Ancient Civilizations

Ancient Egypt
• Around 5000 years ago the ancient Egyptians established an extraordinary civilisation. • The culture of Ancient Egypt lived along the Nile River in Egypt from before the 5th millennium BC until the 4th Century AD.

• • • • • • • Geography Nile History Daily life Religion Achievements Life after the death



NILE The Longest River
 It is the longest river in the world.  The river flows northward for more than 4,000 miles from its main source at Lake Victoria in central Africa.  The Nile was known as the giver of life.  The Nile River Valley has fertile land along each side of the river.  People were not able to survive in the harsh desert and began to move into the Nile River Valley.  It united the population of Egypt into one nation.

Historic map of the River Nile by Piri Reis
From Kitab-ı Bahriye

Nile as the Basis of Civilization
• Common problems helped unite the Ancient Egyptians. • They were able to predict when the yearly floods (inundation) would come. • To prevent this event they created a 365 day calendar based on the sun.

The Nile Gives Birth to a New Civilisation
• (A) THE DELTA North of Memphis, the Nile divided into channels, to form a delta. Much of this land was swampy, but the rest was good for farming. (B) OASIS The Western Desert had a few places where enough water was available for crops to be grown. These were called oases. (C) THE EASTERN DESERT The Eastern Desert had no oases but it contained valuable minerals, including gold. (D) THE VALLEY The valley was only 19 km wide but over 5,960 km long. (E) CATARACTS Ships sailing south were stopped by cataracts (rapids).

• Good Farming Land • Irrigation systems • Complex flood patterns
– Mathematical skills required – Advanced planning required

UPPER EGYPT AND LOWER EGYPT The land around the river is higher at the beginning of the river and lower near the mouth of the river.

The ancient people called the higher land in the south “Upper Egypt.” The land in the north, the delta area, was called “Lower Egypt.”

Upper and Lower Egypt
Both had rich soil. The land was perfect for growing crops. People were able to settle around the river and farm instead of hunting and gathering.

Producing More than enough Food
(A) HARVEST When the main crops were ready, nearly everyone - men and women, even priests helped with the harvest. (B) MUSIC Musicians played while work went on in the fields. At planting time, magic spells were chanted to make the crops grow. (C) WINNOWING Women scooped the grain up with wooden trays, letting the chaff blow away while the heavier grain fell to the ground. (D) TAXES Farmers paid part of their crop as taxes. Scribes kept careful records of the amounts. (E) CATTLE Young boys helped to look after the livestock. A man's wealth could be judged by the cattle he owned. Farmers also owned sheep, goats, and donkeys.

• Surplus Food Produced
– Store for future use – Trade for other goods – Not everyone needs to farm
• New trades and specialities develop

A New Hierarchy Develops
• Agricultural and Trading opportunities allow New Hierarchy to be formed
– Elite/Aristocracy

• Pay wages to others to work for them • Life of leisure
– Free time to think
• New ideas • New Inventions • New Skills

In Ancient Egypt, there were two kinds of land. the 'black land‘ and the 'red land' • The 'black land' was the fertile land on the banks of the Nile. • The ancient Egyptians used this land for growing their crops.
• The 'red land' was the desert that protected Egypt on two sides. These deserts separated ancient Egypt from neighboring countries and invading armies. • They also provided the ancient Egyptians with a source for valuable metals and semi-precious stones.

How do we know about the history of Ancient Egypt? •Egyptians left written records like Greeks or Romans •They developed hieroglyphics, a system of writing.

• Scribes studied for years to learn hieroglyphics. • They also learned math. • A scribe’s job often was tax collecting and record keeping. • They wrote on stone and on papyrus. • Books were scrolls – rolls of papyrus joined end-to-end. •Some were over100 feet long. • Scribes recorded Egyptian history. •But Scribes did not write history as it actually happen. For example, the Egyptian scribes wrote about the famous Kadesh Battle as the victory of Egyptians. In fact, it was not the success for Egyptians.

Egyptian Scribe

The Battle of Kadesh
• The first battle in the history on which there are written evidences. • The Battle of Kadesh (also Qadesh) took place between the forces of the Egyptian Empire under Ramses II and the Hittite Empire under Mutawali II at the city of Kadesh what is now the Syrian Arab Republic. • The battle is generally dated to 1274 BC. It was probably the largest chariot battle ever fought, involving perhaps 5,000–6,000 chariots.

The Egyptian Empireunder Ramesses II (green) bordering on the Hittite Empire (red) at the height of its power in ca. 1279 BC

Ramses II at Kadesh Battle

Historical Overview
Ancient Egypt was the birthplace of one of the World’s greatest civilizations. It was far more advanced than European tribes of the same time period, who were still in the Stone Age. Located in the northeast corner of Africa, Egypt grew to be an important civilization for over three hundred years because of the Nile River.

Major Time Periods of Egypt
 The Old Kingdom
When the pharaohs built the pyramids

 The Middle Kingdom
When training and military explorers were sent out to expand Egypt’s boundaries

 The New Kingdom
Ending with Queen Cleopatra losing her land to Augustus Caesar and Rome

Ancient Egyptian PeriodsHistory Frame Time
Nile Culture Begins Archaic Old Kingdom Middle Kingdom New Kingdom Late Period Greek Ptolemaic Era 3900 B. C. E. 3100 – 2650 B. C. E. 2650 – 2134 B. C. E. 2040 – 1640 B. C. E. 1550 – 1070 B. C. E. 750 – 332 B. C. E. 332 – 30 B. C. E.

A Quranic Overview of Egypt
• 2:61 - Hani bir zamanlar, "Ey Musa, biz tek çeşit yemeğe asla katlanamayacağız, yeter artık bizim için Rabbine dua et de bize yerin yetiştirdiği şeylerden; sebzesinden, kabağından, sarmısağından, mercimeğinden ve soğanından çıkarsın." dediniz. O da size "O üstün olanı daha aşağı olanla değiştirmek mi istiyorsunuz? Bir kasabaya konaklayın o vakit istediğiniz elbette olacaktır." dedi. Üzerlerine zillet ve meskenet damgası vuruldu ve nihayet Allah'dan bir gazaba uğradılar. Evet öyle oldu, çünkü Allah'ın âyetlerini inkâr ediyorlar ve haksız yere peygamberleri öldürüyorlardı. Evet öyle oldu, çünkü isyana dalıyorlar ve aşırı gidiyorlardı. 10:87 - Biz Musa ile kardeşine şöyle vahyettik: "Kavminiz için Mısır'da birtakım evler hazırlayın ve evlerinizi kıbleye karşı yapın ve namazı kılın ve müminlere müjde verin." 12:21 - Onu satın alan Mısırlı, eşine dedi ki: "Buna güzel bak. Bize faydalı olabilir, ya da evlat ediniriz." Yusuf'u böylece oraya yerleştirdik. Ona rüyaların tabirini de öğrettik. Allah emrinde galiptir. Fakat insanların çoğu bunu bilmezler. 12:99 - Ne zaman ki, onlar Yusuf'un yanına vardılar, işte o zaman Yusuf anasını ve babasını kucakladı, yanına aldı ve "Buyurun Allah'ın dilemesiyle güven içinde Mısır'a girin" dedi. 43:51 - Firavun kavmine seslenerek dedi ki: "Ey kavmim! Mısır hükümdarlığı ve altımdan akıp giden şu ırmaklar benim değil mi? Görmüyor musunuz?

A Biblical Overview of Egypt
• Joseph, son of Jacob and Rachel, was the favorite child. His father made him a coat of many colors. His brothers were jealous of him. They were going to kill him, but sold him as a slave. He found favor with the Pharaoh Potiphar. He interpreted dreams for the Pharaoh. Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to buy grain where they ran into Joseph. They did not recognize him. He tested them and revealed his identity. He forgave them for sending him away. He said it was God who sent him to Egypt to save people’s lives. When a new Pharaoh ruled Egypt, he was worried that the Israelites would rise up against him. He decided that every baby boy should be thrown into the Nile River. One woman was determined to save her son. She kept the baby boy hidden for three months, then she put him in a basket she had made and let him float down the river. The Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby boy and called him Moses, which means “pulled out or the water”. Moses was commanded by God to ask the Pharaoh to release the people of Egypt. He obeyed God’s command and asked Pharaoh to let his people go. God knew that Pharaoh would deny the command and he did. God sent ten plagues to Egypt to curse the land.



Social Pyramid of Egypt
• Pharaoh • Upper Class
– Royal Family, Government Officials, Army Officers, Priests, Landowners, and Doctors

• Middle Class
– Merchants, Manufacturers, and Artisans

• Lower Class
– Unskilled Laborers and Farmers

• Slaves and Servants

Pharaoh was believed by the Egyptians to be the supreme ruler chosen by the gods to lead his people. They believed that when a man became a pharaoh, he also became a god. To keep the bloodline of the gods pure, pharaohs often married their sisters, mothers, and cousins.

Some Famous Egyptian Pharaohs
1336-1327 B. C. E.

Tutankha mon

1504-1450 B. C. E.

Thutmos e III

Ramses II
1279-1212 B. C. E.

Daily life of the Wealthy
 Men were busy all day as merchants, trading along the Nile River. Others supervised the daily workings of farms.  Many of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Egypt were priests.  Boys were taught to read and write.  Women could own land, run businesses, testify in court, and bring charges against men.  Women oversaw the running of the households and gave the servants instructions for daily menus and child care.  Children were allowed much playtime. Girls practiced singing and dancing. Boys wrestled and played army.  Women and girls wore straight dresses of beautiful lined and a lot of jewelry. At parties, they wore cones of incense on their heads that melted slowly giving off a pleasant smell.  Men and boys wore linen kilts  Both men and women wore eye make-up made from black ashes.  Their homes were brick and wood containing many rooms, as well as walled garden and a shrine for a favorite god.

Daily Life of Workers
 The poor worked long hours for goods that they could exchange in the marketplace for the products they needed.  Agriculture was a major trade and many workers were farmers.  Boys learned a trade from their fathers, and girls were taught to care for the home and family by their mothers.  Women and girls wore straight, sheath-like dresses of rough, unbleached linen.  Men and boys wore short cloth kilts.  Their homes were usually one-story made out of sun-dried brick. There would be a basement and four rooms. They had little furniture. Stairs led to the flat rooftop so that the family could enjoy the cool night air after the sun went down.

Ancient Egyptian Housing Middle Class

Peasant Homes

Scenes of Ancient Egyptian Daily Life

Egypt’s Economy
• Pharaoh was at the center of the economy • Based upon Agriculture • Pharaoh took taxes on the crops that were grown, and goods that were made • Goods were “bartered” or traded for other needed goods

Towns and Cities Develop
• Craftsmen, traders, labourers find it easier and more convenient to live in towns and cities. • Urban economy and lifestyle develops • Medical threats to an urban population

Hygienic Lifestyle
• Personal Hygiene
– Very important

• Public Works allow for
– Drain Systems – Water Delivery systems – Bathing

Egyptian Religion
• Polytheism
– About 2000 gods & goddesses – Amon-Ra – Osiris – Horis

• Death and Funerals
– Three souls “ka, ba, and akh” – Embalming – Burial Tombs

The Ancient Egyptians believed in many gods and used stories about them to explain events in nature.

They believed the sun was a god that was born each day and died each night.

They believed religion was important to their survival in the Nile River Valley.

god of wisdom

goddess of love ruled over the dead

god of the river the sun god (most important)

Egyptian Gods & Goddesses: “The Sacred ‘Trinity’”

Osiris Horus


Life after Death
• The ancient Egyptians believed in an afterlife of beauty, peace, and contentment. • Since most of their lives were filled with hard work, they looked forward to death as a release from this lifetime. • They believed their souls would need to use their bodies again, so the Egyptians invented a process to embalm their bodies called mummification. • Wealthy could afford better mummification than the poor

Video about Ancient Egyptians


Major Contributions
• Egyptian civilization made many contributions to the world. Among them are a 365 - day calendar, • hieroglyphics (picture writing), and papyrus (paper like writing material). • papyrus (paper made from the papyrus plant) • They also had one of the first national governments and developed a religion that emphasized life after death. • However their best known accomplishment are the pyramids, gigantic stone structures built as tombs for the pharaohs(kings that were constructed 4500 years ago and are still standing.

The End of Ancient Egypt Civilization
• The ancient Egyptian civilization effectively ended after the Roman domination, but the pyramids and colossal statues they left behind stand as testimony to the power of the pharaohs.

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