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Ancient Egyptian Civilization: A Land of Pharoahs

An overview of Ancient Egyptian life and the four parts that make it a civilization. Religion, government, specialization, and education are all topics that will be covered.

Ruth Christensen

on 19 November 2012

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Transcript of Ancient Egyptian Civilization: A Land of Pharoahs

A Land of Pharaohs.... Ancient Egyptian Civilization: What &Where is Egypt?
The Nile Delta is located in Lower Egypt and provides fertile soil for agriculture.

In Upper Egypt the land has stone cliffs and sand. Three Kingdoms of Egypt Ancient Egyptian history is divided into three time periods known as the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms. Egyptian Government At the head of Egyptian government was the pharaoh.
A pharaoh is like a king and it means "great palace."

Pharaohs were thought to be the children of gods which meant they were the center of Egyptian civilization. Egyptian Religion Ancient Egyptians were polytheists.
Polytheist means the worship of multiple gods and goddesses.

Ancient Egyptians had a god or goddess for almost everything.

Pharaohs were considered god/kings because they were believed to be the children of gods. Egyptian Education Egyptian Specialization If you had lived in Ancient Egypt you would have seen all types of specialized jobs.

People in ancient civilizations were able to have specialized jobs because of the development of agriculture and having surplus crops let them focus on other things. How Do We Know So Much About Egypt? Egypt or the Gift of the Nile is located in northern Africa. The Nile River is the longest river in the world at 4,000 miles long.

The Nile river begins in the snow capped mountains of east Africa flowing through Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and finally Egypt where it empties into the Mediterranean Sea and forms the Nile Delta. At first, Egypt was separated into two kingdoms--Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt.

King Menes of Upper Egypt led his armies to conquer and unite both Upper and Lower Egypt.

The unification of Upper and Lower Egypt marked the beginning of the Old Kingdom.

Menes became the first pharaoh. Highlights... Ancient Egypt is a river valley civilization.

A civilization is a culture that has developed systems of government, religion, education, and specialization. 1. Ancient Egypt is a river valley civilization. 2. Ancient Egypt history is divided into three time periods known as the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms. Pharaohs were in charge of appointing other government officials to help give council and carry out his orders through the huge kingdom. 3. Egyptian government is ruled by pharaohs. The most important of the Pharaoh's government officials were his advisers.

The Pharaoh's advisers were almost always priests. The second most important government officials included the vizier, chief treasurer and tax collector, and the army commander. The kingdom was divided up into sections called nomes.

In each nome, the Pharaoh appointed a governor or local leader.

The vizier made sure that each governor carried out their duties. Taxes were paid in surplus goods and labor.

New evidence suggests that slaves were not used to work on sacred monuments like the Pyramids. The majority of Egyptian people were peasants who worked the land along the Nile.

These people had no voice in their government. A major part of Egyptian religion included rituals for the dead.

The Egyptians believed that when they died, they would make a journey to another world where they would lead a new life.

Tombs were built and filled with things a person might need in the afterlife like food, drink, furniture, servants, toys, and even pets.

Preserving the body was necessary for life in the Next World and this was done through a process called mummification.

Egyptians paid vast amounts of money to have their bodies properly preserved. It took a long time to make a mummy--about 70 days!

1. The body was washed and purified.
2. Organs were removed. Only the heart remained.
3. The body was filled with stuffing.
4. The body was dried by covering it with a substance called natron which is a type of salt. This substance absorbed all the moisture from the body.
5. After 40 - 50 days the stuffing was removed and replaced with linen or sawdust.
6. The body was wrapped in strands of linen and covered in a sheet called a shroud.
7. The body was placed in a stone coffin called a sarcophagus.

Finally, the mummy is ready for its journey to the Next World. Why did the Ancient Egyptians build pyramids?

The Egyptians believed that if the pharaoh's body could be mummified after death the pharaoh would live forever.

The pyramids were designed to protect the buried Pharaoh's body and his belongings.

About 50 royal pyramids have survived. Let's create our own mummy!
http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/ED/mummy.html 4. Ancient Egyptians were had a polytheistic religion and created mummies to preserve bodies for life after death. The Ancient Egyptians held education in high regard.

Limited number of schools where the royalty, wealthy, and future priests and scribes attended.

Ordinary people were educated at home.
Girls were educated by their mothers to nurture and serve their families.
Boys were taught their father's job. Scribe Schools
Only boys could become scribes and would begin their education between the ages of 8-10.
Scribes are professional writers who kept records, copied letters, and government papers.

Students would spend hours chanting passages to improve their reading and then hours practicing their writing broken pottery.

Scribes learned to write hieroglyphics.
Hieroglyphics were a system of writing made up of about 800 picture-signs used to represent sounds and objects.
Papyrus is a reed plant that grows along the Nile used to make paper. The Prince's School
The most respected of all of the schools and gave the very best Ancient Egyptian education.

This is where the sons of the Pharaoh, members of the royal family, nobles and high officials were educated.

The Vizier controlled the Prince's school and the education of the next Pharaoh, nobles and court officials.
Ancient Egyptian students studied the following subjects.
Reading and Writing, History, Arithmetic and geometry, Astronomy, Music, Geography, Science, and Medicine.

Any behavior problems were treated seriously and punishments ranged from beatings to writing out lines and even being placed in the stocks! Types of jobs in Ancient Egypt included:
The Pharaoh
The Great Royal Wife
Members of the immediate Royal Family
Army Officers
Court Officials
Priests and Priestesses, Doctors
Scribes and Teachers
Foot Soldiers
Fishermen and Farmers
Laborers, Tomb Builders There are two main reasons why we know so much about ancient Egypt.

Hieroglyphics and the Rosetta Stone

The discovery of Pharaoh Tutankhamen tomb. Hieroglyphics and the Rosetta Stone

By 400 C.E. hieroglyphic writing was no longer used in Egypt and the meaning of the symbols was lost.

In 1799 C.E., a French soldier was digging in a Nile Delta town called Rosetta and found a large black stone with writing on it.

This stone would become known as the Rosetta Stone.

The Rosetta stone had one passage written 3 times--in hieroglyphs, Greek, and demotic.

By comparing the three languages, French scholar Jean Francois Champollion solved the mystery of hieroglyphs by 1822. Pharaoh Tutankhamen

On November 4, 1922, workmen uncovered the top step of a staircase which archaeologist Howard Carter followed to discover the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamen in almost perfect condition.

The contents of Tut's tomb gave the world a detailed look into a culture that had disappeared over 3,000 years ago.
5. Boys could go to school while girls were educated at home. Only boys could learn to be scribes. 6. Specialized jobs were developed in Ancient Egypt because the surplus of goods allowed the pursuit of other jobs besides farming. 7. Hieroglyphics, the Rosetta Stone, and Tut's tomb improved our knowledge about ancient Egypt.
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