Ancient Egypt A

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					                      Ancient Egypt

A.   What do we know about Egypt?

     1.   Ask the question—“Where is Egypt?”
          a.   Africa or on the African continent
          b.   Show globe to demonstrate how far away it is
               from us
          c.   Ask question—“Can anyone tell me anything they
               know about Egypt?”
          d.   Ask question—“What sorts of things come to
               mind when you think of Egypt?”
          e.   Is Egypt a modern country? What is it like now?
               Talk about Islam, closeness to Israel, discuss
               how many people still live like they did a thousand
               years ago. Talk about how Cairo is one of the
               largest modern cities in Africa.

     2.   What kind of climate does it have? The climate is
          very hot and dry; it seldom rains.

     3.   What is around it? Egypt is surrounded on the east
          and west by deserts. North: the Mediterranean Sea.
          East: the Red Sea. South: the Sudan and Ethiopia.
          West: Libya.

     4.   How does Egypt play a part in our lives today?
          a.   Movies—The Mummy, the Mummy Returns, The
               Scorpion King, other mummy movies, Raiders of
               the Lost Ark; Prince of Egypt
          b.   Egyptian-influenced jewelry
          c.   Middle-East tensions
          d.   Biblical history
          e.   Memphis, TN; the Pyramid of Memphis
          f.   Las Vegas (plus Luxor Casino)
          g.   The Great Seal of the United States
          h.   Washington Monument

     5.   What we are talking about is ancient history—how long
          ago are we talking?
          a.   5000 years ago Egypt became unified
          b.   King Menes brought together Upper and Lower
               Egypt into one powerful country
          c.   What does A.D. and B.C. stand for?
               A.D= Anno Domini (Year of our Lord)
               B.C.= Before Christ
               B.C.E.= Before the Common Era (2007 years ago,
          now more often used by archaeologists)

B.   Geography of Ancient Egypt

     1.   The Nile River
          a.   What is the major geographical feature of
               ancient Egypt? The Nile River, the longest river
               in the world, more than 4,000 miles.
          b.   The Nile starts far to the south with two rivers,
               the White Nile and the Blue Nile.
          c.   The White Nile begins at Lakes Albert, Edward
               and Victoria, which border the countries of
               Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.
               Those are strange names for African lakes—why
               do they have those names? Victoria was the
               queen of England when they were first
               discovered by Europeans. Albert was her
               husband, and Edward, her son.
     d.   The Blue Nile starts at Lake Tana in Ethiopia.
          The two rivers come together to form the Nile
          River at Khartoum, Sudan.
     e.   Why was the Nile so important to the ancient
          --they used it for transporting goods and people
          --the yearly flooding (Innundation) helped the
          crops to grow
     f.   What made the Nile so useful? The current
          flows to the north, but the winds blow to the
          south, so one could travel either direction fairly

2.   What were the boundaries of ancient Egypt?
     a.   The land that was ancient Egypt did not have the
          same political boundaries that you see today on a
          map or globe. The vast majority of people lived
          along the Nile River, or close to the mouth of the
          Nile, in an area called the “Delta.” Ask if this is
          a familiar term to anyone.
     b.   One either side of the river were vast deserts
          and mountains. The Egyptians called the area
          around the Nile, the “Black Land” or “Kemet,”
          because of the rich, black soil deposited by the
          annual flooding. They called the desert the “Red
          Land” because of the color of the red sands.

3.   Travel on the Nile—although the river could be used
     for transportation, it wasn’t an easy ride. There are
     six cataracts, or waterfall/rapids areas that have to
     be negotiated. There were also plenty of crocodiles,
     and even more dangerous, hippopotami that could
     easily overturn a boat.

     4.   Upper and Lower Egypt—look on a map of Egypt.
          Upper Egypt is the southern part of the country.
          Lower Egypt is the northern part of the country. Can
          anyone figure out why? Because the Nile flows from
          south to north.

     5.   Major cities of Egypt
          a.   Giza, where the pyramids are built
          b.   Memphis (capital city of Egypt)
          c.   Thebes and Luxor (near the Valley of the Kings)


C.   Egypt’s Ancient History

     1.   Egypt’s history is so old that even the ancient Greeks
          and Romans were amazed at its history!

     2.   Before about 3000 B.C., Egypt was divided into two
          lands, Upper and Lower Egypt, and ruled by local
          leaders. Around 3000 B.C., a powerful king named
          Menes combined Upper and Lower Egypt into one
          powerful country, and started the line of kings known
          as Dynasties, or groups of related kings. There were
          31 Dynasties in about 3000 years.

     3.   There is some evidence that even before Menes, there
          was a powerful king whose name was Scorpion, but
          there is only one mention of him in ancient texts, so
          nothing more is known.
    4.   The unification of Upper and Lower Egypt also began a
         historical period called the “Old Kingdom,” which last
         about 500 years (2700-2200 B.C.).
         a. Egyptian history is divided into several periods.
            Along with the Old Kingdom, there were also Middle
            (2100-1780 B.C.) and New (1570-1320 B.C.)
            Kingdoms. In between these times were
            “Intermediate Periods,” times of struggle and
            political unrest, and sometimes invasion or rule by
            foreign powers.
         b. Egypt also had some other important periods in
            --The Ptolemaic Period (332-30 B.C.), where Egypt
            was conquered by Alexander the Great, a Greek.
            The Greeks who ruled Egypt for 300 years mostly
            belonged to a family called the Ptolemies. Cleopatra
            VII was a Greek ruler of Egypt.
            --The Roman Period (30 B.C.-330 A.D.), the Romans
            conquered Egypt and drove the Ptolemies out of
            --Coptic Christian Period (330-641 A.D.), when an
            ancient form of the Christian church started in
            --Islamic Period (641-present), began with the
            conquest of Egypt by the Islamic Moors, who
            brought their religion with them. Today, most of
            Egypt is of the Muslim faith.


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