3000 YEARS OF EGYPTIAN CIVILIZATION KEMET The most prevalent color of the desert, is a decidedly reddish-yellow ochre. The Egyptians called the desert ”Deshret," meaning "red," and this endless carpet of sand covers an estimated 95 % of Egypt, interrupted only by the narrow band of green carved by the waters of the Nile. Ancient Egyptians called their land "Kemet," which meant "black," after the black fertile soil left behind each year with the annual flooding of the Nile.. PRE-DYNASTIC EGYPT Neolithic Period: 6000-3100 bce Slow development of civilization from 6000-3100 bce Introspective character: sense of cultural superiority Awareness of cyclical pattern supported by annual flooding of the Nile and knowledge of the sun’s revolutions Concentration of population on Nile banks led to development of agricultural villages Writing began to be developed ca. 3300 bce Nile Delta Lower Egypt swamp oasis Upper Egypt Kush island Palermo Stone Old Kingdom Annals: earliest Egyptian historical writing: 25th c. bce A dark stone containing information from the early dynasties. It is inscribed on both sides with a list of kings from PreDynastic Egypt to the middle of the 5th Dynasty. The exact creation date is not known, the earliest possible date being the middle of the 5th Dynasty. MANETHO Manetho, a Greek-speaking Egyptian priest, wrote the Ægyptiaca, a collection of three books about the history of Ancient Egypt, commissioned by Ptolemy II in the 3rd c. bce. As a temple priest, Manetho had access to the archives which contained a vast number of different kinds of writings from mythological texts to official records, from magical formulas to scientific treaties. With such sources, myths and folk-tale are mixed with the facts of the Egyptian history. Manetho divided Ancient Egyptian history in 30 dynasties, a division not always based on historical facts, but partly on mythology and partly on divisions of ruling families already established in the past. Ægyptiaca Papyrus Writing Divine Invention In ancient Egypt, the invention of writing is attributed to the god Thoth or Tehuti (Dhwty in Egyptian), the scribe and historian of the gods, who also kept the calendar and invented art and science. Egyptian Hieroglyphs Hieroglyphs were called by the Egyptians "the words of God" and were used mainly by the priests. The painstakingly drawn symbols decorated the walls of temples Hieratic script was used for conducting day to day business Hieroglyphs are written in rows or columns and can be read from left to right or from right to left. The direction in which the text is to be read is indicated by the human or animal figures which always face towards the beginning of the line. The upper symbols are read before the lower. History of Hieroglyphs Rosetta Stone, 196 bce 30th century BCE: The hieroglyphic system is developed. 500 BCE: A slow revolution of hieroglyphic writing starts, as new signs are introduced. The number of available signs grows over the centuries from around 700 to several thousands. 394 CE: The date of the last case of hieroglyphic writing. 1799: The Rosetta Stone is discovered, which contained the same text in two languages (Egyptian and Greek), and in three writing systems (hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek). 1822: The French scientist JeanFrancoise Champollion completes the decipherment of the hieroglyphs. Hieroglyphs from the Valley of the Kings History of Hieratic Script Around 2750 BCE: First examples of hieratic script. Around 2000 BCE: Writing direction changes from vertical to horizontal read from right to left Around 600 BCE: Demotic script replaces hieratic script for use with secular writing. Hieratic continued to be used for religious texts. Around 100 CE: Last examples of hieratic script. Hieratic Script Developed from the hieroglyphic system. Hieratic comes from Greek denoting "priestly", since it was used only for sacred texts in the last 1000 years of its existence. Hieratic script was used in carved or painted inscriptions, normally written in ink with a reed pen on papyrus. Hieratic script lasted for about 3200 years, but through the last 1000 years it was challenged by demotic script. Hieratic script was taught in school, while hieroglyphs were only understood by a small minority of priests in the society. History of Demotic Script 660 bce: First known example of demotic script. 5th century bce: Demotic script is in use all over Egypt. Beginning 4th century ce: Demotic script is starting to be replaced by Greek writing. 425 ce: Last known example of demotic script. Demotic script lasted for about 1000 years, during the last period of ancient Egyptian history. The term "demotic" comes from the Greek word for people, or popular. Demotic script was used for business and literary purposes, while hieratic was used for religious texts. Demotic was the most abbreviated and cursive script developed by the ancient Egyptians Most demotic texts were written in ink on papyrus. It was also written on wood or linen or carved in stone or metal. Demotic Script The Scribe Heti EARLY DYNASTIC PERIOD Dynasties 1 & 2: ca. 3100-2700 bce The culmination of the first stage of the Ancient Egyptian civilization that had begun centuries before during Prehistory The goal was to gain stable, superior status in Mid-East Establishment of divine kingship as Egypt's form of government Writing evolved from a few simple signs to a complex system of several hundreds of signs with both phonetic and ideographic values: Hieroglyphs Structures built in brick, wood and reeds were copied in stone, giving birth to the typical Ancient Egyptian architecture. MENES/NARMER According to Ancient Egyptian tradition, Menes was the first (human) king to have ruled over the whole of Egypt. Menes, a Southern (Upper Egyptian) king conquered the North (Lower Egypt) and united Upper- and LowerEgypt. He is considered the first king of the 1st Dynasty and credited with many deeds: the founding of Memphis as the united country's new capital the building of dams the founding of new cults and temples. The identification of Menes is problematic: he is often identified with Narmer, first king on the ancient King Lists Red Crown of Lower Egypt White crown of Upper Egypt 1ST DYNASTY NARMER PALETTE Unification of Upper and Lower Egypt Wadjet Cobra Goddess protector of Lower Egypt Nekhbet Vulture Goddess protector of Upper Egypt 1.Hedjet 2. Deshret 3. Pshent The Sema A rendering of the lungs attached to the windpipe: a symbol of the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt. Other symbols further illustrate unification: The Sema bound with two plants, the papyrus and the lotus. The papyrus represents Lower Egypt and the lotus represents Upper Egypt. In other representations we find two gods binding the Sema together using papyrus and lotus. Earliest tombs -- originally made from mud brick and built for only the most important Ancient Egyptians. Later they were also made from stone. The dead person was placed into the Mastaba with his or her worldly possessions To ensure a continued afterlife, a statue of the person was placed into a special room in the Mastaba called the Serdab. The Chapel had paintings on the walls which showed the dead person in life. In the Chapel there was a false door for the ka of the dead person to use when coming and going from the tomb. The Mastabas were robbed no matter how they were designed. MASTABAS OLD KINGDOM The Age of the Pyramids OLD KINGDOM “The Age of the Pyramids” Dynasties 3-6: ca. 2700 -2150 bce All the provinces were united united under the king/pharaoh, but there was no central army. Powerful provincial governors, appointed by the king, collected taxes, defended borders, and promoted and improved agriculture. Egypt was regularly attacked from the East and West by Bedouins and from the South by Kush (Nubia) Bedouins were defeated in 2600 bce in the Sinai Desert Saqqara became the site of nobles’ tombs and the first pyramids: reliefs and paintings revealed sophisticated, elegant lives Pyramids and temples were built by paid labor during the flood time: public works projects OLD KINGDOM Architecture Pyramids and Temples 27th c. bce -- Djoser’s Step Pyramid Experimentation in the 4th Dynasty One-step pyramid Bent pyramid True pyramid IMHOTEP “he who is coming in peace” Served King Djoser 2630-2611 bce The high priest of Ptah, vizier and the "overseer of works," architect, Responsible for the construction of Djoser’s Step Pyramid and surrounding funerary complex at Saqqara Introduced the use of limestone in architecture Substituted stone for papyrus and palm in columns Deified as the patron of medicine, of writing and of knowledge Saqqara Six levels, over 200 feet high Originally surrounded by courts and buildings Saqqara Part of the earliest known building to have been completely constructed in stone, this already has all those elements that make Ancient Egyptian architecture so typical: post and lintel construction flat roofs “doorways” for presentation of figures Heb-Sed Chapels and Ritual This court and its chapels provided the pharaoh with the means for his rejuvenating jubilee, called Heb-Sed. The ritual allowed the living pharaoh, after he had ruled for some years, to magically refresh his physical powers and thus continue to reign. For the deceased pharaoh, the ritual could be repeated endlessly in the Netherworld, enabling him to have an eternal after-life. Note the introduction of relief columns PYRAMID TEXTS The earliest funerary texts inscribed on a pharaoh's pyramid are found at Saqqara. The Pyramid Texts, were written on the inner passages and the walls of the burial chamber. They were intended to help the pharaohs travel through the afterworld, to secure the regeneration and eternal life of the king. The Pyramid Texts are considered the oldest body of religious writings in the world The Pyramid Texts are made up of 750 utterances or spells. Some of the utterances are hymns and addresses to various gods; others are magical formulae designed to assure resurrection and ward off malign forces. Their purpose was to ensure a happy afterlife, and through the power of the written word ensure that the deceased would be provided with food and drink. PYRAMID TEXTS COLUMNS Egyptian architecture was the first to use stone columns A column usually contains: a capital a shaft a pedestal Egyptians had the widest variety of capitals in the ancient world. Columns, originally made from palm and papyrus, bound around with string, were imitated in stone Palm-leaf column Inspired by Nature... Lotus column Papyrus column Hathor columns ...and by the gods The temple at Dendara PYRAMIDS OF GIZEH/GIZA The Great Pyramid, the tallest building in the world until early in the 20th century,was built in just under 30 years. It is the last survivor of the Seven Wonders of the World. Five thousand years ago Gizeh, situated on the Nile's west bank, became the royal necropolis, or burial place, for Memphis, the pharaoh's capital city. Gizeh's three pyramids and the Sphinx were constructed in the fourth dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom, arguably the first great civilization on earth. THE GREAT SPHINX pyramid obelisk statue ARTISTIC CANONS Canons or conventions for Egyptian art were set during the Old Kingdom and generally adhered to throughout Egyptian history Frontality Body proportions Rigid, erect stance Dignity Differing conventions for aristocrats, commoners and slaves Statue of Demedji and Hennutsen, ca. 2465–26 B.C.E.; early Dynasty 5; Old Kingdom OLD KINGDOM The pre-eminence of RA Most aristocratic of the gods -- prefers offerings of gold, silver and slaves Huge offerings were burnt on obelisks Priests used the offering money for their own purposes Mummification was very expensive and limited to the aristocracy Religious rites consumed a huge part of the country’s budget At the end of the 4th dynasty the power and authority of the priest of RA reached its height when the high priest married the heiress princess backed by bribed provincial governors 1st INTERMEDIATE PERIOD Dynasties 7-10: ca. 2150 -2040 bce Civil war erupted at the end of the 6th Dynasty caused perhaps by drought and inadequate flooding from the Nile Priests of RA were blamed for unrest Worship of OSIRIS became more prominent: more egalitarian popular with commoners rise of ethical and moral religious concepts MIDDLE KINGDOM Relief of Nebhepetre Mentuhotep, ca. 2040–2010 B.C.E.; reign of Nebhepetre Mentuhotep; Middle Kingdom MIDDLE KINGDOM Dynasties 11-13: ca. 2040-1640 bce Country reunited under Menuhotep II of Thebes Less centralized government with more authority given to regional governors Golden period of agriculture: land reclamation and irrigation products led to highest crop yields in the world Worship of AMON became pre-eminent Use of mud brick for building rather than stone Rock-cut tombs came into use Classical age of Egyptian literature: prophecies, hymns, narrative prose tales: Tale of Sinuhe TOMBS: Grave Goods Mud-brick pyramids and mastabas have largely disappeared Some rock-cut tombs remain at Beni-Hasan, ca.2100-1800 bce Layout of tombs similar to homes Paintings of domestic scenes and farm life Statue of an Offering Bearer, ca. 1985 bce Model of a Riverboat, ca. 1985 bce Coffin of Khnum-nakht, ca. 1900–1800 bce MIDDLE KINGDOM ANIMALS Cat, ca. 1991–1783 bce Statuette of a Hippopotamus, ca. 1991–1783 bce 2nd INTERMEDIATE PERIOD Dynasties 14-16: ca. 1640-1450 bce A group of Asians, known as the Hyksos, established their own dynasties in Egypt. It is commonly assumed that they invaded Egypt and overtook it by force. Egyptians called the Hyksos: "rulers of the foreign countries.” There is no real proof of military conflicts between the Egyptians and the Hyksos at the end of the Middle Kingdom. It is possible that Asian settlers who had been coming to Egypt for some generations had become so powerful, that they were able to gain political control and establish their own dynasties, without a military show of force. HYKSOS CONTRIBUTIONS to Egyptian Civilization Introduction of copper and bronze Upright loom Musical instruments: long-necked lute, lyre, oboe, tambourine Weapons: chain armor, battle axes, bronze swords, high velocity composite bows, horse-drawn chariots, military tactics NEW KINGDOM Imperial Egypt NEW KINGDOM Dynasties 18-20: 1550-1070 bce After the expulsion of the Hyksos during the 17th and 18th dynasties, Egypt set out on a series of conquests to secure the borders and create an Empire Spoils of war and the tributes owed by the many conquered states increased Egypt’s wealth and prosperity New temples were built, older ones were restored or enlarged. Especially favoured were the god AMON and his great temple at Karnak, in the capital Thebes. Egypt’s stability was briefly ruptured the late 18th Dynasty with the Amarna-revolution. New Kingdom Highlights Amarna Revolution King Tut Egyptian Empire ca. 1450 bce Karnak Karnak at Dawn Valley of the Kings necropolis of rock tombs built during the New Kingdom HATSHEPSUT reigned c. 1479--c. 1458 bce She acted for several years as regent for the young Tuthmosis III, her nephew and stepson, She assumed pharaonic titles and styled herself as the senior partner of a co-regency. Unlike previous women who had ruled Egypt, she was consistently portrayed in sculpture and relief as a male to legitimize her claim to the throne. She built extensively at Karnak, but her architectural masterpiece is her mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri, a monument whose plan foreshadows the later funerary temples of the New Kingdom. Seated Statue of Hatshepsut, ca. 1473– 1458 B.C.E.; Dynasty 18; reign of Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III; New Kingdom HATSHEPSUT’S TOMB The earliest datable royal tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Approximately 20 years after her death, her name and figure were hacked from her monuments and her statues broken into fragments by order of Tuthmosis III AMARNA REVOLUTION Amenhotep IV, also known as Akhenaten, changed the Egyptian religion and had most temples closed. Established a new capital at Akhetaten, now Amarna Akhenaten favored one new god, the solar-deity ATEN. Amarna-style painting and sculpture were characterized by a greater realism and artistic freedom. During this period of turmoil and upheaval, Egypt lost most of its former influence in Asia and Nubia. Akhenaten and Nefertiti Nefertiti Decorated balustrade fragment Amarna, Great Palace Reign of Akhenaten, 1353–1336 B.C. Stela of Wesi, Memphis Reign of Amenhotep III, 1390–1353 B.C ATEN AMEN Naturalistic and idealized plaster heads Small Luxuries comb kohl pot silver mirror LATE DYNASTIC PERIOD Dynasties 21-31: 1070-332 bce Also known as the 3rd Intermediate Period (1070 - 712 or 1070 - 525): Dynasties 21 through 24 or 26 and the Late Period (712 - 332 or 525 - 332) Often described as a period of decline and chaos as there was more than one centre of power in Egypt. A period of relative peace and stability. The 21st Dynasty royal tombs, unearthed in Tanis, are among the richest finds indicating the increasing wealth of private persons, such as the Theban high-priests. Nubian Dynasty: Kush 770 – 657 bce Dynastic rivalry brought an end to the new found unity and power. Not only was Egypt divided between the Delta and Thebes, now the Delta itself would be divided as well. Taking advantage from these internal conflicts, a new power arose in the South, in Nubia. A dynasty had come to power intent on conquering Egypt. The 25th Dynasty would be a Nubian Dynasty. The Nubian monarchs of the 25th Dynasty would rule the larger part of Egypt -but they would rule it following the old Egyptian traditions. Assyrians The peace and stability resulting from the Nubian conquest was ended by the Assyrians. Although the presence of the Assyrians in Egypt was a short one, its results were devastating. Thebes was plundered, ransacked and many temples were destroyed. Fortunately for Egypt, the Assyrians were forced to return to Assur, leaving Psamtek I the opportunity to take control over the whole of the country. With him began the 26th Dynasty and a new era of stability and prosperity in Egypt. Egyptian Warrior King Assyrian Warrior King PERSIAN CONQUEST 525-332 bce The latter part of the Late Dynastic Period starts and ends with a Persian occupation. The first Persian occupation, also known as the 27th Dynasty, lasted for more than a century (525 – 404). The second Persian occupation only lasted for 10 years (343 – 332), but it was one of the darkest pages in the history of Ancient Egypt: temples were plundered, holy animals were butchered and the people were subjected to demanding tributes. Egypt’s ordeal made it ready to welcome the Alexander the Great as its liberator. With the "conquest" of Egypt by Alexander, Egypt would become a Hellenistic state and a new era had begun. GRECO-ROMAN PERIOD 332 bce-395 ce When Alexander the Great entered Egypt, he was welcomed as the son of the god Amon and immediately accepted as the new king of the country. He founded a new city on the shores of the Mediterranean, the first of many to bear the name of Alexandria. He also began to restore all the damage done by the Persian occupation. Upon his death, his empire was divided between his generals. Egypt was taken by Ptolemy, who conquered Syria-Palestine. The Ptolemaic pharaohs continued Alexander’s policy of restoration in Egypt and supported the building of new temples throughout the country to ensure the support of the Egyptian clergy and the Egyptian people. Cleopatra (69-30 bce) The dynastic rivalry of the later Ptolemies finally resulted in an intervention by the Romans They again intervened in favour of Ptolemy XII’s daughter Cleopatra VII, a few years later. Cleopatra, a capable and a politically gifted ruler, became involved in the power struggle of the Romans, Octavian (later Caesar Augustus) and Marc Antony, and unfortunately, she chose the wrong side. When her fleets were destroyed at the Battle of Actium, she committed suicide, and Egypt became a Roman province. Her son Caesarion (fathered by Julius Caesar) was probably killed by orders of Octavian; her 3 children by Marc Antony (Cleopatra Selene, Alexander Helios and Ptolemy Philadelphus) were brought to Rome to be raised.