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For at least ten thousand years, the Nile valley has been the site of one of the most influential civilizations in the world. Even today, its architectural monuments, which include Great Pyramid of Kafu and the Great Sphinx, are among the largest and most famous buildings in the world.
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1 Characteristics 2 The Giza pyramid complex 3 Karnak 4 Luxor Temple 5 Influence upon European architecture 6 References 7 See also 8 Gallery
Due to the scarcity of wood, the two predominant building materials used in ancient Egypt were unbaked mud brick and stone. From the Old Kingdom onward, stone was generally reserved for tombs and temples, while bricks were used even for royal palaces, fortresses, the walls of temple precincts and towns, and for subsidiary buildings in temple complexes. Most ancient Egyptian towns have been lost because they were situated in the cultivated and flooded area of the Nile Valley, although the dry, hot climate of Egypt preserved some mud brick structures. Examples include the village Deir al-Madinah and the fortresses at Buhen and Mirgissa. On the other hand, many temples and tombs have survived because they were built on ground unaffected by the Nile flood and were constructed of stone. Thus, our impression of ancient Egyptian architecture is based mainly on its religious monuments, massive structures characterized by thick, sloping walls with few openings, possibly echoing a method of construction used to obtain stability in mud walls. In a similar manner, the incised and flatly modelled surface adornment of the stone buildings may have derived from mud wall ornamentation. Although the use of the arch was developed during the fourth dynasty, all monumental buildings are post and lintel constructions, with flat roofs constructed of huge stone blocks supported by the external walls and the closely spaced columns.
The exterior walls, as well as the columns and piers, were covered with hieroglyphic and pictorial carvings in brilliant colors. Many motifs of Egyptian ornament are symbolic, such as the scarab, or sacred beetle, the solar disk, and the vulture. Other common motifs include palm leaves, the papyrus plant, and the buds and flowers of the lotus. Hieroglyphics were decoration as well as records of historic events.
 The Giza pyramid complex
Main article: Giza pyramid complex The Giza Necropolis stands on the Giza Plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. This complex of ancient monuments is located some 8 kilometres (5 mi) inland into the desert from the old town of Giza on the Nile, some 20 kilometers (12 mi) southwest of Cairo city center. This Ancient Egyptian necropolis consists of the Pyramid of Khufu (also known as the Great Pyramid and the Pyramid of Cheops), the somewhat smaller Pyramid of Khafre (or Kephren), and the relatively modest-sized Pyramid of Menkaure (or Mykerinus), along with a number of smaller satellite edifices, known as "queens" pyramids, and the Great Sphinx. The pyramids, which were built in the Fourth Dynasty, testify to the power of the pharaonic religion and state. The Great Pyramid, which was probably completed c. 2580 BC, is the oldest and largest of the pyramids, and is the only surviving monument of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The pyramid of Khafre is believed to have been completed around 2532 BC, at the end of Khafre's reign. The date of construction of Menkaure's pyramid is unknown, because Menkaure's reign has not been accurately defined, but it was probably completed sometime during the 26th century BC.
Main article: Karnak The temple complex of Karnak is located on the banks of the River Nile some 2.5 kilometres (1.5 mi) north of Luxor. It consists of four main parts, the Precinct of AmonRe, the Precinct of Montu, the Precinct of Mut and the Temple of Amenhotep IV (dismantled), as well as a few smaller temples and sanctuaries located outside the enclosing walls of the four main parts, and several avenues of ram-headed sphinxes connecting the Precinct of Mut, the Precinct of Amon-Re and Luxor Temple. The key difference between Karnak and most of the other temples and sites in Egypt is the length of time over which it was developed and used. Construction work began in the 16th century BC. Approximately 30 pharaohs contributed to the buildings, enabling it to reach a size, complexity and diversity not seen elsewhere. Few of the individual features of Karnak are unique, but the size and number of features is overwhelming.
 Luxor Temple
Main article: Luxor Temple Luxor Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the River Nile in the city today known as Luxor (ancient Thebes). Construction work on the temple began during the reign of Amenhotep III in the 14th century BC. Horemheb and Tutankhamun added columns, statues, and friezes – and Akhenaten had earlier obliterated his father's cartouches and installed a shrine to the Aten – but the only major expansion effort took place under Ramesses II some 100 years after the first stones were put in place. Luxor is thus unique among the main Egyptian temple complexes in having only two pharaohs leave their mark on its architectural structure. The temple proper begins with the 24 metre (79 ft) high First Pylon, built by Ramesses II. The pylon was decorated with scenes of Ramesses's military triumphs (particularly the Battle of Qadesh); later pharaohs, particularly those of the Nubian and Ethiopian dynasties, also recorded their victories there. This main entrance to the temple complex was originally flanked by six colossal statues of Ramesses – four seated, and two standing – but only two (both seated) have survived. Modern visitors can also see a 25 metre (82 ft) tall pink granite obelisk: this one of a matching pair until 1835, when the other one was taken to Paris where it now stands in the centre of the Place de la Concorde. Through the pylon gateway leads into a peristyle courtyard, also built by Ramesses II. This area, and the pylon, were built at an oblique angle to the rest of the temple, presumably to accommodate the three pre-existing barque shrines located in the northwest corner. After the peristyle courtyard comes the processional colonnade built by Amenhotep III – a 100 metre (328 ft) corridor lined by 14 papyrus-capital columns. Friezes on the wall describe the stages in the Opet Festival, from sacrifices at Karnak at the top left, through Ammon's arrival at Luxor at the end of that wall, and concluding with his return on the opposite side. The decorations were put in place by Tutankhamun: the boy pharaoh is depicted, but his names have been replaced with those of Horemheb. Beyond the colonnade is a peristyle courtyard, which also dates back to Amenhotep's original construction. The best preserved columns are on the eastern side, where some traces of original colour can be seen. The southern side of this courtyard is made up of a 32-column hypostyle court that leads into the inner sanctums of the temple, which begin with a dark antechamber.
 Influence upon European architecture
Ancient Egyptian architecture has had influence upon the architecture and art of medieval Europe, notably in the early 17th century, when Renaissance designers brought elements of Egyptian art into the ornamentation of castles and other fine buildings. Examples include cyriads. These sculpted women are used to support the ornamentation above the pillars and columns. Examples of this phenomenon are found at Glamis Castle and Muchalls Castle in Scotland, where caryatid figures are incorporated into the overmantle plasterwork. These plasterwork interiors are considered the two finest in Scotland.
1. ^ Archibald Watt, Highways and Byways around Kincardineshire, Stonehaven Heritage Society (1985)
 See also
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Egyptian pyramids Medinet Habu Edfu Valley of the Kings List of ancient Egyptian sites
Egyptian workers Luxor Temple, from pulling a giant statue The Giza pyramid the east bank of the Ceiling decoration in field, viewed from the on a sled the peristyle hall of Nile southwest Medinet Habu
Obelisk at Karnak Temple Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egyptian_architecture"
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World GDP/capita changed very little for most of human history before the industrial revolution. (Note the empty areas mean no data, not very low levels. There are data for the years 1, 1000, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1820, 1900, and 2003.) Economic growth is the increase in value of the goods and services produced by an economy. It is conventionally measured as the percent rate of increase in real gross domestic product, or GDP. Growth is usually calculated in real terms, i.e. inflationadjusted terms, in order to net out the effect of inflation on the price of the goods and services produced. In economics, "economic growth" or "economic growth theory" typically refers to growth of potential output, i.e., production at "full employment," which is caused by growth in aggregate demand or observed output. As economic growth is measured as the annual percent change of National Income it has all the advantages and drawbacks of that level variable. But people tend to attach a particular value to the annual percentage change, perhaps since it tells them what happens to their wage cheque.
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1 Origins of the concept of economic growth 2 Measuring growth 3 Theories of economic growth 4 Literature 5 See also 6 External links
 Origins of the concept of economic growth
In the early modern period, some people in Western European nations began conceiving of the idea that economies could "grow", that is, produce a greater economic surplus which could be expended on something other than religious or governmental projects (such as war). The previous view was that only increasing either population or tax rates could generate more surplus money for the Crown or country.
Now it is generally recognized that economic growth also corresponds to a process of continual rapid replacement and reorganization of human activities facilitated by investment motivated to maximize returns. This exponential evolution of our selforganized life-support and cultural systems is remarkably creative and flexible, but highly unpredictable in many ways. Since science still has no good way of modeling complex self-organizing systems, various efforts to model the long term evolution of economies have produced few useful results. During much of the "Mercantilist" period, growth was seen as involving an increase in the total amount of specie, that is circulating medium such as silver and gold, under the control of the state. This "Bullionist" theory led to policies to force trade through a particular state, the acquisition of colonies to supply cheaper raw materials which could then be manufactured and sold. Later, such trade policies were justified instead simply in terms of promoting domestic trade and industry. The post-Bullionist insight that it was the increasing capability of manufacturing which led to policies in the 1700's to encourage manufacturing in itself, and the formula of importing raw materials and exporting finished goods. Under this system high tariffs were erected to allow manufacturers to establish "factories". (The word comes from "factor", the term for someone who carried goods from one stage of production to the next.) Local markets would then pay the fixed costs of capital growth, and then allow them to export abroad, undercutting the prices of manufactured goods elsewhere. Once competition from abroad was removed, prices could then be increased to recoup the costs of establishing the business. Under this theory of growth, the road to increased national wealth was to grant monopolies, which would give an incentive for an individual to exploit a market or resource, confident that he would make all of the profits when all other extra-national competitors were driven out of business. The "Dutch East India company" and the "British East India company" were examples of such state-granted trade monopolies. It should be stressed that Mercantilism was not simply a matter of restricting trade. Within a country, it often meant breaking down trade barriers, building new roads, and abolishing local toll booths, all of which expanded markets. This corresponded to the centralization of power in the hands of the Crown (or "Absolutism"). This process helped produce the modern nation-state in Western Europe. Internationally, Mercantilism led to a contradiction: growth was gained through trade, but to trade with other nations on equal terms was disadvantageous. This – along with the rise of nation-states – encouraged several major wars. The modern conception of economic growth began with the critique of Mercantilism, especially by the physiocrats and with the Scottish Enlightenment thinkers such as David Hume and Adam Smith, and the foundation of the discipline of modern political economy. The theory of the physiocrats was that productive capacity, itself, allowed for growth, and the improving and increasing capital to allow that capacity was "the wealth
of nations". Whereas they stressed the importance of agriculture and saw urban industry as "sterile", Smith extended the notion that manufacturing was central to the entire economy. David Ricardo would then argue that trade was a benefit to a country, because if one could buy a good more cheaply from abroad, it meant that there was more profitable work to be done here. This theory of "comparative advantage" would be the central basis for arguments in favor of free trade as an essential component of growth. This notion of growth as increased stocks of capital goods (means of production) was codified as the Solow-Swan Growth Model, which involved a series of equations which showed the relationship between labor-time, capital goods, output, and investment. In this modern view, the role of technological change became crucial, even more important than the accumulation of capital. Income per capita was essentially flat until the industrial revolution. This period of time is called the Malthusian period, since it was governed by the principles explained by Thomas Malthus in his "Essay on the Principle of Population." In essence, Malthus said that any growth in the economy would translate into a growth in population. Thus, although aggreagate income could increase, income per capita was bound to stay roughly constant. The mainstream theory of economic growth states that with the industrial revolution and advancements in medicine, life expectation increased, infant mortality decreased, and the payoff to receiving an education was higher. Thus, parents began to place more value on the quality of their children and not on the quantity. This lead to a drop in the fertility rates of most industrialized nations. This is known as the breakdown of the Malthusian regime. With income increasing drastically and population dropping, industrialised economies drastically increased their incomes per capita in the next centuries. The late 20th century, with its global economy of a few very wealthy nations, and many very poor nations, led to the study of how the transition from subsistence and resourcebased economies, to production and consumption based-economies occurred, leading to the field of Development economics.
 Measuring growth
The real GDP per capita of an economy is often used as an indicator of the average standard of living of individuals in that country, and economic growth is therefore often seen as indicating an increase in the average standard of living. However, there are some problems in using growth in GDP per capita to measure general well being.
GDP per capita does not provide any information relevant to the distribution of income in a country.
GDP per capita does not take into account negative externalities from pollution consequent to economic growth. Thus, the amount of growth may be overstated once we take pollution into account. GDP per capita does not take into account positive externalities that may result from services such as education and health. GDP per capita excludes the value of all the activities that take place outside of the market place (such as cost-free leisure activities like hiking).
Economist are well aware of these defeciencies in GDP, thus, it should always be viewed merely as an indicator and not an absolute scale. Economist have developed mathematical tools to measure inequality, such as the Gini Coefficient. There are also alternate ways of measurement that consider the negative externalities that may result from pollution and resource depletion (see Green Gross Domestic Product.) The flaws of GDP may be important when studing public policy, however, for the purposes of economic growth in the long run it tends to be a very good indicator. There is no other indicator in economics which is as universal or as widely accepted as the GDP.
GDP increase since 1990 for the IMF "advanced economies". Economic growth is exponential, where the exponent is determined by the PPP annual GDP growth rate. Thus, the differences in the annual growth from country A to country B will multiply up over the years. For example, a growth rate of 5% seems similar to 3%, but over two decades, the first economy would have grown by 165%, the second only by 80%.
 Theories of economic growth
The short-run variation of economic growth is termed the business cycle, and almost all economies experience periodic recessions. Explaining and preventing these fluctuations is one of the main focuses of macroeconomics. A statistical relationship called Okun's law relates the growth rate of an economy to the level of unemployment. On a Keynesian view, growth varies because of changes in aggregate demand, causing firms to produce more or less goods for sale and hence altering the size of the economy. The contrasting real business cycle model suggests that
in the short run growth depends on a series of shocks to the productivity of the economy, e.g. an oil price rise making the economy generally less productive and reducing growth. The long-run path of economic growth is one of the central questions of economics; in spite of the problems of measurement, an increase in GDP of a country is generally taken as an increase in the standard of living of its inhabitants. Over long periods of time, even small rates of annual growth can have large effects through compounding (see exponential growth). A growth rate of 2.5% per annum will lead to a doubling of GDP within 28 years, whilst a growth rate of 8% per annum (experienced by some East Asian Tigers) will lead to a doubling of GDP within 9 years. The neo-classical growth model, developed by Robert Solow in the 1950s, was the first attempt to model long-run growth analytically. This model assumes that countries use their resources efficiently and that there are diminishing returns to capital and labor increases. From these two premises, the neo-classical model makes three important predictions. First, increasing capital relative to labor creates economic growth, since people can be more productive given more capital. Second, poor countries with less capital per person will grow faster because each investment in capital will produce a higher return than rich countries with ample capital. Third, because of diminishing returns to capital, economies will eventually reach a point at which no new increase in capital will create economic growth. This point is called a "steady state." The model also notes that countries can overcome this steady state and continue growing by inventing new technology that allows production with fewer resources, but the model assumes technological progress, "exogenizing" technology from the model. Unsatisfied with Solow's explanation, economists worked to "endogenize" technology in the 1980s. They developed the endogenous growth theory that includes a mathematical explanation of technological advancement. This model also incorporated a new concept of human capital, the skills and knowledge that make workers productive. Unlike physical capital, human capital has increasing rates of return. Therefore, overall there are constant returns to capital, and economies never reach a steady state. Growth does not slow as capital accumulates, but the rate of growth depends on the types of capital a country invests in. Research done in this area has focussed on what increases human capital (e.g. education) or technological change (e.g. innovation). There is common misconception that the positive correlation between high income and cold climate is causal, when in fact it is a by-product of history. Former colonies have inherited corrupt governments and geo-political boundaries (set by the colonizers) that are not properly placed regarding the geographical locations of different ethnic groups; this creates internal disputes and conflicts. Colonies in temperate climate zones as Australia and USA did not inherit exploitative governments since Europeans were able to inhabit these territories and set up governments that mirrored those in Europe. Thus, we observe a correlation between high incomes and average temperatures but the correlation is, again, not casual and a mere reflection of the product of colonization.
Jared Diamond attempts to explain, in his book Guns, Germs and Steel, why it was that some groups were able to colonize others. He argues that Eurasia was much more advanced because it had a larger surface area that had a common climate (oriented from east to west as opposed to America which is oriented from North to South,) they had more domesticable animals. This advantages in size and agro-technologies translated in the long run into advantages that allowed them to become militarily stronger than other groups.
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Jump to: navigation, search Gatherer is Wizards of the Coast's official database for the cards in its trading card game Magic: The Gathering. Gatherer, launched on September 23, 2004, was the first official online tool offered by Wizards of the Coast that could be used to search for and sort data about the cards in Magic. Prior to Gatherer, official resources for card data on the company's website were limited to text-only "Oracle" lists, sortable lists of the cards in individual sets, and a comprehensive collection of card images that could only be looked up individually by name. Gatherer was preceded by several unofficial databases and search utilities, which were created and run by enthusiasts.
Cairo's unique city scape with its ancient mosques Main article: Religion in Egypt
Religion plays a central role in most Egyptians' lives, as visitors to the country quickly discover. The rolling calls to prayer that are heard five times a day have the informal effect of regulating the pace of everything from business to entertainment. Cairo is famous for its numerous mosque minarets and church towers. Egypt is predominantly Muslim, at approximately 90% of the population, with the majority being adherents of the Sunni branch of Islam. A significant number of Muslim Egyptians also follow native Sufi orders. Christians represent about 10% of the population, 95% of whom belong to Coptic denominations (primarily Coptic Orthodox, but also Coptic Catholic and Coptic Protestant), while the remainder include Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox, and Armenian Orthodox, largely found in Alexandria and Cairo. According to the constitution, any new legislation must implicitly agree with Islamic laws. The mainstream Hanafi school of Sunni Islam is largely organised by the state, through Wizaret Al-Awkaf (Ministry of Religious Affairs). Al-Awkaf controls all mosques and overviews Muslim clerics. Imams are trained in Imam vocational schools and at AlAzhar University. The department supports Sunni Islam and has commissions authorised to give Fatwa judgements on Islamic issues. Egypt hosts two major religious institutions. Al-Azhar University (Arabic: )جامعة الزهرis the oldest Islamic institution of higher studies (founded around 970 A.D) and considered by many to be the oldest extant university. Egypt also has a strong Christian heritage as evidenced by the existence of the Coptic Orthodox Church headed by the Patriarch of Alexandria, which has a following of approximately 50 million Christians worldwide, most importantly in Ethiopia and Eritrea (one of the famous Coptic Orthodox Churches is Saint Takla Haimanot Church in Alexandria).
Over seven million Egyptians follow the Christian faith as members of the Coptic Church. Religious freedom for Egypt's Coptic Christian community is hampered to varying degrees by extremist Islamist groups and by discriminatory and restrictive government policies. Until recently, Christians were required to obtain presidential approval for even minor repairs in churches, but the law was recently eased. Copts have faced increased marginalization after the 1952 coup d'état. That however changed to some degree when
President Sadat appointed Boutros Boutros-Ghali, as the Egyptian Foreign Minister. Prominent Copts on the cabinet now include Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali and Environment Minister Maged George. In addition, Naguib Sawiris, an extremely successful businessman and one of the wealthiest people internationally is an Egyptian Copt. Under the Mubarak government, Coptic Christmas (January 7) was recognized as an official holiday in 2002. The Coptic community however has occassionally been the target of hate crimes and physical assault, most recently during attacks on three churches in Alexandria. In addition, many Copts continue to complain of being minimally represented in law enforcement, state security and public office, and of being discriminated against in the workforce on the basis of their religion. Egypt was once home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. Jews partook of all aspects of Egypt's social and political life; one of the most ardent Egyptian nationalists, Yaqub Sanu' (Abu Naddara), was a Jew, as was popular singer Leila Mourad. After the 1956 Suez Crisis, some 25,000 Egyptian Jews were expelled by Gamal Abdel Nasser, their Egyptian citizenship was revoked and their property was confiscated. A steady stream of migration of Egyptian Jews followed, reaching a peak after the SixDay War with Israel in 1967. Today, Jews in Egypt number less than 200. Bahá'ís in Egypt, whose population ranges between several hundred and a few thousand, have their institutions and community activities banned. Since their faith is not officially recognized by the state, they are also not allowed to use it on their national identity cards (conversely, Islam, Christianity, & Judaism are officially recognized); hence most of them do not hold national identity cards. In April 2006 a court case recognized the Bahá'í Faith, but the government appealed the court decision and succeeded in having it suspended on 15 May. There are Egyptians who identify as atheist and agnostic, but their numbers are largely unknown as openly advocating such positions risks legal sanction. In 2000, an openly atheist Egyptian writer, who called for the establishment of a local association for atheists, was tried on charges of insulting Islam in four of his books.