Egypt civilization

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2. TABLE OF CONTENTS i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. viii. ix. x. xi. xii. xiii. xiv. xv. xvi.Ancient Egypt (page 3) Geography Section (page 4) Architecture Section (page 6) Tombs (page 7) Mastaba Tombs (page 7) Pyramids (page 8) The First Pyramids (page 9) Giza Pyramids(page 9) Pyramid Construction (page 10) The Last Pyramids (page 13) The Pyramid: Metaphor of the Human Psyche (page 13) Valley of the Kings(page 14) Sculpture of Ancient Egypt (page 15) Painting of Ancient Egypt (page 16) Conclusion (page 17) Summary (page 17) 3. Ancient Egypt A land of mysteries, No other civilization has so captured the imagination of scholars and laypeople alike. Mystery surrounds its origins, its religion and its monumental architecture: colossal temples, pyramids and the enormous Sphinx. The Egyptian pyramids are the most famous of all the ancient monuments, the only remaining wonder of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Just as life arose from the waters, the seeds of civilization were first sown along the banks of the Nile. This mighty river, which flows north from the heart of Africa to the Mediterranean Sea, nourished the growth of the pharaonic kingdom. The long, narrow flood plain was a magnet for life, attracting people, animals and plants to its banks. In pre-dynastic times, nomadic hunters settled in the valley and began to grow crops to supplement their food supply. Seen as a gift from the gods, the annual flooding of the river deposited nutrient rich silt over the land, creating ideal conditions for growing wheat, flax and other crops. The first communal project of this fledgling society was the building of irrigation canals for agricultural purposes. The sun was a principal deity whose passage across the sky represented the eternal cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The pharaohs were seen as gods, divine representatives on earth who, through rituals, ensured the continuation of life. After death, they became immortal, joining the gods in the afterworld. The Egyptians also believed that the body and soul were important to human existence, in life and in death. Their funerary practices, such as mummification and burial in tombs, were designed to assist the deceased find their way in the afterworld. The tombs were filled with food, tools, domestic wares, treasures all the necessities of life -- to ensure the soul's return to the body so that the deceased would live happily ever after.Picture of PyramidsThe most imposing tombs are the famous pyramids, shaped like the sacred mound where the gods first appeared in the creation story. These were incredibly ambitious projects, the largest structures ever built. Their construction was overseen by highly skilled architects and engineers. Paid laborers moved the massive limestone blocks without the use of wheels, 4. horses or iron tools. The conscripts may have been motivated by a deep faith in the divinity of their leaders and a belief in immortality. Perhaps they thought that their contributions would improve their own prospects at the final judgment in the afterworld. The gigantic pyramids were conspicuous targets for tomb robbers, whose plundering jeopardized the hope for eternal life. Subsequent generations of kings hid their tombs in the Valley of the Kings in an attempt to elude the robbers. In the desert valley near the ancient capital of Thebes, now called Luxor, they prepared their royal tombs by cutting into the side of the mountain. Despite efforts to hide the entrances, thieves managed to find the tombs, pillaging and emptying them of their treasures. One tomb was spared, however: Tutankhamens. Although his resting place was disturbed twice by robbers, the entrance was resealed and remained hidden for over 3,000 years. Its discovery by the British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922 is considered the greatest archaeological find in history. Carter spent the rest of his life working on the tomb, removing its treasures to Cairo, and documenting and studying its contents, including the pharaoh's gold coffins and mask. Tutankhamens mummy remains in his tomb, the only pharaoh to be left in the Valley of the Kings. Today, Egyptian archaeologists are still making important discoveries, and the scientific study of royal mummies is shedding new light on the genealogy of the pharaohs. The ongoing deciphering of hieroglyphic writings and research on the life of the peasants are also answering many questions related to the evolution of Egyptian culture. The pharaonic religion gives the impression that the Egyptians were preoccupied with death; however, there are ample indications that they were a happy lot who knew how to enjoy life.Geography Section Just as life arose from the waters of the primeval sea, so the waters of the Nile gave birth to the pharaonic kingdom. A gift to the people of Egypt, the longest river in the world flows north from the heart of Africa to the Mediterranean Sea. Its flood plain was an extensive oasis, a magnet for life -- human, plant and animal. Humans were drawn there because they could grow crops and settle into permanent villages. The annual flooding of the Nile deposited nutrient rich silt on the land, creating all the ingredients needed to support life and the growth of a great civilization. 5. Nile landscapeBounded on the south, east and west by an impenetrable desert and on the north by the sea, ancient Egypt was protected from outside influences, which allowed it to evolve in its own unique way. The Nile Delta is the only delta in Egypt and is 100 miles long and 155 miles wide. It is in the shape of a triangle. There are 5 important oases in Egypt and they are all located in the Libyan Desert. They are the Farafirah, Bahriah, Dakhilia, Kharijah, and the Siwah oases. The climate in Egypt is hot and dry and there are only two seasons which are winter (December through March), and summer (the rest of the year). The average temperature in the winter is between 55 and 70 degrees F. The average temperature in the summer is between 80 and 90 degrees F. In the summer the temperature can be as high as 110 degrees F. 6. Architecture Section The ancient Egyptians built their pyramids, tombs, temples and palaces out of stone, the most durable of all building materials. Although earthquakes, wars and the forces of nature have taken their toll, the remains of Egypt's monumental architectural achievements are visible across the land, a tribute to the greatness of this civilization. These building projects took a high degree of architectural and engineering skill, and the organization of a large workforce consisting of highly trained craftsmen and laborers.Avenue of sphinxes at LuxorWall-painting, tomb of Rameses ITemple at Abu SimbelMedinet HabuApart from the pyramids, Egyptian buildings were decorated with paintings, carved stone images, hieroglyphs and three-dimensional statues. 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. How the ancient Egyptians were able to construct these massive structures using primitive tools is still a mystery. 7. Tombs The first royal tombs, called mastabas, were built at Abydos during the first and second dynasties. They were marked with a stele inscribed with the kings' names. The burial chambers were cut into the rock, lined with sun-baked bricks and faced with wooden boards that have long since disappeared. Beside the chambers were rooms containing jars, small objects, and offerings of food and drink. The tombs were surrounded by a large number of graves of women and dwarves. These people may have been servants of the kings who were sacrificed to serve them in their afterlife.StelePyramids were built as royal burials until 1640 B.C. The most famous is the Great Pyramid at Giza. To prevent robbery, the kings, queens and nobles of the New Kingdom built their tombs in a remote valley west of the Theban capital known as the Valley of the Kings. The tombs of Egypt are one of the greatest tourist attractions in the world. They are indeed a world treasure!Mastaba Tombs Mastaba tombs surround the pyramids of the Old Kingdom. Courtiers and families of the monarch were buried in these low rectangular brick or stone structures. Like the pyramids, they were built on the west side of the Nile (symbol of death, where the sun falls into the underworld).MastabasShabti 8. During the Old Kingdom, Egyptians believed that only the souls of kings went on to enjoy life with the gods. The souls of the nobles, on the other hand, continued to inhabit the tomb and needed to be nourished by daily offerings of food and drink. When people died, their ka (the life force or soul of the deceased) was released. To encourage the soul to return to the body, the body was preserved and a statuette in the likeness of the deceased was placed in the tomb. Statuettes called Shabti or shawabti; (slaves for the soul) were also placed in the tombs to perform work on behalf of the deceased in the afterlife.False doorOffering to the deadThe actual burial chamber was at the base of a deep vertical shaft below a flat-roofed stone structure. A false door was carved on the interior tomb wall near the entrance to the shaft. Often an image of the deceased was carved in the false door in order to entice the soul to enter the body. For the comfort and well-being of the deceased, the burial chamber was filled with material goods and food offerings, and the walls were decorated with scenes of daily activities. The mastabas were designed to ensure the well-being of the deceased for all eternity.Pyramids The spectacular pyramids that have made Egypt so famous are truly one of the world's greatest architectural wonders. One of the oldest mysteries surrounding ancient Egypt concerns the building of the pyramids. How did humans move such massive blocks of stone using only Stone Age tools? The Egyptia