introduction to egyPtian civilization
Ancient Egypt, civilization that thrived along the Nile River in
northeastern Africa for more than 3,000 years, from about 3300 BC to 30
BC. It was the longest-lived civilization of the ancient world.
Geographically, the term ancient Egypt indicates the territory where the
ancient Egyptians lived in the valley and delta of the Nile. Culturally, it
refers to the ways ancient Egyptians spoke, worshiped, understood the
nature of the physical world, organized their government, made their
livings, entertained themselves, and related to others who were not
The Nile River, which formed the focus of ancient Egyptian
civilization, originates in the highlands of East Africa and flows northward
throughout the length of what are now Sudan and Egypt. Northwest of
modern-day Cairo, it branches out to form a broad delta, through which it
empties into the Mediterranean Sea. Because of seasonal rains farther
south in Africa, the Nile overflowed its banks in Egypt every year. When
the floodwaters receded, a rich black soil covered the floodplain. This
natural phenomenon and its effects on the environment enabled the
ancient Egyptians to develop a successful economy based on agriculture.
Other natural factors combined to give rise to a great civilization in the Nile
region. In Egypt’s relatively cloudless sky the Sun almost always shone,
consistently providing heat and light. The Nile served as a water highway
for the people, a constant source of life-giving water, and the sustainer of all
plants and animals. In addition, natural barriers provided good protection
from other peoples. The desert to the west, the seas to the north and east,
and the Nile’s rapids, or cataracts, to the south prevented frequent hostile
In this setting a sophisticated and creative society came into being.
That society was the only one in the area to endure for thousands of years.
Each of its rivals rose to power but ultimately faded from importance. It was
in this land that two of the Seven Wonders of the World were found: the
pyramids at Giza and the lighthouse at Alexandria. The ancient Egyptians
produced a vast body of written records, including ethical and moralistic
treatises, instructional texts, religious and magical scrolls, evocative love
poetry, epic stories, and ribald tales. They possessed a sophisticated
understanding of mathematics and the principles of architecture, enabling
them to introduce to the world large stone buildings before 2500 BC. Their
enduring images—sculpted, painted, and drawn—captivate viewers even
Egypt is located in the
middle of the Sahara Desert.
There are no mountains in
Egypt just sand dunes. The sand
dunes make huge sand hills in
the desert making it hard to
travel. The sand dunes are
crated by wind blowing the
sand around. There are two
parts of Ancient Egypt. Lower
Egypt and Upper Egypt. Lower
(northern) Egypt consisted of
the Nile River’s delta made by
the river as it empties into the
(southern) Egypt was the long,
narrow strip of ancient Egypt
located south of the Delta. Most
of Egypt is made of sand and
some rock. The geographic size
is 387,000 square miles.
According to inscriptions and documents found by archaeologists, the
Egyptians called their country Kemet, meaning “the Black Land,” a
reference to the dark, fertile soil that remained after the Nile floodwaters
had receded. They also used another term, Deshret, or “the Red Land,” a
designation for the desert sands that burned under the blazing Sun. In
addition, they used the term Lower Egypt to refer to the northern delta area
and the term Upper Egypt to refer to the communities along the river all the
way south to Aswān.
Relation w the Nile
The Nile River is an important part of Egypt. The Egyptians
call the Nile river the life of Egypt because if there was no
Nile river there would not be anybody living there. There
probably would not be an Egypt or any history about it.
The Nile River is about 4,145 miles long. It is the longest river in the
world. The Nile gave them rich soil to grow there crops so they have
food. Egypt's two most important places are the Nile delta and the
Nile valley, all ancient Egyptians depended on the Nile river for food,
water and transportation. The availability of this unlimited water
supplies allowed the creation of a society witch produced the
wonders of Ancient Egypt. The Nile river was a swamp land.
The Nile river flows into the
Mediterranean sea. It is next
to the Dead sea, but doesn’t
flow into it. The river splits
into three parts before it
flows into the sea.
From - To ( BC )
Old Kingdom 2686 - 2181 BC
Middle Kingdom 1991 - 1786 BC
New Kingdom 1567 - 1085 BC
About 3100 BC-- Unification of Upper and Lower Egypt; invention of
hieroglyphic writing; Protodynastic Period begins.
About 2686 BC-- End of Protodynastic Period; start of the Old
About 2650-- Imhotep builds the Step Pyramid of Zoser.
About 2560-- Construction of the Giza pyramids and the Sphinx.
2181-- End of Old Kingdom ,papyrus already in use; civil wars.
1991-- Start of Middle Kingdom.
1786-- Middle Kingdom collapses in the face of invasions from the
1567-- Beginning of New Kingdom as invaders are repulsed.
About 1450-- Egyptian empire extends from Sudan to Syria.
About 1378-- Akhenaten ( ruled about 1378 - 1362 ), a pharaoh of the
18th dynasty, introduces monotheism, worship of a single god.
1200 – 1100-- Libyan incursions; decline of the pharaohs' power.
1085-- End of New Kingdom.
About 940-- Egypt reunited under Libyan kings.
746-- Nubian kings conquer Egypt; Assyria makes incursions and
becomes steadily more influential.
About 620-- Psamtik I ( ruled about 663 - 609 ), a 26th dynasty
525-- Persian empire absorbs Egypt.
404-- Independence restored.
341-- Persian rule restored.
332-- Alexander the Great conquers Egypt.
305-- Ptolemy I (ruled about 305 - 285 ) comes to the throne;
library at Alexandria founded.
285-- Ptolemy II ( ruled about 285 - 246 ) comes to the throne;
Pharos lighthouse - one of the seven wonders of the world - built
at Alexandria ( about 270 ).
47 Cleopatra ( about 47 - 30 ) takes over the throne with the help
of Julius Caesar.
30 Cleopatra commits suicide; Egypt becomes a province of the
– The Egyptians had special
kings called pharaohs. There
were many pharaohs but for a
long time there were only 2. This
was during the first Dynasty. King
Menes had ruled Upper Egypt
(a.k.a. Narmer) and another
pharaoh, name unknown, had
ruled Lower Egypt and they had a
war and Unknown Pharaoh lost
and King Menes was the first
pharaoh to rule all of Egypt.
– There were crowns for each
pharaoh. The crown for Lower
Egypt is a strange square-like
shape with a coil. The crown for
Excavations of ancient settlements have uncovered traces of
religious practices and beliefs in Egypt from as early as 6000 BC.
Some sites near the modern border between Egypt and Sudan
include areas that were devoted to rituals and festivals, as well as
sections for burials. Little is known about the early religious practices
and beliefs. Graves of cattle have been found, indicating some
degree of veneration of those animals. Human graves dating to Pre
dynastic times include artifacts, weapons, vessels, and other
materials. The inclusion of these objects in graves indicates a belief in
some type of afterlife during which the items would be put to use.
By the time Egypt was unified, the early religious practices
had developed into a formal religion involving the worship of many
gods and goddesses. The environment played a significant role in
shaping the nature of the deities the Egyptians worshiped. Their gods
and goddesses took the form of humans, animals, or combinations of
humans and animals. These forms represented the forces of nature
and the elements of the Egyptians' physical world. By picturing the
natural powers as recognizable entities and creating
mythological stories about them, the Egyptians tried to reach an
understanding of the complicated interactions within their universe.
The Egyptians believed of an afterlife. They believed that
when you died you would travel down a great river. So
when somebody died they would put food pots precious
items, and most of their belongings with them. If a great
pharaoh died they would be placed in a great tomb with
gold, clothing, food, and sometimes even their wives or
children so that they wouldn’t be lonely.
There was a lot of Egyptians gods the people worshiped.
Our favourite is a great and powerful god named Anubis.
His job was the lead the dead souls to the underworld, and
into the kingdom of Osiris. Osiris was Anubis son.
Anubises sing was the jackal.
god & goddess
Egyptians believed in a lot of gods. One of them, Osiris, the god
of the underworld changes there daily life routine. Every day
they have to go to there temple and give him an offering so he
will spare there lives. The god gave them food and a place to
live. Even if it wasn’t that great. The religion for the Egyptians
didn’t stop at their Natural surroundings and affairs in society,
it’s almost as if they adhered it to the inner human brain.
Ancient Egyptians thought that went you passed on to the after
life whatever you were buried with would come with you. The
Egyptians would mummify you by taking your brains out
through your nose and draining all the fluids from your dead
Ma’at (or Maat) was the god of order, justice
and truth. A woman wearing a crown surmounted
by a huge ostrich feather. Her totem symbol is a
stone platform or foundation, representing the
stable base on which order is built. Maat was the
personification of the fundamental order of the
universe, without which all of creation would
perish.Seth was the God of the
desert, storm and violence,
which are all enemies of the
fertile, properous, narrow
valley of the Nile.
Horus, the son of Osiris, was the god of balance and
harmony, assigned to maintain the ma’at of Egypt. His function
was to ensure the continuing existence and activity of the gods
on earth by means of religious acts and to maintain the natural
order such as the flow of the Nile an the fertility of the soil..
Making a Mummy was a
complicated job! First the dead person’s
brain and some other organs were
removed and put in jars called canopic
jars. Then the body was covered with salts
and left to dry for up to 40 days.
When the body was dry it was
stuffed with linen and other things to help
it keep it’s shape. Then it was oiled and
bound tightly with linen bandages.
The priest in charge wore a jackal
mask and represented the egyptian god
an amulet was plased with the
mummy for luck.These are the canopic
jars that containd the liver,
stomach,intestines and lungs of the dead
person. The heart was not removed. Each
jar represeanted a god.
The Egyptians viewed the heart as the seat of intellect and
Before entering the pleasures of eternity, the dead person had
to pass a test in which Anubis, the god of the dead, weighed the
person’s heart against Ma’at, the goddess of justice and truth,
who was represented by a feather.
If the deceased’s good deeds
outweighed the bad, then his heart would be
as light as the feather (heavy hearts bore the
burden of guilt and evil), and Osiris would
welcome the newcomer to the next world. If
the deceased fell short in his judgment, his
body would be eaten by a monster that was
part crocodile, part lion, and part
tombs & temPles
The temples of Ancient Egypt remain as a constant reminder
of the power and glory of the Egyptian state and it's Gods.
Each of the major gods had their own cult center with a
temple complex as well as the 'state' temples at Luxor and
In addition the Pharaohs also built mortuary temples where
their bodies were prepared for their eternal rest. Several of
these survive at Luxor.
The surviving tombs provide a treasure trove of both objects
and Information. The paintings and models included with the
burials give a glimpse of the everyday life of the ordinary
people and the texts provide invaluable information which
helps to build up family trees and to establish the
WALL SCULPTURE IN THE T
TEMPLE OF QUEEN HATSHEPSUT
Tombs were built as large and adorned as the owner could
afford, and anyone with the funds prepaid for mummification.
The reason for this heavy focus on death relates to the image of
the world divided into two halves, which together formed the
eternal continuity of cosmos. Yes, this sounds confusing to most
modern people, but it was the unquestionable truth to the
The sun was the guide for this cycle. During day, the sun passed
over the world of the living. During night the sun entered the
other world, the other part of cosmos, the world located beneath
the ground of man.
And this is a central fact to understanding the shape of tombs,
especially the finest ones, the royal tombs on the west bank of
the Nile at Luxor. Here the pharaohs and queens built their
staging posts for joining the eternal cycle of the sun. Hence it
was important to drill into the ground, getting as good a position
as possible to join nothing less than the Sun.
in the 3rd dynasty (Old Kingdom) Imhotep built the step
pyramid for Zoser. This structure was the first all stone
monument and was, of course, the inspiration for the true
pyramids that followed, culminating into the pyramids of Giza,
and in particular the great pyramid of Khufu.
The pyramids were the major achievements of the 4th
dynasty - approximately 2500 BC (Old Kingdom) - and were
built for Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure. These structures are
truly awesome. The pyramid of Khufu, for
contains over 2,300,000 stones
the base is 13 square acres, 568,500 sq. ft, or 7 city blocks
the side of each base is 754 feet, or more than 2 football fields
the pyramid weights 6.5 million tons
each stone weighs approximately 2.5 tons
and is 481 feet tall
DIFFERENT TYPE OF PYRAMIDS & THEIR PLAN & SECTION VIEWS
The Great Pyramids of
The Pyramid of The Great Pyramids of Giz
PeoPle & life
Brewing and Bread making Plowing and Sowing
Sailing Harvesting papyrus and Herding
dail They lived very simple life. Their Houses were
made out of mud. Rooms were brightly painted,
sometimes with birds, flowers or with the figures
of protective gods. Cooking was often done out
side over a fire.
Poor people ate bread, cheese, beans and salad
and drank water. Adults ate their food sitting on
simple stools. They also ate beef, pork, antelope
and hyena meat as well as goose, pigeon and
fish from the Nile. Wealthier people had more
varied diets. Most farming families ate fairly
language art and Writing
Language in there time was very advanced for there times.
They had a form of writing called hieroglyphics. This form of
writing used pictures and symbols instead of letters. The
Egyptians didn’t provide much education. The ancient Egyptians
didn’t have many schools like we have today but the schools that
they did have were teaching people how to be scribes. Girls did
not attend school but wealthy girls could read. The boys were
taught the trade by their fathers. Most of the learning took place
at home where there was an emphasis of practicing skills. The
parents taught the children about religion, educational principles
and values. Napoleon's invasion led to the spread of all the
*Pictures that were used to write
the ancient Egyptian language
*Originally used to keep records
of the king’s possessions. Scribes
could easily make these records
by drawing a picture of a cow or a
boat followed by a number.
As the language became more
complex, more pictures were needed.
Eventually the language consisted of
more than 750 individual signs.
The word hieroglyphs, in
Greek, means sacred drawings.
They were only used for religious
things and were usually drawings
of familiar objects.
PPT design & composed by Kaushal Joshi