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Egyptian Timeline
• Old Kingdom (2700-2150)
– Hieroglyphics and religion
develop in Egypt
– pyramids built
• Middle Kingdom (2040-1786)
– extension of Egyptian control
into Nubia
• New Kingdom (1570-1075)
– militaristic - Hebrews enslaved
– mummification perfected
Outline
1. Geography
2. Religion
–
–
–
Gods
Pyramids
Mummies
1 2 3 4 5 6
3. Government
–
The Pharaoh
4. Daily Life
5. Middle Kingdom
6. New Kingdom
I. Geography
• River dominates Egyptian world/thought
• Surrounded by desert with occasional oasis
– Permits some trade
– Defense from invasion
• Contributes to feeling of safety
– preserves artifacts
1 2 3 4 5 6
“Egypt is the gift of
the Nile” -Herodotus
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6
I. The Nile
• yearly flooding - no concern for soil
depletion
– Predictable
– Irrigation systems
• Encourages
– Trade
– Communication
– Political unity
1 2 3 4 5 6
I. The Nile
1 2 3 4 5 6
I. The Nile
1 2 3 4 5 6
I. The Nile
I. The Nile
• Impact on religion
– divided life - living and dying.
• East (sunrise) is land of the living - cities, temples
• West (sunset) is land of the dead - tombs
1 2 3 4 5 6
II. Religion
• Omnipresence of religion
• Polytheistic
– interaction with the natural environment shows
interrelated gods and goddesses yearly rebirth of Nile and
daily rebirth of sun
– over 2000 gods
• Pharaoh as living god
• Afterlife
– Evolution of who has an afterlife
• Old vs. New Kingdom
1 2 3 4 5 6
II. Osiris
• God of the Dead - “rebirth” and the weighing of the heart
• Evolution of Egyptian
mythology
– known as a ruler in the Nile
delta – a local god
– regional god.
1 2 3 4 5 6
II. Horus
• Horus, god of balance and harmony
• maintained the natural order: the flow of the Nile and the fertility of
the soil.
1 2 3 4 5 6
II. Early Pyramids
Zozer’s stepped pyramid - similar to
Babylonian ziggurats
1 2 3 4 5 6
Why build Pyramids?
• Belief in the afterlife demanded:
1. Bodies be interred whole
2. Material goods for use in afterlife be present
• The need to protect the bodies demands
good burial tombs
1. First were mastabas
2. Then pyramids
3. Then later… hidden tombs
Mastaba
II. Great Pyramid
• Tomb for Khufu
• an almost perfect square (deviation .05%)
• Orientation is exactly North, South, East
West
• 2,300,000 blocks, 500ft high
• 20 years to build
• Average block weighs 2.5 tons
– Some weigh 9 tons!
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6
Pyramids of Menkaure, Khafre and Khufu
1 2 3 4 5 6
Queen Pyramids in front
1 2 3 4 5 6
II. Mummies
• Not known when it started in Egypt
• Perfected by time of New Kingdom
• How to make a mummy: 70 steps
– 1) Removal of the brain through the nostrils 2) Removal of the
intestines through an incision in the side 3) Sterilization of the
body and intestines 4) Treating, cleaning, dehydrating the
intestines 5) Packing the body with natron (a natural dehydrating
agent) and leaving for 40 days 6) Removal of the natron agent 7)
Packing the limbs with clay or sand 8) Packing the body with linen
(soaked in resin), myrrh and cinnamon 9) Treating the body with
ointments and finally wrapping with a fine linen gauze, not less
than 1000 square yards .
1 2 3 4 5 6
Canopic Jars made of alabaster for storage of heart,
stomach, intestines and liver which were also treated
1 2 3 4 5 6
Mummy
Inner coffin
1 2 3 4 5 6
Second inner
coffin
Second inner
coffin lid
1 2 3 4 5 6
Funerary
Gifts
Gift bearers
Shawabti box
Model boat
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6
III. The Pharaoh
• God-King - unlike Mesopotamia
– Temporal power
•
•
•
•
owns all the land and people and what people posses
law vs. Pharaoh's will
irrigation
no city walls
1 2 3 4 5 6
III. The Pharaoh
• God-King - unlike Mesopotamia
– Religious
• direct descendant of the Sun god
• controls access to the afterlife
• July-Sept, during floods life is controlled by the
Pharaoh
– 365 day calendar.
1 2 3 4 5 6
III. Role played by size in Egyptian Artwork
1 2 3 4 5 6
IV. Daily Life in Egypt
• Cosmetics, cleanliness (bathe 3 times a day), shaved
bodies, wigs
• main food is beer and bread
– Grow many crops: emmer, barley, flax, lentils, onion,
beans, and millet
• common building made of sun-dried mud bricks - up
to three stories in height
• Four social classes - slaves on the bottom
• Most common job … farming
1 2 3 4 5 6
IV. Farmers in Egypt
1 2 3 4 5 6
IV. Hieroglyphics
• Language is written without
vowels
• Different pronunciations
– MNFR as Memphis
– SR as Osiris
– TTMS as either Thutmose,
Thutmosis, Tatmusa or Atithmese
• Who learns this writing style?
1 2 3 4 5 6
IV. Hieroglyphics
• Use in
temples
• Rosetta Stone
• Napoleon and
Egyptology.
1 2 3 4 5 6
IV. Egyptian Artwork
Stela (carved stone)
Egyptian Farmers & animals
Notice, all people drawn
from the side – even when
looking right at you!
1 2 3 4 5 6
V. Middle Kingdom 2050-1750 BCE
• End of civil wars, farming and trade return
• move capital south to Upper Egypt (Thebes)
• public improvements
– drain swamps, canal to Red Sea
• belief in afterlife expands to include
common people
• tombs instead of pyramids
– better protection for mummies.
1 2 3 4 5 6
V. Middle Kingdom 2050-1750 BCE
1 2 3 4 5 6
VI. New Kingdom 1550-1075 BCE
• Ahmose I expelled the invading Hyksos and
reunited Egypt
• Known as the Empire period
• development of “public” and “private”
zones at temples.
1 2 3 4 5 6
Ahmose I leading Egyptians against the Hyksos
1 2 3 4 5 6
VI. New Kingdom 1550-1075 BCE
• Characterized by a more militaristic and
imperialistic nature
– incorporated chariot, bronze working, horses
– development of a professional army
• became a slave based economy fueled by
war and expansion
1 2 3 4 5 6
VI. Threats to Tradition
• Amenhotep IV (c. 1362-1347 B.C.)
introduced the worship of Aton, god
of the sun disk, as the chief god and
pursued his worship with
enthusiasm.
• Changed name to Akhenaten (“It is
well with Aton”)
• He closed the temples of other gods
and especially endeavored to lessen
the power of Amon-Re and his
priesthood at Thebes.
1 2 3 4 5 6
VI. Threats to Tradition
1355-1335 BCE
• Nefertiti
– Wife of Akhenaton the only
pharaoh to even partially
reject polytheism
– political move against priests
of Amon-Re
– moved capital to Amarna
– worshipped Aton, the sun
disk
• royal inbreeding.
1 2 3 4 5 6
VI. Tutankhamen
1335-1325 BCE
•
•
•
•
(King Tut)
child ruler
ruled nine years, died at 18
young death meant burial
in the tomb of a lesser
person (noble) resulting in
preservation
1 2 3 4 5 6
VI. Ramses II (1279-1213)
•
•
•
•
greatest New Kingdom ruler
military leader of Egypt
expanded into southern Turkey
built many monuments to
himself
• last gasp of Egyptian power.
1 2 3 4 5 6
VI. Ramses II (1279-1213)
1 2 3 4 5 6
VI. Ramses II (1279-1213)
1 2 3 4 5 6
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