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Ancient

Egypt
Geography Overview
• One of the oldest civilization’s in the
world started in Ancient Egypt. Located
in the northeast corner of Africa.

• The civilization was established near the


Nile River, the longest river in the world.

• Egypt was originally divided into two


kingdoms: Upper Egypt and Lower
Egypt.

• Little rain fell in the region of Egypt,


most of the land was desert. However,
heavy rains from East Africa, caused
the Nile to flood every year, leaving rich
silt which was great for farming.

• Most of the fertile land was located in


the Nile River Delta.
Geography Continued
• They developed an irrigation
system that carried water
from the Nile.

• They had natural protection


from invaders with the Sahara
Desert (largest desert in the world)
to the west, the Mediterranean Sea
to the north, and the Red Sea to
the east.

• Cataracts throughout the Nile also


helped protect the civilization to
the south.
Civilization in
Egypt Begins
• Hunter-gatherers first moved to the area
12,000 years ago. Eventually small
villages became a civilization by
3600 BC.

What allowed
people to stop
nomadic life
and settle
down?
Pharaoh • Pharaoh was believed by the
Egyptians to be the supreme ruler
chosen by the gods.

• They believed that when a man


became a pharaoh, he also became
a god.

• To keep the bloodline of the gods


pure, pharaohs often married their
family.

• Pharaohs ruled in dynasties- series


of rulers from same family.

• Pharaoh had all power over all


other gods and also controlled the
land and people of Egypt.
Egyptian Society
• Political system was based on
pharaoh.

• Egyptian social classes formed


as population increased.

• Pharaoh was at the top of the


social classes.

• Coming next were nobles,


governors, scribes, and
artisans.

• More than 80% of Egypt’s


population were farmers and
labourers, and during the flood
season they worked on
building projects.
Egyptian Society
Pharaoh

Government
Officials

Soldiers and
Scribes

Merchants and Artisans

Farmers

Slaves
Daily Life

Workers Wealthy
The poor worked long hours for Wealthy men had jobs as
goods that they could exchange in merchants, priests, craftsman,
the marketplace for the products scribes. Others supervised the daily
they needed. workings of gigantic farms.

Agriculture was a major trade and Women had many rights. They
many were farmers. could own land, run businesses,
testify in court, and bring charges
Their homes were usually one- against men.
story made out of sun-dried brick.
Their homes were brick and wood
containing many rooms.
Economics
• As Egypt’s empire
expanded, so did trade.

• They were able to trade


with other countries
through increased
transportation. They
traveled by boat or
caravans, taking camels,
donkeys, or horses.

• Historians have found proof


that Ancient Egypt traded
with areas in Greece and
Turkey.

• Valuable resources: gold,


copper, timber, and
turquoise.
Religion
• Egyptians were polytheistic and
worshipping the gods was part of
daily life.

• Temples were built to honor the


different gods. Temples also collected
payments from people and the
government.

• They had gods for nearly everything


and many gods blended human and
animal forms.
• Some gods included:
– Re – sun god
– Horus – sky god
– Ptah – creator of the world
– Osiris – god of underworld
Emphasis on Afterlife
• Afterlife – life after death – was a focus of Egyptians. They believed
after the body died, the spirit lived on with human needs.

• Bodies were buried with items (food, furniture, clothing, jewelry,


weapons, and tools) that made the spirit happy.

• Egyptians that could afford it would provide Mummification be


performed, which would keep the body from decaying, but only the
wealthy could afford it.
Mummification
1 . The intestines, stomach, lungs and
liver were removed and put into
jars. The heart was left in the body.

2 . The brain was removed through the


nose with a long utensil.

3 . The body was dried out with spices


and applied with oils.
4 . Linen clothes would be wrapped
around the body.
5 . After wrapping the body was placed
in a coffin called a sarcophagus.
6 . Nameplates called cartouches were
put on the outside of coffins.
Pyramids
• Burial sites, especially for royal tombs, were very important. Egyptians built
spectacular monuments to bury their rulers.

• The pyramids were built as royal tombs for pharaohs to spend their
afterlife.

• The largest is the Great Pyramid of Khufu near the town of Giza, it covers
more than 13 acres at the base and stands 481 feet high, it took 2 million
limestone blocks and thousands of workers to build.
Pyramids
• It shows amazing Egyptian
engineering. The burial chamber
was deep inside the pyramid and
was sealed. Nearly 100,000
workers were needed.

• Another famous building is the


Sphinx which “guards” a
pharaoh’s tomb.

• Burial in a pyramid showed


importance. The size and shape
were symbolic. Pointing skyward,
it symbolized the journey to the
afterlife.
Hieroglyphics
• Hieroglyphics were the symbols that made
up ancient Egypt’s writing system.

• The first the writing was carved into stone,


but after paper was made, the symbols
were made with black ink and brushes.

• The writing system used over 600 symbols


of mostly pictures and objects. The writing
could be horizontal or vertical. It also didn’t
matter if it was written left to right or right
to left.

• These rules made it easy to write but


difficult to read. The hieroglyphics were
nearly impossible to decipher until the
discovery of the Rosetta Stone.

• It was found in 1799 by a Frenchman. It


was a stone slab that translated Egyptian
hieroglyphics into Greek.
Achievements
• Pyramids

• Ship-building

• Hieroglyphics

• Irrigation Pumps

• Yeast Bread

• Black Ink

• Papyrus