ANCIENT EGYPT

by: Samantha Rainey

Geography

The desert was to the east and south making a boarder around it. The mountains were to the south of the river. They thought of Egypt as two lands; the red and black lands. The red land was a barren desert that protected Egypt on two sides. Every summer the Nile River overflowed and it left behind fertile landwhich was great for the crops.

Stable Food Supply

Near the fresh water they found many animals including fish, duck, geese, hippos, crocodiles, giraffes,and ostriches. They grew wheat and barley. Peasants grew mostly all of the crops. They roasted duck, geese, pigeon, quail, antelope, sheep, and goat. Higher class people ate bread and beer. Also higher class people had figs, dates, grapes, coconuts, breads, cakes, and honey. The land was fertile because during the summer the river overflowed leaving behind great, fertile land.

Social Structure

On the top of the social pyramid is the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh was the most powerful person in all of ancient Egypt. He was the religious and political leader. He was the head of the government. He ruled upper and lower Egypt. Next on the pyramid is government officials. They were either apart of the Pharaoh's family or upper class families. There were 3 important officials; the vizier, chief treasurer, and army general. The vizier almost had the most power other than the Pharaoh. The chief treasurer collected taxes. The military general commanded the armies. Next on the pyramid is the priests. The Pharaoh was the highest priest. There were male and female priests. They were treated equally. Next was the Scribes on the pyramid. They were the official writers and record keepers. Only boys could be scribes. They spent 12 years in school to learn about hieroglyphs. Then on the pyramid were the Artisans. They rarely got respect from higher classes. The types of artisans were carpenters, jewelers, leatherworkers, metalworkers, painters, potters, sculptors, and weavers. Then finally on the pyramid was the peasants. They were the largest social class on the pyramid. They were thought of as unskilled laborers. They grew the crops and mended the fields. They built the pyramids and temples.

Religion

Ra had a sun on his head and was resembled as a falcon. Egyptians thought that he created the world. Anubis was shown as a wild dog. He was the god of death and funerals. He was often painted on temple walls. He was thought to protect the dead. Osiris was shown as a human. He was killed by his brother. He was the god of the underworld. When Pharaohs died they became a Osiris. Horus was shown as a falcon. He was the sky god. He lost his eye fighting Seth. He gave power to the Pharaoh. Egyptians believed in afterlife. They would mummify someone after they died and left the body in a temple with lots of goods. They would build temples with paintings and sculptures of gods.

Government

The ancient Egyptians were ruled by a king otherwise known as a Pharaoh. Pharaoh Khufu ruled from 2551 to 2528 B.C.E. He built many ancient pyramids and temples. He was a cruel and harsh leader. But some say that he was powerful and kind. He was strict about Egypt's food supply. Pharaoh Senusret I ruled from 1971 to 1926 B.C.E. He was a strong leader that made a stable government during his reign. He was known as the patron of arts. Pharaoh Hatshepsut ruled from 1473 to 1458 B.C.E. She was the first female Pharaoh of Egypt. She wanted the same respect as male leaders. She created a temple at Dayr albahri. She sometimes dressed in male clothes. Pharaoh Ramses II ruled from 1290 to 1224 B.C.E. He is known for his great military leadership. He had 100 wives and children. He had 100s of statues of himself everywhere.

Arts

There were many artists and artisans in ancient Egypt. Metalworkers made weapons and cups. While architectures designed ziggurats and temples. They believed that music brought joy to the gods. Musicians sang and played instruments during temple ceremonies. They also wrote love songs and poems. They played a variety of instruments. They played drums and pipes. There were many artisans including jewelers and carpenters. Jewelers made beautiful jewelry like necklaces and rings. While carpenters built furniture like a couch.

Technology

Wheels were one of the technology advances. They dated back to 3500 B.C.E. They used it for wheeled carts farmers and chariots for battles. They built temples, ziggurats, and many other cultural monuments. Skilled artisans made statues and engravings in tombs which was also an advance in technology. They built tombs for when they buried their Pharaohs.

Writing

The ancient Egyptians wrote using cuneiform. Cuneiform was a type of writing that used wedge shaped characters. It was made in 2400 B.C.E. Another type of writing was pictographs. Which was made with pictures or symbols. For example snakes or water. They wrote with pens and ink. They wrote on papyrus which was an early version of paper. They now write on hieroglyphs which is a combination of shapes and symbols.

Connections to life today

In life today instead of Pharaohs we have a president in the United States and other countries. They do not use wheeled carts for battling anymore. Egyptians now have more advanced technology then in the ancient times. The places around Egypt have changed. For example ancient Sinai has probably more countries now.

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