
• More slaves in New Kingdom
Home and Family Life
• Varied from class to class
• Pharaohs had more than one wife,
most men only one
• Pharaohs married sisters to keep
royal blood pure
Status
• Egyptian society less rigid than other
ancient civilizations
• Possible to move up in society
• Becoming scribe the fastest way to
gain status
Houses
• Most lived as family units with father
as head of household
• Poor families lived in huts
• Rich families had brick homes
• Noble families lived in palaces
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Daily Life
Women and Children
Appearance and Customs
• Woman’s primary duty to
care for home and children
• Egyptians paid close
attention to their appearance
• Egyptian women had more
rights, could work outside
home
• Many shaved heads, wore
wigs, as well as perfume and
makeup
• Could be priestess, own
property, divorce husband
• Few children educated
• Clothing of linen and wool
• Children wore no clothes until
adolescence
• Enjoyed sports, fishing,
sailing and board games
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Question:
How did life differ for rich and poor
Egyptians?
Answer(s): Rich had large homes, poor might live
in tiny huts; wealthy men wore longer skirts or
robes than peasants; wealthy men and women
often wore gold jewelry.
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Art, Writing, and Science
Ancient Egyptian civilization lasted more than 2,000 years and made
many tremendous advances, particularly in art, literature and science.
Egyptian Art
• Very distinctive and easily
distinguished from art of other
ancient civilizations
• Paintings
–
–
–
–
Detailed and colorful
Stories of gods
Pictures of daily life
Most on walls of tombs,
temples
– Some in manuscripts
Egyptian Statues
• Statues
– Large, imposing
– Most show gods,
pharaohs
– Show power and
majesty
• Great Sphynx, the largest
and most famous
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Egyptian Writing
The Egyptians were prolific writers who recorded events in great detail
and composed beautiful songs and stories. However, before they could
create even the simplest tale, they needed a system of writing.
Hieroglyphics
• The main Egyptian writing system
• Uses picture symbols to represent
objects
Other Systems
• Two other systems for texts that
needed to be written more quickly
• Hieratic, religious texts
• formal writing, stone monuments,
religious texts
• Demotic, legal and literary writings
• Difficult to learn, time consuming
• Made on wood, pottery and papyrus
• Simpler and less attractive
Egyptians used the pulp of the papyrus plant that grew along the Nile to
make paperlike sheets. Many papyrus scrolls are still readable today.
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Egyptian Writing
Historians could not decipher hieroglyphs until…
• Rosetta Stone
– Discovered near Nile Delta village of Rosetta in 1799
– Long passages of writing on the broken stone
• Same text in hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek
– Using Greek as guide, hieroglyphs and demotic
meanings revealed
– Unlocked the mystery of Egyptian writing
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Jean-François Champollion: Translator of the Stone
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Egyptian Math
• Egyptians had thorough understanding of basic arithmetic
• Understood basic principles of geometry
• Arithmetic + Geometry + Engineering = Pyramids
Egyptian Science
• Greatest scientific advances were in medicine: masters of
human anatomy
• Doctors treated wounds, performed surgery, used
medicines made from plants and animals, and prescribed
regimens of basic hygiene to prevent illness
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Question:
What advances did the ancient Egyptians
make in art, writing, and science?
Answer(s): detailed, colorful paintings, large,
imposing statues, developed several writing
systems, grasp of geometry and engineering,
anatomy
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