4 The Palette of King Narmer 3100 B.C.E. The "palette" shows the ancient king wielding a club while he grabs the hair of one of his enemies. On the opposite side is another relief carving depicting two animals with entwined necks, probably symbolizing the unification of the north and south.Click to Return
5 King Mycerinus and His Queen 2548-2530 B.C.E. Royalty are always portrayed in sculpture with the left foot striding forward to signify their status as divine mortals. It is likely that their portraits were highly idealized and not true likenesses of their subjects. Proportions of nearly all of the statues are identical. Most of these figures originally resided in their temples, where offerings were regularly given, even to the long-deceased.Click to Return
6 The Rosetta StoneThe Rosetta Stone can be thought of as the "key" to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Before Napoleon's conquer of Egypt (succeeding the Persians and Romans), the meaning of the ancient text had been entirely lost. Discovered in 1799 near the lower Egyptian town of Rosetta, it is a slab of black basalt dating from 196 BC. It was inscribed by the ancient Egyptians with a royal decree praising their king Ptolemy V. The inscription is written three times, once in hieroglyphic, once in demotic(Egyptian alphabetic language), and once in Greek.Click to Return
7 Queen NefertitiHer name literally means "the beautiful one comes", and if her portrait was a true likeness, then she fit the description. She was a devoted wife to Akhenaton, and together they had six daughters. During his early reign, Nefertiti was his constant companion, and images portraying family scenes show them to be a loving couple. For unknown reasons late in his reign, Akhenaton and Nefertiti had a falling out. It is possible that they disagreed on politics or religion, or perhaps the breakup was due to Akhenaton's desire to have a male heir. They had the equivalent of an ancient divorce, and she was banished to the North Palace in Aketaten. Also living with her was her daughter Ankhesenpaaten, and a young prince named Tutankhamen.Click to Return
8 The Great Pyramids of Giza 2570-2500 B.C.E. It is no wonder that when we think of the Egyptians, the Great Pyramids are often the first images to come to mind. Their creation has awed and puzzled mankind for centuries. They were created during the Old Kingdom by three successive rulers: Khufu, Chefron, and Mycerinus. Each were tombs for the departing kings, whose burial chambers lay deep within the massive stones. Each were filled with the country's greatest riches: art created from precious metals and gems, servants whose honor was to serve them in the next life, and even buried ships to carry them into the next world. Click to Return
9 Stepped Pyramid of King Zoser (2667 - 2648 BC) Zoser (Djoser) was the second king of the 3rd Dynasty. His was the first Egyptian tomb to be built of stone, instead of mud bricks (which were also used to build later Middle Kingdom Pyramids). The stones that are used are different from the huge stones used in the pyramids at Giza, in that they are small in size.Click to Return
10 The Great SphinxThe Great Sphinx is to the northeast of Chephren's Valley Temple and connected to his pyramid by a causeway. It was given the face of the Pharaoh and the body of a lion. Facing the rising sun, he is believed to be Chefron's guardian spirit for his entire burial complex. The body is 200 feet in length and 65 feet tall. The face on its own is 13 feet wide and its eyes are 6 feet high. Carved from the natural limestone of Giza, the figure was buried for most of its life in the sand. It was later unearthed by a new kingdom ruler, Thutmose IV ( BC), and its soft stone has been disintegrating ever since.Click to Return
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