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medu netcher - Houghton6

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					Ancient Egypt
        Earliest Inhabitants
• There were hunter/gatherer societies in the
  Egyptian region as far back as 5000-6000
  B.C.
• Cave paintings in Sahara region show
  elephants, rhinoceroses, buffalo,
  hippopotami, crocodiles, antelopes, giraffes,
  and fallow deer (see picture in Lamb, p. 122)
• Obviously, most of these animals are not
  present in great numbers today in the Sahara
  region – this confirms an earlier wetter
  climate.
   Departure of Big Animals
• Elephants, giraffes, and rhinos were
  rare by 2900 B.C., gone by 2600 B.C.
• Some elephants still remained in Algeria
  (Hannibal used them militarily to invade
  Europe in 218 B.C.)
            Drying Event
• Some say the great reduction in
  habitable land in Egypt actually forced
  the development of agriculture and
  therefore gave rise to the mighty
  Egyptian civilization
        Egyptian Geography
• Nile river valley and delta is very fertile,
  but surrounded by two deserts
• Arabian Desert (Eastern) - few oases,
  sparse population
• Libyan Desert (Western) - no oases,
  very harsh climate
         Egyptian Climate
• Two seasons:
• Hot season (May-October) - inhabited
  areas reach over 100°F.
• Cool season (November-April) - 55-70°F
• Deserts have more extreme seasons -
  average 114°F maximum during
  daytime, 42°F minimum during
  nighttime
  Egyptian plants and wildlife
• Most common is date palm; others include
  the carob, tamarisk, and sycamore.
• Rushes grow along streams. In the arid
  regions halfa grass and thorn trees are
  common.
• Lack of forest and grassland limits wildlife.
  The few species found include the fox, jackal,
  boar, and hyena. Crocodiles are found in the
  Upper Nile.
• Lots of birds and fish.
Vegetation of
  the Nile
   Delta
              Agriculture
• Limited to Nile delta and flood plain
• Flood plain soils tend to be rich and
  need little or no fertilizer
• The rest of Egypt has very poor soil
Early Capital of
Lower Egypt
Early Capital of
Upper Egypt
  Egyptian Historical Periods
• Old Kingdom (2700-2200 BC) - Pyramid
  builders - most successful time

• Middle Kingdom (2050-1800 BC)

• New Kingdom (1570-1090 BC)
         New developments
• Following unification, Egyptians developed an
  elaborate culture which produces the plow, a
  complex religion, copper working,
  hieroglyphic writing, and 365 day calendar.
• Egyptians called writing medu netcher, or
  "the words of the gods” - it was thought that
  writing was granted to Egyptians by their god
  Thoth - All of the universe was interpreted as
  writing
            Hieroglyphics
• Writing was pictorial at first - everything
  was represented by a picture
• This was inefficient (too many pictures
  and uncertainties in representation), so
  glyphs came to represent syllables.
• The catch is that they only represent
  the consonants to the syllables - vowels
  are missing.
Hieroglyphics
           Egyptian Gods
• Egyptian religion included many deities
• The culture lasted so long that many of
  these deities came and went or
  changed form
• Many of the deities had naturalistic
  attributes from animals or the sun
   Ra
• Sun god, grandfather of
  Isis and Osiris
• Sometimes merged with
  other gods (e.g. Amun-
  Ra)
• Often depicted with a
  barge
Osiris
    • Supreme god
    • God of the dead
    • Instrumental in
      creation myth
Isis
  • Main female deity
  • Mother figure
  • Sometimes
    winged
Horus
  • Sometimes son of
    Osiris
  • Sometimes human
    with falcon head,
    other times a falcon
  • Was added to
    Egyptian pantheon
    when Horus
    worshippers invaded
    pre-dynastic Egypt
Anubis
• Guardian of the
  underworld
Aten
• Unifying deity, lord
  of all
• Akenaten (heretic
  king) tried to unify
  religions and
  kingdoms
• No physical form –
  just sun rays

				
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