Notebook Entry: In your notebooks, please answer: If YOU lived there … You are a farmer in ancient Egypt. To you, the pharaoh is the god Horus as well as your ruler. You depend on his strength and wisdom. For part of the year, you are busy planting crops in your fields. But at other times of the year, you work for the pharaoh. You are helping to build a great tomb so that your pharaoh will be comfortable in the afterlife. How do you feel about working for the pharaoh? Ancient Egypt: The Old Kingdom Main Idea: 1. Life in the Old Kingdom was influenced by pharaohs, roles in society, and trade. 2. Religion shaped Egyptian life. 3. The pyramids were built as tombs for Egypt’s pharaohs. How was Egyptian government and religion were closely connected during the Old Kingdom? Early Egyptian Society • The Old Kingdom lasted for 500 years; 2700 - 2200 BC. • During those 500 years, Egyptians created a political system based on the belief that the pharaoh was both a king and a god. My name is Khufu, and I am the most famous pharaoh to rule in the 2500s BC. I’m most known for the monuments built for me. Ruled by Pharaohs WAR! RESPONSIBILITY! DISEASE! FLOOD! • Egyptians believed Egypt belonged to the gods and that pharaohs had come to earth to manage Egypt. • Since they were considered gods, he/she had ultimate power. • However, they were also blamed for wars, floods, and disease. • With so much responsibility and so many people to please, pharaohs hired government officials to help. • These officials usually came from the pharaohs’ families. CHECK! How long did the Old Kingdom last? What were the responsibilities of the pharaoh? Egyptian Social Structure Upper Class Middle Class Lower Class Egypt and Its Neighbors • During the Old Kingdom, Egypt began to trade with its neighbors. • Traders returned from Nubia with gold, ivory, slaves, and stone. • Traders traveled to Punt for incense and myrrh. Ivory is a hard white substance that is the bulk of the teeth and tusks of animals such as the elephant, hippopotamus, and walrus. Myrrh is resinous • They traveled to Syria for wood. dried sap from specific trees. It was used during the embalming process and burned as incense. Incense is a product that creates smoke when it is burned. It is created from many things including: woods, seeds, leaves, flowers, and barks. Religion and Egyptian Life Relatives would also bring food and water for the “ka.” • Many religious customs focused on what happened after people died, or the afterlife. • Egyptians believed the afterlife was an ideal world where everyone was young and healthy. • Egyptians believed the the idea of “ka,” which was a person’s life force. • When a person died, their “ka” left their bodies and became a spirit but remained at the burial site and couldn’t leave. • The “ka” had all the same needs that the person had when he or she was living. Objects Left for the “Ka.” Egypt’s Neighbors. Trading was a way of life. Gods of Ancient Egypt Amon-Re • Egyptians practiced polytheism. • Everyone was expected to worship the same gods. • Temples were built for gods all over the kingdom. • Major gods include: *Re, or Amon-Re, the sun god *Osiris, the god of the underworld *Isis, the goddess of magic *Horus, a sky god, god of the pharaohs * Anubis, weighed each dead person’s heart against the feather of truth. If they weighed the same amount, the person was allowed to pass to the underground. Isis Osiris I judge the souls of the dead. Horus Focus Check • Who was the Egyptian sun god? • What else did main Egyptian gods represent? • What does this worship of gods mean to the Egyptians? Burial Practices Peasant families buried their dead in shallow graves in the desert. The dry sand preserved bodies naturally. • • • • Embalming took weeks! It was a process that only elite could afford. WE BELIEVE IN THE AFTERLIFE! Egyptians believed bodies had to be preserved so a spirit could recognize it when it returned. So the “ka” did not suffer, Egyptians developed a process of embalming their dead. Embalming allowed bodies to remain preserved for many years as mummies, or specially treated bodies wrapped in cloth. • Only the ELITE (people of wealth) Burial Practices • The body’s organs were preserved in special containers, canopic jars, and kept next to the mummies. • The body was kept in a case called a sarcophagus. Based on what you know, Why do you think organs Were kept in jars? The Pyramids Egyptians’ understanding of engineering made it possible to build such outstanding structures. Engineering is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes. Tens of thousands of workers must have worked for decades to build the structures • Egyptians built pyramids in which to bury their rulers. • The largest pyramid was built for King Khufu and took more than 2 million limestone blocks. • Burial in a pyramid demonstrated a ruler’s importance. The larger the pyramid, the more important the ruler. • Egyptians believed that the happier the pharaoh in the afterlife, the happier the afterlife for all Egyptians. Pyramids Galore Reading Check • How do Egyptians see afterlife? How was ka different from the body? • How would you expect a pharaoh to be drawn on the walls of his tomb? • How would a pharaoh’s sarcophagus be different from a peasant’s?
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