Egypt is the fifteenth most populous country of the world. Egypt is known worldwide for its rich ancient civilization. The Giza pyramids, the Karnak Temple, the Valley of the Kings and the Great Sphinx of Giza add to the glory of Egypt.


‡ Egypt is about the same size as Texas and New Mexico combined. Southwest Asia and North Africa ‡ Egypt has shorelines on the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. four times the size of the UK and double that of France. . Sudan to the south. and the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east. ‡ It borders Libya to the west.‡ The Geography of Egypt can be split into two sections.

 Ancient Egyptians used this land for growing their crops. the 'black land' and the 'red land'. black silt was deposited there every year after the Nile flooded. only land in ancient Egypt that could be farmed because a layer of rich. The µBlack Land'  fertile land on the banks of the Nile.The ancient Egyptians thought of Egypt as being divided into two types of land. .

 also provided the ancient Egyptians with a source for precious metals and semiprecious stones.  separated ancient Egypt from neighbouring countries and invading armies. .The µRed Land'  barren desert that protected Egypt on two sides.

Neighboring Countries: Syria Israel Jordan Saudi Arabia Sudan and Libya .


with space for agricultural production.The Nile Valley is also known as Upper Egypt. In the past. flooding of the Nile during the summer provided silt and water to make agriculture possible on land that is otherwise very dry. Steep rocky cliffs rise along the banks of the Nile in some stretches. . while other areas along the Nile are flat. while the Nile Delta region is known as Lower Egypt.

Fast Facts .

which has an Arabic inscription centered in the white band. which has two green stars in the white band. colors derived from the Arab Liberation flag note: similar to the flag of Syria. and Yemen. Iraq. white. which has a plain white band . and black. the national emblem (a gold Eagle of Saladin facing the hoist side with a shield superimposed on its chest above a scroll bearing the name of the country in Arabic) centered in the white band.Flag Description three equal horizontal bands of red (top).

731. French National Day 23 July.856.‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Official Name Arab Republic of Egypt Population 81. El Qahira Currency Egyptian Pound Languages Arabic (official). Revolution Day Religions Muslim (94%) . Alexandria.000) Largest Cities Cairo. English.000 Capital City Cairo (17.

637 m) (8.450 sq km (384.652 ft) ‡ Lowest Point Qattara Depression (-133 m) .Land Statistics ‡ Land Area 995. Catherine (2.343 sq miles) ‡ Highest Point Mt.

Catherine (2.Highest Point Mt.652 ft) .637 m) (8.

Lowest Point Qattara Depression (-133 m) .

who took office on 18 June 1953. and as of September 2005 is serving his fifth term in office. one of the leaders of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. the day on which Egypt was declared a Republic.‡ The first President of Egypt was Muhammad Naguib. Hosni Mubarak . There is no constitutional limit upon the number of terms that any one individual can serve as President. His first term began on 14 October 1981. ‡ The fourth and current President of Egypt is Hosni Mubarak.

Weather .

‡ Humidity in Egypt is high throughout the year. and in the interior deserts. and rainfall increases to about 8 inches annually. (2-4 inches annually) but sudden showers do cause flooding. and along the Nile River Valley. ‡ Conditions moderate along the Mediterranean coastline. summer high temperatures often exceed 100º.‡ In Cairo. winter high temperatures range from the mid 60's to the upper 70's. . ‡ Summers bring highs in the mid-90's. while lows drop into the 40s. and lows in the 70's. Rainfall is sparse here.

History .

one they ruled for three millennia. the ancient Egyptians built their amazing civilization. "The Gift of the Nile. .The Greek historian Herodotus called Egypt." and along that life-giving river.

Historians divide the history of ancient Egypt into the following periods: ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Prehistory (up to ca.).). the Middle Kingdom (ca. . 2040Ð1640 B. 2650Ð2150 B.D.) the Ptolemaic (Hellenistic) Roman Periods (332 B.C.) the New Kingdom (ca. 712Ð332 B.C.C. 1550Ð1070 B.). the Old Kingdom (ca. the Archaic Period (ca.C.ÐA.C. 3100Ð2650 B.). the Late Period (ca.C. 3100 B.C. 395).

‡ King Ahmose reconquers Memphis and destroys Avaris . In Middle Kingdom. as does trade with nearby lands. Monumental building projects resume in Upper Egypt. historical figures: Narmer and Aha). Relief decorated and painted cut-rock tombs at many provincial sites. King Mentuhotep II of Upper Egypt reunites the country with capital at Thebes. ‡ The first major stone monument of Egypt. King DjoserÕs step pyramid (designed by architect Imhotep). Egypt unified under the rule of one pharaoh (mythical name: Menes. ‡ Western Asiatic kings originating from foreign community at Avaris with strong ties to southern Canaan gain power over most of Egypt. ‡ ‡ Power of provincial administrators increases.Important Points in History ‡ At the beginning of Dynasty 1. built at Saqqara.

 Hatshepsut, important female ruler, sponsors fine works of art and architecture (Temple of Deir el-Bahri).  Dynasties ruled over.  Great era of temple building. Campaigns in the Near East against the Hittites; peace treaty made with Hittites in reign of Ramesses II.  In Dynasty 20, Ramesses III repelled the sea peoples (dislocated tribes mainly from Asia Minor). Political decline and economic difficulties. Traditional time of the Israelites exodus from Egypt.  Egypt again divided; one dynasty rules in Nile Delta, sharing power with high priests of Amun at Thebes.  Kushite rulers from Nubia invade and reunite Egypt. revived Egyptian art and Architecture

In 332 B.C. Egypt is conquered by Alexander the Great (Macedonian Dynasty of mainland Greece [332Ð304 B.C.]). Upon his death, Greek general Ptolemy and his descendants rule. Important temples are built completely in Egyptian style. Many are preserved to this day (Edfu and Dendara).

Last Ptolemaic ruler, Cleopatra VII, and Antony defeated by Augustus Caesar in 30 B.C. Egypt conquered by Rome. Last great phase of temple building under Augustus (Temple of Dendur). Under rule of Roman emperors temples are still enlarged and decorated in Egyptian style.

Culture, Life, Practices and Beliefs

The yearly flooding of the Nile enriched the soil and brought good harvests and wealth to the land. .Egyptian Life ‡ Daily life in ancient Egypt revolved around the Nile and the fertile land along its banks.

They grew some of their own food and traded in the villages for the food and goods they could not produce .‡ The people of ancient Egypt built mudbrick homes in villages and in the country.

these different groups of people made up the population of ancient Egypt. farmers.Most ancient Egyptians worked as field hands. Together. craftsmen and scribes. A small group of people were nobles. .


. As a rule they were excluded from high governmental and administrative offices. but there are exceptions.Ancient Egyptian Women Cleopatra VII Hatshepsut The position of women in Egyptian society was generally secondary to that of men.

 In ancient Egypt women were above all wives. .They were also tenant landholders or held office related to weaving. but in some periods and circumstances they are much smaller. and this is how they were predominantly depicted in art.  They played a subordinate role to men in Egyptian society. mothers. singing and dancing.  They are usually smaller in stature than men (as is natural). as when they sit beside their husband¶s legs. and statues women are represented embracing their husbands (the opposite is extremely rare). In reliefs.  The legal status of women in Egypt was essentially equal to that of men. medicine. paintings. and mistresses of the house.

 Women could own property and dispose of it at will  They could enter into contracts and initiate court cases. and witness legal documents.  They could serve as witnesses. sit on juries.  In this respect women in ancient Egypt were in a much better position than those in many other ancient cultures. .

The ancient Egyptians believed that it was important to recognize and worship these gods and goddesses so that life continued smoothly. . Each one with their own role to play in maintaining peace and harmony across the land. Each one with their own role to play in maintaining peace and harmony across the land. The ancient Egyptians believed in many different gods and goddesses.The ancient Egyptians believed in many different gods and goddesses.

The earliest ancient Egyptians buried their dead in small pits in the desert. Egyptians went to great efforts to honor their deceased rulers. The bodies of the kings as well as those of other important individuals were preserved from decay through the process of mummification. . creating lifelike and natural 'mummies'. food supplies. and often even servants. The heat and dryness of the sand dehydrated the bodies quickly. and to insure them a successful trip to the afterlife. These kings were buried with elaborate treasures.

. the pharaoh represented the gods on Earth. He owned all of the land. collected taxes. As 'High Priest of Every Temple'. made laws. The pharaoh was the political and religious leader of the Egyptian people. As 'Lord of the Two Lands' the pharaoh was the ruler of Upper and Lower Egypt. and defended Egypt against foreigners. He performed rituals and built temples to honor the gods They believed that pharaoh is half-man and half-god.Lord of the Two Lands The most powerful person in ancient Egypt was the pharaoh. holding the titles: 'Lord of the Two Lands' and 'High Priest of Every Temple'.


The ancient Egyptians built pyramids as tombs for the pharaohs and their queens. The pharaohs were buried in pyramids of many different shapes and sizes from before the beginning of the Old Kingdom to the end of the Middle Kingdom. .

The most well-known of these pyramids was built for the pharaoh Khufu. .There are about eighty pyramids known today from ancient Egypt. The three largest and best-preserved of these were built at Giza at the beginning of the Old Kingdom. It is known as the 'Great Pyramid'.

Great Pyramid of Giza from a 19th century The Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3.800 years .

and the only one to remain largely intact. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. 2560 BC. it is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis. Built c. in 2005. .The Great Pyramid of Giza.

but flat-topped. building this in 20 years would involve installing approximately 800 tonnes of stone every day. Each base side was 440 royal cubits.57 ft) but with erosion and absence of its pyramidion.The Great Pyramid was surfaced by white 'casing stones' ± slantfaced. A royal cubit measures 0. the Great Pyramid was originally 280 Egyptian cubits tall. at construction.500. Based on these estimates.81 ft) in length. .478 meters (480.000 cubic meters. It is thought that. 146. 230. The mass of the pyramid is estimated at 5. blocks of highly polished white limestone.37 meters (755. The volume.9 million tonnes. its present height is 138. is roughly 2.524 meters. including an internal hillock.22 ft).75 meters (455.

and chambers in the Great Pyramid. people have found that the walls and turns coincide perfectly with significant world events. the Crusades. both World Wars .Inside the narrow passages. For example: the birth of Christ. galleries.

which are rectangular in plan and have only two sloping sides. The prototype for the pyramid are the mastabas of the Old Kingdom (2680²2565 ). built c.Why were pyramids in triangular shape? why not square? or any other shapes? The true pyramid exists only in Egypt. slope upwards at approximately a 50° angle from the ground and meet at an apex. which soon evolved into the straight-sided true pyramid.2620 . As a result of the lack of sophisticated machinery. . the construction of each pyramid took many years and required measureless amounts of building materials and labor. Egyptian pyramids are square in plan and their triangular sides. After these came the step-pyramid at Sakkara. which directly face the points of the compass. though the term has also been applied to similar structures in other countries.

Sphinx A sphinx is a mythological creature that is depicted as a recumbent feline with a human head. It has its origins in sculpted figures of a lionesses with female human head (unless the pharaoh was depicted as the son of the deity) of Old Kingdom Egypt in association with their solar deities. Bast or Sekhmet. Generally the role of sphinxes is associated with architectural structures such as royal tombs or religious temples. .

The Great Sphinx of Giza. with the Pyramid of Khafre in the background .

Every temple was dedicated to a god or goddess and he or she was worshipped there by the temple priests and the pharaoh.The ancient Egyptians believed that temples were the homes of the gods and goddesses. Their walls were covered with scenes that were carved onto the stone then brightly painted. These scenes showed the pharaoh fighting in battles and performing rituals with the gods and goddesses. The large temple buildings were made of stone so that they would last forever. .


Local councils of elders. who was responsible for enacting laws. The head of the legal system was officially the pharaoh. at least in theory. were responsible for ruling in court cases involving small claims and minor disputes. wielded complete control of the land and its resources. . Slavery was known in Egypt.Ancient Government The pharaoh was the absolute monarch of the country and. known as Kenbet in the New Kingdom. a concept the ancient Egyptians referred to as Ma'at. and maintaining law and order. delivering justice.

The last presidential election.Today¶s Government Egypt has been a republic since 18 June 1953. . He is the leader of the ruling National Democratic Party. Egypt also holds regular multi-party parliamentary elections. in practice it rests almost solely with the President who traditionally has been elected in single-candidate elections for more than fifty years. was held in September 2005. in which Mubarak won a fifth consecutive term. Ahmed Nazif was sworn in as Prime Minister on 9 July 2004 Executive power is theoretically divided between the President and the Prime Minister. Prime Minister Dr. Mubarak is currently serving his fifth term in office (28 years).

Agriculture and Trade .Economy.

 Sailors on the trading ships were paid in grain. copper. ivory. iron.C. horses. leopard skins. and the Red Sea.  The main products brought from Egypt were gold and other minerals. When their ships stopped to unload. and spices. spices. and foreign animals like panthers. gold. They studied reading. barley. Aegean Sea. and papyrus sheets. they were able to visit dockside shops to exchange their grain for clothes.  One of the more famous trade expeditions in Ancient Egypt was when Queen Hatshepsut sent an expedition down the Red Sea where they got frankincense. trees. The Egyptians traded with countries around the Mediterranean Sea. wheat. cattle. When they were older they were expected to do the same occupation as their father. fresh fruit. the Ancient Egyptian civilization had a pretty advanced economy.  Little boys started learning their father¶s job when they were four. ebony. cedar logs. and vegetables. elephants¶ tusks.Ancient Economy  Trade started to happen in the fourth century B. . and math  Over all.  Items brought from other countries were goods like silver. writing.

Approximately one-third of Egyptian labor is engaged directly in farming.5 million hectares (6 million acres) of fertile soil in the Nile Valley and Delta.S.'s largest markets for wheat sales . and many others work in the processing or trading of agricultural products.Today¶s Economy Egyptian economy relies heavily on tourism. The U. Nearly all of Egypt's agricultural production takes place in some 2. has a large assistance program in Egypt and provides funding for a variety of programs.S. Egypt is one of the U. and Suez Canal revenues. oil and gas exports.

Nile River .

River Nile has two tributaries namely the Blue Nile and the White Nile. it used to be the longest but recent studies suggest that Amazon River can be longer than Nile. It is one of the longest rivers in the world. which is why Egyptians called it "Ar" which means "black". the volume of water of Nile is mostly determined by the Blue Nile Nile also played an important in the building if the famous Pyramids since the blocks of stone. were actually transported from the source to the site with the help of Nile. The length of the river is approximately 6695 km and the river has two tributaries. .The Nile flooded and still floods the land in Egypt and deposits black sediment. which were used to make these pyramids.

The Egyptian Civilization grew up on the banks of Nile as the river deposits extremely fertile soil. which provided soil for the Egyptians to grow food crops. which sustained them amidst the desert. This has been repeated time and again and Nile has time and again proved itself to be the life giving force of Egypt .The Egyptians rightly termed it as "River of Life" since it has infused life not only in the land of Egypt but also its culture and civilization.

Inventions and Discoveries .Egypt·s Contribution.

List of Inventions ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Black Ink First Ox-Drawn Plows 365 Day Calendar and Leap Year Paper First Triangular Shaped Pyramids Organized labor Hieroglyphics as an early system of writing Sails .

The Egyptian people were very talented at creating not only black ink. but many multicolored types of ink and dye.‡ One of the inventions before Christ in Egypt was surprisingly black ink. .

. were.The first ox-draws plows that appeared in Egypt as early as 2500 B. as well as animal husbandry. Skilled metal working would have been required in order to form a workable plow.C. nevertheless ancient Egypt technological inventions.

with five extra days. based on twelve months of 30 days each. . was first conceived of by the ancient Egyptians. Ancient civilizations recorded and marked time using a lunar calendar system. A solar system established calendar.The ancient Egyptians also have the distinct honor of having invented not only the modern 365 day calendar but the leap year system as well.

Taken from the fibers of the papyrus plant. known as hieroglyphics. now recognized around the world.One of the many ancient Egyptian inventions was an early system of writing. Not only did the ancient Egyptians invent a system of writing. . Egyptian paper was the first of its kind. but they also invented the paper on which to place it.

.Egyptians were the first to invent and employ organized labor on a massive scale in order to construct these magnificent stone structures.

Living in such close proximity to the Nile River. it would have been imperative for the Egyptians to devise efficient methods of water transportation. .Egyptian inventions also include sails.

Other Inventions: ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Glass Linen the calendar the clock Geometry and the alphabet The refinement of dress and ornament Furniture and dwellings Society and life .

The remarkable development of orderly and peaceful government: ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ First United Nation First Centralized Government Census and post primary and secondary education Technical training Office and administration The advancement of writing and literature Science and medicine .

The first clear formulation known to us of individual and public conscience: ‡The first cry for social justice ‡The first widespread monogamy ‡The first essays in moral philosophy ‡The elevation of architecture ‡Sculpture and the minor arts .

Fun Facts .

wearing down Egyptian teeth. .‡ Small bits of stone and sand often got mixed into the bread dough in ancient Egypt. ‡ The first sailing boats were built in Egypt.

‡ Mummies are wrapped with about ten layers of linen. . ‡ Cats were first domesticated in ancient Egypt.

‡ The process of mummification in Egypt involved removing all moisture and internal organs.‡ The Egyptians thought it was good luck to enter a house left foot first. then drying the body and anointing it with various preserving chemicals. .

‡ The Egyptians invented the toilet seat. ‡ The Egyptian week had ten days. ‡ Ancient Egyptians used giant stone slabs as pillows. .

-Antoine De Saint-Exupery ³He who helps early helps twice´. too. can become great´.³Great people are those who make others feel that they.Mark Twain ³ It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.-Tadeusz Mazowieck . what is essential is invisible to the eye´.