Ancient CivilizationsAncient Civilizations
By: Mrs. SandersBy: Mrs. Sanders
Ancient Egypt was the
birthplace of one of the
World’s greatest civilizations.
It was far more advanced
than European tribes of the
same time period, who were
still in the Stone Age.
Located in the northeast
corner of Africa, Egypt grew
to be an important
civilization for over three
hundred years because of
the Nile River.
Egypt was originally divided
into two kingdoms: Upper
Egypt and Lower Egypt.
Pharaoh was believed by
the Egyptians to be the
supreme ruler chosen by
the gods to lead his
people. They believed
that when a man
became a pharaoh, he
also became a god. To
keep the bloodline of the
gods pure, pharaohs
often married their
sisters, mothers, and
A Biblical Overview of Egypt
• Joseph, son of Jacob and Rachel, was the favorite child. His father made
him a coat of many colors. His brothers were jealous of him. They
were going to kill him, but sold him as a slave. He found favor with the
Pharaoh Potiphar. He interpreted dreams for the Pharaoh. Joseph’s
brothers came to Egypt to buy grain where they ran into Joseph. They
did not recognize him. He tested them and revealed his identity. He
forgave them for sending him away. He said it was God who sent him to
Egypt to save people’s lives.
• When a new Pharaoh ruled Egypt, he was worried that the Israelites
would rise up against him. He decided that every baby boy should be
thrown into the Nile River. One woman was determined to save her son.
She kept the baby boy hidden for three months, then she put him in a
basket she had made and let him float down the river. The Pharaoh’s
daughter found the baby boy and called him Moses, which means
“pulled out or the water”.
• Moses was commanded by God to ask the Pharaoh to release the people
of Egypt. He obeyed God’s command and asked Pharaoh to let his
people go. God knew that Pharaoh would deny the command and he
did. God sent ten plagues to Egypt to curse the land.
Major Time Periods of Egypt
The Old Kingdom
When the pharaohs built
The Middle Kingdom
When training and military explorers were sent
out to expand Egypt’s boundaries
The New Kingdom
Ending with Queen Cleopatra losing her land to
Augustus Caesar and Rome
There were about 80 along the banks of the
The largest is the Great Pyramid, built by King
Khufu in about 2600 B.C.
It stands about 481 feet high and covers 13
The pyramids functioned as huge burial tombs
for the Egyptians’ dead pharaohs and queens.
They used the Nile River like a highway to
transport people and goods to foreign lands.
The first ships were made out of bundles of
papyrus reeds tied together to make a canoe-
As the ship trade flourished, the hulls of the
ships were made of cedar, and oars and sails
were added for greater speed.
These were pictures and symbols that served
as one of the first written languages in the
Calendars were developed in 4241 B.C. with
365 days in a year.
It was based on the flooding of the Nile River.
New Years was on June 1, not January 1!
1) cartouche – a tablet with a border, used as a nameplate
2) hieroglyphics – a sophisticated system of pictures and symbols used
in ancient Egypt to communicate information
3) Nile River – river that runs through Egypt
4) Ankh – a symbol for life after death
5) pyramids – burial place for kings
6) Pharaoh – Ruler of Egypt
7) necropolis – the place of the burial tombs for the kings and the
8) papyrus – type of plant paper was made from
Daily Life of Workers
The poor worked long hours for goods that they could
exchange in the marketplace for the products they needed.
Agriculture was a major trade and many workers were
Boys learned a trade from their fathers, and girls were taught
to care for the home and family by their mothers.
Women and girls wore straight, sheath-like dresses of rough,
Men and boys wore short cloth kilts.
Their homes were usually one-story made out of sun-dried
brick. There would be a basement and four rooms. They
had little furniture. Stairs led to the flat rooftop so that the
family could enjoy the cool night air after the sun went down.
Daily life of the Wealthy
Men were busy all day as merchants, trading along the Nile River.
Others supervised the daily workings of gigantic farms.
Many of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Egypt were
Boys were taught to read and write.
Women could own land, run businesses, testify in court, and bring
charges against men.
Women oversaw the running of the households and gave the
servants instructions for daily menus and child care.
Children were allowed much playtime. Girls practiced singing and
dancing. Boys wrestled and played army.
Women and girls wore straight dresses of beautiful lined and a lot of
jewelry. At parties, they wore cones of incense on their heads that
melted slowly giving off a pleasant smell.
Men and boys wore linen kilts
Both men and women wore eye make-up made from black ashes.
Their homes were brick and wood containing many rooms, as well
as walled garden and a shrine for a favorite god.
Life after Death
• The ancient Egyptians believed in an afterlife of
beauty, peace, and contentment.
• Since most of their lives were filled with hard
work, they looked forward to death as a release
from this lifetime.
• They believed their souls would need to use
their bodies again, so the Egyptians invented a
process to embalm their bodies called
• Wealthy could afford better mummification than
Steps in Mummification
• After the body was washed and covered with scented oils, the
liver and kidneys were removed and placed in jars that would be
put in the coffin later.
• The brains were removed carefully, but the heart was left in the
body because they believed it was the mind and would be
needed immediately in the next life.
• Then the body was wrapped in either linen or rough cotton
strips and a sticky tar-like mixture was poured over the cloth
strips forming a protective outer covering for the body.
• When the mixture hardened, the mummy was placed in a
wooden coffin, which was carved and painted to resemble a
• Then the mummy was laid in its tomb, along with many objects
the Egyptians thought it would need for daily use in the next
lifetime, such as tools, jewelry, furniture, religious statues, and
Painting and Sculpture
• Egyptians reached a highly advanced level of
sculpture. Beautiful figures sculpted from
wood, ivory, bronze, gold, and turquoise have
been found in tombs.
• One of the most famous sculptures in the world
is the head of Queen Nefertiti.
• Another famous work of art is the Great Sphinx,
a huge statue of a man’s head on a lion’s body,
which guards the pyramids near Giza.
• Tutankhamen, or King Tut, for short was called “The Boy King”.
• He became pharaoh when he was nine years old. During the year
• He lived in a beautiful palace in the city of Thebes. He had servants
who did everything for him. They believed him to be a god.
• A typical day for him began in the audience chamber of his palace,
where he sat on a throne of gold, silver, and jewels, and wore a
heavy gold headpiece shaped like a flame. Ambassadors from
foreign countries came to bow before him and bring him riches.
Egyptians came to him to settle their disputes. He led his people in
a three-hour a day worship ceremony. He had a formal dinner in
the evening, then visited with his wife, Ankheshamen, who was two
years younger than he.
• King Tut died when he was only nineteen years old. No one really
knows if he died from an accident, illness, or his enemies. His
burial chamber was found by Britain's Howard Carter in 1922. The
treasures of King Tut’s tomb can be seen today in Cairo, Egypt.
Questions to ReviewQuestions to Review
1) Egypt is located in which continent?
2) What is the famous river in Egypt?
3) What were the name of the three period of times into which
Egypt was divided?
4) What happened to Egypt when Pharaoh wouldn’t obey God’s
5) Name the four most remembered accomplishments from the
6) Discuss at least three likenesses and differences between the
workers and the wealthy.
7) Briefly name the steps of mummification. You may list them.
8) Name two famous works of art by the Egyptians.
9) How old was King Tut when he became Pharaoh?
10) Who discovered his tomb and where is it located?
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