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Transcript of Ancient Egypt
By Sydni Haggerty
Lower Egypt, though one would also assume it's in the South, is actually in the North. This is because unlike Upper Egypt, Lower Egypt is completely dessert. So the terrain is physically lower than the mountainous region of the south. This is why the ancient Egyptians called the half of Egypt in the North, Lower Egypt.
Upper Egypt is actually in the South though one would assume it is located in the North because it is called Egypt. The Southern area of Egypt is covered with mountains, giving it its name, Upper Egypt.
Valley of the Queens
Valley of the Kings
The Nile River
The Nile River
Peasants, Workers, Shopkeepers, Merchants, Skilled Tradespeople
Nobles, Government Officials, Priests, and Army Commanders
The Pharaoh was at the top of the Egyptian Social Pyramid, s/he was the most powerful and important person in Egyptian society. The Pharaoh ruled over Egypt and was considered a god to his/her people. The pharaoh was responsible for everything. The pharaoh was in charge of keeping the irrigation systems in check, keeping the peace, issuing laws, directing the army, and controlled the trade and economy. The pharaoh also owned all of Egypt's mines, quarries, and the trading fleets (ships) that sailed in search of foreign lands to trade for goods. The Pharaoh was allowed more then one wife.
The Pharaoh ruled over Egypt with the crook and flail, and was also depicted holding a was -a staff that symbolized power- and an ankh -the hieroglyphic symbol of life.
The Vizier was the most important official in Egypt because he looked after everything for the Pharaoh. He supervised the collection of taxes, law and order, and Egypt's armies. There was usually one vizier for Lower Egypt and one vizier for Upper Egypt.
In the Disney movie "Aladdin" Jafar is the Grand Vizier of Agrabah under Jasmine's father, the sultan.
Nobles, Government Officials, Priests, and Army Commanders
Nobles helped the Pharaoh govern the land of Egypt. They were given land, were rich and did not have to pay taxes. As a noble, one could become a priest, army commander, or an official. Only someone from a noble family could preform these jobs
Almost everyone wanted to be a Scribe. They were a important group in Egyptian society. Instead of being in the army or working in the fields, scribes learned how to write and read, but it took up to 12 years to complete their education. Scribes learned how to use the writing system called hieroglyphics. Scribes wrote on papyrus, a paper made from a plant found near the Nile River. Scribes worked in temple writing rooms, army barracks,markets, in the homes of nobles, government offices or anywhere else their skills were needed. The only bad thing was that women were not allowed to become scribes. Boys were taught by their fathers (who were also scribes) how to read, write , and how to overall become scribes.
Peasants, Workers, Shopkeepers, Merchants, Skilled Tradespeople
Most Egyptians were farmers. Both men and women were farmers and workers, as were their children. Although rights were not based off of gender, but instead of social class, it was still the woman's job to raise the family, cook, and clean, but the men were supposed to take care of their sons. They would teach their sons how to do business and trade. If a man was a merchant, then he would teach his son how to be a merchant and if a couple were farmers, then their children would become farmers. Women were expected to obey their husbands and peasant girls were married at the age of 12 in an arranged marriage, so they needed to learn early how to take care of a family and house. Both men and women were allowed to own a business.
King Narmer, also known as Menes ruled Upper Egypt. Around 3200 BC he conquered Lower Egypt, becoming the first king to rule over both half's of Egypt and he became the first Pharaoh of the first dynasty. He put both Upper and Lower Egypt's symbols on his crown, symbolizing their union. He created the city of Memphis and made it the capitol of the newly combines Egypt. Menes was born sometime around 3100 BC and died around 3038 BC at the age of 62. There are many different stories about how
Menes died. Some say he was attacked by wild dogs or Nile
crocodiles. The most favored possibility though is that he
was gored to death by a hippopotamus.
Hatshepsut was born in 1508 BC and died in 1458 BC, around the age of 50. She was the first woman Pharaoh to rule over Egypt. Hatshepsut was the first wife and Queen to Thutmose ll. On her husbands death bed she proclaimed herself Pharaoh, denying her nephew Thutmose lll, his inheritance as king. To support her cause as Pharaoh with the Egyptian people, Hatshepsut claimed that the god Amun-Ra spoke to her saying, "Welcome my sweet daughter, my favorite, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare, Hatshepsut. Thou art the King, taking possession of the Two Lands." As Pharaoh, Hatshepsut dressed as a king and even wore a fake beard. Even more surprisingly, the Egyptian people seamed to have accepted Hatshepsut's strange behavior and as their ruler.
Pharaoh Hatshepsut was in power for twenty years. During her rule, the economy flourished and trading expanded. She also built and restored magnificent temples. There were no wars during her rein. Eventually though her nephew grew up and took his rightful place as Pharaoh. No one knows how exactly he came about as Pharaoh, but he did do everything in his power to erase Hatshepsut as well as her rule, from history. Hatshepsut was discovered to have died of a form of bone cancer.
Fun Fact: Sphinx's were modeled with the likeness of Hatsheput. They were made to have the body of a lion and the head of Hatshepsut.
Akhenaten was born in 1352 BC and died in 1336 BC. He was a philosophical revolutionary and an intellectual who had the money and power to indulge in his ideas. One of his most famous ideas was to change the Egyptians polytheistic religion to monotheism. He wanted everyone to believe in his god Aten, the sun god. Obviously one cannot just change the religion of a country from polytheism to monotheism overnight. So Akhenaten made himself unpopular in Egypt by doing this, closing temples, and also his lack of enthusiasm for his duties as Pharaoh.
The Egyptians were polytheistic, meaning they believed in more than one god. Their religion governed every aspect of their lives. The Egyptians believed in over 2000 gods and goddesses. Temples were made everywhere as dwelling places for the gods. Each individual city had a temple built for the god or goddess that watched over that city. Temples were built to also be the cosmic center by which people could communicate with the gods. Egyptians gods were depicted with the heads of animals to show that they existed in two different worlds at once, our world and theirs. The Egyptians believed in the 5 parts of the soul. The Ka was the lifeforce. The Ba was the soul or the conscious. The Ren was one's secret name or identity. The Sheut was one's shadow and the Ib was the heart.
Khepri- Amun Ra- Khnum
The king of the gods was Ra or Amun Ra. Ra was the god of the sun and had three different aspects. First he was Khepri the scarab god in the morning. Then he was Ra throughout the day. Finally he was Khnum, the ram-headed god at sunset when he went into the Underworld. The Egyptians believed that Ra, being the sun, was reborn each day. This was because the sun rose every morning bringing light and then set every night leaving darkness. The Egyptians believed that Ra traveled into the Underworld each night where he died as Khnum and was reborn as Khepri, the scarab god of rebirth. The scarab beetle was the symbol of rebirth and Khepri because of this. Khnum is depicted as the old and wise aspect of Ra, he is greatly known for his creation of man. The story tells of Khnum using different clays and muds from the banks of the Nile to create man on the potter's wheel. The sun god Ra ruled the other gods and goddesses for a long time until he was tricked by a certain magic goddess to leave the universe forever.
Nut, Geb, and The Demon Days
Shabti were models of people made out of wax and clay. They were placed on tombs to be servant to the person buried there. They were supposed to come to life when their deceased Egyptian masters called upon them to do jobs. Shabti were sometimes made with their legs or arms cut off because some people were afraid that the Shabti, when alive, would try to kill their masters so that they could be free.
The Egyptians had very strong beliefs about death. They believed that the Ka, the lifeforce, traveled into the afterlife after death. But they also believed that once the body decayed and rotted, the Ka could not recognize the person and would just disappear not allowing the deceased person to move on to the afterlife, instead that person would just disappear forever. Because of this, the Egyptians started the art of mummification. One's body was removed of all its organs except the heart and covered in salt, which dried the body out, After this the deceased person was lathered with lotions and oils and then wrapped in linen. The mummification process took 70 days, after this time the mummy was put into a decorated coffin called a sarcophagus. The sarcophagus was placed in a tomb with food, statues, games, furniture, shabti, and other things one might need in the after life. The last ritual preformed on the mummy was the "Opening of The Mouth." This ceremony was supposed to enable the deceased to speak, eat, and to have use of their bodies.
Nut was the goddess of the sky, she is drawn arched over Geb, the god of the earth and her husband. She is draw as a woman with skin the color of the sky and has stars all over body. Geb is drawn as a man beneath the arch of Nut. Geb and Nut wanted to have children, but Ra had heard a prophecy that a child of Nut would one day replace Ra as king of the gods. So Ra forbade Nut to have any children on any day of the year (the Egyptian calender had 360 days) and had Nut's father Shu, god of the wind and air, make sure that Nut and Geb were never again together. But Nut came up with a plan. Khons, the moon god liked to gamble, so Nut set up a game and challenged Khons. They made a deal, if Nut won then Khons had to give her some of his moonlight. Nut won the game so many times that she was able to use all of the moonlight she had to create 5 new days of the year, making the year have 365 days. On each of these 5 days, Nut gave birth to her 5 children, hence The Deemon Days. Nut and Geb's children were Osiris, Isis, Horus, Set, and Nephthys.
Roles of men and women
Life, Religion, Death
5 or more gods and goddesses
3 or more pharaohs
Egyptian food was often boiled, stewed, roasted, baked, grilled, fried, and mashed, as well as mixed with other foods. Food was prepared in ovens made of clay or over fires. Bowls, jars, pots, pans, sieves, ladles, and whisks have all been found in multiple tombs suggesting more ways the Egyptians could have prepared their food. The most common food in an Egyptians diet was bread, and the most popular drink was beer made from barley, dried grain, and water. The Egyptians made wine, but only the wealthy drank it. The wealthy also had bronze, silver, and gold dishes while the common Egyptian people had clay dishes.
Other foods usually eaten by the Egyptians includes fish, dates, figs, grapes, garlic, onions, beans, lettuce, cheese, pomegranates, geese, duck, beef, milk, watermelon, and butter.
In some stories, Osiris, Isis, and Horus are sibling while in other stories Horus is told to be their child. This is because the Egyptians believed that the gods came into the material world and took hosts, usually humans, to do their bidding. When Osiris, Isis, and Horus first walked our earth, their hosts were brothers and sister. Then when they came again later, they were reborn into new hosts. Osiris and Isis's hosts were married and Horus's host was their son. The Egyptians believed that their Pharaohs were hosts for the gods, making them gods themselves. Isis was known as the goddess of magic and was a little power hungry. In the gods second lifetime when Osiris and Isis were married, Isis wanted Osiris to rule the gods instead of Ra. But knowing that Ra would never freely step down from his place as king, Isis needed to get a little creative. She secretly poisoned him and the only cure was very powerful magic. Ra was devastated because he was sure that he would die, but Isis told him that she would be able to heal him by using the best magic and his secret name.
The Egyptians believed that a person's Ba traveled both in the magical world called the Da'ut and throughout the material world while they dreamt. But, the Egyptians also believed that while their Ba traveled, it traveled in the form of a chicken with that individual's head.
One's secret name was their identity, it was their entire being. If you knew another one's secret name, you knew all their secrets and that person became under your control, they had to obey you entirely. Ra, who desperately didn't want to die, obliged and gave Isis his secret name. After healing him from the poison, Isis used Ra's secret name to force him to leave the universe forever, therefore making Osiris king. Later though, Set the god of evil and desert storms, became jealous of his brother Osiris and tricked him into laying down in a golden sarcophagus and then sending him far away. Isis went on a journey to find her husband, but when she finally did, Set appeared and permanently killed Osiris. Osiris, now dead, became the god of the underworld. Set's plan to become king ultimately failed though because after Osiris died, Horus became king of the gods. He was also the war god and believed to host the greatest Pharaohs.
Fun Fact: In a fight over the kingship with Set, Horus lost an eye. His eye was later restored though and became a symbol of healing and protection. Horus was nicknamed The Avenger
Set and Nephthys
Fun Fact: Set (pictured with a dog head) and Nephthys were also married in their second life, their child was Anubis, the jackal-headed god of funerals. Some say that Nephthys was a protective goddess of the dead, but others say that she was a water goddess.
Osiris and Isis
Fun Fact: Being the magic goddess, Isis was often pictured with magical, rainbow colored wings. Osiris's skin was green to show that he was dead.
The Eye of Horus
Fun Fact: A netjeri was the tool used in the opening of the mouth ceremony.
Fun Fact: This is the pallet of Narmer, one of the oldest artifacts of Egypt.
Fun Fact: On the front it shows Narmer, wearing the crown of Lower Egypt, defeating Upper Egypt and uniting them.
Slaves were usually enemy soldiers captured during war. They were bought and could be sold as property, they were servants for the Egyptians. Slaves worked in mines, dug canals, prepared land for farming, and did all the other jobs that peasants or workers did not was to do. Slaves did not have the right to be treated fairly and were abused, though they could own certain types of property. Men, women, and children were slaves.
Because of Egypt's strange landscape, the Nile River flows South to North, making it the only river to do so. The Nile was called "The Giver of Life" because it helped sustain life in the desert that is Egypt. Without the Nile, Egypt was just sand and mountains. People would not have been able to live in Egypt if not for the Nile River. The Nile flooded yearly, creating fertile soil that was very good for planting and sustaining life. So while most of Egypt was harsh and desolate, the area around the Nile was full of life and looked like an oasis in comparison.
Nut, the sky
Shu, keeping Geb and Nut appart
The most popular game in Egypt was a board gamed called Senet.
Outdoor games include, racing, wrestling, tug of war, and balancing games.
Fun Fact: The creatures with the long necks on the back of the pallet of Narmer are called serpopards. Serpent Leopards.