Ancient Egyptians lived near the Nile River. They called the rich black soil from the floods "the gift of the Nile". The floods were all from snow and heavy rain falls. But the Egyptians had another theory for the cause of the rain. They believed it was the goddess Isis crying over the loss of her husband, Osiris.
Stable Food Supply
The ancient Egyptians grew barley, wheat, onions, cucumbers, and flax to make into linen. The farmers were actually very successful by the Nile River. The soil was fertile and very good for growing crops. This meant they could grow more foods. When the Nile flooded its banks the Egyptians would plant crops in the rich, black soil.
The social structure of the Egyptians began with the Pharaoh, who ruled over the land and people. Government officials and soldiers had some power and were treated well. Scribes, merchants, and artisans were respected for being smart. Farmers and slaves were the hardest working people but had no power.
Ancient Egyptians believed in many Gods. Ra was worshipped as the sun god and the supreme ruler of all other gods. Horus was the ruler of the sky and represented all gods. Osiris was the ruler of the underworld and the dead. He also was the father of Horus and his wife was Isis. When an Egyptian died they belived that their heart had to be weighed by the scales of the funerary god Anubis. Egyptians believed that their memories were stored in the heart. If their heart was lighter than a feather it would be kept in the body but if the heart weighed more it would be destroyed. The brain would be removed because they didn't think it was important in the afterlife. This was done by sticking a needle through the nose and pulling out the brain piece by piece. Wine would also be poured over the body so the person could still live in the afterlife.
System of Government
In ancient Egypt the people had no power because the Pharaoh ruled the government. To help the Pharaoh, there were other positions that kept the government running smoothly such as scribes, Nomarks, and overseers of the land. These officials acted as judges and supervised the farmers. Ramses II had built the most statues and the most buildings. Hatshepsut was the greatest female Pharaoh. Khufu had built the largest pyramid in the world and it is still one of the 7 Wonders of the World. Sensurset was best known for building the White Chapel that was made of alabaster but it was later destroyed by another Pharaoh.
Ancient Egyptians' art was based on religion and showed their lives. The Egyptians put paintings and sculptures in tombs because they thought they would need them in the afterlife. Artists did not try to be creative and instead drew all the animals and people the same way. The sculptors were very important in ancient Egypt. Most of their work was on Pharaohs, gods, and animals. The purpose of the architecture in ancient Egypt was to build tombs and palaces for the Pharaohs. As soon as a Pharoah began ruling the Egyptians started building their tomb and stopped when the Pharoah died.
Advances in Technology
There were many inventions that made Egyptians' lives easier. The Egyptians created paper out of papyrus plants to have and to sell to ancient Greece. Living near the Nile River made boats an important part of their lives. They invented sails to improve their ships. Egyptian culture was the first to use organized labor. Different groups of people were given jobs to finish. Without organized labor they would not have been able to build the pyramids.
Hieroglyphs were the Egyptians' form of writing. Hieroglyphs were pictures of people and animals that were used to write their language. The Egyptians used papyrus and invented black ink to write and draw. In 1799 the Rosetta Stone was discovered and it showed the letter that each hieroglyph picture stood for. The stone was used as a key to read all the hieroglyphics found in Egypt.