Early Egyptian Civilization Development Early Cities Writing Egypt • Nile river valley, to the west of the red sea. – 7000-simple farming and cattle domestication. – By 5000 small kingdoms and villages dotted the valley. • Proto-Kingdoms of Upper Egypt – Nagada, ca. 5500. • walled town with cemetaries. • capital of a major chiefdom. – Hierakonpolis, ca. 5500 • “City of the Falcon” • city-states with royal tombs. – Maadi, ca. 5650. • outskirts of modern Cairo • major trading center. – This, ca. 5500. • little is known. Unification of Upper and Lower Egypt • ca. 5000 B.C. – Rulers of Hierakonpolis conquered the area – Gradual process of Egypt formed into political and social units. • Intensification of Agriculture – may have been a consequence of unification. – irrigation became more complex •The Nile River rises from the lakes of central Africa as the White Nile and from the mountains of Ethiopia as the Blue Nile. •The White and Blue Nile meet at Khartoum and flow together northward to the Nile delta, where the 4000 mile course of this river ends at the Mediterranean Sea. http://www.grid.unep.ch/acti vities/sustainable/nile/nile_g ooglemap.html © 1998 Oriental Institute, University of Chicago Farming and The Nile • Less than two inches of rain per year falls in the delta and rain is relatively unknown in other parts of Egypt. Most of the land is uninhabitable. • These geographical factors have determined the character of Egyptian civilization. – People could farm only along the banks of the Nile, where arid sand meets the fertile soil. – The river overflows its banks and floods the land with fresh water and deposits a thick layer of rich alluvial soil. – The land would then yield two harvests before winter. Nagada (4200-3050 BC) • Nagada was a city in pre-dynastic Upper Egypt, representing a major culture of that time. • Flinders Petrie unearthed three cemeteries at Nagada that contained 2200 graves, the largest mortuary in pre-dynastic Egypt. – Along with the human remains, Petrie found mudbricks, dog bones, and pottery. In later excavations, piles of mudbrick from collapsed walls were found. – This suggests that Nagada was the precursor to the burial monuments constructed by later Egyptian civilizations. – Other items included copper, ivory, bone and shell jewelry, and small model figurines of humans, oxen and boats, together with model weapons and food. These item were believed to have magical purposes and helped with ensure that the dead would have a content afterlife. • The people who lived in Nagada were followers of the god Seth, the god who killed Osiris, the god of the dead. Nagada is considered to be the center for the followers of Seth. Predynastic terracotta figurine http://aic.stanford.edu/jaic/articles/j aic42-02-004.html Hierakonpolis • Hierakonpolis was one of the most important settlement along the Nile – a city with many features that would later come to typify Dynastic Egyptian civilization. • Stretching for over 2 miles along the edge of the Nile flood plain, it was a city of many neighborhoods and quarters. Hierakonpolis Mummies • Over the past five years the Hierakonpolis Expedition has been excavating a cemetery (HK43) of Predynastic Hierakonpolis’ working class inhabitants. • Among the 260 burials so far uncovered we have found some which revealed evidence for what may be the very beginnings of artificial mummification. • This took the form of wrapping the head and hands with pads of linen. Pottery found in association with these burials indicates a date not later than Nagada IIb (c. 3600BC)-a good 500 years before the next evidence of mummification will be found in a tomb of a king. • Burial 71 •Burial 71was found covered in matting and buried with seven pots. •In one pot there were round loaves of bread almost 6000 years old. •Beneath the matting, her body was covered in a linen shroud, her neck and her hands were found bound in linen. •Further examination of her remains has revealed what appears to be one of her internal organs also wrapped in resin-soaked linen before being returned to the chest cavity where it was recovered. •Aged 20-25 at the time of her death, she had the second richest burial with regard to the number of grave goods so far found. Maadi (3600-3000 BC) • In Lower Egypt, a predynastic site was uncovered in the 1930's by Menghin and Amer. • Maadi is a unique predynastic site. It is located on what used to be the Wadi el-Tih, an historical route to the copper mines of the Sinai Peninsula. – There is also evidence of foreign house styles and pottery, domesticated donkeys, intricate storage facilities and an advanced copper industry. – In 3600 BC, foreign trade goods started to reach Egypt having a great effect on the communities in Lower Egypt. The prosperity of the trade networks later lead to vast settlements in Egypt such as Memphis and the settlement at Cairo. • Maadi con’d • The Maadi settlement covered about 45 acres of land. – Almost all of the houses were oval in shape and constructed with post walls and mud-daub wicker frame. – These homes had entrances through a slanting passage with steps that were faced in stone. • Unlike many of the grave sites in Egypt, the Maadi culture had very simple burials. – These types of burials have distinguished the Lower societies from the Upper societies in Egypt. – The grave sites are located south of the settlement about 1 km. In the 1950s, 468 burials were discovered over an acre of land. Maadi location http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/maadi.htm Maadi South Cemetery http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/maadi.htm Dynasties • Narmer unified Upper and Lower Egypt and established his capital at Memphis (Thebes) around 3000 B.C.. • Considered to be divine, he stood above the priests and was the only individual who had direct contact with the gods. • The economy was a royal monopoly and so there was no word in Egyptian for "trader." • Under the king was a carefully graded hierarchy of officials, ranging from the governors of provinces down through local mayors and tax collectors. • The entire system was supported by the work of slaves, peasants and artisans. Chronology of Egypt NAME DYNASTY YEARS Archaic Period 1-2 3100-2700 B.C. Old Kingdom 3-6 2700-2200 B.C. Intermediate Period 7-10 2200-2050 B.C. Middle Kingdom 11-12 2050-1800 B.C. Intermediate Period 13-17 1800-1570 B.C. New Kingdom 18-20 1570-1085 B.C. Post-Empire 21-31 1085-332 B.C. Old Kingdom • The Old Kingdom reached its highest stage of development in the Fourth Dynasty. • The most signs of greatness are the three enormous pyramids built as the tombs of kings at Giza between 2600 and 2500. • The largest, Khufu (called Cheops by the Greeks), was originally 481 feet high and 756 feet long on each side. • Khufu was made up of 2.3 million stone blocks averaging 2.5 tons each. – In the 5th century B.C. the Greek historian Herodotus tells us that the pyramid took 100,000 men and twenty years to build. Middle Kingdom • During the period of the Middle Kingdom (20501800 B.C.) the power of the pharaohs of the Old Kingdom waned as priests and nobles gained more independence and influence. • The governors of the regions of Egypt (nomes) gained hereditary claim to their offices and subsequently their families acquired large estates. • About 2200 B.C. the Old Kingdom collapsed and gave way to the decentralization of the First Intermediate Period (2200-2050 B.C.). • Finally, the nomarchs of Thebes in Upper Egypt gained control of the country and established the Middle Kingdom. thth 12 17 Dynasty • The rulers of the Twelfth Dynasty restored the power of the pharaoh over the whole of Egypt although they could not control the nomarchs. • They moved the capital back to Memphis and gave great prominence to Amon, a god connected with the city of Thebes. He became identified with Re, emerging as Amon-Re. • The Middle Kingdom disintegrated in the Thirteenth Dynasty with the resurgence of the power of the nomarchs. • Around 1700 B.C. Egypt suffered an invasion by the Hyksos who came from the east (perhaps Palestine or Syria) and conquered the Nile Delta. • In 1575 B.C., a Thebian dynasty drove out the Hyksos and reunited the kingdom. New Kingdom • Egyptians begin burying their Rulers in the Valley of the Kings. • When young Amenhotep IV (1367-1350 B.C.) came to the throne he was apparently determined to resist the priesthood of Amon. • He moved his capital from Thebes (the center of Amon worship) to a city three hundred miles to the north at a place now called El Amarna. • Its god was Aton, the physical disk of the sun, and the new city was called Akhenaton. • The pharaoh changed his name to Akhenaton ("it pleases Aton"). The new god was different from any that had come before him, for he was believed to be universal, not merely Egyptian. Tutankhamon • Akhenaton’s chosen successor was put aside and replaced by Tutankhamon (1347-1339 B.C.), the husband of one of the daughters of Akhenaton and his wife, Nefertiti. • The new pharaoh restored the old religion and wiped out as much as he could of the memory of the worship of Aton. He restored Amon to the center of the Egyptian pantheon, abandoned El Amarna, and returned the capital to Thebes. • The end of the El Amarna age restored power to the priests of Amon and to the military officers. Horemhab, a general, restored order and recovered much of the lost empire. He referred to Akhenaton as "the criminal of Akheton" and erased his name from the records. The Boy King • King Tutankhamun was not even in the same category of achievement as the great Egyptian kings such as Khufu, Amenhotep III, or Ramesses II. • On November 26, 1922, Howard Carter made archaeological history by unearthing the first Egyptian pharaonic tomb that still contained most of its treasures. • This tomb also yielded something else that had never been found in modern history – the mummy of an Egyptian king, laying intact in his original burial furniture. Carter outside Tut’s tomb Tut’s sarcophagus And funeral mask Some Jewelry and Ornaments from King Tut’s Tomb Bracelets, Possibly Anklets Ivory and Stone Bracelets Openwork Gold Buckle Pendant Depicting the Solar Beetle Flanked by Baboons Gold Pendant with Various Deities Bracelet with Scarabs and Netjer-ankh Holding the Symbols of Infinity Composite Udjat Eye Pectoral Vulture Pendant Religion • The priests, an important body within the ruling caste, were a social force working to modify the king's supremacy. • Yielding to the demands of the priests of Re, a sun god, kings began to call themselves "sons of Re," adding his name as a suffix to their own. • Re was also worshipped in temples that were sometimes larger than the pyramids of later kings. Gods • The creator of all things was either Re (Ra), Amun, Ptah, Khnum or Aton (also Atum, Aten), depending on which version of the myth was currently in use. • The heavens were represented by Hathor, Bat, and Horus. Osiris was an earth god as was Ptah. The annual flooding of the Nile was Hapi. • Storms, evil and confusion were Seth. His counterpart was Ma'at, who represented balance, justice and truth. • The moon was Thoth and Khonsu. • Re, the sun god, took on many forms, and transcended most of the borders that contained the other gods. The actual shape of the sun, the disk (or, aten), was deified into another god, Aten. God Horus (from Tut’s tomb) God Ptah (from Tut’s Tomb) The Afterlife • The Egyptians had a very clear idea of the afterlife. They took great care to bury their dead according to convention and supplied the grave with things that the departed would need for a pleasant life after death. • The pharaoh and some nobles had their bodies preserved in a process of mummification. Their tombs were decorated with paintings, food was provided at burial and after. Some tombs even included full sized sailing vessels for the voyage to heaven and beyond. • At first, only pharaohs were thought to achieve eternal life, however, nobles were eventually included, and finally all Egyptians could hope for immortality. Mummification • A period of seventy days was required for the preparation of the mummy, and each step in the procedure was co-ordinated with relevant priestly ceremonies. • The embalmers' shop might be a fixed place, as in the case of those connected with the larger temples. Often, however, it was a movable tent which could be set up near the home of the deceased. • Removal of those parts most subject to putrefaction was the initial step in preparing a corpse for mummification. • The liver, the lungs, the stomach, and the intestines were each placed in a separate jar, the Canopic Jars. Canopic Jars Mummification • Next came the preservation of the body itself. – Natron, a mixture of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate, with sodium chloride (common salt) and sodium sulphate as impurities, was used. Natron occurs in Egypt in a few places. Water containing natron in solution comes to the surface and is evaporated, leaving the natron as surface deposits. • Small parcels of natron wrapped in linen were placed inside the body. The outside was covered with loose natron or packages of linen-wrapped natron. The dry atmosphere of Egypt accelerated the desiccation process. • The skin was coveredwith coniferous resins, and the body cavity was packed with wads of linen soaked in the same material. Wrapped Mummy And Sarcophagus Tombs • Pyramids • Valley of the Kings • Valley of the Queens Egypt King Sneferu’s Bent Pyramid The Pyramid of Menkaure, son of Khafre. Khufu, son of King Sneferu. The Great Pyramid is the only surviving member of the Seven Wonders of the World (Height: 138.75 m (455.21 ft) Length of Side: 230.37). Valley of the Kings http://earth.google.com/intl/en/index.html Entry to the Valley of the Kings http://www.touregypt.net/kingtomb.htm The central area of the Valley of the Kings. Tutankhamun's tomb is just left of the shelter in the centre. Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu http://www.touregypt.net/kingtomb.htm The Queen • Nefertari, the favorite Queen of Ramses II, is known from myriad of her representations in the temple reliefs and colossi of the great king. • The dedication to her, jointly with the goddess Hathor, of the small rock temple to the north of the great temple at Abu Simbel, shows how great her influence with Ramses II must have been. Some Egyptologists think she was probably a daughter of King Seti 1, and thus sister or half sister of Ramses II. Other Egyptologists, however, think that her designation as "Hereditary Princess" might be in some way connected with her being representative of the Thebes. Egyptian Hieroglyphics • The Egyptians used many materials and had a much different writing system than their neighbors of Mesopotamia. • Egyptian texts in hieroglyphs were inscribed in wood and/or stone, and written on papyrus. • The word hieroglyph originates from the Greek word heiros meaning sacred and glyphs meaning sculpture. This was due to the fact that they were almost exclusively inscribed on the walls of sacred temples and public monuments. Hieroglyphic Writing • Documented around 5100, may have been traded in from Mesopotamia. • Hieroglyphics which are pictographs and phonetics. – written on papyrus, clay, buildings. – Egypt developed its own script. Rosetta Stone • The Rosetta Stone: - A royal decree promulgated by Ptolemy V in 196 BCE, written in hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek. - Found by the French at Rosetta (el Rashid) in the Delta in 1799. - Was crucial for the decipherment of hieroglyphs by Champollion in 1822. Papyrus • The writing medium most common to the ancient Egyptians was papyrus. • This paper-like material was easy to use, handle, transport, and make. The word papyrus comes from the Greek word payros, which is believed to have come from the ancient Egyptian word papuro, which means "the royal". • This name is believed to have originated due to the great monopoly the Egyptians had in the manufacturing of papyrus. Writing Development • Throughout their more than 3.000 year long history, the Ancient Egyptians used three kinds of writings to write religious and secular texts: – hieroglyphic, – hieratic and, – from the 25th Dynasty on, demotic. Hieroglyphic Hieroglyphic signs on stone at the Louvre Museum. Hieroglyphic Cursive The Papyrus of Ani uses a special, more cursive form of hieroglyphic writing. Hieratic The 'Satire of Professions', boasting the profession of scribe, found on a wooden board in Deir el-Medina, written in hieratic. Demotic 26th Dynasty contract, written in demotic. Changes in Writing • It is important to note that no type of writing would entirely replace another, but it would merely restrict the other writings to specific domains and be restricted itself to other domains. Thus demotic would become the writing of the administration from the 26th Dynasty on, but it did not entirely replace hieratic as a handwriting, which was still being used in religious texts. • Hieratic, did not replace hieroglyphic either. From its beginnings, hieratic was hieroglyphic, but more cursive and written by a speedier hand. As the two writings evolved, practicality caused hieratic to be used when a text need not be written in the slow but detailed hieroglyphic signs and was used in administrative texts, texts that were not to be inscribed on monuments or on funerary objects Cleopatra: An Ancient Soap Opera • Cleopatra VII, daughter of Ptolemy XII (r.51-30) ruled jointly with her younger brother Ptolemy XIII for three years, when they had a falling out which developed into a civil war. • The Roman general Pompey, pursued by Julius Caesar, came to Egypt in 48 BCE and was murdered by Ptolemy's courtiers. Caesar sided with Cleopatra, whose lover he became and defeated Ptolemy. • He left Egypt for Rome, where Cleopatra followed him with their son Caesarion. After Caesar's murder in 44 B.C. she returned to Egypt, had her husband Ptolemy XIV murdered and tried to keep neutral in the Roman civil war. http://touregypt.net/cleopatr.htm • In 41 BCE she met Mark Antony at Tarsus and became his mistress (divorcing Octavian’s sister). • In 34 Caesarion became co-ruler in an attempt to gain popularity, while Octavian's propaganda described them as rowdy and decadent pleasure seekers. • At the sea battle of Actium the Egyptian navy was decisively defeated and Antony and Cleopatra fled to Alexandria. Almost a year later, Octavian conquered Alexandria, Mark Antony committed suicide and Cleopatra, when she failed to come to an agreement with the Romans, did likewise (30 BCE). • Her son, Caesarion (Ptolemy XV), was murdered, and Egypt became a Roman province.
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