Egypt, Part 3: Kingdom Along the Nile
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Egypt, Part 3: Kingdom Along the Nile

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Later Kingdoms of Egypt. Pyramids

Later Kingdoms of Egypt. Pyramids

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Egypt, Part 3: Kingdom Along the Nile Egypt, Part 3: Kingdom Along the Nile Presentation Transcript

  • Egypt, Part 3 Kingdom Along the Nile, Online
  • Archaic Kingdom (3000-2575 BC)
    • First known pharaoh: Horus Aha
    • Consolidation in which pharaohs assumed role of divine kings
    • Centralized authority over labor, food storage, and taxation
    • Sponsored spectacular feasts/rituals
    • Translated into large-scale, well-designed architecture of which the pyramids were examples
    • Introduction of hieroglyphic writing
    • One function: To propagate the pharaonic religion at the expense of local cults
    • Scribes held enormous power, as the few who could read and write
  • Hieroglyphic Writing
    • Definition: Writing system in which
    • Pictorial symbols are used to
    • Convey particular sound, object, and/or idea
    • Original known use: accounting
    • Gunter Dreyer found the oldest evidence of Egyptian writing
    • 200 small bone and ivory tags attached to containers holding linen and oil
    • Attributed to a leader called Scorpion I
    • Date: 5200 BP
    • Location: Abydos, 250 miles below Cairo
  • Hieroglyphic Writing
    • Note that hieroglyphs would stand for a sound
    • Still relied on pictographic writing
  • Complexity of Hieroglyphic Writing
    • There is some indication that hieroglyphs were more important for recording rule and kinship
    • than the were for economic transactions
    • Over time, hieroglyphic writing became more and more complex
    • Writing was reserved for the scribes, ranked third below the pharaoh and priests
  • Old Kingdom (2575-2134)
    • Further consolidation of empire
    • Construction of Pyramids
    • Zoser (Djoser): stepped pyramid at Saqqara
    • Khufu (Cheops) of Giza: smooth-sided pyramid, largest in the world
    • Lesser pyramids
    • Khafre (Chephren)
    • Menkaure (Mycerinus)
    • Sphinx (likeness of Khafre)
    • Complex covered 25 miles on the western side of the Nile
  • Pyramids: Analysis
    • Pharaonic institution probably the most successful of cults
    • Pharaohs were divine, capable of controlling Nile flood pattern of Nile, rise of sun, and other natural forces
    • Source of law (no codified law) and top of a complex bureaucracy
    • At death, said to dwell in the tomb while his double moved on to the other world
    • Pyramids was the divine house of the ruler
    • Never meant for any ritual purpose
  • Pyramids: Construction
    • Function in all locations: to inspire awe among population
    • Constructed during flood season
    • Reinforced power by feeding the builders
    • Egyptian pyramids were build in one continuous process of solid stone blocks
    • Constructed, as in Mesoamerica, in a four-sided design
    • Contained passageways and tombs, including a fake chamber
    • Like all pyramids, involves
    • Massive inputs of manpower
    • Sophisticated planning and organization
  • Other Pyramids
    • Most New World pyramids were constructed in stages (as were Near Eastern ziggurats)
    • Teotihuacan: Rubble covered with stone facades
    • Base was as wide as Khufu’s pyramid
    • Half as high
    • Moche: Adobe bricks, roughly rectangular
    • Cahokia: Earthen mounds
    • Monk’s Mound is largest in North America
    • After Cholula and Pyramid of the Sun
  • First Intermediate Period (2134-2040)
    • The Old Kingdom underwent decline
    • Long drought—probably damaged pharaonic divinity claims
    • High cost of pyramid construction in labor and resources
    • Dominance by warring regional kingdoms
    • Provincial powers increased
    • Smaller tombs constructed in various localities.
  • Middle Kingdom (2040-1640 BC)
    • Thebes of Upper Egypt rises
    • Pharaohs
    • Made fewer claims to divinity
    • More approachable than past pharaohs
    • Less despotic
    • Increased efficiency
    • Expanded irrigation systems
    • Stockpiled granaries
    • Other Changes
    • Expanded overseas trade
    • Secured Egypt’s borders
    • Effectiveness of leadership still relied on personal attributes
  • Second Intermediate Period (1640-1530 BC)
    • Succession disputes erupted
    • Thousands of Asians (Hyksos) invaded Lower Egypt
    • Divided again into Upper and Lower Egypt
    • Lower Egypt under traditional pharaohs
    • Upper Egypt under Hyksos
    • Hyksos introduced new technology
    • Bronze
    • Horse-drawn chariots
    • New weapons
  • New Kingdom (1530-1075 BC)
    • Ahmose the Liberator created militaristic state
    • Imperial power lay between the Asians to the north and Africans to the south
    • Thebes again capital
    • Amun again worshipped as sun god
    • Temple built at Karnak, west bank of Nile
    • Valley of Kings arose at that site
  • Pharaohs After Ahmose
    • New Kingdom after Ahmose
    • Akhenaten: the “heretic” who worshipped the sun disk Aten’
    • Aten was the sole god: precedent of monotheism
    • Tutankhamun: “boy king” who lasted 10 years—tomb of “King Tut”; advisors restored old order
    • Ramses II engaged in military expansion; lost in Syria to Hittites
  • Late Period (1070 BC-30 BC)
    • A period of political weakness
    • Attacks from Nubians to south (controlled Egypt during 8 th Century BC
    • Invasions by Assyrians and Persians
    • Alexander the Great takes over Egypt in 332 BC—rule by Ptolemy I and his successors
    • Roman conquest in 30 BC
  • Egypt and Mesopotamia: Subsistence Base
    • Subsistence base
    • Both based on irrigation
    • Both relied on staples such as wheat and barley
    • Egypt had steadier water supply than Mesopotamia
    • Tigris and Euphrates were subjected to drought
  • Egypt and Mesopotamia: Government and Law
    • Mesopotamia:
    • Priest kings represented the gods; they were not divine beings themselves
    • Codified Law, solidified by Hammurabi’s time
    • Egypt
    • Divine Pharaohs
    • Law derived from Pharaohs
    • Precedent was based on their personal decision
  • Egypt and Mesopotamia: Writing
    • Mesopotamia: Ideographic cuneiform
    • These consisted of wedges
    • The symbols were not phonetic
    • Egypt: Pictographic hieroglyphics
    • Some of the pictographs represented consonants and vowels of spoken language
  • Egypt and Mesopotamia: Architectural Megastructures
    • Near East: Multifunctional ziggurats
    • Ritual but also administrative centers
    • Egypt: Funerary pyramids
    • Sole purpose: to house the pharaoh
  • Conclusion
    • Egypt was one of the most stable kingdoms in the world
    • There were few wars in its history
    • The regularity of the Nile in water supply and seasonal flood was the ecological factor
    • The society was equally stable, being isolated and yet well endowed with water, fertile soil, and resources such as workable stone and precious metals.
    • Mesopotamia, provides a stark contrast with Egypt