Resources Agriculture Domesticated animals Stones and metals
Egyptian civilization lasted essentially unchanged for 3000 years. The Egyptians are the most successful human culture in history.
Chronology Early Dynastic Period (c. 3100-2686 BC) Old Kingdom (c. 2686-2160 BC) 1 st Intermediate period (c. 2160-2055 BC) Middle Kingdom (c. 2055-1650 BC) 2 nd Intermediate period (c. 1650-1550 BC) New Kingdom (c. 1550-1069 BC) 3 rd Intermediate period (c. 1069-664 BC) Late Period (664-332 BC) Ptolemaic period (332-30 BC)
The Palette of Narmer Funerary Mask, Ptolemaic Period
Before the decipherment of the Rosetta Stone in 1822 by Jean Francois Champolion, we had only classical authors such as Herodotus (5 th century BC) and Manetho (3 rd century BC) from whom to reconstruct Egyptian history.
Chester Beatty Papyrus Ebers Papyrus Edwin Smith surgical papyrus Written Records Of Egyptian Life Scribes writing
Hieroglyphic Writing Ideograms (signs standing for ideas or concepts) Phonograms (signs standing for sounds ) In addition to traditional Hieroglyphic writing, two alternate scripts also evolved: Hieratic Demotic
Pharaoh with Hathor (left) and Osiris (right) Gods: take many forms have many names can be combined permeate all areas of human life Gods are “conceptualizations of an abstract force” which is the divine. The image of a god represents the essential, not the actual.
Ma’at = order Personified as a goddess Egyptians had great interest in cosmology (rules that govern the universe as a whole) and cosmogony (the creation of the universe) Society consists of four parts: gods king blessed dead humanity
Egyptian World View Ma’at a love of paired opposites, dualities and groups a love of symmetry a desire to impose order seeming inconsistency, but insistence on continuity
PomegranatesJar of roasted duck Tomb of Kha, 18 th dynasty Bread
Linen robe from the tomb of Kha Painting from tomb of Nebamun
More Scenes from Everyday Life Metalworkers Veterinarians at work Winnowing grain Herding cattle
Concluding Thoughts (for now): Writing and art are sacred; so just about everything you can read or see means something. Human life in Egypt is seen as part of a sacred whole. Concepts of Ma’at (order) and Izfet (disorder) are central. The potential for disaster is always present and it’s typically humans who cause problems. The sun represents the potential for order and continuity, and Osiris represents the potential for rebirth. Amun, the Sun, represents a culmination in Egyptian theological development.