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 Delta 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. ANCIENT EGYPTIAN HISTORY EARLY DYNASTIC 3100 – 2686 BCE First pyramid ever built; the step pyramid at Saqqara. OLD KINGDOM 2686 – 2181 BCE Pyramids at Giza and the Sphinx were built. MIDDLE KINGDOM 2055 – 1650 BCE Egypt forced Hyksos invaders out of Egypt. NEW KINGDOM 1550-1069 BCE 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 Saqqara. The Bent and Red Pyramids Sneferu built the first “true” pyramid during the Old Kingdom… but his engineers were still working out the kinks. The Pharaoh Sneferu was finally able to build a “perfect” pyramid; the Red Pyramid. Unfortunately for him, he died before it was completed. 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 temples. 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 world. 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 mummification. 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 mummies. False toe found on an unidentified 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 language. 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 tomb. 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 Delta Divine Right Early Dynastic Period Hieroglyphics Howard Carter Hyksos Lower Egypt Mastaba Middle Kingdom Mummification New Kingdom Nile River Obelisks 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 pyramids? 3. What was mummification and why did Egyptians do it? 4. Does Egypt deserve to be called a classical civilization? Why or why not?