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Egypt The civilization of Ancient Egypt dates back to around 3000 BC when the first pharaoh was established

as ruler of Upper and Lower Egypt. Many different dynasties ruled the country over almost 3000 years, but in 332 BC it was conquered by Alexander the Great and so became part of the Greek world. Ancient Egypt developed one of the earliest forms of writing, hieroglyphics, but very few people could read and write. Only a certain group of people were allowed to train to be scribes. Egyptian burial practices reveal information about religious beliefs, including the belief in an afterlife. This required the body to be preserved. We call this process mummification. Although Egypt was well resourced with raw materials and could produce crops in the fertile soil of the Nile valley, it still needed trade with neighbouring countries to acquire things it needed, such as wood and metals. Perhaps the most famous symbols of Ancient Egypt are the pyramids, built as tombs for pharaohs over four thousand years ago. We are still not certain about how they were constructed. The Great Pyramid The ancient Egyptians are well known for the large stone structures they built called 'pyramids'. Pyramids were built as tombs for the rulers of Egypt during a period of time that spanned hundreds of years, beginning in about 2600 B.C. Pyramids are some of the most well-known structures which survive from the ancient world. Through looking at these impressive structures we are able to learn about the beliefs and motivations of the people who built them. Building a pyramid The ancient Egyptians are well known for the large stone structures they built called 'pyramids'. Pyramids were built as tombs for the rulers of Egypt during a period of time that spanned hundreds of years, beginning in about 2600 BC. Pyramids are some of the most well-known structures which survive from the ancient world. They have been the subject of fascination, exploration and study for hundreds of years, yet we are still not sure how they were built. The design, labour and construction involved with a project of this size has baffled people trying to understand the pyramids. Through learning about one theory of how they were built, it is possible to begin to understand what a monumental achievement it was to build the pyramids.

Unravelling the Mummy One of the most important rituals connected with religion and burial in ancient Egypt was the careful preparation of bodies before burial known as mummification. Mummification was a special ritual which was performed in order to ensure that the body of the deceased would be properly prepared for the afterlife. In addition to the preparation of the body, special amulets were placed on the body to protect it and the body was wrapped with strips of linen. The wrapped body was then placed in a coffin which was decorated with symbols and images to help the deceased in the afterlife. Through learning about the amulets and decoration it is possible to begin to understand some of the importance of this ritual to the ancient Egyptians. Trading Partners Egypt had many important resources within its borders, including precious stones, metals and stone for buildings and sculptures. The fertile Nile valley also provided the Egyptians with good land to farm to produce crops for feeding the population. However, despite having many resources that were important to everyday life, the Egyptians still needed to trade with foreign countries to acquire things that they were without. They traded with Nubia and Punt (countries to the south of Egypt), also with countries in the east (modern Syria and Lebanon) and with some Mediterranean islands, such as Minoan Crete and Cyprus. Scribes and Writing Writing was very important in ancient Egypt and was used to record all types of information. However, very few people in ancient Egypt could actually read and write. Only certain people from a particular group were even allowed to train to become scribes. Through learning about how scribes learned and what they did, we are able to understand more about the importance of writing in ancient Egypt.