The Nile & Ancient Egyptian Civilization

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1 The Nile & Ancient Egyptian Civilization

2

3 Blessings of the Nile Every year, the Nile River flooded its banks and the surrounding people sang hymns to give thanks to the Nile for nourishing the land and filling the storehouses with food. People had to cooperate building dikes, reservoirs, and irrigation ditches. Egypt is wholly the gift of the Nile. Herodutus Without it, Egypt would be swallowed by the barren deserts that surround it. While the desert protected Egypt from invasion it also limited where people could settle. Where are Egypt s cities? What effect what the consistency of Nile have on the surrounding peoples?

4 Uniting Egypt Egypt was split between Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt for many years. In 3100 BC, Menes, the king of Upper Egypt, united the two regions and his successors used the Nile to link North & South.

5 The Old Kingdom ( BC) Pharaohs claimed divine support for their rule and used this to help create organized, strong, centralized states. The Pharaoh depended on a vizier to supervise such matters as tax collection, farming, and the irrigation system. The vizier depended on thousands of scribes The Pyramids were built during the Old Kingdom period. Workers hauled and lifted millions of limestone blocks, some weighing two tons or more.

6 Middle Kingdom ( BC) The Old Kingdom fell as a result of crop failures, power struggles, and the cost of pyramid building After over a century of disunity new Pharaohs united the Middle Kingdom The Middle Kingdom was a much more turbulent period It saw much more frequent corruption & rebellions and less consistency from the Nile s floods

7 Middle Kingdom Still, the Middle Kingdom saw the organization of a large drainage project creating more arable (farmable) land. Egyptian armies also occupied part of Nubia, the gold rich area to the south. Egyptian traders made greater contacts with the peoples of the middle east and the island of Crete. Around 1700 BC the Hyksos overran the Egyptians with their horse-drawn war chariots The Hyksos were impressed by the Egyptians and they adapted Egyptian customs, beliefs, and names.

8

9 New Kingdom (1550 BC-1100 BC) Soon the Egyptians mastered the Horse chariot military technology and drove the Hyksos out, establishing the New Kingdom. During this Era Egypt became an empire as ambitious Pharaohs pushed the borders further into Africa and into southwest Asia

10 New Kingdom The New Kingdom saw many years of fighting between the Hittites and the Egyptians The fighting ended when the Hittites & Egyptians signed a Peace Treaty, the first such document in recorded history After the New Kingdom s most powerful ruler, Ramses II, died, Egyptian power slowly declined Emerging Empires such as the Assyrians and Persians conquered the Nile region. Later the Greek & Roman empires would conquer this fertile region.

11

12 New Kingdom Decline After the New Kingdom s most powerful ruler, Ramses II, died, Egyptian power slowly declined Emerging Empires such as the Assyrians and Persians conquered the Nile region. Later the Greek & Roman empires would conquer this fertile region.

13 Egyptian Civilization

14 Egyptian Religion Egyptians were polytheistic, believing many divine forces ruled this world and the afterlife. The chief god was the sun god, Amon-Re Osiris ruled the underworld and was responsible for the Nile and its annual flood which made the land fertile Isis was believed to have taught women to grind corn, spin flax, weave cloth, and care for children. Both Osiris & Isis promised the faithful life after death.

15 Afterlife Egyptians believed each soul had to pass a test in order to win eternal life. Upon death Osiris would weigh the dead person s heart against the feather of truth To survive the journey through the underworld Egyptians relied on the Book of the Dead. Egyptians believed the afterlife would be much like life on earth, so they buried the dead with all they d need in the afterlife. To give a soul use of its body in the afterlife, Egyptians perfected skills in mummification, the preservation of the dead.

16 Preparing the Dead

17 Class Stratification

18 When You re a Pharaoh

19 Women Egyptian women generally enjoyed a higher status and greater independence than women elsewhere in the ancient world. Under Egyptian law, women could inherit property, enter business deals, buy and sell goods, go to court, and obtain a divorce.

20 Egyptian Learning Learned scribes played a central role in Egyptian society. Egyptians developed a form of picture writing, called hieroglyphics, to keep important records. At first words were chiseled into stones, but later they learned to make paper like material from the papyrus plants along the bank of the Nile.

21 Egyptian Trivia

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