Chapter 2 Africa: Gods, Rulers, and the Social Order (ca. 3100–330 B.C.E.)
Nile River in Africa.
a uniform language, geographical isolation, a shared political and cultural life
The Gods of Ancient Egypt
Associated with the effects of the environment
Worship of Amon, the sun god and creator
Most powerful – but thousands of lesser deities existed
The rays of the sun god, Amon, shine down on Tutankhamen and his consort.
Throne with Tutankhamen and Queen, detail of the back, late Marana period. New Kingdom, 18 th dynasty, ca. 1360 B.C.E. Wood plated with gold and silver, inlays of glass paste.
The god Amon, on the right, grants everlasting life to the Middle Kingdom pharoah Sesostris. Behind the pharaoh stands the protective falcon-headed god Horus. Amon recieves Sesostris (Senusret) I, pillar relief, White chapel, Karnak, ca. 1925 b.c.e.
Second only to the sun as the major natural force was the Nile River.
Isis - central role among the female deities
Nile River and Isis
The Rulers of Ancient Egypt
Neolithic villages 3150 b.c.e.
Union of Upper and Lower Egypt by the first pharaoh, Narmer
The scribe was one of the highest officials in ancient Egypt. Trained in reading , writing, law, religion and mathematics.
Seated scribe, Saqqara, 5 th dynasty, ca. 2400
King Tutankhamen Ca. 1345-1325 B.C.E. the tomb housed riches of astonishing variety, including the pharaoh’s solid gold coffin, inlaid with semi-precious carnelian and lapis lazuli Why was King Tut so famous?
Egyptian cover of the coffin of Tutankhamen (portion), from the Valley of the Kings, ca. 1360 B.C.E. Egyptian Museum, Cairo.
Canopic coffinette (coffin of Tutankhamon), c. 1327 B.C.E. Gold inlaid with enamel and semiprecious stones, 15 3/4" high. Egyptian Museum, Cairo
Presentation of Nubian tribute to Tutankhamon (restored), tomb chapel of Huy, Thebes, 18th Dynasty, c. 1336-1327 B.C.E. Wall painting, 6' x 17 1/4'.
King Tut’s pyramid
Akhenaten is associated with monotheism as a religious view.
Defied the tradition of polytheism by elevating Aten (God of the Sun Disk) to a position of supremacy over all other gods.
(Akhenaten about 1351-1334 BCE. Abraham lived 1812-1637 BCE)
Statue of Akhenaten, from Karnak, Egypt, Amarna Period, 1353-1350 B.C.E. Sandstone, approx. 13" high. Egyptian Museum, Cairo.
Queen Nefertiti, Egyptian
Akhenaten’s chief wife.
The mother of 6 daughters.
Ca.1355 B.C.E. New Kingdom 18 th dynasty, painted limestone
Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti and daughters. Sitting beneath the sun disk Aten.
The social hierarchy – topped by the ruling dynasty supported by a priestly elite; multiple rungs in the social ladder and anyone could advance through education
The Social Order
all property was inherited through the female line,
economic independence, civil rights and privileges.
Procession of female musicians with instruments, including a harp, double pipes, and a lyre, Tomb of Djeserkarasneb, Thebes, ca. 1580-1314 B.C.E. Music – many surviving instruments from tombs, and visual representations of musicians
Hatshepsut, ca. 1500-1447 B.C.E .
The most notable of all female pharaohs.
22 years, royal wig and false beard, and the crook and flail.
The Arts in Ancient Egypt
Literature – no masterpieces of literature emerged
The canon of proportion in painting
Spatial depth represented through conceptual stacking
The visual arts .
Scene of Fowling, tomb of Neb-amon Egyptian art mirrors the deep sense of order and regularity that dominated ancient Egyptian life.