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Egyptian Culture Preview Main Idea / Reading Focus Egyptian Religion

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Presentation on theme: "Egyptian Culture Preview Main Idea / Reading Focus Egyptian Religion"— Presentation transcript:

1 Egyptian Culture Preview Main Idea / Reading Focus Egyptian Religion
Mummification and Burial Daily Life Art, Writing, and Science

2 Egyptian Culture Main Idea Reading Focus
The ancient Egyptians are famous for their religion, their burial practices, and their advances in art, writing and science. Reading Focus What were the main principles of Egyptian religion? Why did Egyptians practice mummification and burial? What was daily life like in ancient Egypt? What advances did Egyptians make in art, writing and science?

3 Egyptian Religion Egyptians worshipped many gods
Some from the earliest days of the Old Kingdom Others like Imhotep added later Believed that gods controlled all natural events Chief gods and goddesses God of sun always a key figure, Re in Old Kingdom Later linked to sky god, Amon, and known as Amon-Re Sun god temple at Karnak the largest ever built in Egypt Anubis The protector of the dead, weighed souls to decide fate Light souls had been good in life and were rewarded Unworthy souls fed to terrible monster

4 Osiris, Isis and Horus Hathor and Thoth
Osiris introduced civilization into Egypt Brother Seth killed Osiris, scattered pieces of his body around Egypt Wife Isis reassembled pieces and brought Osiris back to life Osiris became new judge of dead, replacing Anubis Hathor and Thoth Hathor was the cow-headed goddess of love Thoth was the god of wisdom There were also local gods with power over small areas or single households

5 Temples and Religious Practices
Temples built to honor, provide homes for gods Ruins can still be seen in Egypt Features Decorated with massive statues Elaborate paintings, detailed carvings Obelisks Tall, thin pillars with pyramid-shaped tops Made from single piece of stone Carved with intricate designs

6 Temples and Religious Practices
Rituals to fulfill gods’ needs Cleaned and refreshed statue of god daily This kept gods alive In return gods would bring Egypt prosperity Priests had responsibility for care Common people had no part in rituals Ordinary Egyptians never entered temples People did worship gods at annual festivals

7 What religious practices did the Egyptians follow to honor their gods?
Analyze What religious practices did the Egyptians follow to honor their gods? Answer(s): They built temples to honor them and provide homes for them. In the temples, priests performed rituals to fulfill the gods' needs.

8 Mummification and Burial
Central to Egyptian religion was the belief in an afterlife, a land of the dead where souls would go to live. Because of this belief, Egyptians developed elaborate rituals regarding death and burial. Physical body dies, releases ka Ka was individual’s personality Ka needed food and drink to survive Sought to prevent decomposition so ka would not vanish Teachings Developed process to prevent breakdown of body Mummification only for kings, royal family at first Process available later to any who could afford Mummification Internal organs removed Heart left in body Body wrapped with linen strips Features painted on mummy to help ka recognize its body Process

9 Burial Possessions Pharaohs’ tombs Decorations
Dead Egyptians buried with possessions needed for afterlife Food and drink for the ka Pharaohs and nobles buried also with treasures and riches Pharaohs’ tombs Filled with statues of servants Egyptians thought statues would come to life to serve ka Also contained models of animals, chariots and boats Decorations Walls painted with scenes from person’s life Walls painted with stories about the gods Egyptians believed figures would come to life and maximize ka’s happiness

10 How did beliefs about the afterlife shape Egyptian burial practices?
Summarize How did beliefs about the afterlife shape Egyptian burial practices? Answer(s): Egyptians believed in an afterlife for the ka, or life force. The ka needed food and drink to survive, so both were buried with bodies. Great care was taken to keep the body from decomposing so that the ka would not shrivel away and vanish.

11 Daily Life Burial Practices Social Structure Top Layer
Archeologists learned much from items buried in tombs Also learned from images painted on tomb walls Good picture of society, culture Social Structure Top Layer Highly layered, with pharaoh, then key officials, priests, priestesses, scribes, military leaders, doctors, landowners All among wealthiest in Egypt Social Structure Next Level Next level included artisans, craftspeople and merchants The people who made and sold goods used by others Social Structure Bottom 90% of society were peasant farmers Sometimes recruited to build large public works, pyramids Recruited also for mines, army

12 Daily Life Slaves Status Home and Family Life Houses
Slaves were not a large part of the population Most convicted criminals or prisoners of war More slaves in New Kingdom Status Egyptian society less rigid than other ancient civilizations Possible to move up in society Becoming scribe the fastest way to gain status Home and Family Life Varied from class to class Pharaohs had more than one wife, most men only one Pharaohs married sisters to keep royal blood pure Houses Most lived as family units with father as head of household Poor families lived in huts Rich families had brick homes Noble families lived in palaces

13 Appearance and Customs
Daily Life Woman’s primary duty to care for home and children Egyptian women had more rights, could work outside home Could be priestess, own property, divorce husband Few children educated Played with wooden toys Women and Children Egyptians paid close attention to their appearance Many shaved heads, wore wigs, as well as perfume and makeup Clothing of linen and wool Children wore no clothes until adolescence Enjoyed sports, fishing, sailing and board games Appearance and Customs

14 How did life differ for rich and poor Egyptians?
Contrast How did life differ for rich and poor Egyptians? Answer(s): Rich had large homes, poor might live in tiny huts; wealthy men wore longer skirts or robes than peasants; wealthy men and women often wore gold jewelry.

15 Art, Writing, and Science
Ancient Egyptian civilization lasted more than 2,000 years and made many tremendous advances, particularly in art, literature and science. Very distinctive and easily distinguished from art of other ancient civilizations Paintings Detailed and colorful Stories of gods Pictures of daily life Most on walls of tombs, temples Some in manuscripts Egyptian Art Statues Large, imposing Most show gods, pharaohs Show power and majesty Great Sphynx, the largest and most famous Egyptian Statues

16 Egyptian Writing The Egyptians were prolific writers who recorded events in great detail and composed beautiful songs and stories. However, before they could create even the simplest tale, they needed a system of writing. The main Egyptian writing system Uses picture symbols to represent objects formal writing, stone monuments, religious texts Difficult to learn, time consuming Hieroglyphics Two other systems for texts that needed to be written more quickly Hieratic, religious texts Demotic, legal and literary writings Simpler and less attractive Made on wood, pottery and papyrus Other Systems Egyptians used the pulp of the papyrus plant that grew along the Nile to make paperlike sheets. Many papyrus scrolls are still readable today.

17 Egyptian Writing Historians could not decipher hieroglyphs
Rosetta Stone Discovered near Nile Delta village of Rosetta in 1799 Long passages of writing on the broken stone Same text in hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek Using Greek as guide, hieroglyphs and demotic meanings revealed Unlocked the mystery of Egyptian writing

18 Egyptian Math Egyptian Science
Egyptians had thorough understanding of basic arithmetic Also understood basic principles of geometry This along with grasp of engineering helped them build pyramids Buildings still standing, so skills were great Egyptian Science Greatest scientific advances were in medicine Egyptians masters of human anatomy Doctors treated wounds, performed surgery, used medicines made from plants and animals Prescribed regimens of basic hygiene to prevent illness

19 Find the Main Idea What advances did the ancient Egyptians make in art, writing, and science? Answer(s): detailed, colorful paintings, large, imposing statues, developed several writing systems, grasp of geometry and engineering, anatomy

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