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Ancient Egypt : The Old Kingdom

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1 Ancient Egypt : The Old Kingdom

2 Early Egyptian Society
The Old Kingdom lasted for 500 years; BC. During those 500 years, Egyptians created a political system based on the belief that the pharaoh was both a king and a god. My name is Khufu, and I am the most famous pharaoh to rule in the 2500s BC. I’m most known for the monuments built for me.

3 Ruled by Pharaohs Egyptians believed Egypt belonged to the gods and that pharaohs had come to earth to manage Egypt. Since they were considered gods, he/she had ultimate power. However, they were also blamed for wars, floods, and disease. With so much responsibility and so many people to please, pharaohs hired government officials to help. These officials usually came from the pharaohs’ families. WAR! DISEASE! RESPONSIBILITY! FLOOD!

4 Egyptian Social Structure
The pharaoh ruled Egypt as a god. Nobles were officials and priests who helped run the government and temples. Usually, nobles were from rich or powerful families. Upper Class Scribes wrote and craftspeople produced goods. Middle Class Egypt’s Lower Class Most Egyptians were farmers. Below them were servants and slaves.

5 Egypt and Its Neighbors
During the Old Kingdom, Egypt began to trade with its neighbors. Traders returned from Nubia with gold, ivory, slaves, and stone. Traders traveled to Punt for incense and myrrh. They traveled to Syria for wood. Ivory is a hard white substance that is the bulk of the teeth and tusks of animals such as the elephant, hippopotamus, and walrus. Incense is a product that creates smoke when it is burned. It is created from many things including: woods, seeds, leaves, flowers, and barks. Myrrh is resinous dried sap from specific trees. It was used during the embalming process and burned as incense.

6 Religion and Egyptian Life
Relatives would also bring food and water for the “ka.” Many religious customs focused on what happened after people died, or the afterlife. Egyptians believed the afterlife was an ideal world where everyone was young and healthy. Egyptians believed the the idea of “ka,” which was a person’s life force. When a person died, their “ka” left their bodies and became a spirit but remained at the burial site and couldn’t leave. The “ka” had all the same needs that the person had when he or she was living. Objects Left for the “Ka.”

7 Gods of Ancient Egypt Isis Horus Amon-Re Osiris
I judge the souls of the dead. Egyptians practiced polytheism. Everyone was expected to worship the same gods. Temples were built for gods all over the kingdom. Major gods include: *Re, or Amon-Re, the sun god *Osiris, the god of the underworld *Isis, the goddess of magic *Horus, a sky god, god of the pharaohs * Anubis, weighed each dead person’s heart against the feather of truth. If they weighed the same amount, the person was allowed to pass to the underground. Horus Isis

8 Burial Practices Peasant families buried their dead in shallow graves in the desert. The dry sand preserved bodies naturally. Egyptians believed bodies had to be preserved so a spirit could recognize it when it returned. So the “ka” did not suffer, Egyptians developed a process of embalming their dead. Embalming allowed bodies to remain preserved for many years as mummies, or specially treated bodies wrapped in cloth. Embalming took weeks! It was a process that only elite could afford.

9 Burial Practices Based on what you know, Why do you think organs Were kept in jars? The body’s organs were preserved in special containers, canopic jars, and kept next to the mummies. The body was kept in a case called a sarcophagus.

10 The Pyramids Egyptians built pyramids in which to bury their rulers.
Tens of thousands of workers must have worked for decades to build the structures Egyptians’ understanding of engineering made it possible to build such outstanding structures. Egyptians built pyramids in which to bury their rulers. The largest pyramid was built for King Khufu and took more than 2 million limestone blocks. Burial in a pyramid demonstrated a ruler’s importance. The larger the pyramid, the more important the ruler. Egyptians believed that the happier the pharaoh in the afterlife, the happier the afterlife for all Egyptians. Engineering is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes.

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