Chapter 4 : Ancient Egypt and Kush

Chapter 4 :
Ancient Egypt and Kush
Chapter 4 Section 1
Geography and Ancient Egypt
• The Nile River is the most important thing in
• The Nile is the longest river in the world.
• It stretches about 4000 miles in Africa.
• Egyptian civilizations developed along a 750
mile stretch of the Nile in northern Africa.
Chapter 4 Section 1
• Ancient Egypt included 2 regions.
- Upper Egypt – which was the southern
region (Upstream)
- Lower Egypt – which was the northern
region (Downstream)
• They were named for the way the river flows,
from the south to the north.
Chapter 4 Section 1
• The Nile slices through the desert creating a
fertile river valley about 13 miles wide.
• Cataracts – are strong rapids in the river
• These rapids made traveling the Nile river very
difficult in Upper Egypt.
Chapter 4 Section 1
• Delta – a triangle-shaped area of land made of
soil deposited by a river.
• The Nile Delta is located in Lower Egypt.
• 2/3 of Egypt’s fertile farmland was located in
the Nile Delta.
• Flooding was predictable in the Nile,
midsummer in Upper Egypt and in the fall in
Lower Egypt.
Chapter 4 Section 1
• Silt from the Nile made the soil ideal for
• Egyptians saw the flooding as a life-giving
• Without the floods, Egypt would have never
been settled.
Chapter 4 Section 1
• Farmers in Egypt developed an irrigation
system, like in Mesopotamia.
• They also built a series of canals that could be
used in the dry months to direct water from
the basins to the fields where it was needed.
• The Nile provided the Egyptians with an
abundance of food.
Chapter 4 Section 1
• In addition to stable food supply, the Nile
Valley offered a natural barrier that made
Egypt hard to invade.
• The west was to big and harsh to cross, the
Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea also
provided protection as well.
Chapter 4 Section 1
• Around 3100 BC – Menes became the king in
Upper Egypt.
• He wanted to unify Upper Egypt and Lower
• His armies invaded and took control of Lower
• He married a princess from Lower Egypt to
strengthen his control over the unified
Chapter 4 Section 1
• Menes wore both the white crown of Upper
Egypt and the red crown of Lower Egypt.
• This symbolized his leadership over the 2
• Later he would combine the 2 crowns into a
double crown.
• Menes was considered Egypt’s 1st pharaoh.
• He also founded Egypt’s 1st dynasty.
Chapter 4 Section 1
• Dynasty – is a series of rulers from the same
• Menes built a new capital city at the southern
tip of the Nile Delta and was later named
• The 1st dynasty lasted about 200 years.
• The pharaohs after Menes all wore the double
crown symbolizing their rule over both Upper
and Lower Egypt.
Chapter 4 Section 2
• The 1st and 2nd Dynasties ruled Egypt for about
4 centuries.
• The 3rd Dynasty began the Old Kingdom.
• It lasted from about 2700 BC to 2200 BC.
• During the 3rd Dynasty they believed that the
pharaoh was both a king and a god.
• The pharaohs status as a god came with many
Chapter 4 Section 2
• People blamed him if crops didn’t grow well or
if disease struck the kingdom.
• The most famous pharaoh of the Old Kingdom
was Khufu. (2500 BC)
• He is best known for the monuments that
were built for him.
Chapter 4 Section 2
Egyptian Society
Pharaohs – king or god
Nobles – officials and priest
Scribes and Craftspeople – wrote and
produced goods
Farmers, Servants and Slaves
Chapter 4 Section 2
• The Egyptians had gods for nearly everything.
• Many gods mixed human and animal forms.
• Ex. Anubis – the god of the dead, had a
human body but the head of a jackal.
• Re or Amon-Re – the sun god
• Osiris – the god of the underworld
• Isis – the goddess of magic
• Horus – a sky god and god of the pharaohs
Chapter 4 Section 2
• Much of Egyptian religion focused on the
afterlife, or life after death.
• ka – a person’s life force
• When a person died, his or her ka left the
body and became a spirit.
• To fulfill the ka’s needs, people filled tombs
with objects for the afterlife. These objects
included furniture, clothing, tools, jewelry and
Chapter 4 Section 2
• The Egyptians believed that the body should
be preserved.
• They developed a method called embalming.
• Embalming allowed bodies to be preserved for
many, many years as mummies.
• Mummies were specially treated bodies
wrapped in cloth.
Chapter 4 Section 2
• Embalming was a complex process that took
several weeks.
• Once embalmed and wrapped the mummy
would be placed in a coffin.
• Only royalty and the wealthy could afford to
have mummies made.
Chapter 4 Section 2
• Huge monuments were built to bury their
rulers in.
• Pyramids – huge royal tombs with four
triangle-shaped walls that met in a point at
the top
• The size of the pyramid depended on the
greatness of the pharaoh.
Chapter 4 Section 2
• The largest pyramid is the Great Pyramid of
Khufu near the town of Giza
Chapter 4 Section 3
• Mentuhotep II rule began the Middle
Kingdom, a period of order and stability that
lasted until about 1750 BC.
• Hyksos was a group from Southwest Asia that
invaded Egypt.
• They ruled Lower Egypt for about 200 years.
• They Egyptians did not like being occupied by
the Hyksos.
Chapter 4 Section 3
• Eventually the Egyptians fought back.
• In the mid-1500’s, Ahmose of Thebes drove
the Hyksos out of Egypt.
• Ahmose rise to power marked the beginning
of the New Kingdom.
• Conquest of other lands expanded the new
empire. Egyptian trade also began to grow.
Chapter 4 Section 3
• Queen Hatshepsut – increased Egyptian trade
• She expanded trade to the North and the
• She is also remembered for the many
monuments and temples built during her
Chapter 4 Section 3
• Ramses II or Ramses the Great – he had one of
the longest reigns of any pharaoh
• The Egyptians and the Hittites fought for many
years, and would eventually become allies of
each other.
• Ramses was a great warrior and a great
Chapter 4 Section 3
• After the Middle Kingdom, Egypt created a
professional army.
• This offered a chance to rise in social status.
• Soldiers received land as payment and kept
any treasure they captured in war.
• Farmers and peasants were at the bottom of
the social scale.
• They made the majority of the population.
Chapter 4 Section 4
• Hieroglyphics – Egyptian writing system
• Papyrus – a long-lasting, paper-like material
made from reeds.
• Rosetta Stone – a stone slab inscribed with
• The Book of the Dead – stories of the afterlife
• Sphinxes – imaginary creatures with the
bodies of a lion and the head of other animals
or humans.
Chapter 4 Section 4
• Obelisk – a tall four-sided pillar that is pointed
on the top.
• The sanctuary was the most sacred part of a
• 1922 King Tutankhamen’s tomb was found.
The tomb was filled with treasures, including
jewelry, robes, a burial mask and ivory statues.
Chapter 4 Section 5
• Nubia was south of Egypt.
• The Egyptians gave the Nubians the name
• Kush was a lot like Egypt.
• Today desert covers much of Nubia, at one
time it was a very fertile land.
• Kush and Egypt did a lot of trading with each
Chapter 4 Section 5
• Many buildings resembled those in Egypt.
• They developed their on written language called
Meroitic, historians have yet to be able to
understand it.
• The 1st women to rule Kush was Queen
• One major problem in Kush was that the cattle
overgraze the land, they ate all the grass and the
wind blew the soil away so no food could be

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