Geography of the Ancient Nile Valley“Egypt is wholly the gift of the Nile.” – HerodotusPeople settled and established farming villages along the Nile.Egyptians depended on annual floods to soak the land and deposita layer of silt, or rich soil.Egyptians had to cooperate to control the Nile, building dikes,reservoirs, and irrigation ditches.Rulers used the Nile to link and unite Upper and Lower Egypt.The Nile served as a trade route connecting Egypt to Africa, theMiddle East, and the Mediterranean world.
Three Kingdoms of Ancient Egypt OLD MIDDLE NEW KINGDOM KINGDOM KINGDOM Pharaohs organized a Large drainage project Powerful pharaohs strong central state, created arable farmland. created a large empire were absolute rulers, that reached the and were considered Traders had contacts Euphrates River. gods. with Middle East and Crete. Hatshepsut Egyptians built encouraged trade. pyramids at Giza. Corruption and rebellions were Ramses II expanded Power struggles, crop common. Egyptian rule to Syria. failures, and cost of pyramids contributed Hyksos invaded and Egyptian power to the collapse of the occupied the delta declined. Old Kingdom. region.
Egyptian Religious Beliefs •Belief that many gods and goddesses ruled the world and the afterlife. Amon-Re was the sun god. Osiris was the god of the underworld and of the Nile. The pharaoh was believed to be a god as well as a monarch. •Belief in eternal life after death. Relied on the Book of the Dead to help them through the afterworld. Practiced mummification, the preservation of the body for use in the next life.
Ancient Egypt: A Center of Learning & Culture Advances in Learning Advances in the Arts Developed a form of picture writing Statues, paintings, and writings tell called hieroglyphics. us about ancient Egyptian values and attitudes. Doctors diagnosed and cured illnesses, performed surgery, and Developed painting style that developed medicines still used remained unchanged for thousands today. of years. Developed 12-month calendar on Wrote hymns and prayers to the which modern calendar is based. gods, proverbs, love poems, stories Astronomers mapped constellations of victory in battle, and folk tales. and charted movement of the planets. Built pyramids and other great buildings, such as temple of Developed practical geometry. Ramses II. Skilled in design and engineering.
Class System in Ancient Egypt PHARAOH Earthly leader; considered a god HIGH PRIESTS AND PRIESTESSES Served gods and goddesses NOBLES Fought pharaoh’s wars MERCHANTS, SCRIBES, AND ARTISANS Made furniture, jewelry, and fabrics for pharaohs and nobles, and provided for other needs PEASANT FARMERS AND SLAVES Worked in the fields and served the pharaoh
Characteristics of Egyptian Architecture •Due to the scarcity of lumber, the two predominant building materials used in ancient Egypt were sun-baked mud brick and stone, mainly limestone, but also sandstone and granite in considerable quantities. •From the Old Kingdom onward, stone was generally reserved for tombs and temples, •while bricks were used even for royal palaces, fortresses, the walls of temple precincts and towns, and for subsidiary buildings in temple complexes. • Egypt houses were made out of mud collected from the Nile river. It was placed in molds and left to dry in the hot sun to harden for use in construction.
Characteristics of Egyptian Architecture •Many Egyptian towns have disappeared because they were situated near the cultivated area of the Nile Valley and were flooded as the river bed slowly rose during the millennia, or the mud bricks of which they were built were used by peasants as fertilizer. •Others are inaccessible, new buildings having been erected on ancient ones. Fortunately, the dry, hot climate of Egypt preserved some mud brick structures. •Examples include the village Deir al - Madinah, the Middle Kingdom town at Kahun, and the fortresses at Buhen and Mirgissa. Also, many temples and tombs have survived because they were built on high ground unaffected by the Nile flood and were constructed of stone.
Deir al - Madinah Kahunfortresses at Buhen and Mirgissa
Religious buildings/monuments•massive structures characterized by thick, sloping walls withfew openings.• possibly a method of construction used to obtain stability inmud walls.•the incised and flatly modeled surface adornment of the stonebuildings has derived from mud wall ornamentation.•the use of the arch was developed during the fourth dynasty,all monumental buildings are post and lintel constructions,•flat roofs are constructed of huge stone blocks supported bythe external walls and the closely spaced columns.
Religious buildings/monuments•Exterior and interior walls, as well as the columns and piers,were covered with hieroglyphic and pictorial frescoes andcarvings painted in brilliant colors.•Many motifs of Egyptian ornamentation are symbolic, such as the scarab, or sacred beetle the solar disk the vulture palm leaves, the papyrus plant buds and flowers of the lotusHieroglyphs were inscribed for decorative purposes as well asto record historic events or spells.
Religious buildings/monuments•Ancient Egyptian temples were aligned with astronomicallysignificant events, such as solstices and equinoxes,•required precise measurements at the moment of theparticular event.•Measurements at the most significant temples may have beenceremonially undertaken by the Pharaoh himself.
Examples TOMB ARCHITECTURE MASTABAS ROYAL PYRAMIDS ROCK – HEWN TOMBS TEMPLES OBELISKS DWELLINGS FORTRESSES
MASTABASHistorical Background This type of structure was an elaboration of the Pre – Dynastic Period burial-pit and mound form. Mastabas were favored as funerary monument from the Early Dynastic Period on As the Egyptian craftsmanship increased in the Early Dynastic Period, mastaba such as those of the first dynasty at Saqqara, were elaborate, having many storage or offering compartments, housing funerary chapels, shrines, offering tables and were quite evidently close copies of contemporary houses. In the Old Kingdom, even after the Pharaohs began to be buried in pyramids, other royal officials were still interred in Mastabas, usually around the site of the pyramid.
MASTABASUsage and Shape A sepulchral structure built aboveground. Mastabas were built above a shaft at the bottom of which was situated a tomb The structure above the ground were relatively low Rectangular in plan with inward-sloping walls Flat roof. Built of brick and faced with limestone slabs. sides sloping at an angle of about 75 degrees
MASTABASUsage and Shape they were derived from the rude heaps of stones piled over earlier mummy holes. They consisted of three parts : (i) The outer chamber, in which were placed the offerings to the Ka or " double," decorated with festal and other scenes which are valuable from an historical standpoint. (ii) The inner secret chamber, known as the " serdab," which contained statues of the deceased members of the family. (iii) The chamber containing the sarcophagus, reached by an underground shaft.
MASTABASDecorations and Examples Plain undecorated exterior The interior of mastaba walls were decorated with texts and images, illustrating scenes from the daily life of the deceased, offering scenes and ritual hunt scenes.
MASTABASThe Mastaba of Thi, Sakkara well preserved and restored, dates from the Fifth Dynasty, and was erected to Thi, who held the position of royal architect and superintendent of pyramids. It consists of a small vestibule, beyond which is a large court, where offerings to the deceased were made, and from which a mummy shaft led to the tomb chamber. The masonry is accurately jointed, and the bas-reliefs are some of the finest and most interesting in Egypt.
MASTABASThe Mastaba of Thi, Sakkara A second tomb chamber, 22 ft. 9 ins. by 23 ft. 9 ins. and 12 ft. 6 ins. high, has mural reliefs which represent harvesting, ship-building, slaughtering of sacrificial animals, as well as arts and crafts of Old Egypt while Thi himself is pictured in a papyrus thicket, sailing through the marshes.
ROYAL PYRAMIDSIn its most common form, a pyramid is a massive stone or brickstructure with a square base and four sloping triangular sides that meetin a point at the top.Pyramids have been built by different peoples at various times inhistory. Probably the best-known pyramids are those of ancient Egypt,which were built to protect the tombs of rulers or other importantpersons.
ROYAL PYRAMIDS Early royal pyramids were of mastaba type, from which the truepyramid evolved. Pyramids did not stand in isolation. they were surrounded by a walled enclosure and had an offeringchapel, with a stele, a mortuary temple for the worship of the dead anddeified Pharaoh pyramids were built during the lifetime of the Pharaohs, because oftheir belief in immortality.
ROYAL PYRAMIDSPyramids were founded on living rock, were of limestone quarried intheir locality, faced with the finer limestone. Granite, in limited use, such as linings of the chambers and passages. Tomb Chambers and their approaches were either cut in the rockbelow the monument or were in its constructed core. Entrances were from the north side, the sides were scrupulouslyoriented with the cardinal points.
ROCK – HEWN TOMBS Served for the nobility rather than royalty Pyramids, of indifferent construction, remained the principal form ofroyal tomb. TOMBS, BENI HASAN• Belonged to a provincial great family.• totally rock –hewn, each consists of a chamber behind a porticoedfaçade• slightly fluted and tapered columns
TEMPLES Two main classes – mortuary temples, for ministrations to deified Pharaohs Cult temples, for the popular worship of ancient and mysterious gods Royal burials more important than mortuary temples Their special character merged into that of the cult temples, lost thedistinction between the two types. Cult temples essentials were rectangular palisaded court entered from a narrow end flanked by pennon – poles centrally within them an emblem of deity pavilion comprising vestibule and sanctuary
TEMPLES Mortuary and cult temples had most features in common. Along main axis, not specifically oriented, there was walled opencourt, with colonnades around leading to covered structure. Transverse axis in covered structure had columned vestibule andsanctuary. Impressive axial gateway to the court.
TEMPLE OF KHONS , KARNAK A Cult temple it had entrance pylons, court hypostyle hall, sanctuary, and various chapels all enclosed by high girdle wall The entrance pylons, fronted by obelisks, Corridor of Sphinxeswere approached through an imposingavenue of sphinxes. The Portal gave on to the open court,surrounded on three sides by a doublecolonnade and leading to the hypostyle hall
TEMPLE OF KHONS , KARNAK The light in the Hypostyle was admitted through clearstory Beyond was the sanctuary , with openings front and back and acirculating passage around Beyond this was again a four- columned hall. There were small rooms flanking the sanctuary on its rear were mainly chapels, for purpose of rituals The temple was protected by a great wall of the same height as thehalls The wall decreased in height towards the sanctuary end.
TEMPLE OF KHONS , KARNAK Exterior Wall Internal Colonnade