Location• Egypt was located in the Nile River Floodplain• Predictable flooding• Fertile farmland• Three Seasons of the Nile – Season of Going Out • Floodwaters receded exposing fertile land • Farmers planted and tended crops – Season of Harvest • Farmers harvested crops • All crops belonged to Pharaoh • Huge surplus lasted the entire year – Season of Flood Spring • Mineral rich silt was carried down stream from mountains • Provided very fertile soil • Farmers spent these months working for the Pharaoh
Pre-Dynastic Period3200-2600 BC• Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt separate kingdoms united• Dynastic System develops (succession of rulers from the same family or line)• Ruler (Pharoah) considered divine• Irrigation projects lead to an abundance of food and population explosion
Old Kingdom EgyptThe Pyramid Age 2600 BC – 2150 BC• Era of Relative Peace and Stability• Major construction projects• 2600 BC – 1st Pyramid Building – Tombs of Pharaohs• 2500 BC – Great Pyramids & Sphinx constructed at Giza – Hieroglyphics standardized – Evidence of graffiti at tombs• 2100 BC – Regional nobles competed for control – Dynasty loses control
Middle Kingdom EgyptWorld Trading Power 2100 BC – 1700 BC • 2000 BC – Strong Pharaohs from Thebes gain control of the kingdom – Mentuhotep II regains control over all of Egypt – New capital in Lisht – Egypt becomes an international power by reconquering Nubia and expanding trade routes – Foreigners called Hyksos from eastern Mediterranean settle in Egypt during good times • 1500 BC – Hyksos eventually gain control of Lower Egypt. Native Egyptians still control Upper Egypt from Thebes
New Kingdom EgyptThe Age of Empire 1550 BC – 1075 BC• 1550 BC – Rulers from Thebes reassert control and drive out Hyksos – Expand borders of Egypt in military campaign designed to strengthen the empire – Take control of Nubia and the Levant – Force tribute from Babylon, Assyria and other neighbors top the East• 1400 BC – Amenhotep IV (Akhenaton) attempts to impose monotheism• 1320 Ramses II – Strong, warrior Pharaoh – Signed treaty with Hittites
Reasons for Decline• Old Kingdom – Disunity / greed of local nobles• Middle Kingdom – Hyksos Conquer• New Kingdom – Assyrians Conquer
Religion• Polytheistic• Fair & predictable gods• Pharaoh was divine• Egyptians belief in an afterlife led to mummification• “Book of the Dead” outlines requirements for afterlife• Pyramids represent importance of afterlife in Egyptian thought
Economics• Nile river the foundation of a strong, stable economy• Silt provided enough fertile land to produce enough crops for the entire population for a full year• Surplus used for trade and to support the less fortunate• Season of Flood provide a huge urban work force• Middle Kingdom began to become a world trade power
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