The civilization of ancient Egypt existed between the timeof 2800 BCE and the beginning of the common era. Itwas located at the shore of the Nile River and stretchedto the Mediterranean Sea. It was one of most powerfulcivilizations of its time. Their culture is fascinatingbecause of the structure of society, organized tradingsystem, trained army and many legacies.
Structure of SocietyThe Ancient Egyptians had different levels of importance in society. Their Pharaoh or aQueen was the most important person. They believed that the Pharaoh was a god in aperson’s body who couldn’t do anything wrong. Then they had grandvizers, nobles, highpriest and high priestess. The grandvizers were like the Pharaoh’s second hand; theychecked that all his orders were carried out. The priests and priestesses took care of theshrines of gods and goddesses, and bathed four times a day. The next level of societyincluded craftsmen, artists, scribes, tax gatherers, priest and priestess. At the lower end,there were builders, farmers, scribes, wabs and soldiers (who led dangerous lives). Mostpeople in Ancient Egypt were actually farmers who lived off their crops. If they didn’t paytaxes, they were beaten. Least of all were the slaves who were captured ashostages during war and led hard lives.Therefore, it is clear that the ancient Egyptian societyhad many levels which affected their wealth and lives.
Trading systemThe ancient Egyptians did not have any money system like theRomans and Greeks. Instead, they used weights called debenand kite. Originally, a deben was as heavy as14 grams, then laterit increased in weight to 91 gram. Ten kite were worth one deben.The Egyptians traded vegetables (that were as heavy as1 deben)for a piece of meat (that also weighed 1 deben). The ancientEgyptians often traded flax, rope and wheat at the marketplace.They were famous for exporting wheat and importing gold. TheEgyptians wrote receipts on stone tablets to keep track ofpayments. As you can see, even though the ancientEgyptians hadno money system,their trading system worked very well.
Egyptian warfareThe ancient Egyptians had one of the best trained armies during theirgolden age. Although their army didn’t often fight against invaders(because the desert protected their country), they still fought in many civilwars. They used silver slicing axes, spears and shields made of ox hide.The Pharaohs in the new kingdom fought from horse-drawn chariots. Theancient Egyptians had already invented their own battle tactics. First, theyused a shower of arrows. Then, the foot soldiers came to fight the mainpart of the battle. At last, they chased down any remaining enemysoldiers. Therefore, we know that the ancient Egyptains had a wellorganised army that led many great battles.
LegaciesThe ancient Egyptians invented many great things. They invented theshaduf(that they used to lift water from the Nile). They also invented oneof the first kinds of paper. It was called papyrus, grown with the waterfrom the river nile) and made out of papyrus reeds. The word papercomes from the word papyrus. They also invented a system of writing.There were two kinds of writing: one was called hieratic it was used fordaily use, then there where hieroglyphs used for religious inscriptions.The Egyptians were very famous for their agriculture. They learned to usea flood plain because they built dams, shades and channels to keep thewater in the field that they got from the River Nile. Therefore we nowknow that many of Egypt’s important inventions resulted from the RiverNile.
In conclusion, ancient Egypt was one of themost advanced civilizations of its time. Thisreport has described their systems of trade,structure of society and warfare. Many of theEgyptian inventions are still used todayincluding the shaduf, writing and some oftheir agriculture lessons.
References Author Date TitleJames Mason 1991 AncientEgyptJane Shutter 1991 The AncientEgyptiansJohn Mallam 1999MummiesWebsite19-10-11 www.historyforekids.com