Background of the Nile and Egyptians

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Transcript Background of the Nile and Egyptians

Background of the Nile and
• The Nile is 4,145 miles long. (longest river in
the world)
• Only river that flows south to north
• The White Nile and Blue Nile join in
Khartoum just above the 6th cataract in the
Sudan ( Nubia/Kush)
• What sea does it empty in to?
Egypt’s natural defenses
• Cataracts were natural
defenses along the river
rocky sections that included waterfalls.
• Eastern and Western deserts
• The Delta marshes.
• Egyptians mostly concerned
about attacks from the south.
Made brick forts
Egypt’s heart
• Ancient Egypt included parts of Sudan,
Egypt Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon
• The heart was strip of land on sides of Nile
rarely wider than 12 miles until the delta.
• This created rich soil, floods originated in
Africa. How so?
• Egyptians developed a flood system.
Floods were from June to Sept.
• Oct. to Feb. was emergence of land
Plants & Animals
• Ra created all plants and animals with his creation
of the world according to Egyptians.
• Three parts of land animals and plants lived in…
• Marsh/Delta: papyrus, lotus, hippos, crocodiles,
cobras, geese, ducks, ibis, pelicans, Nile perch,
• Farmlands: cattle, barley, emmer wheat, flax, onion,
garlic, leeks, beans, lettuce, melons, cucumber
• Deserts: vultures, falcons, jackals, lions, gazelles,
Egypt’s mines & quarries
• In the beginning of their empire the
Egyptians used clay, mud, reed made
• Step pyramid of Saqqara, first of stone. 3rd
• Quarries belonged to the pharaoh.
• Stone was carved by hand.
• Minerals and different stone was found
throughout Egypt.
Farms on the Nile
• Ancient Egyptian farmers rented land from
• Family was important for survival, boys
worked in fields & girls worked in the
household. Everyone worked in fields during
• After the Nile went down from flooding the
planting happened. They plowed, broke up
soil, and sent pigs and sheep out in the mud!
• Flint blades were used to cut the grain
• Grain would be threshed by human hand or
by the feet of cows, oxen, or sheep.
• Then the grain is winnowed.
• Canals were dug from the Nile into fields
within the heart of the Nile.
• Ditches divided the fields into local squares
to divide crops
• Shaduf was used to distribute water
• is made up of about… oh thousands of signs;
people, animals, plants, and objects.
• Originally pictographs
• 24 symbols that represent sound
• No vowels
• Were arranged vertical columns and
horizontal lines.
• Read from right to left.
The Rosetta Stone
• Found around Memphis
in ancient Egypt,
from196 BC
• Was originally moved
from true area to
Christian fort in Rashid
(Rosetta) came from
royal town of Sais
around 392 AD
• Has three languages on
it. Hieroglyphs,
Demotic, and Greek.
• Deciphered/translated
by: Jean-François
Some pictures
• Demotic
delta area
Egyptian commerce
• Was based on a barter system/trade
• Value was calculated on the “Deben” about
.5 ounces of copper. Later to 3.5 oz. each
Deben was worth 10 “Kite”
• I.E. a goat was worth 1 Deben, a bed was
about 2.5 Deben,1 slave girl 4 deben of
• Math was necessary, why?
• Egyptians were very good craftsmen that
constructed many objects by figuring out the
slope, angles and degrees.
• Egyptians had a measurement system based
on the human body; even though everybody
is different on size it was based on an
• palm a handbreadth; 4 fingers measured across the
• cubit length of the arm from the elbow to the tip of
the thumb
• thumb 1 and 1/3 fingers (measured across the
• short cubit 6 palms (24 fingers)
• royal cubit 7 palms (28 fingers)
• fathom 4 cubits or the height of a standing man
• setat 100 cubits square (about 2/3 of an acre)
• Measurements based on the body
• Used to record taxes for pharaoh
• Measured different items like flour & grain
• Measured liquid by the jugfuls, jugs were
marked with their volume.
• hekat equal to 4.8 liters
• (or just over a gallon)
• great hekat 4 hekats
• khar 4 great hekats or 2/3 cubic cubit
• hin 1/10 of a hekat
• (liquid measure equal to 0.5 liter)
• Egyptians used a term “Pesu” to determine the
quality of a product the higher the Pesu the better
the quality.
• Year was divided into 12 months and 3 seasons.
• 1 month had 3 weeks of 10 days, 4 months in each
season (flood, planting & harvest).
• Calendars had lucky days in black and unlucky in
• Farmers calendar tracked the appearance of the
star Sirius, it would be blocked for 70 days, when it
showed…flood. Civil and farmer calendar matched
every 1,460… no leap year in civil
• Measured like us in 12 day and 12 night
• Egyptians used water clocks for time, small
hole on bottom the clock was wider at top
than bottom for pressure.
• 1 = stroke
• 10 = cattle hobble
• 100 = coil of rope
• 1000 = lotus plant
• 10,000 = finger
• 100,000 = tadpole
• 1,000,000 = god with arms supporting sky
• The first dynasty c.3100 BC
The unifying of Upper and Lower Egypt into a single kingdom is the
event pointed to by the ancient Egyptians themselves as the beginning
of their civilization.
Lower Egypt is roughly the broad delta of the river, where it separates
into many branches before flowing into the Mediterranean. Upper
Egypt is the long main channel of the river itself, possibly as far
upstream as boats can reach - to the first waterfall or cataract, at
Egyptian tradition credits the uniting of Upper and Lower Egypt to a
king called Menes. But that is merely a word meaning 'founder'. It is
possible that the real historical figure is a ruler by the name of Narmer,
who features in warlike mood on an early slate plaque.
Whatever the name, the first historical dynasty is brought into being by
the king or pharaoh who in about 3100 BC establishes control over the
whole navigable length of the Nile. His is the first of thirty Egyptian
dynasties, spanning nearly three millennia
Old Kingdom
• The Old Kingdom: c.2580-c.2130 BC
• ancient Egypt, the capital is at Memphis, near
modern-day Cairo.
• But at the peak of Egyptian power, during the
period from about 2000 to 1200 BC, the city of
Thebes - several hundred kilometers up the Nile was a place of greater importance.
• The pyramids remain today to show the early
greatness of Memphis, in the period known as the
Old Kingdom.
Middle Kingdom
• The Middle Kingdom: c.2000-c.1630 BC
• Thebes is capital city
• The Middle Kingdom lasts for four
centuries before giving way to another era
defined only as falling between kingdoms
• Hyksos come from Syria 100 yrs
• Brought over horse and chariot
New Kingdom
• The New Kingdom: c.1540-c.1080 BC
• The New Kingdom, also sometimes known as the New
Empire, lasts half a millennium and provides the bulk of
the art, artifacts and architecture (apart from the
pyramids) for which ancient Egypt is famous. Pharaohs
of the New Kingdom create at Thebes the great
temples of Karnak and Luxor and are buried, on the
other side of the Nile, in the Valley of the Tombs of
the Kings.
• The kingdom spans three dynasties but it is the first
two, the 18th and 19th, which provide its greatest
glories in temples of Amen-Re (though there is an
interim period in the 18th dynasty, under Akhenaten,
when this time-honored god of the pharaohs is
forcefully rejected).