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Chapter 2 Study Guide

Ancient Egypt
In order to pass the test, make sure you study this study guide, your
notes, the notes from the slide shows, AND your review packet!

Cataracts- wild rapids that are formed by narrow cliffs and boulders
Delta- diverging branches of the mouth of a river making the land like marshes
providing fertile soil
Papyrus- a reed plant that grew along the shores of the Nile
Hieroglyphics- Egyptian writing made up of hundreds of picture symbols
Dynasty- A line of rulers from one family
Pharaoh- Egyptian king
Deity- gods or goddesses who controlled the forces of nature and human
Embalming- preserving a persons body after death
Mummy- the wrapped body
Pyramid- huge stone structures built by the Ancient Egyptians to serve as a tomb
Tribute- forced payments
Incense- material burned for its pleasant smell
Savanna- grassy plains
The Nile River
Nomads moved in to the Nile River Valley from 6000 to 5000 B.C. The
Egyptians used the Nile River for drinking, bathing, farming, cooking, and cleaning.
Flows from South to North into the Mediterranean Sea. Starts from two separate
rivers, Blue Nile and White Nile. Where the two rivers converge, cataracts are
formed. The Nile was also used for trading. The current took people north while the
winds carried them back south. The Nile flooded like which two rivers of
Mesopotamia? Egyptians used the Niles flood waters to grow wheat, barley, and flax
seeds. They developed a shadoof, a bucket attached to a long pole to lift water from
the Nile to basins.
Protective Geography
Sahara Desert to the West; Eastern Desert to the East; Cataracts in the South;
Delta to the North. Kept outside armies from invading Egypt. Make sure you can tell
me how each of these served as a defense against other armies.
First papyrus was used to make rafts, baskets, and sandals. Why wasnt it first
used to make paper? They didnt have a writing system yet! With the development of
Hieroglyphics, papers was needed to write on. Where do you think Egyptians got the
idea for a writing system?

Egyptian Early Life
The social ladder:
Top: Pharaoh
Upper: Priests and Nobles
Middle: Traders, artisans, shopkeepers, and scribes
Lower: Farmers and herders (largest group) Why do you think they
were the largest group?
Bottom: Slaves and unskilled workers
Women could own property, buy and sell goods, and make wills. Rich Egyptians went
to school. Most girls learned to cook, sew, run a household. Boys learned a skilled

Make sure you review the chart that compares Mesopotamia to Egypt! It is in
your notes! You will have to fill in the blanks in order to answer questions
comparing the two.

Egyptians believed in many gods, meaning they were polytheistic. Life after
death. They believed the spirit needed a body, that is why they embalmed.

The Pyramids
Pyramids were built as tombs for the pharaohs. Protected the body from wild
animals, robbers, and floods. Took many years and thousands of people to build one.
Sat on a square base. Entrance faced north. How did they know where north was?
Did they have a compass? The Great Pyramid was built for King Khufu in 2540 B.C.

Make sure you can answer the following questions:
How did the geography of the Nile River Valley lead to the growth of a
Why did Pharaohs have so much power?
How was stone transported from place to place to build a pyramid?
What did Pharaoh actually mean?
Be sure you know what happened during the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and
New Kingdom.