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“Egypt is wholly the gift of the Nile.” – Herodotus

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1 “Egypt is wholly the gift of the Nile.” – Herodotus
Unit 2a: Ancient Egypt “Egypt is wholly the gift of the Nile.” – Herodotus Greek Historian “Father of History”

2 Ancient Egypt

3 “Hymn to the Nile” “The bringer of food, rich in provisions, creator of all good, lord of majesty, sweet of fragrance… He who… fills the magazines, makes the granaries wide, and gives things to the poor. He who made every beloved tree to grow…” What does this primary source reveal about the ancient Egyptians?

4 Geography of the Ancient Nile Valley
People settled and established farming villages along the Nile. Egyptians depended on annual floods to soak the land and deposit a layer of silt, or rich soil. (The “Miracle” of the Nile”) Egyptians had to cooperate to control the Nile, building dikes, reservoirs, and irrigation ditches. Rulers used the Nile to link and unite Upper and Lower Egypt. The Nile served as a trade route connecting Egypt to Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean world. Natural barriers: Mediterranean Sea, Sahara Desert, Red Sea

5 Egypt began along the Nile River in North Africa
Egypt was bordered on both sides by desert which isolated & protected Egyptians from outsiders The Nile River’s annual floods were predictable & provided fertile soil for farming The Nile flooded so predictably that the Egyptians designed their calendar around it The Geography of Egypt From the highlands of East Africa to the Mediterranean Sea, the Nile River flows northward across Africa for over 4,100 miles, making it the longest river in the world. A thin ribbon of water in a parched desert land, the great river brings its water to Egypt from distant mountains, plateaus, and lakes in present-day Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia. Egypt’s settlements arose along the Nile on a narrow strip of land made fertile by the river. The change from fertile soil to desert—from the Black Land to the Red Land—was so abrupt that a person could stand with one foot in each. The Gift of the Nile As in Mesopotamia, yearly flooding brought the water and rich soil that allowed settlements to grow. Every year in July, rains and melting snow from the mountains of east Africa caused the Nile River to rise and spill over its banks. When the river receded in October, it left behind a rich deposit of fertile black mud called silt. Before the scorching sun could dry out the soil, the peasants would prepare their wheat and barley fields. All fall and winter they watered their crops from a network of irrigation ditches. In an otherwise parched land, the abundance brought by the Nile was so great that the Egyptians worshiped it as a god who gave life and seldom turned against them. As the ancient Greek historian Herodotus remarked in the fifth century B.C., Egypt was the “gift of the Nile.”

6 Cataracts - waterfall Delta -triangular area of marshland formed by deposits of silt at the mouth of some rivers. Flow of Water – South to North Fertile Soil

7 Menes & Unification of Egypt
Modern historians have divided ancient Egyptian history into three periods – the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and New Kingdom. Initially, Egypt was ruled by a number of tribal chieftains. Around 1300B.C.E, Menes united Upper and Lower Egypt into a single kingdom. Egyptians kings eventually adopted the title of pharaoh (meaning “great house” or “palace”) Egyptian Kings claimed to be gods – theocracy (government run by religious figures) Using the Nile, Egyptian leaders would expand trade to Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean.

8 Old Kingdom (2660B.C.E B.C.E.) Egyptian pharaohs were absolute rulers Bureaucratic government develops Office of Vizier – “Steward of the Whole Land” Vizier was in charge of the numerous departments of the bureaucracy Departments included police, justice, river transport, public works, agriculture, and treasury. Old Kingdom is sometimes called the Pyramid Age. Pyramids were tombs for eternity. Egyptians believed in the afterlife; they preserved bodies of dead rulers and gave them everything they needed in their new lives. Pharaohs would begin building tombs as soon as they inherited the throne.

9 9/20/12 Do-Now: Take a reading from the projector stand and summarize the main points.

10 Middle Kingdom – The Golden Age (2080B.C.E – 1640B.C.E.)
Change of role for the pharaoh Now viewed as a “shepherd of his people” Responsible to build public works and provide for public welfare. Canal built from Nile to the Red Sea Social Classes established during Old and Middle Kingdoms Weak pharaohs – primogeniture –first born inheritance 1700 B.C. foreign invaders, the Hyksos from the Arabian peninsula, occupied the delta region for 100 years. They adopted the Egyptian customs, beliefs, and even names.

11 Ancient Egyptian Women
They enjoyed a higher status and greater independence. Under Egyptian law, women could inherit property, enter business deals, buy and sell goods, go to court, and obtain a divorce. Women could enter the priesthood, but many were not literate – they could not become scribes or hold other government jobs.

12 New Kingdom (1570B.C.E – 1075B.C.E) Exposure to new aspects of warfare from the Hyksos led to use of new weapons Horse drawn chariot, heavier swords, and compound bow. Egypt becomes an empire Palestine, Syria, and Libya would fall under Egypt’s borders. Egypt would expand to the Euphrates River.

13 9/21/12 Do-Now Take out your reflections. In pairs answer the following questions. (Think – Pair – Share) What evidence does the author present that “kites” could be used to move obelisks? How does this evidence change history? Do you think the Ancient Egyptians were that advanced? Explain.

14 Major New Kingdom Pharaohs
Queen Hatshepsut She began ruling because a male heir was too young to take the throne. She wore a false beard as a sign of authority. Her greatest accomplishment was sending expeditions to Punt encouraging mining, agriculture, and trading. Ebony, ivory, and spices Medicines and Monkeys Ramses II He was famous for military victories. After years of fighting with Hittites, Egypt signed a peace treaty with them – this was the first of such document to have survived.

MIDDLE KINGDOM NEW KINGDOM Pharaohs organized a strong central state, were absolute rulers, and were considered gods. Egyptians built pyramids at Giza. Power struggles, crop failures, and cost of pyramids contributed to the collapse of the Old Kingdom. Large drainage project created arable farmland. Traders had contacts with Middle East and Crete. Corruption and rebellions were common. Hyksos invaded and occupied the delta region. Introduced the Egyptians to the Bronze Age Powerful pharaohs created a large empire that reached the Euphrates River. Hatshepsut encouraged trade. Ramses II seized Syria and expanded Egypt’s borders. Egyptian power declines. Nubians will invade.

16 Decline of the Egyptian Empire
Assyrians and Persians conquered the Nile region. Later on, Greek and Roman armies took over the rich Nile Valley. Egypt continued to influence its conquerors through the richness of its heritage and the awesome magnificence of its physical remains.

17 9/24/12 – Do-Now With a partner, answer the following question
You go to CVS and buy the following items Honey Glassware Paper Calendar Newspaper Cosmetics Medicine What do all of these items have in common?

18 Egypt and Nubia For centuries, Egypt traded or fought with Nubia.
During the New Kingdom, Egypt conquered Nubia. Nubians served in Egyptian armies and influenced Egyptian culture. Egyptian art from this period shows Nubian soldiers, musicians, or prisoners. When Egypt declined, Nubia conquered Egypt. Nubians did not see themselves as conquerors. Nubians saw themselves as “restorers of Egyptian glory and traditions.”

19 Lasting Contributions
For many centuries, the people of Egypt lived in two Kingdoms, Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. Upper Egypt extended north from the Nile’s first area of rapids to the Nile delta. The delta is a broad, marshy, triangular area of rich land. Lower Egypt began here and continued north to the Mediterranean, just 100 miles away. Most of Egypt’s first great cities formed here like Cairo

20 Lasting Contributions
Specialized Workers: ?

21 Lasting Contributions
Government : Pharaohs ruled Egypt as “king-gods” & were thought to control nature Egyptians constructed pyramids & elaborate tombs for the pharoahs In preparing the pharaoh for life after death, their bodies were mummified to preserve them.

22 Lasting Contributions
Mummification – the preservation of the dead. Embalmers removed vital organs, then dried and wrapped the body in strips of linen. The process took months to complete. Pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Kings. King Tut was found by British archeologist Howard Carter – the tomb provided treasures and evidence about Egyptian civilization.

23 Lasting Contributions
Religion: Egyptians were polytheistic & believed the gods controlled all aspects of life and the afterlife.

24 Lasting Contributions
Religion: The chief god was the sun god, Amon-Re – kings were believed to be closely linked to Amon-Re. Osiris was an important god because he was the ruler of the underworld, and also the god of the Nile.

25 Lasting Contributions
Religion: A pharaoh named Akhenaton worshipped the god Aton instead of Amon-Re. Egyptians resisted this change. After his death, priests of the old gods reasserted their power.

26 Lasting Contributions
Early hieroglyphs were also written on scrolls made of early paper called papyrus Writing: Egyptian hieroglyphics was both pictograms & a phonetic alphabet Hieroglyphics were translated using the Rosetta Stone by French scholar Jean Champollion.

27 Lasting Contributions
Literature, Arts & Architecture: The Tale of Sinuhe This story helps us see how Egyptians view themselves and the people of the desert. Painting and sculpture The arts of ancient Egypt included statues, wall paintings in tombs, and carvings on temples.

28 Lasting Contributions
Scribes also acquired skills in mathematics, medicine, and engineering. Temple scribes kept records of ceremonies, taxes, and gifts. Demotic – a simpler form of writing for everyday use.

29 Lasting Contributions
Technology: Egyptian ideas included a 365-day calendar, geometry, astronomy, & pyramids

30 Lasting Contributions
Math, Science & Technology: They used trial and error to find a solution. Through mummification, they learned a lot about the human body. Many medicines that Egyptian doctors prescribed are still in use. They mapped constellations and charted the movements of planets. They developed geometry to survey the land – also used to calculate the size of stone for pyramids and temples. Oldest literature found were hymns and prayers to the gods, proverbs, and love poems.

31 Final Discussion: A museum has been forced to downsize the Ancient Egyptian exhibition. As Global History experts, you have been consulted to determine what 3 aspects of the ancient Egyptian civilization should be retained. Using your knowledge of social studies, make an argument for the 3 aspects you wish to be salvaged.

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