LECTURE: EGYPT THE GIFT OF THE NILE

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1 THE GIFT OF THE NILE I) The Nile River a. I know the Nile. When he is introduced in the fields, his introduction gives life to every nostril. Temple inscription b. Longest river in the world c. Runs south to north and splits before the Mediterranean i. Creates the Nile Delta d. Lower Egypt i. Egypt in the Nile Delta e. Upper Egypt i. Egypt upstream, to the south II) The Black Land and the Red Land a. Heavy summer rains in central Africa raise the Nile and in early fall the Nile deposits mud and creates several miles wide tracks of fertile farmland b. Black Land mudded land created by flooding, good farming c. Red Land the deserts to the east and west of Egypt III) Stability a. Fertile farmland created reliable food production b. Deserts, the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, cataracts, all provided protection from invasion i. Cataracts are rapids on the southern Nile IV) Egyptian History a. King Menes unites Upper and Lower Egypt in 3000 BC i. First Pharaoh b. History is divided into the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and New Kingdom. Dynasties ruled during these periods. i. The intermediate periods had disorder or foreign conquest

2 V) Old Kingdom BC a. Pharaoh i. Possessed absolute power ii. Offspring of the sun god Re 1. Re created heaven, earth, humans iii. What I the king of Upper and Lower Egypt? He is a god by whose dealings one lives, the father and mother of all men, alone by himself, without an equal. iv. Supported by priests and soldiers b. Bureaucracy i. Pharaohs used a bureaucracy to help manage the kingdom 1. Vizier a. Steward of the whole land b. Head of the bureaucracy ii. Divided into 40 provinces, each with a governor c. Hieroglyphics i. Writing, stylized pictures expressing ideas d. Pyramids i. Pyramid at Giza ft high, 200 sq yard base 2. 6 million tons of limestone ii. Worked on during the fall flooding allowed use of barges on the Nile iii. Pyramids were built as tombs for the dead and filled with earthly comforts 1. Egyptians believed a ka would return after death if the pyramid was properly furnished and the body properly preserved e. Mummification i. Method of preserving the body after death ii. Done by priests for wealthy families iii. Mummy placed in a tomb

3 VI) Middle Kingdom BC a. Expansion i. Invasion of Nubia b. Attitude change i. Pharaoh s cared more for the people, not as distant 1. Drains swamp in the Nile Delta to provide new farmland c. Amon-Re, fusion of the gods Amon and Re, bcame the chief god. VII) Second Intermediate Period a. Hyksos i. Invaders from Syria and Palestine ii. Conquered a portion of the Nile Delta b. Upper Kingdom rebellion in Thebes VIII) New Kingdom BC a. Hatshepsut i. First female pharaoh 1. Daughter of the pharaoh Thutmose I 2. Married half-brother, the pharaoh Thutmose II a. Thutmose II dies, Hatshepsut becomes pharaoh ii. No word for a female queen. Called a King s Wife. iii. May have worn male clothing, a headdress and false beard 1. Symbols of royal, male, power b. Akhenaton i. Egypt will worship Aton, not Amon-Re (monotheism) c. Tutankhamen i. Restored the old gods ii. Boy king 1. From 8 or 9 until 17 a. Tomb discovered intact by Howard Carter in 1922 d. Ramses II i. Greatest emperor of the New Kingdom and maybe of Egypt ii. Conquered lands that had been Egyptian (from Nubia, the Hittites)

4 IX) Ancient Egyptian Culture a. Class based society i. Pharaoh ii. Priests, nobles 1. Scribe most honored iii. Peasants iv. Slaves 1. POWs b. Near gender equality i. At least four female pharaohs ii. Women could inherit or administer property, divorce, testify iii. Paid the same as men iv. Doctors, priestesses

5 ANCIENT EGYPT CHRONOLOGY (SOURCE: LOCKARD, CRAIG. WORLD P. 51) Egypt, BC 5500 First Sumerian settlements BC Upper and Lower Egypt unified BC Old Kingdom and Age of Pyramids BC First Intermediate Period BC Middle Kingdom BC Second Intermediate Period BC New Kingdom BC Third Intermediate Period

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