Ancient Egypt

History

Ancient Egypt, the preeminent civilization in the Mediterranean world, was conquested by Alexander the Great in 322 B.C. Egypt's long living history from the great pyramids of the Old Kingdom through military conquest of the New Kingdom, Egypt's history has won the interest of hundreds of archaeologists and historians, in which they created a study of egypt on its own named: Egyptology. The sources such as, monuments and artifacts that have been retained from egypt’s archaeological sites paved a way into information about the history. Through various searches and findings culture was uncovered, the world of their architecture, and their religious traditions.

In the Predynastic Period (C. 5000-3100 B.C.), there was artifacts located that withheld close to 2,000 years of gradual development of the Egypt Civilization. Late stone age communities in northeastern africa like the Neolithic community made exchanges like hunting for agriculture and made early advances which set the stone and a pathway for the later development of Egyptian arts and crafts, technology, politics and religion. Around 3400 B.C. the first kingdoms were established, the Red land to the North and the White land to the South. A southern king, Scorpion made the first attempts to conquer the northern kingdom and failed and a century later, king Menes conquered the North and unified the country, he became the first king of the first dynasty.In the next period, the Archaic Period (C. 3100-2686 B.C), King Menes founded the capital of acient Egypt at White Walls, in the north and the capital grew into a great metropolis that dominated Egyptian society during the Old Kingdom period.In the Archaic Period, as in all other periods, most ancient Egyptians were farmers living in small villages, and agriculture (largely wheat and barley) formed the economic base of the Egyptian state.The period of the Old Kingdom was known as the period of the “Pyramid Builders.” The Old Kingdom began with the third dynasty of pharaohs. Around 2630 B.C., the third dynasty’s King Djoser asked Imhotep, an architect, priest and healer, to design a funerary monument for him; the result was the world’s first major stone building, the Step-Pyramid at Saqqara, near Memphis. Pyramid-building reached its precipice, “with the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo. Built for Khufu (or Cheops, in Greek), who ruled from 2589 to 2566 B.C.” First Intermediate Period, due to the huge expense of pyramid building and the death of the sixth dynasty, King Pepy II the Old Kingdom Period ended in chaos and the seventh and eighth dynasties consisted of rapid succession until the central authority completely dissolved leading to civil war between provincial governors. This conflict resulted in two different kingdoms emerging, a line of 17 rulers, (dynasties nine and 10) based in Heracleopolis ruled Middle Egypt and another family of rulers arose in Thebes to challenge Heracleopolis power, until around 2055 B.c where Prince Theban topples Heracleopolis and reunited Egypt, beginning the 11th dynasty and ending the First Intermediate Period. In the Second Intermediate Period, the rapid succession of kings failed to consolidate power which led to another bad start of a new period. Period Egypt was separated by different powers, “The official royal court and seat of government was relocated to Thebes, while a rival dynasty (the 14th), centered on the city of Xois in the Nile delta, seems to have existed at the same time as the 13th.” Around 1650 B.C a line of foreign rules called, Hyksos along with a line of native Theban rulers of the 17th dynasty, which at this time had to pay taxes to the Hyksos, took control and ruled with many of the existing traditions egypt had until conflict aroused and the Thebans launched a war and drove the Hyksos out of Egypt. The late period to Alexander's Conquest (C.664-322 B.C) Necho’s son, Psammetichus, the Saite dynasty ruled The Reunified Egypt for less than two centuries. After Alexander's death, Egypt was ruled by a line of Macedonian kings. The last ruler of Egypt was who they called the “legendary Cleopatra VII” who surrendered Egypt to the armies of Octavian. “Six centuries of Roman rule followed, during which Christianity became the official religion of Rome and its provinces (including Egypt).” In the seventh century Egypt was conquested by the Arabs who introduced the islam culture leading to the end of the ancient Egyptian culture.



Government

The government was always a strong power in Ancient Egypt, and it grew more powerful over the years, up until the Intermediate Periods. The government was a monarchy and was well organized, with the pharaoh holding the most power, and the pharaoh appointing officials of varying levels below them. During the Intermediate Periods there was no centralized government, but after a brief time it would come back and organization among the people was restored.

The Pharaoh had complete control in Ancient Egypt and was believed by the people to be a god. The roles of the pharaoh were to create laws, maintain law and order, and appoint other officials. The pharaoh used the power of the government to summon large groups of workers to construct the pyramids, and in return the pharaoh gathered and distributed food to them. The position of the pharaoh was usually passed down to the next family member.

The King was the supreme military commander and the head of the government. The Highest Officials took orders from the king. The Officials took orders from the highest officials.

The Nomarchs were responsible for a certain area. The country was divided into 42 regions and each region was ruled by a nomarch. The position of the nomarch was typically passed down through families. The nomarchs began to grow powerful during Dynasties 5 and 6 and had more control than the pharaoh, which saw a collapse of the government.

Government Officials were appointed to perform specific duties. The Vizier was the most important person besides the pharaoh and oversaw administration and legal issues. The Chief Treasurer was responsible for collecting and managing taxes. The General was responsible for the military. The Overseer was responsible for managing worksites. The Scribe was responsible for writing official documents.

There are no documents pertaining to law that have survived since the Ancient Egyptian times, however, through other documents the types of laws that would have existed can be determined. Laws that have been attributed to Ancient Egyptian times still remain today. There were most likely 8 books of codes that lay out the Egyptian law. The law was based on a basic view of right and wrong. It was also based on Ma’at, the goddess of the World Order, that was more of a concept than an actual goddess. Ma’at represented truth, order, balance, and justice, so the law echoed these values. It encouraged reaching agreements instead of focusing on a set of laws in order to solve conflicts.

The law viewed everyone as equal, except for slaves, no matter what their position was in the social hierarchy or if they were a man or woman. If a crime was committed it was punished severely, whether it be officials, tax collectors, or peasants. Punishment was typically given to an entire family, rather than solely the guilty individual. The pharaoh was in charge of enacting laws, delivering justice, and maintaining law and order.



Economy

In the early days the Ancient Egyptians utilized a barter system before the days of a monetary system. They made use of goods to make exchanges among themselves and with other nations. Taxes were also paid using the barter system. They used crops, livestock, jewelry, and other goods to pay taxes to the government. The amount of taxes that was owed was based on cultivable land owned. This allowed for lower taxes for farmers with less land, and when there was a drought, taxes would be decreased. However, the taxes demanded by the pharaoh tended to be quite heavy, in order to fund the lavish lifestyles of the pharaoh and officials.

Agriculture was the foundation of Egypt’s economy and government, and farmers made up the majority of the population. The success of agriculture in the region was due to the resources provided by the Nile River. The Nile River was crucial in the development of the Ancient Egyptian Civilization, which is why it was established along the river. The Nile River flows in northeast Africa and is the longest river in the world. It provides fertile soil for farming due to silt deposits when the river overflows. This provides the cycle of flooding season (Akhet), planting season (Peret), and harvesting season (Shemu). Farmers would plow and plant seeds in the fields, and ditches and canals were dug so that the water from the Nile would reach the crops. This was necessary because Egypt received little rainfall. The river also created a method of transportation for people and goods. The resources provided by the Nile River allowed the Ancient Egyptians to produce a surplus of food, which allowed them to spend time in other areas and grow.

The Ancient Egyptians grew grains, such as emmer and barley, which were used to make bread and beer. Flax plants were used to make thread that was used for linens and clothing. Papyrus grew along the Nile River and was the resource the Egyptians used to make paper. They also grew various vegetables and fruit, such as leeks, garlic, melons, squashes, pulses, lettuce, and grapes.

A monetary economy was established after the New Kingdom when the Persians invaded Egypt. It wasn’t until the influence of foreigners that the barter system changed to a monetary system.

Another aspect of the economy that helped Ancient Egypt to thrive was trade. Trade was established with other nations to obtain foreign goods and to trade the surplus of food that they had. The Ancient Egyptians traded wheat, flax, and papyrus. Trading helped with the economy and also created relationships with other countries.



Language

Egyptian is one of the oldest known and recorded languages today and is a branch of the Afro-Asiatic Language family. The national language of modern day Egypt is Egyptian Arabic, which gradually replaced other older forms. Scholars group the progression of the Egyptian language into six major chronological divisions:

Archaic Egyptian (before 2600 BC) The earliest known evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic writing appears on Naqada pottery vessels.

Old Egyptian (2600 – 2000 BC) The Pyramid Texts are the largest body of literature written in this phase of the language.

Middle Egyptian (2000 – 1300 BC) It includes funerary texts, wisdom texts, tales detailing the adventures of a certain individual, medical and scientific texts, and poetic texts.

Late Egyptian (1300 – 700 BC)

Demotic (700 BC – 500 AD)

Early Demotic was used only for administrative, legal, and commercial texts, while hieroglyphs and hieratic were reserved for other texts. From the fourth century BC onwards, Demotic held a higher status, as may be seen from its increasing use for literary and religious texts. From the beginning of Roman rule of Egypt, Demotic was progressively less used in public life.

Coptic (500 – 1400 AD) It is the direct descendant of the ancient language written in Egyptian hieroglyphic, hieratic, and demotic scripts. Coptic survives today as the liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Modern Day (1400 – present day) Arabic gradually replaced spoken Coptic after the Arabian invasion in the seventh century.

Thoth was thought to be scribe to the gods, who kept a great library of scrolls. He was associated by the Egyptians with speech, literature, arts, learning. Many ancient Egyptians Thoth taught writing to mankind. The Egyptians credited him as the author of all works of science, religion, philosophy, and magic. The Greeks further declared him the inventor of astronomy, astrology, the science of numbers, mathematics, geometry, land surveying, medicine, botany, theology, civilized government, the alphabet, reading, writing, and oratory.

Most surviving texts in the Egyptian language are primarily written in the hieroglyphic script. However, the majority of texts were written on perishable papyrus, which are now lost. The native name for Egyptian hieroglyphic writing is "writing of the words of god." Hieroglyphs are employed in two ways in Egyptian texts: as ideograms that represent the idea depicted by the pictures; and more commonly as phonograms denoting their phonetic value.

Apart from hieroglyphs, hieratic (a cursive version of hieroglyphic writing) and demotic (even more cursive and abbreviated) were employed in Egypt's 3,000+-year history of hieroglyphic writing. As Egypt became part of the Greek and later the Roman empire, the hieroglyphic writing system was replaced by the Greek alphabet.

Most people refer to hieroglyphs when they speak about Egyptian writing. It is a common misconception that the hieroglyphs are pictures that represent ideas instead of the sounds of the language. While the shapes of the hieroglyphs are indeed taken from real (or imaginary) objects, most of them are used for their phonetic value.

Hieroglyphs were used for most of the surviving forms of written communication during the Old and Middle Egyptian eras, at least for official documents; hieratic was already being used for day-to-day administrative needs during the Old Kingdom. Religious texts during the Demotic era were also typically written in hieroglyphs when they were inscribed on temple walls and stelae; hieratic was used for religious documents on papyrus. (Administrative works were of course written in Demotic.) The last datable hieroglyphic text was written in 394 AD.

The Ancient Egyptian scribe was a person educated in the arts of writing (using both hieroglyphics and hieratic scripts) and dena (arithmetic). Sons of scribes were brought up in the same scribal tradition, sent to school and, upon entering the civil service, inherited their fathers' positions.

Much of what is known about ancient Egypt is due to the activities of its scribes. Monumental buildings were erected under their supervision, administrative and economic activities were documented by them, and tales from the mouths of Egypt's lower classes or from foreign lands survive thanks to scribes putting them in writing.

Scribes were also considered part of the royal court and did not have to pay tax or join the military. The scribal profession had companion professions, the painters and artisans who decorated reliefs and other relics with scenes, personages, or hieroglyphic text. A scribe was exempt from the heavy manual labor required of the lower classes.

A scribe's duties ranged from writing letters for townspeople, to recording harvests, to keeping accounts for the Egyptian army. Above these scribes were more scholarly scribes, who had advanced to higher positions such as priests, doctors, and engineers. Priests were devoted to their religious duties in the temples at least three months out of every year, during which time they never left the temple. At other times the worked as judges and teachers.



Culture

Ancient Egyptian culture was much more than the adorned temples and elaborate pharaohs’ tombs pictured in grade school history textbooks. It was about a life affirming culture abundant with rich history and technological advances — from the wheel, ramp and level, and toothbrush — that are still being utilized today. This culture blossomed from c. 5500 BCE with the influx of technology to 30 BCE with the death of the last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt, Cleopatra VII. Ancient Egyptian culture can be broken down into five central themes: gratitude, religion, technological advances, daily life, class separation, and leisure.

Gratitude:.

If one personality trait was epitomized throughout ancient Egyptian culture it was gratitude. It is a common assumption that Ancient Egyptian culture was obsessed with death, but considering its lasting influence on other ancient cultures, including Greece and Rome, Dr. Salima Ikram (archeologist, author and professor of Egyptology) argues just the opposite:

“Judging by the numbers of tombs and mummies that the ancient Egyptians left behind, one can be forgiven for thinking that they were obsessed by death. However, this is not so. The Egyptians were obsessed by life and its continuation rather than by a morbid fascination with death. The tombs, mortuary temples and mummies that they produced were a celebration of life and a means of continuing it for eternity…For the Egyptians, as for other cultures, death was part of the journey of life, with death marking a transition or transformation after which life continued in another form, the spiritual rather than the corporeal.”

Regardless of social class, Egyptians cherished their earthly existence and shared a love of their land. In fact, ingratitude was touted as the ‘gateway sin’ that opened the doors for other sins to take hold in one’s life. There was one popular tradition in particular, known as The Five Gifts of Hathor, that people of all classes took part in to avoid sin and express appreciation for their country.

This ritual stems back to the ancient Egyptian goddess of joy, Hathor, who gave all the bountiful gifts of life to the people. The story goes that when someone joined the Cult of Hathor, a priest or priestess took their left forearm and asked them to name the five things they would miss the most if they died right now. That way when the person returned to work everyday and saw their left hand as they reached to a stalk, they would be reminded of the Five Gifts of Hathor — those things most dear and important to them.

Religion:

As an ancient Egyptian, religion was a vital aspect of daily life. Although Egyptians shared the Mesopotamian belief that they were “co-laborers” with the gods, they held the differing view that it was a person’s job to celebrate and give thanks to the gods for advancing society from its original state of chaos. Life was a cycle and after celebration in one’s physical life came death in which one’s soul would be reunited with the eternal realm.

The story of existence came from Egyptian mythology, which held as much credibility as any established religion. It taught people that in the beginning there was nothing expect for a small hill named Ben-Ben that rose from tumultuous waters and upon which god Atum stood to declare life through the creation of Ptah, the creator god. Although there are different and more elaborate versions of this story, it is believed that all of the known world and universe came from this great act.

Collectively, the Egyptians considered the soul to be made up of nine parts: the physical body, known as the Khat, as well as eight immortal parts that survived death. The Ka was the person’s double-form that lingered in the tomb occupying the body. The Ba was a human-headed bird that traveled between heaven and earth. The Shuyet (or Khaibit) was a man’s shadow and the Akh was the immortal self made up of the Sahu and Sechem. The heart and foundation of all good and evil was called the Ab and lastly, the Ren, was one’s secret name. An Egyptian’s secret name was in fact their true name that they kept secret in fear of someone finding out and holding “magical powers” over them.

Technological Advances:

History would attest that the Egyptians were an innovative group of people. From papyrus, the ramp and level, and wheel, to geometry for construction, advances in math and astronomy, improvements in irrigation, and shipbuilding, they can be credited for it all. Additionally since there was no restriction in place for the dissection of the human body, doctors had significant biological knowledge. The Egyptians also practiced dentistry and invented toothpaste, toothbrushes, toothpicks, and even breath mints. Going hand in hand with this was the fact that society valued personal hygiene and appearance — both men and women bathed regularly and used cosmetics. It does not come as a surprise then that the practice of shaving, the wig, and the hairbrush would be added to the Egyptians’ list of creations.

Daily Life:

Similar to ancient cultures in Mesopotamia, India, China, and Greece, the Egyptians lived in modesty, but they were set apart by their fiercely intimate ties to their homeland. They held the belief that the fertile earth of the Nile River Delta was the only area blessed by the gods for re-birth in afterlife; thus exciting a fear of dying beyond their borders, but not a fear of death itself. In fact in their opinion, death would be a better version (free of sickness and disappointment) of one’s present life and inspired the people to live in Ma’at (harmony) with their environment and one another.

With such a central location to the Nile, agriculture was a fundamental aspect of Egyptian life. The annual flooding of the Nile made farming impossible from July to November, but when the waters retreated, it left behind a layer of fertile soil ideal for crop growth. The growing season lasted for the remaining eight to nine months of the year with wheat, fruits, and vegetables topping the crop list.

Class Separation:

While gratitude and merriment defied class distinctions, when it came to the home, class became evident. Lower class Egyptian homes were composed of mud bricks — sometimes only one brick wide. Brick thickness increased with status, and wealthy citizens’ homes often had a double layer or more of brick. A personal garden was also a prized home accessory and gave laborers the opportunity to grow something of their own will. One tomb inscription from 1400 BCE displayed this adoration: “May I walk every day on the banks of the water, may my soul rest on the branches of the trees which I planted, may I refresh myself under the shadow of my sycamore.”

Clothing was also an invisible social institution of its own, especially in terms of women’s dress. Traditionally, men sported a knee length skirt, women a light, ankle-length dress or robe, and children wore little to no clothing until puberty. While women were free to dress without worry of being criticized as immodest or provocative, one’s level of undress was often indicative of social status. Dancing girls, female musicians, servants, and slaves were shown nude, while women in the home were typically pictured fully clothed. Since Egyptians believed that the goddess Isis presented equal rights to both sexes, men had no say in the matter.

And women’s prestige and independence was not limited to dress — women had the ability to own land, homes and businesses, preside over temples, and become pharaohs. Historian Thompson said, “Egypt treated its women better than any of the other major civilizations of the ancient world. The Egyptians believed that joy and happiness were legitimate goals of life and regarded home and family as the major source of delight.”

When a man was interested in marriage, he would carry gifts to the house of his intended bride and upon acceptance of the gifts, she would take up residence with him. There was no arranged marriage or formal marriage ceremony engrained in ancient Egyptian culture, but it was unusual for a man or woman to be single after puberty. The typical woman wedded at age 13 with a man between the ages of 18 to 21, and a contract was devised that distributed a portion of a man’s assets to his wife and children that could only be withdrawn on grounds of adultery.

In marriage, men took their place as the head of the house and women as head of the home. The woman was expected to raise children of both sexes until a boy reached the age of four or five, and could be transferred over to the father to learn his profession. Meanwhile, the females stayed under the mother learning the art of running a household.

Leisure:

Another trait that unified Egyptians was their love of sport. Swimming and rowing were particularly popular among all classes, and children were taught to swim at a young age. With the Nile in such close proximity, water sports were a source of entertainment and home to sports such as water jousting. Egyptians could also often be found playing classic catch and handball, the popular board game Senet, or bowling, a sport that they created.



Military

For all of ancient Egypt’s might and power throughout most of history Egypt was a peaceful nation, only bearing arms during border disputes or internal strife. This contradicts all of the stone carvings and illustrations of Pharaohs standing triumphantly over their enemies, as most people are accustomed to seeing. Though exaggerated ancient Egypt’s military still offers rich and varied history.

Ancient Egyptian history is divided into the three kingdoms during which stability and peace were the norm and 2 intermediate periods were a variety of nobles and elites ruled over their respective territories. The three kingdoms are separated into the Old, Middle, and New kingdoms, of the three the Old and New kingdoms are the most important militarily speaking. A clear paradigm shift can be seen during the transition between the Old Kingdom and the New Kingdom in the ancient Egyptian military.

Old Kingdom

The Old Kingdom (3000 BC) was the first period of wide spread peace in Egypt and considered the first peak of Egyptian civilization. During this era Egypt was mostly concerned with controlling its borders and continuing its policy of eradication imperialism. During this time period the main conflicts surrounding Egypt came from the surrounding countries Libya, Nubia, and Sinai. Focusing on exerting its dominance of the Nile River, Egypt built forts along its banks and deep into its enemies territory, Nubia, to the south.

During the Old Kingdom the Egyptian military was rather rag tag and did not have a dedicated force. Whenever an army was need to be assembled the governors of the local territories would assemble individual volunteer armies that would then gather at the capital and fight together under the Pharaoh. During the Old Kingdom being a soldier was not a very prestigious position, because of this the army was filled with mostly lower class men that could not afford to train in other jobs.

Weaponry during the Old Kingdom was still relatively simple mostly consisting of farming or hunting tools, an axe used to chop down trees could easily be used as a battle axe. Among the many every day tools that were used as weapons during war times there were many ranged weapons. The Egyptian army used ranged weaponry significantly using throwing sticks, spears, bows and arrows, and cross bows to keep their enemies at bay. During the Old Kingdom the average Egyptian warrior did not were any armor, in general they were depicted wearing only a small lone cloths going into battle. The only bit of protection there would carry was a cow hide shield. This is quite surprising considering the might of the Egypt during the Old Kingdom era. Therefore the territorial gains made by Egypt came from superior organization and tactics rather than weapon superiority.

New Kingdom

The New Kingdom began around 1600 BC and Egypt finds itself surrounded by formable enemies, specifically the Hyksos who had declared themselves the lords of the lower Egypt. To combat this increased aggression and sophistication of surrounding enemies the Egyptian military had to evolve. The first major overhaul was introduction of ranks to the military system. The Pharaoh was the highest ranking military official overseeing all of military. Below him there were four commanders in chief that each controlled a different division of warrior (AMUN, PATH, SETH, and RE divisions). Lastly under each division was a commander, company (20*250), and platoon (5*50). Each division had their down specific weapon types and specialties.

This structure gave the Egyptian military the ability very efficiently control and distribute its troop, leading to its ability to execute complex maneuvers that its enemies were not able to counter.

The most drastic change to the Egyptian Military during the New Kingdom was the advancements made in weaponry. The New Kingdom era introduced many of the iconic weapons of ancient Egypt such as the composite bow and war chariot. The introduction of the war chariot was the turning point for ancient Egypt, who had until this point been pushed back by the more advanced weaponry of its enemies. The Chariot quickly became the backbone of the Egyptian army, giving them the ability to strike fast and from a distance.

Charioteers were recruited from the upper class of Egyptian society. Typically two soldiers would man a chariot one drive and an archer. The driver occasionally wore scaled armor but would preferred broad leather straps across their chest or a shield. This gave increase maneuverability for their upper torso while the lower extremities were shielded by the chariot. The archer would carry a composite bow and a few throwing javelins if he would ever run out of arrows.

All in all shift from a disorganized peasant army in the Old Kingdom to hardened professional units in the New Kingdom lead to Egypt reaching the height of its affluence and influence in the Nile river delta.



Technology

When thinking about ancient civilizations one of the most thought of is ancient Egypt. This specific civilization made many technological advances that we still use today in everyday life writing, copper and iron, as well as simple machines. Ancient Egypt was the first civilization that ever used writing. They believe that it was very important to communicate information regarding religion, government, medicine, and history. With the creation of writing how does one keep these records? The Egyptians invented papyrus, which is the precursor to paper. Using the papyrus plant the Egyptians were able to flatten it out and turn it into a papyrus sheet. To effectively illustrate thoughts to papyrus Ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphics. This was their primary writing language. Still today we do not know every hieroglyphic, we can only assume.

One of Ancient Egypt’s greatest achievements are the great pyramids. It goes without saying that the creation of these pyramids took time to create. In order to help with the creation of these massive monuments, the Egyptians used mathematics to help create ramps and levers. Everyone knows that pushing something is much easier than picking it up and placing it. In the ancient Egyptians case picking up a massive stone would’ve been impossible completely ruining the idea of creating the pyramid. Throughout the creation of the pyramids the Egyptians used many different techniques incorporating different ramps. As the pyramid got taller and taller the ramps had to correspond with the height of the pyramid.

The Pyramids would not have been created without the help of levers. A lever is simple machine that helped the Egyptians move heavy objects with much less effort. Even with the help of ramps and levers the pyramids were finished after about 30 years. Levers were a very versatile machine thats use was not just limited to just construction. Levers were a part of the Egyptians everyday lives. Down by the rivers, a lever was used to move water from the rivers. It is estimated that one person could lift around 2,500 liters of water a day. Without the lever a person would not be able to come close to that number. Water was used in everyday life weather it was used in pottery, cooking, or making metal. This machine made the Egyptians much more capable of having abundant water.

Copper was the first metal that was smelted in Egypt. Believe it or not it was even before the Egypt introduced gold. Copper was mined in the eastern desert known as Sinai. The earliest copper artifacts were beads and small tools. The introduction of the copper helped the Egyptians live better lives. Transitioning from wooden and stone tools. Copper tools were much more durable as well as efficient as compared to the previous stone stools. Some tools that were created with the new copper were needles, axes, harpoons, arrow tips, scissors, pincers, knives, weapons, chisels, and adze blades. Eventually iron replaces copper. Iron is stronger, more durable, as well as more useful in the growing population. It is more useful in the growing population because jobs could be completed faster because iron tools were more efficient. Not only were iron tools more superior than copper but iron weapons were far more superior than copper. Iron weapons remained sharper longer and had a longer life than copper weapons. Even though iron was a much better resource, iron was scarce in Egypt. The Egyptians had to import most of their iron from other areas.



Legacy

The Egyptians were people that practiced scientific arts which was very scientific and impressive due to their time. The egyptians had a decimal system that included these variables “1 is shown by a single stroke, 10 is shown by a drawing of a hobble for cattle, 100 is represented by a coil of rope, 1,000 is a drawing of a lotus plant, 10,000 is represented by a finger. 100,000 by a tadpole or frog, and 1,000,000 is the figure of a god with arms raised above his head.” This system was very incredible because it was very mathematical and illustrated a significant understanding of mathematics and science. In fact, the word “alchemy” is the derivation for the word chemistry which is the egyptian word for Egypt. The Egyptians also had a fraction system and began with the Horus eye story. They also had a mathematical system and “unit fractions could also be used for simple division sums” and that was very impressive. For example, the Egyptians had the example that “if they needed to divide 3 loaves among 5 people, they would first divide two of the loaves into thirds and the third loaf into fifths, then they would divide the left over third from the second loaf into five pieces”. In addition, the pyramids are an indication of the sophisticated Egyptian mathematics system.

Egyptian architecture was also a big indicator of the legacy that Egyptians have left behind. Everything that the Egyptians built was out of stone. The indicator of the strength of their architecture is proven by the fact that even with hundreds of years or earthquakes and natural disasters the Egyptian architecture is still alive and well. Moreover, it is very prominent that the Egyptians loved architecture. These buildings need extreme engineering skills and architectural advances and was very impressive. The buildings and ”the art tells the story of the pharaohs, the gods, the common people and the natural world of plants, birds and animals. The beauty and grandeur of these sites are beyond compare.” Likewise, the intense beauty of these buildings and the extravagant architecture is proof to the skill and dreams the Egyptians had. The pyramids were built as burial places for Egyptian kings since the age of the Old Kingdom until the end of the Middle Kingdom. No wonder the Great Pyramid at Giza is one of the seven wonders of the world. Architects also had plans for robbers and planned fake escapes, false entrances, and doors were impossible to move. The architects thought of everything in engineering, design, meaning and preventing robbers.

Preservation was also a big thing that the Egyptians loved and was an example of why they were a successful civilization. The Egyptians preserved their use of water and “practiced a form of water management called basin irrigation, a productive adaptation of the natural rise and fall of the river. They constructed a network of earthen banks, some parallel to the river and some perpendicular to it, that formed basins of various sizes. Regulated sluices would direct floodwater into a basin, where it would sit for a month or so until the soil was saturated. Then the remaining water would be drained off to a basin down-gradient or to a nearby canal, and the farmers of the drained plot would plant their crops”. The Egyptians loved their water and had to be careful since they lived in the desert. Water was very limited due to their location on earth and that they were in a desert. Preserving water was very important and they used that water to drink, water plants and use for animals too. Water is an important mineral for Egyptians and allowed them to stay hydrated in the warmer weather. “The earliest evidence of water control in ancient Egypt is the famous historical relief of the mace head of Scorpion King which dates to around 3,100 BC. It depicts one of the last predynastic kings, holding a hoe and ceremoniously cutting a ditch in a grid network.” This story was very interesting and shows how they had a water preservation system and that they used it to their benefit in the hot temperatures.

The legacy of Egyptians were very reflective by their use in architecture, water preservation. The egyptians are almost like the desert itself because deserts are dry and there is no water. The use of the water. “There is much evidence of prehistoric man along the Nile during this very age, and it clearly shows that between 12,500 and 9,500 BC certain communities not only possessed an advanced tool-making industry, but also domesticated animals and developed the earliest agriculture anywhere in the world.” This quote illustrates the legacy that agriculture and animals had in the Egyptian ways. Drake was an egyptian king and he was known for being a prime example of Egyptian legacy. There was a time in Egypt that was once a legacy. In terms of their physical legacy, the Egyptians left behind massive works reflecting their power and influence. The pyramids that were constructed by the ancient Egyptians for their beloved pharaohs still stand as a reminder of the great empire, and the sphinx remains an enigma as to its purpose, original design, and symbolic meaning. As well as these monumental works, the Egyptians had a distinct style of art and architecture, revolving around a distinct canon that survived through dynasties, interrupted only during the New Kingdom rule of Akhenaten. This cannon was a mathematically developed system of depicting the god-kings, representing their perfection and god-like strength, stature, and overall presence. Moreover, the Egyptians left a legacy that will never be forgotten.



Project by:


Natoshia Staley (History), Amelia Smith (Government & Economy), Rebecca Simpson (Language), Haley Staub (Culture), Brant Stoner (Military), Mike Skibs (Technology), Renaldo Soto (legacy)



Sources

http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/ancient-egypt

http://www.ancient-egypt-online.com/ancient-egypt-government.html

http://www.egyptan.sk/en/articles/ancient-egypt/government-and-economy.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nile

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/law.htm

http://reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/law_and_order/index.html

http://www.crystalinks.com/egyptagriculture.html

http://www.crystalinks.com/egyptlanguage.html

http://www.watson.org/~leigh/egypt.html

http://www.ancient.eu/article/58/

http://www.ancient.eu/Egyptian_Culture/

http://www.salimaikram.com/

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/soul.htm

http://www.ducksters.com/history/ancient_egypt/inventions_and_technology.php

http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/trades/metals.htm