Egypt Fall 2014

Aim: Does Ancient Egypt Deserve to be Called a
Classical Civilization?
Do Now: Is it likely that aliens built the pyramids?
Something that is classic
stands the test of time.
I The Geography of Egypt
A) The Nile River was the center of Egyptian civilization. Close to the Nile was rich
“black” soil. Away from the Nile was “red” desert.
B) The source of the Nile begins south of Egypt and flows north into the
Mediterranean Sea.
C) The Nile floods yearly. The floods were usually predictable, and were necessary for
farming. The Egyptians dug irrigation canals connecting to the Nile to help
guarantee better crops.
D) To control the floods, the Egyptians built dams.
The Nile
II Ancient Egypt Becomes a Civilization
A) Ancient Egypt originally was two separate kingdoms; Upper Egypt
and Lower Egypt.
B) 3100 Pharaoh Menes united Upper and Lower Egypt into one
kingdom. He created the first Egyptian dynasty (family of rulers).
C) Pharaohs had absolute power. They claimed divine right; their
power came from the gods.
3100 – 2686
First pyramid ever built;
the step pyramid at
2686 – 2181
Pyramids at Giza and
the Sphinx were built.
2055 – 1650
Egypt forced Hyksos
invaders out of Egypt.
Egypt expanded. Large
temples such as Abu
Simbel and Karnak
were built.
Pre Dynastic Egypt
Egyptians used to bury their dead in a mastaba (rectangular tomb).
The Pharaoh Djoser was the first to have several mastabas stacked
on top of each other, creating the first Egyptian step-pyramid at
The Bent and Red Pyramids
Sneferu built the first “true”
pyramid during the Old
Kingdom… but his engineers
were still working out the
The Pharaoh Sneferu was finally
able to build a “perfect” pyramid;
the Red Pyramid. Unfortunately for
him, he died before it was
The Old Kingdom
The Pyramids of Giza are the only standing
wonder of the ancient world. The Sphinx (a
monument with the body of a lion and a
face of a pharaoh) lost its nose in the
Middle Ages by Muslim Arabs.
Pyramids at Giza
The three pyramids at Giza were built by three different Pharaohs! Khufu (the
tallest), Khafre, and Menkaure.
The Middle and Old Kingdoms
The Hyksos invaded Egypt during the Middle Kingdom. They introduced the chariot to Egypt.
Hatshepsut and Ramsesses II were important Pharaohs of the New Kingdom.
Hatshepsut’s Temple and Abu Simbel, New Kingdom
Hatshepsut was a female Pharaoh. She is often depicted being dressed as a man. She
fought with her brother/husband for power during her reign. After her death, her
brother tried to destroy as many statues of her as possible. Her temple was influenced
by Greek and Roman style temples. Abu Simbel was carved out of a sandstone cliff on
the west bank of the Nile.
III Ancient Egyptian Society
Egyptian Scribe
A) Ancient Egypt created one of the world’s first
bureaucracies! A bureaucracy is a group of officials
who are involved in running a government. In Egypt,
government officials controlled public works
projects such as irrigation canals and the building of
B) Egyptian women enjoyed more freedom and
rights than in most other ancient civilizations. They
could buy and sell property, divorce, and work in
most professions.
Nefertiti was Pharaoh of
Egypt in the New
Kingdom. She was
considered to be the most
beautiful woman in the
IV Ancient Egyptian Religion
A) Ancient Egyptian religion was polytheistic.
- Pharaoh Amenhotep in the New Kingdom tried to switch the religion to
monotheism (belief in one god; in this case the sun god), but as soon as he
died Egypt returned to polytheism.
B) Priests performed rituals to please the gods in their temples.
C) Because the Nile floods were usually predictable, Egyptians believed the gods were
happy, and therefore that the afterlife would be paradise.
Egyptians believed that after death, your heart was
placed on a scale with a feather. If your heart was equal
in weight to the feather, you would continue onto
paradise in a boat. If not, your heart would be devoured
by the goddess Amemet.
Pharaoh Amenhotep
Egyptian Religion Continued…
D) Egyptians believed that in the afterlife, your soul will reenter your
body, leading to your resurrection. This is why they practiced
As much of the brain… is extracted through the nostrils with an iron
hook... the the entire contents of the abdomen removed. The cavity is
then filled with aromatic substances [herbs]... The incision is sewn up,
and then the body is placed in natron [a type of salt], covered entirely for
70 days... the body is washed and then wrapped from the head to the
feet in linen which has been cut into strips and smeared on the underside
with gum [similar to glue]. -Herodotus, Greek Historian 450 BCE
The heart and other organs
viewed as vital for the afterlife
were preserved in canopic jars.
Did you know? Tobacco was one of the
items used to stuff the cavities of the
False toe found
on an
female mummy.
Ramses I, Found in the Valley of the Kings
Unidentified mummy
wrapped in linen.
V Achievements in Arts & Science
A) Egyptians built their pyramids, statues and monuments out of stone.
*A strong workforce and planning was necessary. These were often
decorated with carved pictures and hieroglyphics.
Stele of Amenemhat, c. 2000 BCE
Stele are inscribed stone slabs.
Obelisks are standing stone pillars.
Obelisk of Hatshepsut,
Temple at Karnak, c.
Achievements in Arts & Science Continued…
Ramps may have been lubricated
with water to reduce friction. Another
theory is that pulleys were used.
Why do you think the pyramids
were built on the western side of
the Nile?
Achievements in Arts & Science Continued…
C) Egyptians were writing hieroglyphics (sacred carvings) by 3300 BCE; it is one of the
earliest forms of writing! Hieroglyphics can be read left to right, right to left, up to
down, or down to up!
D) Egyptians created a type of paper from the papyrus plant.
Scribes (writers) would soak slices
of papyrus to make them
bendable, then layer them and
press them until dry.
Rosetta Stone, 196 BCE
In 1799 soldiers from Napoleon’s
army found the Rosetta Stone that
was written in ancient Greek,
Egyptian hieroglyphics, and a script
form of Egyptian. It led to the
decoding of a once mysterious
VI Does King Tut deserve his fame?
A) Tutankhamun (1341 – 1323 BCE) from the New
Kingdom became Pharaoh at 9 years old.
B) Recent DNA studies shows that he had malaria, and
a bone disorder (possibly due to incest in his family).
C) In 1922, Howard Carter discovered his tomb buried
under another tomb! This is why King “Tut” became so
famous; grave robbers had not been able to find his
Valley of the Kings, Site of King Tut’s Tomb
By the New Kingdom, pharaohs preferred to be
buried in the Valley of the Kings, to make it more
difficult for grave robbers to find their tombs.
VII What happened to ancient Egypt?
332 BCE Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and added it
to his growing empire.
Key Vocabulary
Abu Simbel
Black Land
Canopic Jars
Divine Right
Early Dynastic Period
Howard Carter
Lower Egypt
Middle Kingdom
New Kingdom
Nile River
Old Kingdom
 Papyrus
 Pharaoh Amenhotep
 Pharaoh Djoser’s Step
Pyramid at Saqqara
 Pharaoh Hatshepsut
 Pharaoh Menes
 Polytheism
 Pyramids at Giza
 Red Land
 Scribes
 Sneferu’s Bent Pyramid
and Red Pyramid
 Sphinx
 Stele
 Tutankhamun
 Upper Egypt
Summary Questions
1. How did geography impact Egyptian civilization?
Was it more helpful or hurtful?
2. How do you know that Egyptians built the
3. What was mummification and why did Egyptians
do it?
4. Does Egypt deserve to be called a classical
civilization? Why or why not?

similar documents