Egypt was a civilization of ancient Northeastern Africa,
concentrated along the lower reaches of the
Nile River in the place
that is now the country Egypt. Egyptian civilization followed
Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC (according to
conventional Egyptian chronology) with the political unification of
Upper and Lower
Menes (often identified with Narmer).
The history of ancient
Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms,
separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate
Old Kingdom of the Early
Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom
Middle Bronze Age
Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late
Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power in the New Kingdom, ruling
Nubia and a sizable portion of the Near East, after which it
entered a period of slow decline. During the course of its history
Egypt was invaded or conquered by a number of foreign powers,
including the Hyksos, the Libyans, the Nubians, the Assyrians, the
Achaemenid Persians, and the Macedonians under the command of
Alexander the Great. The Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom, formed in the
aftermath of Alexander's death, ruled
Egypt until 30 BC, when,
under Cleopatra, it fell to the
Roman Empire and became a Roman
The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came partly from its
ability to adapt to the conditions of the
Nile River valley for
agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the
fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense
population, and social development and culture. With resources to
spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley
and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an
independent writing system, the organization of collective
construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding
regions, and a military intended to defeat foreign enemies and assert
Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a
bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, and administrators
under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity
of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of
The many achievements of the ancient
Egyptians include the quarrying,
surveying and construction techniques that supported the building of
monumental pyramids, temples, and obelisks; a system of mathematics, a
practical and effective system of medicine, irrigation systems and
agricultural production techniques, the first known planked boats,
Egyptian faience and glass technology, new forms of literature, and
the earliest known peace treaty, made with the Hittites. Ancient
Egypt has left a lasting legacy. Its art and architecture were widely
copied, and its antiquities carried off to far corners of the world.
Its monumental ruins have inspired the imaginations of travelers and
writers for centuries. A new-found respect for antiquities and
excavations in the early modern period by Europeans and
to the scientific investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater
appreciation of its cultural legacy.
1.1 Predynastic period
1.2 Early Dynastic Period (c. 3050–2686 BC)
Old Kingdom (2686–2181 BC)
1.4 First Intermediate Period (2181–1991 BC)
1.5 Middle Kingdom (2134–1690 BC)
Second Intermediate Period
Second Intermediate Period (1674–1549 BC) and the Hyksos
1.7 New Kingdom (1549–1069 BC)
1.8 Third Intermediate Period (1069–653 BC)
1.9 Late Period (672–332 BC)
1.10 Ptolemaic period (332–30 BC)
1.11 Roman period (30 BC–641 AD)
2 Government and economy
2.1 Administration and commerce
2.2 Social status
2.3 Legal system
2.5 Natural resources
3.1 Historical development
3.2 Sounds and grammar
4.1 Daily life
4.5 Religious beliefs
4.6 Burial customs
6 Technology, medicine, and mathematics
6.2 Faience and glass
6.4 Maritime technology
9 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
Main articles: Ancient Egyptian agriculture, History of ancient Egypt,
History of Egypt, and Population history of Egypt
Map of ancient Egypt, showing major cities and sites of the Dynastic
period (c. 3150 BC to 30 BC)
Nile has been the lifeline of its region for much of human
history. The fertile floodplain of the
Nile gave humans the
opportunity to develop a settled agricultural economy and a more
sophisticated, centralized society that became a cornerstone in the
history of human civilization.
Nomadic modern human
hunter-gatherers began living in the
Nile valley through the end of
Pleistocene some 120,000 years ago. By the late Paleolithic
period, the arid climate of Northern Africa became increasingly hot
and dry, forcing the populations of the area to concentrate along the
Main article: Predynastic Egypt
Naqada II jar decorated with gazelles. (Predynastic Period)
In Predynastic and Early Dynastic times, the Egyptian climate was much
less arid than it is today. Large regions of
Egypt were covered in
treed savanna and traversed by herds of grazing ungulates. Foliage and
fauna were far more prolific in all environs and the
supported large populations of waterfowl. Hunting would have been
common for Egyptians, and this is also the period when many animals
were first domesticated.
By about 5500 BC, small tribes living in the
Nile valley had
developed into a series of cultures demonstrating firm control of
agriculture and animal husbandry, and identifiable by their pottery
and personal items, such as combs, bracelets, and beads. The largest
of these early cultures in upper (Southern)
Egypt was the Badari,
which probably originated in the Western Desert; it was known for its
high quality ceramics, stone tools, and its use of copper.
Early tomb painting from Nekhen, c. 3500 B.C., Naqada, possibly
Badari was followed by the Amratian (
Naqada I) and Gerzeh (Naqada
II) cultures, which brought a number of technological
improvements. As early as the
Naqada I Period, predynastic Egyptians
imported obsidian from Ethiopia, used to shape blades and other
objects from flakes. In
Naqada II times, early evidence exists of
contact with the Near East, particularly
Canaan and the Byblos
coast. Over a period of about 1,000 years, the
developed from a few small farming communities into a powerful
civilization whose leaders were in complete control of the people and
resources of the
Nile valley. Establishing a power center at
Nekhen (in Greek, Hierakonpolis), and later at Abydos,
leaders expanded their control of
Egypt northwards along the Nile.
They also traded with
Nubia to the south, the oases of the western
desert to the west, and the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and
Near East to the east.
Naqada culture manufactured a diverse selection of material goods,
reflective of the increasing power and wealth of the elite, as well as
societal personal-use items, which included combs, small statuary,
painted pottery, high quality decorative stone vases, cosmetic
palettes, and jewelry made of gold, lapis, and ivory. They also
developed a ceramic glaze known as faience, which was used well into
the Roman Period to decorate cups, amulets, and figurines. During
the last predynastic phase, the
Naqada culture began using written
symbols that eventually were developed into a full system of
hieroglyphs for writing the ancient Egyptian language.
Early Dynastic Period (c. 3050–2686 BC)
Main article: Early Dynastic Period of Egypt
The Early Dynastic Period was approximately contemporary to the early
Akkadian civilisation of
Mesopotamia and of ancient Elam. The
third-century BC Egyptian priest
Manetho grouped the long line of
Menes to his own time into 30 dynasties, a system still
used today. He chose to begin his official history with the king
named "Meni" (or
Menes in Greek) who was believed to have united the
two kingdoms of Upper and Lower
Egypt (around 3100 BC).
The transition to a unified state happened more gradually than ancient
Egyptian writers represented, and there is no contemporary record of
Menes. Some scholars now believe, however, that the mythical
have been the pharaoh Narmer, who is depicted wearing royal regalia on
Narmer Palette, in a symbolic act of unification.
In the Early Dynastic Period about 3150 BC, the first of the
Dynastic pharaohs solidified control over lower
Egypt by establishing
a capital at Memphis, from which he could control the labour force and
agriculture of the fertile delta region, as well as the lucrative and
critical trade routes to the Levant. The increasing power and wealth
of the pharaohs during the early dynastic period was reflected in
their elaborate mastaba tombs and mortuary cult structures at Abydos,
which were used to celebrate the deified pharaoh after his death.
The strong institution of kingship developed by the pharaohs served to
legitimize state control over the land, labour, and resources that
were essential to the survival and growth of ancient Egyptian
Narmer Palette depicts the unification of the Two Lands.
Old Kingdom (2686–2181 BC)
Old Kingdom of Egypt
Major advances in architecture, art, and technology were made during
the Old Kingdom, fueled by the increased agricultural productivity and
resulting population, made possible by a well-developed central
administration. Some of ancient Egypt's crowning achievements, the
Giza pyramids and Great Sphinx, were constructed during the Old
Kingdom. Under the direction of the vizier, state officials collected
taxes, coordinated irrigation projects to improve crop yield, drafted
peasants to work on construction projects, and established a justice
system to maintain peace and order.
With the rising importance of central administration in
Egypt a new
class of educated scribes and officials arose who were granted estates
by the pharaoh in payment for their services. Pharaohs also made land
grants to their mortuary cults and local temples, to ensure that these
institutions had the resources to worship the pharaoh after his death.
Scholars believe that five centuries of these practices slowly eroded
the economic vitality of Egypt, and that the economy could no longer
afford to support a large centralized administration. As the power
of the pharaohs diminished, regional governors called nomarchs began
to challenge the supremacy of the office of pharaoh. This, coupled
with severe droughts between 2200 and 2150 BC, is believed to
have caused the country to enter the 140-year period of famine and
strife known as the First Intermediate Period.
First Intermediate Period (2181–1991 BC)
Main article: First Intermediate Period of Egypt
After Egypt's central government collapsed at the end of the Old
Kingdom, the administration could no longer support or stabilize the
country's economy. Regional governors could not rely on the king for
help in times of crisis, and the ensuing food shortages and political
disputes escalated into famines and small-scale civil wars. Yet
despite difficult problems, local leaders, owing no tribute to the
pharaoh, used their new-found independence to establish a thriving
culture in the provinces. Once in control of their own resources, the
provinces became economically richer—which was demonstrated by
larger and better burials among all social classes. In bursts of
creativity, provincial artisans adopted and adapted cultural motifs
formerly restricted to the royalty of the Old Kingdom, and scribes
developed literary styles that expressed the optimism and originality
of the period.
Free from their loyalties to the pharaoh, local rulers began competing
with each other for territorial control and political power. By
2160 BC, rulers in
Herakleopolis controlled Lower
Egypt in the
north, while a rival clan based in Thebes, the Intef family, took
control of Upper
Egypt in the south. As the Intefs grew in power and
expanded their control northward, a clash between the two rival
dynasties became inevitable. Around 2055 BC the northern Theban
forces under Nebhepetre
Mentuhotep II finally defeated the
Herakleopolitan rulers, reuniting the Two Lands. They inaugurated a
period of economic and cultural renaissance known as the Middle
Middle Kingdom (2134–1690 BC)
Main article: Middle Kingdom of Egypt
Amenemhat III, the last great ruler of the Middle Kingdom
The pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom restored the country's stability
and prosperity, thereby stimulating a resurgence of art, literature,
and monumental building projects.
Mentuhotep II and his Eleventh
Dynasty successors ruled from Thebes, but the vizier Amenemhat I, upon
assuming the kingship at the beginning of the Twelfth Dynasty around
1985 BC, shifted the nation's capital to the city of Itjtawy,
located in Faiyum. From Itjtawy, the pharaohs of the Twelfth
Dynasty undertook a far-sighted land reclamation and irrigation scheme
to increase agricultural output in the region. Moreover, the military
reconquered territory in
Nubia that was rich in quarries and gold
mines, while laborers built a defensive structure in the Eastern
Delta, called the "Walls-of-the-Ruler", to defend against foreign
With the pharaohs having secured the country militarily and
politically and with vast agricultural and mineral wealth at their
disposal, the nation's population, arts, and religion flourished. In
contrast to elitist
Old Kingdom attitudes towards the gods, the Middle
Kingdom displayed an increase in expressions of personal piety.
Middle Kingdom literature featured sophisticated themes and characters
written in a confident, eloquent style. The relief and portrait
sculpture of the period captured subtle, individual details that
reached new heights of technical sophistication.
The last great ruler of the Middle Kingdom, Amenemhat III, allowed
Semitic-speaking Canaanite settlers from the
Near East into the Delta
region to provide a sufficient labour force for his especially active
mining and building campaigns. These ambitious building and mining
activities, however, combined with severe
Nile floods later in his
reign, strained the economy and precipitated the slow decline into the
Second Intermediate Period
Second Intermediate Period during the later Thirteenth and Fourteenth
dynasties. During this decline, the Canaanite settlers began to assume
greater control of the Delta region, eventually coming to power in
Egypt as the Hyksos.
Second Intermediate Period
Second Intermediate Period (1674–1549 BC) and the Hyksos
Second Intermediate Period
Second Intermediate Period of Egypt
The maximum territorial extent of ancient
Egypt (15th century BC)
Around 1785 BC, as the power of the Middle Kingdom pharaohs
weakened, a Western Asian people called the Hyksos, who had already
settled in the Delta, seized control of
Egypt and established their
capital at Avaris, forcing the former central government to retreat to
Thebes. The pharaoh was treated as a vassal and expected to pay
Hyksos ("foreign rulers") retained Egyptian models of
government and identified as pharaohs, thereby integrating Egyptian
elements into their culture. They and other invaders introduced new
tools of warfare into Egypt, most notably the composite bow and the
After retreating south, the native Theban kings found themselves
trapped between the Canaanite
Hyksos ruling the north and the Hyksos'
Nubian allies, the Kushites, to the south. After years of vassalage,
Thebes gathered enough strength to challenge the
Hyksos in a conflict
that lasted more than 30 years, until 1555 BC. The pharaohs
Seqenenre Tao II
Seqenenre Tao II and
Kamose were ultimately able to defeat the Nubians
to the south of Egypt, but failed to defeat the Hyksos. That task fell
to Kamose's successor, Ahmose I, who successfully waged a series of
campaigns that permanently eradicated the Hyksos' presence in Egypt.
He established a new dynasty and, in the New Kingdom that followed,
the military became a central priority for the pharaohs, who sought to
expand Egypt's borders and attempted to gain mastery of the Near
New Kingdom (1549–1069 BC)
Main article: New Kingdom of Egypt
The New Kingdom pharaohs established a period of unprecedented
prosperity by securing their borders and strengthening diplomatic ties
with their neighbours, including the
Mitanni Empire, Assyria, and
Canaan. Military campaigns waged under Tuthmosis I and his grandson
Tuthmosis III extended the influence of the pharaohs to the largest
Egypt had ever seen.
A stone statue of Hatshepsut
Between their reigns, Hatshepsut, a queen who established herself as
pharaoh, launched many building projects, including restoration of
temples damaged by the Hyksos, and sent trading expenditions to Punt
and the Sinai. When Tuthmosis III died in 1425 BC,
an empire extending from Niya in north west
Syria to the Fourth
Cataract of the
Nile in Nubia, cementing loyalties and opening access
to critical imports such as bronze and wood.
The New Kingdom pharaohs began a large-scale building campaign to
promote the god Amun, whose growing cult was based in Karnak. They
also constructed monuments to glorify their own achievements, both
real and imagined. The
Karnak temple is the largest Egyptian temple
Around 1350 BC, the stability of the New Kingdom was threatened
when Amenhotep IV ascended the throne and instituted a series of
radical and chaotic reforms. Changing his name to Akhenaten, he touted
the previously obscure sun deity
Aten as the supreme deity, suppressed
the worship of most other deities, and moved the capital to the new
city of Akhetaten (modern-day Amarna). He was devoted to his new
religion and artistic style. After his death, the cult of the
quickly abandoned and the traditional religious order restored. The
subsequent pharaohs, Tutankhamun, Ay, and Horemheb, worked to erase
all mention of Akhenaten's heresy, now known as the
Four colossal statues of
Ramesses II flank the entrance of his temple
Around 1279 BC, Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great,
ascended the throne, and went on to build more temples, erect more
statues and obelisks, and sire more children than any other pharaoh in
history. A bold military leader,
Ramesses II led his army against
Hittites in the
Battle of Kadesh
Battle of Kadesh (in modern Syria) and, after
fighting to a stalemate, finally agreed to the first recorded peace
treaty, around 1258 BC.
Egypt's wealth, however, made it a tempting target for invasion,
particularly by the Libyan Berbers to the west, and the Sea Peoples, a
conjectured confederation of seafarers from the Aegean Sea.
Initially, the military was able to repel these invasions, but Egypt
eventually lost control of its remaining territories in southern
Canaan, much of it falling to the Assyrians. The effects of external
threats were exacerbated by internal problems such as corruption, tomb
robbery, and civil unrest. After regaining their power, the high
priests at the temple of
Amun in Thebes accumulated vast tracts of
land and wealth, and their expanded power splintered the country
during the Third Intermediate Period.
Third Intermediate Period (1069–653 BC)
Main article: Third Intermediate Period of Egypt
Following the death of
Ramesses XI in 1078 BC,
authority over the northern part of Egypt, ruling from the city of
Tanis. The south was effectively controlled by the High Priests of
Amun at Thebes, who recognized
Smendes in name only. During this
time, Libyans had been settling in the western delta, and chieftains
of these settlers began increasing their autonomy. Libyan princes took
control of the delta under
Shoshenq I in 945 BC, founding the
so-called Libyan or Bubastite dynasty that would rule for some
200 years. Shoshenq also gained control of southern
placing his family members in important priestly positions. Libyan
control began to erode as a rival dynasty in the delta arose in
Leontopolis, and Kushites threatened from the south. Around
727 BC the Kushite king
Piye invaded northward, seizing control
of Thebes and eventually the Delta.
Egypt's far-reaching prestige declined considerably toward the end of
the Third Intermediate Period. Its foreign allies had fallen under the
Assyrian sphere of influence, and by 700 BC war between the two
states became inevitable. Between 671 and 667 BC the Assyrians
began their attack on Egypt. The reigns of both
Taharqa and his
successor, Tanutamun, were filled with constant conflict with the
Assyrians, against whom
Egypt enjoyed several victories. Ultimately,
the Assyrians pushed the Kushites back into Nubia, occupied Memphis,
and sacked the temples of Thebes.
Late Period (672–332 BC)
Late Period of ancient Egypt
Late Period of ancient Egypt and History of Achaemenid
The Assyrians left control of
Egypt to a series of vassals who became
known as the Saite kings of the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty. By 653 BC,
the Saite king
Psamtik I was able to oust the Assyrians with the help
of Greek mercenaries, who were recruited to form Egypt's first navy.
Greek influence expanded greatly as the city of Naukratis became the
home of Greeks in the delta. The Saite kings based in the new capital
of Sais witnessed a brief but spirited resurgence in the economy and
culture, but in 525 BC, the powerful Persians, led by Cambyses
II, began their conquest of Egypt, eventually capturing the pharaoh
Psamtik III at the battle of Pelusium. Cambyses II then assumed the
formal title of pharaoh, but ruled
Egypt from Iran, leaving Egypt
under the control of a satrapy. A few successful revolts against the
Persians marked the 5th century BC, but
Egypt was never able to
permanently overthrow the Persians.
Following its annexation by Persia,
Egypt was joined with
Phoenicia in the sixth satrapy of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. This
first period of Persian rule over Egypt, also known as the
Twenty-Seventh dynasty, ended in 402 BC, when
independence under a series of native dynasties. The last of these
dynasties, the Thirtieth, proved to be the last native royal house of
ancient Egypt, ending with the kingship of Nectanebo II. A brief
restoration of Persian rule, sometimes known as the Thirty-First
Dynasty, began in 343 BC, but shortly after, in 332 BC, the
Persian ruler Mazaces handed
Egypt over to
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great without
Ptolemaic period (332–30 BC)
Main articles: History of Ptolemaic
Egypt and Ptolemaic Kingdom
Alexander the Great, 100 BC – 100 AD, 54.162, Brooklyn
In 332 BC,
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great conquered
Egypt with little
resistance from the Persians and was welcomed by the
Egyptians as a
deliverer. The administration established by Alexander's successors,
the Macedonian Ptolemaic Kingdom, was based on an Egyptian model and
based in the new capital city of Alexandria. The city showcased the
power and prestige of Hellenistic rule, and became a seat of learning
and culture, centered at the famous Library of Alexandria. The
Alexandria lit the way for the many ships that kept
trade flowing through the city—as the Ptolemies made commerce and
revenue-generating enterprises, such as papyrus manufacturing, their
Hellenistic culture did not supplant native Egyptian culture, as the
Ptolemies supported time-honored traditions in an effort to secure the
loyalty of the populace. They built new temples in Egyptian style,
supported traditional cults, and portrayed themselves as pharaohs.
Some traditions merged, as Greek and Egyptian gods were syncretized
into composite deities, such as Serapis, and classical Greek forms of
sculpture influenced traditional Egyptian motifs. Despite their
efforts to appease the Egyptians, the Ptolemies were challenged by
native rebellion, bitter family rivalries, and the powerful mob of
Alexandria that formed after the death of Ptolemy IV. In addition,
as Rome relied more heavily on imports of grain from Egypt, the Romans
took great interest in the political situation in the country.
Continued Egyptian revolts, ambitious politicians, and powerful
opponents from the
Near East made this situation unstable, leading
Rome to send forces to secure the country as a province of its
Roman period (30 BC–641 AD)
Egypt (Roman province)
Fayum mummy portraits
Fayum mummy portraits epitomize the meeting of Egyptian and Roman
Egypt became a province of the
Roman Empire in 30 BC, following
the defeat of Marc Antony and Ptolemaic Queen
Cleopatra VII by
Octavian (later Emperor Augustus) in the Battle of Actium. The Romans
relied heavily on grain shipments from Egypt, and the Roman army,
under the control of a prefect appointed by the Emperor, quelled
rebellions, strictly enforced the collection of heavy taxes, and
prevented attacks by bandits, which had become a notorious problem
during the period.
Alexandria became an increasingly important
center on the trade route with the orient, as exotic luxuries were in
high demand in Rome.
Although the Romans had a more hostile attitude than the Greeks
towards the Egyptians, some traditions such as mummification and
worship of the traditional gods continued. The art of mummy
portraiture flourished, and some Roman emperors had themselves
depicted as pharaohs, though not to the extent that the Ptolemies had.
The former lived outside
Egypt and did not perform the ceremonial
functions of Egyptian kingship. Local administration became Roman in
style and closed to native Egyptians.
From the mid-first century AD,
Christianity took root in
Egypt and it
was originally seen as another cult that could be accepted. However,
it was an uncompromising religion that sought to win converts from
Egyptian Religion and
Greco-Roman religion and threatened popular
religious traditions. This led to the persecution of converts to
Christianity, culminating in the great purges of
in 303, but eventually
Christianity won out. In 391 the Christian
Emperor Theodosius introduced legislation that banned pagan rites and
Alexandria became the scene of great anti-pagan
riots with public and private religious imagery destroyed. As a
consequence, Egypt's native religious culture was continually in
decline. While the native population certainly continued to speak
their language, the ability to read hieroglyphic writing slowly
disappeared as the role of the
Egyptian temple priests and priestesses
diminished. The temples themselves were sometimes converted to
churches or abandoned to the desert.
In the fourth century, as the
Roman Empire divided,
Egypt found itself
in the Eastern
Empire with its capital at Constantinople. In the
waning years of the Empire,
Egypt fell to the
Sassanid Persian army
(618–628 AD), was recaptured by the
Roman Emperor Heraclius
(629–639 AD), and then was finally captured by Muslim Rashidun army
in 639–641 AD, ending Roman rule.
Government and economy
Administration and commerce
The pharaoh was usually depicted wearing symbols of royalty and power.
The pharaoh was the absolute monarch of the country and, at least in
theory, wielded complete control of the land and its resources. The
king was the supreme military commander and head of the government,
who relied on a bureaucracy of officials to manage his affairs. In
charge of the administration was his second in command, the vizier,
who acted as the king's representative and coordinated land surveys,
the treasury, building projects, the legal system, and the
archives. At a regional level, the country was divided into as
many as 42 administrative regions called nomes each governed by a
nomarch, who was accountable to the vizier for his jurisdiction. The
temples formed the backbone of the economy. Not only were they houses
of worship, but were also responsible for collecting and storing the
nation's wealth in a system of granaries and treasuries administered
by overseers, who redistributed grain and goods.
Much of the economy was centrally organized and strictly controlled.
Although the ancient
Egyptians did not use coinage until the Late
period, they did use a type of money-barter system, with
standard sacks of grain and the deben, a weight of roughly 91 grams
(3 oz) of copper or silver, forming a common denominator.
Workers were paid in grain; a simple laborer might earn 5½ sacks
(200 kg or 400 lb) of grain per month, while a foreman might
earn 7½ sacks (250 kg or 550 lb). Prices were fixed
across the country and recorded in lists to facilitate trading; for
example a shirt cost five copper deben, while a cow cost
140 deben. Grain could be traded for other goods, according
to the fixed price list. During the fifth century BC coined money
was introduced into
Egypt from abroad. At first the coins were used as
standardized pieces of precious metal rather than true money, but in
the following centuries international traders came to rely on
Egyptian society was highly stratified, and social status was
expressly displayed. Farmers made up the bulk of the population, but
agricultural produce was owned directly by the state, temple, or noble
family that owned the land. Farmers were also subject to a labor
tax and were required to work on irrigation or construction projects
in a corvée system. Artists and craftsmen were of higher status
than farmers, but they were also under state control, working in the
shops attached to the temples and paid directly from the state
treasury. Scribes and officials formed the upper class in ancient
Egypt, known as the "white kilt class" in reference to the bleached
linen garments that served as a mark of their rank. The upper
class prominently displayed their social status in art and literature.
Below the nobility were the priests, physicians, and engineers with
specialized training in their field.
Slavery was known in ancient
Egypt, but the extent and prevalence of its practice are unclear.
Punishment in ancient Egypt.
Egyptians viewed men and women, including people from all
social classes except slaves, as essentially equal under the law, and
even the lowliest peasant was entitled to petition the vizier and his
court for redress. Although slaves were mostly used as indentured
servants, they were able to buy and sell their servitude, work their
way to freedom or nobility, and were usually treated by doctors in the
workplace. Both men and women had the right to own and sell
property, make contracts, marry and divorce, receive inheritance, and
pursue legal disputes in court. Married couples could own property
jointly and protect themselves from divorce by agreeing to marriage
contracts, which stipulated the financial obligations of the husband
to his wife and children should the marriage end. Compared with their
counterparts in ancient Greece, Rome, and even more modern places
around the world, ancient Egyptian women had a greater range of
personal choices and opportunities for achievement. Women such as
Cleopatra VII even became pharaohs, while others
wielded power as Divine Wives of Amun. Despite these freedoms, ancient
Egyptian women did not often take part in official roles in the
administration, served only secondary roles in the temples, and were
not as likely to be as educated as men.
Scribes were elite and well educated. They assessed taxes, kept
records, and were responsible for administration.
The head of the legal system was officially the pharaoh, who was
responsible for enacting laws, delivering justice, and maintaining law
and order, a concept the ancient
Egyptians referred to as Ma'at.
Although no legal codes from ancient
Egypt survive, court documents
show that Egyptian law was based on a common-sense view of right and
wrong that emphasized reaching agreements and resolving conflicts
rather than strictly adhering to a complicated set of statutes.
Local councils of elders, known as Kenbet in the New Kingdom, were
responsible for ruling in court cases involving small claims and minor
disputes. More serious cases involving murder, major land
transactions, and tomb robbery were referred to the Great Kenbet, over
which the vizier or pharaoh presided. Plaintiffs and defendants were
expected to represent themselves and were required to swear an oath
that they had told the truth. In some cases, the state took on both
the role of prosecutor and judge, and it could torture the accused
with beatings to obtain a confession and the names of any
co-conspirators. Whether the charges were trivial or serious, court
scribes documented the complaint, testimony, and verdict of the case
for future reference.
Punishment for minor crimes involved either imposition of fines,
beatings, facial mutilation, or exile, depending on the severity of
the offense. Serious crimes such as murder and tomb robbery were
punished by execution, carried out by decapitation, drowning, or
impaling the criminal on a stake. Punishment could also be extended to
the criminal's family. Beginning in the New Kingdom, oracles
played a major role in the legal system, dispensing justice in both
civil and criminal cases. The procedure was to ask the god a "yes" or
"no" question concerning the right or wrong of an issue. The god,
carried by a number of priests, rendered judgment by choosing one or
the other, moving forward or backward, or pointing to one of the
answers written on a piece of papyrus or an ostracon.
Main article: Ancient Egyptian agriculture
Ancient Egyptian cuisine
Ancient Egyptian cuisine and Gardens of ancient Egypt
A tomb relief depicts workers plowing the fields, harvesting the
crops, and threshing the grain under the direction of an overseer,
painting in the tomb of Nakht.
Measuring and recording the harvest is shown in a wall painting in the
tomb of Menna, at Thebes,
Egypt (Eighteenth Dynasty).
A combination of favorable geographical features contributed to the
success of ancient Egyptian culture, the most important of which was
the rich fertile soil resulting from annual inundations of the Nile
River. The ancient
Egyptians were thus able to produce an abundance of
food, allowing the population to devote more time and resources to
cultural, technological, and artistic pursuits.
Land management was
crucial in ancient
Egypt because taxes were assessed based on the
amount of land a person owned.
Egypt was dependent on the cycle of the
Nile River. The
Egyptians recognized three seasons: Akhet (flooding), Peret
(planting), and Shemu (harvesting). The flooding season lasted from
June to September, depositing on the river's banks a layer of
mineral-rich silt ideal for growing crops. After the floodwaters had
receded, the growing season lasted from October to February. Farmers
plowed and planted seeds in the fields, which were irrigated with
ditches and canals.
Egypt received little rainfall, so farmers relied
Nile to water their crops. From March to May, farmers used
sickles to harvest their crops, which were then threshed with a flail
to separate the straw from the grain.
Winnowing removed the chaff from
the grain, and the grain was then ground into flour, brewed to make
beer, or stored for later use.
Egyptians cultivated emmer and barley, and several other
cereal grains, all of which were used to make the two main food
staples of bread and beer.
Flax plants, uprooted before they
started flowering, were grown for the fibers of their stems. These
fibers were split along their length and spun into thread, which was
used to weave sheets of linen and to make clothing.
Papyrus growing on
the banks of the
Nile River was used to make paper. Vegetables and
fruits were grown in garden plots, close to habitations and on higher
ground, and had to be watered by hand. Vegetables included leeks,
garlic, melons, squashes, pulses, lettuce, and other crops, in
addition to grapes that were made into wine.
Sennedjem plows his fields with a pair of oxen, used as beasts of
burden and a source of food.
Egyptians believed that a balanced relationship between people and
animals was an essential element of the cosmic order; thus humans,
animals and plants were believed to be members of a single whole.
Animals, both domesticated and wild, were therefore a critical source
of spirituality, companionship, and sustenance to the ancient
Egyptians. Cattle were the most important livestock; the
administration collected taxes on livestock in regular censuses, and
the size of a herd reflected the prestige and importance of the estate
or temple that owned them. In addition to cattle, the ancient
Egyptians kept sheep, goats, and pigs. Poultry, such as ducks, geese,
and pigeons, were captured in nets and bred on farms, where they were
force-fed with dough to fatten them. The
Nile provided a plentiful
source of fish. Bees were also domesticated from at least the Old
Kingdom, and provided both honey and wax.
Egyptians used donkeys and oxen as beasts of burden, and
they were responsible for plowing the fields and trampling seed into
the soil. The slaughter of a fattened ox was also a central part of an
offering ritual. Horses were introduced by the
Hyksos in the
Second Intermediate Period. Camels, although known from the New
Kingdom, were not used as beasts of burden until the Late Period.
There is also evidence to suggest that elephants were briefly utilized
in the Late Period but largely abandoned due to lack of grazing
land. Dogs, cats, and monkeys were common family pets, while more
exotic pets imported from the heart of Africa, such as Sub-Saharan
African lions, were reserved for royalty.
Herodotus observed that
Egyptians were the only people to keep their animals with them in
their houses. During the Late Period, the worship of the gods in
their animal form was extremely popular, such as the cat goddess
Bastet and the ibis god Thoth, and these animals were bred in large
numbers on farms for the purpose of ritual sacrifice.
Further information: Mining industry of Egypt
Egypt is rich in building and decorative stone, copper and lead ores,
gold, and semiprecious stones. These natural resources allowed the
Egyptians to build monuments, sculpt statues, make tools, and
fashion jewelry. Embalmers used salts from the
Wadi Natrun for
mummification, which also provided the gypsum needed to make
plaster. Ore-bearing rock formations were found in distant,
inhospitable wadis in the eastern desert and the Sinai, requiring
large, state-controlled expeditions to obtain natural resources found
there. There were extensive gold mines in Nubia, and one of the first
maps known is of a gold mine in this region. The
Wadi Hammamat was a
notable source of granite, greywacke, and gold.
Flint was the first
mineral collected and used to make tools, and flint handaxes are the
earliest pieces of evidence of habitation in the
Nile valley. Nodules
of the mineral were carefully flaked to make blades and arrowheads of
moderate hardness and durability even after copper was adopted for
this purpose. Ancient
Egyptians were among the first to use
minerals such as sulfur as cosmetic substances.
Egyptians worked deposits of the lead ore galena at Gebel Rosas to
make net sinkers, plumb bobs, and small figurines. Copper was the most
important metal for toolmaking in ancient
Egypt and was smelted in
furnaces from malachite ore mined in the Sinai. Workers collected
gold by washing the nuggets out of sediment in alluvial deposits, or
by the more labor-intensive process of grinding and washing
gold-bearing quartzite. Iron deposits found in upper
utilized in the Late Period. High-quality building stones were
abundant in Egypt; the ancient
Egyptians quarried limestone all along
Nile valley, granite from Aswan, and basalt and sandstone from the
wadis of the eastern desert. Deposits of decorative stones such as
porphyry, greywacke, alabaster, and carnelian dotted the eastern
desert and were collected even before the First Dynasty. In the
Ptolemaic and Roman Periods, miners worked deposits of emeralds in
Wadi Sikait and amethyst in
Main article: Ancient Egyptian trade
Hatshepsut's trading expedition to the Land of Punt.
Egyptians engaged in trade with their foreign neighbors to
obtain rare, exotic goods not found in Egypt. In the Predynastic
Period, they established trade with
Nubia to obtain gold and incense.
They also established trade with Palestine, as evidenced by
Palestinian-style oil jugs found in the burials of the First Dynasty
pharaohs. An Egyptian colony stationed in southern
to slightly before the First Dynasty.
Narmer had Egyptian pottery
Canaan and exported back to Egypt.
By the Second Dynasty at latest, ancient Egyptian trade with Byblos
yielded a critical source of quality timber not found in Egypt. By the
Fifth Dynasty, trade with Punt provided gold, aromatic resins, ebony,
ivory, and wild animals such as monkeys and baboons.
on trade with
Anatolia for essential quantities of tin as well as
supplementary supplies of copper, both metals being necessary for the
manufacture of bronze. The ancient
Egyptians prized the blue stone
lapis lazuli, which had to be imported from far-away Afghanistan.
Egypt's Mediterranean trade partners also included Greece and Crete,
which provided, among other goods, supplies of olive oil. In
exchange for its luxury imports and raw materials,
exported grain, gold, linen, and papyrus, in addition to other
finished goods including glass and stone objects.
Main article: Egyptian language
r n kmt
Egyptian language is a northern Afro-Asiatic language closely
related to the Berber and Semitic languages. It has the second
longest known history of any language (after Sumerian), having been
written from c. 3200 BC to the
Middle Ages and remaining as a
spoken language for longer. The phases of ancient Egyptian are Old
Middle Egyptian (Classical Egyptian), Late Egyptian, Demotic
and Coptic. Egyptian writings do not show dialect differences
before Coptic, but it was probably spoken in regional dialects around
Memphis and later Thebes.
Ancient Egyptian was a synthetic language, but it became more analytic
Late Egyptian developed prefixal definite and indefinite
articles, which replaced the older inflectional suffixes. There was a
change from the older verb–subject–object word order to
subject–verb–object. The Egyptian hieroglyphic, hieratic, and
demotic scripts were eventually replaced by the more phonetic Coptic
alphabet. Coptic is still used in the liturgy of the Egyptian Orthodox
Church, and traces of it are found in modern Egyptian Arabic.
Sounds and grammar
Ancient Egyptian has 25 consonants similar to those of other
Afro-Asiatic languages. These include pharyngeal and emphatic
consonants, voiced and voiceless stops, voiceless fricatives and
voiced and voiceless affricates. It has three long and three short
vowels, which expanded in
Late Egyptian to about nine. The basic
word in Egyptian, similar to Semitic and Berber, is a triliteral or
biliteral root of consonants and semiconsonants. Suffixes are added to
form words. The verb conjugation corresponds to the person. For
example, the triconsonantal skeleton S-Ḏ-M is the semantic core of
the word 'hear'; its basic conjugation is sḏm, 'he hears'. If the
subject is a noun, suffixes are not added to the verb: sḏm
ḥmt, 'the woman hears'.
Adjectives are derived from nouns through a process that Egyptologists
call nisbation because of its similarity with Arabic. The word
order is predicate–subject in verbal and adjectival sentences, and
subject–predicate in nominal and adverbial sentences. The
subject can be moved to the beginning of sentences if it is long and
is followed by a resumptive pronoun. Verbs and nouns are negated
by the particle n, but nn is used for adverbial and adjectival
sentences. Stress falls on the ultimate or penultimate syllable, which
can be open (CV) or closed (CVC).
Egyptian hieroglyphs and Hieratic
Hieroglyphs on a funerary stela in Manchester Museum
The Rosetta stone (ca 196 BC) enabled linguists to begin the
process of hieroglyph decipherment.
Hieroglyphic writing dates from c. 3000 BC, and is composed of
hundreds of symbols. A hieroglyph can represent a word, a sound, or a
silent determinative; and the same symbol can serve different purposes
in different contexts. Hieroglyphs were a formal script, used on stone
monuments and in tombs, that could be as detailed as individual works
of art. In day-to-day writing, scribes used a cursive form of writing,
called hieratic, which was quicker and easier. While formal
hieroglyphs may be read in rows or columns in either direction (though
typically written from right to left), hieratic was always written
from right to left, usually in horizontal rows. A new form of writing,
Demotic, became the prevalent writing style, and it is this form of
writing—along with formal hieroglyphs—that accompany the Greek
text on the Rosetta Stone.
Around the first century AD, the
Coptic alphabet started to be used
alongside the Demotic script. Coptic is a modified
Greek alphabet with
the addition of some Demotic signs. Although formal hieroglyphs
were used in a ceremonial role until the fourth century, towards the
end only a small handful of priests could still read them. As the
traditional religious establishments were disbanded, knowledge of
hieroglyphic writing was mostly lost. Attempts to decipher them date
to the Byzantine and Islamic periods in Egypt, but only in
the 1820s, after the discovery of the
Rosetta Stone and years of
research by Thomas Young and Jean-François Champollion, were
hieroglyphs substantially deciphered.
Main article: Ancient Egyptian literature
The Edwin Smith surgical papyrus (c. 16th century BC) describes
anatomy and medical treatments and is written in hieratic.
Writing first appeared in association with kingship on labels and tags
for items found in royal tombs. It was primarily an occupation of the
scribes, who worked out of the Per Ankh institution or the House of
Life. The latter comprised offices, libraries (called House of Books),
laboratories and observatories. Some of the best-known pieces of
ancient Egyptian literature, such as the Pyramid and Coffin Texts,
were written in Classical Egyptian, which continued to be the language
of writing until about 1300 BC.
Late Egyptian was spoken from the
New Kingdom onward and is represented in Ramesside administrative
documents, love poetry and tales, as well as in Demotic and Coptic
texts. During this period, the tradition of writing had evolved into
the tomb autobiography, such as those of
Harkhuf and Weni. The genre
Sebayt ("instructions") was developed to communicate
teachings and guidance from famous nobles; the Ipuwer papyrus, a poem
of lamentations describing natural disasters and social upheaval, is a
The Story of Sinuhe, written in Middle Egyptian, might be the classic
of Egyptian literature. Also written at this time was the Westcar
Papyrus, a set of stories told to
Khufu by his sons relating the
marvels performed by priests. The
Instruction of Amenemope is
considered a masterpiece of Near Eastern literature. Towards the
end of the New Kingdom, the vernacular language was more often
employed to write popular pieces like the
Story of Wenamun
Story of Wenamun and the
Instruction of Any. The former tells the story of a noble who is
robbed on his way to buy cedar from Lebanon and of his struggle to
return to Egypt. From about 700 BC, narrative stories and
instructions, such as the popular Instructions of Onchsheshonqy, as
well as personal and business documents were written in the demotic
script and phase of Egyptian. Many stories written in demotic during
Greco-Roman period were set in previous historical eras, when
Egypt was an independent nation ruled by great pharaohs such as
Ostraca of hunting a lion with a spear, aided by a dog.
Statues depicting lower-class ancient Egyptian occupations.
Egyptians were farmers tied to the land. Their dwellings
were restricted to immediate family members, and were constructed of
mud-brick designed to remain cool in the heat of the day. Each home
had a kitchen with an open roof, which contained a grindstone for
milling grain and a small oven for baking the bread. Walls were
painted white and could be covered with dyed linen wall hangings.
Floors were covered with reed mats, while wooden stools, beds raised
from the floor and individual tables comprised the furniture.
Egyptians placed a great value on hygiene and appearance.
Most bathed in the
Nile and used a pasty soap made from animal fat and
chalk. Men shaved their entire bodies for cleanliness; perfumes and
aromatic ointments covered bad odors and soothed skin. Clothing
was made from simple linen sheets that were bleached white, and both
men and women of the upper classes wore wigs, jewelry, and cosmetics.
Children went without clothing until maturity, at about age 12, and at
this age males were circumcised and had their heads shaved. Mothers
were responsible for taking care of the children, while the father
provided the family's income.
Egyptians maintained a rich cultural heritage complete
with feasts and festivals accompanied by music and dance.
Music and dance were popular entertainments for those who could afford
them. Early instruments included flutes and harps, while instruments
similar to trumpets, oboes, and pipes developed later and became
popular. In the New Kingdom, the
Egyptians played on bells, cymbals,
tambourines, drums, and imported lutes and lyres from Asia. The
sistrum was a rattle-like musical instrument that was especially
important in religious ceremonies.
Egyptians enjoyed a variety of leisure activities,
including games and music. Senet, a board game where pieces moved
according to random chance, was particularly popular from the earliest
times; another similar game was mehen, which had a circular gaming
board. Juggling and ball games were popular with children, and
wrestling is also documented in a tomb at Beni Hasan. The wealthy
members of ancient Egyptian society enjoyed hunting and boating as
The excavation of the workers village of
Deir el-Medina has resulted
in one of the most thoroughly documented accounts of community life in
the ancient world, which spans almost four hundred years. There is no
comparable site in which the organization, social interactions,
working and living conditions of a community have been studied in such
Main article: Ancient Egyptian cuisine
Egyptian cuisine remained remarkably stable over time; indeed, the
cuisine of modern
Egypt retains some striking similarities to the
cuisine of the ancients. The staple diet consisted of bread and beer,
supplemented with vegetables such as onions and garlic, and fruit such
as dates and figs. Wine and meat were enjoyed by all on feast days
while the upper classes indulged on a more regular basis. Fish, meat,
and fowl could be salted or dried, and could be cooked in stews or
roasted on a grill.
Karnak temple's hypostyle halls are constructed with rows of thick
columns supporting the roof beams.
Main article: Ancient Egyptian architecture
The architecture of ancient
Egypt includes some of the most famous
structures in the world: the Great Pyramids of Giza and the temples at
Thebes. Building projects were organized and funded by the state for
religious and commemorative purposes, but also to reinforce the
wide-ranging power of the pharaoh. The ancient
Egyptians were skilled
builders; using only simple but effective tools and sighting
instruments, architects could build large stone structures with great
accuracy and precision that is still envied today.
The domestic dwellings of elite and ordinary
Egyptians alike were
constructed from perishable materials such as mud bricks and wood, and
have not survived. Peasants lived in simple homes, while the palaces
of the elite and the pharaoh were more elaborate structures. A few
surviving New Kingdom palaces, such as those in
Malkata and Amarna,
show richly decorated walls and floors with scenes of people, birds,
water pools, deities and geometric designs. Important structures
such as temples and tombs that were intended to last forever were
constructed of stone instead of mud bricks. The architectural elements
used in the world's first large-scale stone building, Djoser's
mortuary complex, include post and lintel supports in the papyrus and
The earliest preserved ancient Egyptian temples, such as those at
Giza, consist of single, enclosed halls with roof slabs supported by
columns. In the New Kingdom, architects added the pylon, the open
courtyard, and the enclosed hypostyle hall to the front of the
temple's sanctuary, a style that was standard until the Greco-Roman
period. The earliest and most popular tomb architecture in the
Old Kingdom was the mastaba, a flat-roofed rectangular structure of
mudbrick or stone built over an underground burial chamber. The step
Djoser is a series of stone mastabas stacked on top of each
other. Pyramids were built during the Old and Middle Kingdoms, but
most later rulers abandoned them in favor of less conspicuous rock-cut
tombs. The use of the pyramid form continued in private tomb
chapels of the New Kingdom and in the royal pyramids of Nubia.
Main article: Art of ancient Egypt
The Bust of Nefertiti, by the sculptor Thutmose, is one of the most
famous masterpieces of ancient Egyptian art.
Egyptians produced art to serve functional purposes. For
over 3500 years, artists adhered to artistic forms and iconography
that were developed during the Old Kingdom, following a strict set of
principles that resisted foreign influence and internal change.
These artistic standards—simple lines, shapes, and flat areas of
color combined with the characteristic flat projection of figures with
no indication of spatial depth—created a sense of order and balance
within a composition. Images and text were intimately interwoven on
tomb and temple walls, coffins, stelae, and even statues. The Narmer
Palette, for example, displays figures that can also be read as
hieroglyphs. Because of the rigid rules that governed its highly
stylized and symbolic appearance, ancient Egyptian art served its
political and religious purposes with precision and clarity.
Ancient Egyptian artisans used stone as a medium for carving statues
and fine reliefs, but used wood as a cheap and easily carved
substitute. Paints were obtained from minerals such as iron ores (red
and yellow ochres), copper ores (blue and green), soot or charcoal
(black), and limestone (white). Paints could be mixed with gum arabic
as a binder and pressed into cakes, which could be moistened with
water when needed.
Pharaohs used reliefs to record victories in battle, royal decrees,
and religious scenes. Common citizens had access to pieces of funerary
art, such as shabti statues and books of the dead, which they believed
would protect them in the afterlife. During the Middle Kingdom,
wooden or clay models depicting scenes from everyday life became
popular additions to the tomb. In an attempt to duplicate the
activities of the living in the afterlife, these models show laborers,
houses, boats, and even military formations that are scale
representations of the ideal ancient Egyptian afterlife.
Despite the homogeneity of ancient Egyptian art, the styles of
particular times and places sometimes reflected changing cultural or
political attitudes. After the invasion of the
Hyksos in the Second
Intermediate Period, Minoan-style frescoes were found in Avaris.
The most striking example of a politically driven change in artistic
forms comes from the
Amarna period, where figures were radically
altered to conform to Akhenaten's revolutionary religious ideas.
This style, known as
Amarna art, was quickly abandoned after
Akhenaten's death and replaced by the traditional forms.
Main article: Ancient Egyptian religion
Book of the Dead
Book of the Dead was a guide to the deceased's journey in the
Beliefs in the divine and in the afterlife were ingrained in ancient
Egyptian civilization from its inception; pharaonic rule was based on
the divine right of kings. The
Egyptian pantheon was populated by gods
who had supernatural powers and were called on for help or protection.
However, the gods were not always viewed as benevolent, and Egyptians
believed they had to be appeased with offerings and prayers. The
structure of this pantheon changed continually as new deities were
promoted in the hierarchy, but priests made no effort to organize the
diverse and sometimes conflicting myths and stories into a coherent
system. These various conceptions of divinity were not considered
contradictory but rather layers in the multiple facets of
Ka statue provided a physical place for the Ka to manifest
Gods were worshiped in cult temples administered by priests acting on
the king's behalf. At the center of the temple was the cult statue in
a shrine. Temples were not places of public worship or congregation,
and only on select feast days and celebrations was a shrine carrying
the statue of the god brought out for public worship. Normally, the
god's domain was sealed off from the outside world and was only
accessible to temple officials. Common citizens could worship private
statues in their homes, and amulets offered protection against the
forces of chaos. After the New Kingdom, the pharaoh's role as a
spiritual intermediary was de-emphasized as religious customs shifted
to direct worship of the gods. As a result, priests developed a system
of oracles to communicate the will of the gods directly to the
Egyptians believed that every human being was composed of physical
and spiritual parts or aspects. In addition to the body, each person
had a šwt (shadow), a ba (personality or soul), a ka (life-force),
and a name. The heart, rather than the brain, was considered the
seat of thoughts and emotions. After death, the spiritual aspects were
released from the body and could move at will, but they required the
physical remains (or a substitute, such as a statue) as a permanent
home. The ultimate goal of the deceased was to rejoin his ka and ba
and become one of the "blessed dead", living on as an akh, or
"effective one". For this to happen, the deceased had to be judged
worthy in a trial, in which the heart was weighed against a "feather
of truth". If deemed worthy, the deceased could continue their
existence on earth in spiritual form.
Pharaohs' tombs were provided with vast quantities of wealth, such as
the golden mask from the mummy of Tutankhamun.
Main article: Ancient Egyptian burial customs
Egyptians maintained an elaborate set of burial customs
that they believed were necessary to ensure immortality after death.
These customs involved preserving the body by mummification,
performing burial ceremonies, and interring with the body goods the
deceased would use in the afterlife. Before the Old Kingdom,
bodies buried in desert pits were naturally preserved by desiccation.
The arid, desert conditions were a boon throughout the history of
Egypt for burials of the poor, who could not afford the
elaborate burial preparations available to the elite. Wealthier
Egyptians began to bury their dead in stone tombs and use artificial
mummification, which involved removing the internal organs, wrapping
the body in linen, and burying it in a rectangular stone sarcophagus
or wooden coffin. Beginning in the Fourth Dynasty, some parts were
preserved separately in canopic jars.
Anubis was the ancient Egyptian god associated with mummification and
burial rituals; here, he attends to a mummy.
By the New Kingdom, the ancient
Egyptians had perfected the art of
mummification; the best technique took 70 days and involved removing
the internal organs, removing the brain through the nose, and
desiccating the body in a mixture of salts called natron. The body was
then wrapped in linen with protective amulets inserted between layers
and placed in a decorated anthropoid coffin. Mummies of the Late
Period were also placed in painted cartonnage mummy cases. Actual
preservation practices declined during the Ptolemaic and Roman eras,
while greater emphasis was placed on the outer appearance of the
mummy, which was decorated.
Egyptians were buried with larger quantities of luxury items,
but all burials, regardless of social status, included goods for the
deceased. Funerary texts were often included in the grave, and,
beginning in the New Kingdom, so were shabti statues that were
believed to perform manual labor for them in the afterlife.
Rituals in which the deceased was magically re-animated accompanied
burials. After burial, living relatives were expected to occasionally
bring food to the tomb and recite prayers on behalf of the
Main article: Military of ancient Egypt
An Egyptian chariot.
The ancient Egyptian military was responsible for defending Egypt
against foreign invasion, and for maintaining Egypt's domination in
the ancient Near East. The military protected mining expeditions to
the Sinai during the
Old Kingdom and fought civil wars during the
First and Second Intermediate Periods. The military was responsible
for maintaining fortifications along important trade routes, such as
those found at the city of
Buhen on the way to Nubia. Forts also were
constructed to serve as military bases, such as the fortress at Sile,
which was a base of operations for expeditions to the Levant. In the
New Kingdom, a series of pharaohs used the standing Egyptian army to
attack and conquer Kush and parts of the Levant.
Typical military equipment included bows and arrows, spears, and
round-topped shields made by stretching animal skin over a wooden
frame. In the New Kingdom, the military began using chariots that had
earlier been introduced by the
Hyksos invaders. Weapons and armor
continued to improve after the adoption of bronze: shields were now
made from solid wood with a bronze buckle, spears were tipped with a
bronze point, and the
Khopesh was adopted from Asiatic soldiers.
The pharaoh was usually depicted in art and literature riding at the
head of the army; it has been suggested that at least a few pharaohs,
Seqenenre Tao II
Seqenenre Tao II and his sons, did do so. However, it has
also been argued that "kings of this period did not personally act as
frontline war leaders, fighting alongside their troops." Soldiers
were recruited from the general population, but during, and especially
after, the New Kingdom, mercenaries from Nubia, Kush, and Libya were
hired to fight for Egypt.
Technology, medicine, and mathematics
Main article: Ancient Egyptian technology
In technology, medicine, and mathematics, ancient
Egypt achieved a
relatively high standard of productivity and sophistication.
Traditional empiricism, as evidenced by the Edwin Smith and Ebers
papyri (c. 1600 BC), is first credited to Egypt. The Egyptians
created their own alphabet and decimal system.
Glassmaking was a highly developed art.
Faience and glass
Ancient Egyptian medical instruments depicted in a Ptolemaic period
inscription on the temple at Kom Ombo.
Even before the Old Kingdom, the ancient
Egyptians had developed a
glassy material known as faience, which they treated as a type of
artificial semi-precious stone. Faience is a non-clay ceramic made of
silica, small amounts of lime and soda, and a colorant, typically
copper. The material was used to make beads, tiles, figurines,
and small wares. Several methods can be used to create faience, but
typically production involved application of the powdered materials in
the form of a paste over a clay core, which was then fired. By a
related technique, the ancient
Egyptians produced a pigment known as
Egyptian Blue, also called blue frit, which is produced by fusing (or
sintering) silica, copper, lime, and an alkali such as natron. The
product can be ground up and used as a pigment.
Egyptians could fabricate a wide variety of objects from
glass with great skill, but it is not clear whether they developed the
process independently. It is also unclear whether they made their
own raw glass or merely imported pre-made ingots, which they melted
and finished. However, they did have technical expertise in making
objects, as well as adding trace elements to control the color of the
finished glass. A range of colors could be produced, including yellow,
red, green, blue, purple, and white, and the glass could be made
either transparent or opaque.
Main article: Ancient Egyptian medicine
The medical problems of the ancient
Egyptians stemmed directly from
their environment. Living and working close to the
hazards from malaria and debilitating schistosomiasis parasites, which
caused liver and intestinal damage. Dangerous wildlife such as
crocodiles and hippos were also a common threat. The lifelong labors
of farming and building put stress on the spine and joints, and
traumatic injuries from construction and warfare all took a
significant toll on the body. The grit and sand from stone-ground
flour abraded teeth, leaving them susceptible to abscesses (though
caries were rare).
The diets of the wealthy were rich in sugars, which promoted
periodontal disease. Despite the flattering physiques portrayed
on tomb walls, the overweight mummies of many of the upper class show
the effects of a life of overindulgence. Adult life expectancy
was about 35 for men and 30 for women, but reaching adulthood was
difficult as about one-third of the population died in infancy.
Ancient Egyptian physicians were renowned in the ancient
Near East for
their healing skills, and some, such as Imhotep, remained famous long
after their deaths.
Herodotus remarked that there was a high
degree of specialization among Egyptian physicians, with some treating
only the head or the stomach, while others were eye-doctors and
dentists. Training of physicians took place at the Per Ankh or
"House of Life" institution, most notably those headquartered in
Per-Bastet during the New Kingdom and at Abydos and Saïs in the Late
Medical papyri show empirical knowledge of anatomy, injuries,
and practical treatments.
Wounds were treated by bandaging with raw meat, white linen, sutures,
nets, pads, and swabs soaked with honey to prevent infection,
while opium thyme and belladona were used to relieve pain. The
earliest records of burn treatment describe burn dressings that use
the milk from mothers of male babies. Prayers were made to the goddess
Isis. Moldy bread, honey and copper salts were also used to prevent
infection from dirt in burns. Garlic and onions were used
regularly to promote good health and were thought to relieve asthma
symptoms. Ancient Egyptian surgeons stitched wounds, set broken bones,
and amputated diseased limbs, but they recognized that some injuries
were so serious that they could only make the patient comfortable
until death occurred.
Egyptians knew how to assemble planks of wood into a ship hull
and had mastered advanced forms of shipbuilding as early as
3000 BC. The
Archaeological Institute of America reports that the
oldest planked ships known are the Abydos boats. A group of 14
discovered ships in Abydos were constructed of wooden planks "sewn"
together. Discovered by Egyptologist David O'Connor of New York
University, woven straps were found to have been used to lash the
planks together, and reeds or grass stuffed between the planks
helped to seal the seams. Because the ships are all buried together
and near a mortuary belonging to
Pharaoh Khasekhemwy, originally they
were all thought to have belonged to him, but one of the 14 ships
dates to 3000 BC, and the associated pottery jars buried with the
vessels also suggest earlier dating. The ship dating to 3000 BC
was 75 feet (23 m) long and is now thought to perhaps have
belonged to an earlier pharaoh, perhaps one as early as Hor-Aha.
Egyptians also knew how to assemble planks of wood with
treenails to fasten them together, using pitch for caulking the seams.
Khufu ship", a 43.6-metre (143 ft) vessel sealed into a pit
Giza pyramid complex
Giza pyramid complex at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza
in the Fourth Dynasty around 2500 BC, is a full-size surviving
example that may have filled the symbolic function of a solar barque.
Egyptians also knew how to fasten the planks of this ship
together with mortise and tenon joints.
Seagoing ship from Hateshepsut's Deir el-Bahari temple relief of a
Large seagoing ships are known to have been heavily used by the
Egyptians in their trade with the city states of the eastern
Byblos (on the coast of modern-day Lebanon),
and in several expeditions down the Red Sea to the Land of Punt.
In fact one of the earliest Egyptian words for a seagoing ship is a
Byblos Ship", which originally defined a class of Egyptian seagoing
ships used on the
Byblos run; however, by the end of the Old Kingdom,
the term had come to include large seagoing ships, whatever their
In 2011 archaeologists from Italy, the United States, and Egypt
excavating a dried-up lagoon known as
Mersa Gawasis have unearthed
traces of an ancient harbor that once launched early voyages like
Hatshepsut's Punt expedition onto the open ocean. Some of the
site's most evocative evidence for the ancient Egyptians' seafaring
prowess include large ship timbers and hundreds of feet of ropes, made
from papyrus, coiled in huge bundles. And in 2013 a team of
Franco-Egyptian archaeologists discovered what is believed to be the
world's oldest port, dating back about 4500 years, from the time of
Cheops on the Red Sea coast near
Wadi el-Jarf (about 110 miles
south of Suez).
In 1977, an ancient north-south canal dating to the Middle Kingdom of
Egypt was discovered extending from
Lake Timsah to the Ballah
Lakes. It was dated to the
Middle Kingdom of Egypt
Middle Kingdom of Egypt by
extrapolating dates of ancient sites constructed along its
Main article: Egyptian mathematics
Astronomical chart in Senemut's tomb, 18th dynasty
The earliest attested examples of mathematical calculations date to
Naqada period, and show a fully developed numeral
system. The importance of mathematics to an educated Egyptian is
suggested by a New Kingdom fictional letter in which the writer
proposes a scholarly competition between himself and another scribe
regarding everyday calculation tasks such as accounting of land,
labor, and grain. Texts such as the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus
and the Moscow Mathematical
Papyrus show that the ancient Egyptians
could perform the four basic mathematical operations—addition,
subtraction, multiplication, and division—use fractions, compute the
volumes of boxes and pyramids, and calculate the surface areas of
rectangles, triangles, and circles. They understood basic concepts of
algebra and geometry, and could solve simple sets of simultaneous
Mathematical notation was decimal, and based on hieroglyphic signs for
each power of ten up to one million. Each of these could be written as
many times as necessary to add up to the desired number; so to write
the number eighty or eight hundred, the symbol for ten or one hundred
was written eight times respectively. Because their methods of
calculation could not handle most fractions with a numerator greater
than one, they had to write fractions as the sum of several fractions.
For example, they resolved the fraction two-fifths into the sum of
one-third + one-fifteenth. Standard tables of values facilitated
this. Some common fractions, however, were written with a special
glyph—the equivalent of the modern two-thirds is shown on the
Ancient Egyptian mathematicians had a grasp of the principles
underlying the Pythagorean theorem, knowing, for example, that a
triangle had a right angle opposite the hypotenuse when its sides were
in a 3–4–5 ratio. They were able to estimate the area of a
circle by subtracting one-ninth from its diameter and squaring the
Area ≈ [(8⁄9)D]2 = (256⁄81)r 2 ≈ 3.16r 2,
a reasonable approximation of the formula πr 2.
The golden ratio seems to be reflected in many Egyptian constructions,
including the pyramids, but its use may have been an unintended
consequence of the ancient Egyptian practice of combining the use of
knotted ropes with an intuitive sense of proportion and harmony.
Main article: Population history of Egypt
Herodotus claimed that ancient
Egyptians looked like
the people in
Colchis (modern-day Georgia). This claim has been
largely discredited as fictional by modern-day
For the fact is as I soon came to realise myself, and then heard from
others later, that the Colchians are obviously Egyptian. When the
notion occurred to me, I asked both the Colchians and the Egyptians
about it, and found that the Colchians had better recall of the
Egyptians than the
Egyptians did of them. Some
Egyptians said that
they thought the Colchians originated with Sesostris’ army, but I
myself guessed their Egyptian origin not only because the Colchians
are dark-skinned and curly-haired (which does not count for much by
itself, because these features are common in others too) but more
importantly because Colchians,
Egyptians and Ethiopians are the only
peoples in the world who practise circumcision and who have always
A team led by
Johannes Krause managed the first reliable sequencing of
the genomes of 90 mummified individuals in 2017. Whilst not
conclusive, because of the non-exhaustive time frame and restricted
location that the mummies represent, their study nevertheless showed
that these ancient
Egyptians "closely resembled ancient and modern
Near Eastern populations, especially those in the Levant, and had
almost no DNA from sub-Saharan Africa. What's more, the genetics of
the mummies remained remarkably consistent even as different
powers—including Nubians, Greeks, and Romans—conquered the
empire." Later, however, something did alter the genomes of Egyptians.
Some 15% to 20% of modern Egyptians’ DNA reflects sub-Saharan
ancestry, but the ancient mummies had only 6-15% sub-Saharan DNA.
See also: Tourism in Egypt
Preceded by Prehistory
Ancient Near East
Egyptian Old Kingdom
Egyptian Middle Kingdom
First Dynasty of Isin
Old Assyrian Empire
Old Babylonian Empire
Egyptian New Kingdom
Kingdom of Edom
Kingdom of Moab
Kingdom of Ammon
Middle Assyrian Empire
Second Dynasty of Isin
Kingdom of Kummuh
Israel and Judah
Kingdom of Kush
Kingdom of Pontus
Kingdom of Armenia
Kingdom of Aksum
Spring and Autumn period
Warring States period
Jin (Korean state)
Three Kingdoms of Korea
Three Kingdoms of China
Northern and Southern dynasties
League of Mayapan
Three Fires Confederacy
Kingdom of Nri
Empire of Great Fulo
History of the world
Ancient maritime history
Cradle of civilization
Followed by the Postclassical Era
The culture and monuments of ancient
Egypt have left a lasting legacy
on the world. The cult of the goddess Isis, for example, became
popular in the Roman Empire, as obelisks and other relics were
transported back to Rome. The Romans also imported building
Egypt to erect Egyptian-style structures. Early
historians such as Herodotus, Strabo, and
Diodorus Siculus studied and
wrote about the land, which Romans came to view as a place of
Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Egyptian pagan culture was
in decline after the rise of
Christianity and later Islam, but
interest in Egyptian antiquity continued in the writings of medieval
scholars such as
Dhul-Nun al-Misri and al-Maqrizi. In the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, European travelers and tourists
brought back antiquities and wrote stories of their journeys, leading
to a wave of
Egyptomania across Europe. This renewed interest sent
collectors to Egypt, who took, purchased, or were given many important
Although the European colonial occupation of
Egypt destroyed a
significant portion of the country's historical legacy, some
foreigners left more positive marks. Napoleon, for example, arranged
the first studies in
Egyptology when he brought some 150 scientists
and artists to study and document Egypt's natural history, which was
published in the Description de l'Égypte.
In the 20th century, the Egyptian Government and archaeologists alike
recognized the importance of cultural respect and integrity in
Supreme Council of Antiquities
Supreme Council of Antiquities now approves and
oversees all excavations, which are aimed at finding information
rather than treasure. The council also supervises museums and monument
reconstruction programs designed to preserve the historical legacy of
Tourists at the pyramid complex of Khafre near the Great Sphinx of
Frontispiece of Description de l'Égypte, published in 38 volumes
between 1809 and 1829.
Glossary of ancient
Index of ancient Egypt-related articles
Outline of ancient Egypt
List of ancient Egyptians
^ "Chronology". Digital
Egypt for Universities, University College
London. Archived from the original on 16 March 2008. Retrieved 25
^ Dodson (2004) p. 46
^ Clayton (1994) p. 217
^ James (2005) p. 8
^ Manuelian (1998) pp. 6–7
^ a b c d e Ward, Cheryl. "World's Oldest Planked Boats",
inArchaeology (Volume 54, Number 3, May/June 2001). Archaeological
Institute of America.
^ Clayton (1994) p. 153
^ James (2005) p. 84
^ Shaw (2002) pp. 17, 67–69
^ Shaw (2002) p. 17
^ Ikram, Salima (1992). Choice Cuts: Meat Production in Ancient Egypt.
University of Cambridge. p. 5. ISBN 978-90-6831-745-9.
LCCN 1997140867. OCLC 60255819. Retrieved 22 July
^ Hayes (1964) p. 220
^ Childe, V. Gordon (1953), New Light on the Most Ancient Near East,
^ Barbara G. Aston, James A. Harrell, Ian Shaw (2000). Paul T.
Nicholson and Ian Shaw editors. "Stone," in Ancient Egyptian Materials
and Technology, Cambridge, 5–77, pp. 46–47. Also note: Barbara G.
Aston (1994). "Ancient Egyptian Stone Vessels," Studien zur
Archäologie und Geschichte Altägyptens 5, Heidelberg, pp. 23–26.
(See on-line posts:  and .)
^ Patai, Raphael (1998), Children of Noah: Jewish Seafaring in Ancient
Times (Princeton Uni Press)
^ "Chronology of the
Naqada Period". Digital
Egypt for Universities,
University College London. Archived from the original on 28 March
2008. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
^ a b Shaw (2002) p. 61
^ "Faience in different Periods". Digital
Egypt for Universities,
University College London. Archived from the original on 30 March
2008. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
^ Allen (2000) p. 1
^ Clayton (1994) p. 6
^ Shaw (2002) pp. 78–80
^ Clayton (1994) pp. 12–13
^ Shaw (2002) p. 70
^ "Early Dynastic Egypt". Digital
Egypt for Universities, University
College London. Archived from the original on 4 March 2008. Retrieved
9 March 2008.
^ Robins (1997) p. 32
^ James (2005) p. 40
^ Shaw (2002) p. 102
^ Shaw (2002) pp. 116–7
^ Fekri Hassan. "The Fall of the Old Kingdom". British Broadcasting
Corporation. Retrieved 10 March 2008.
^ Clayton (1994) p. 69
^ Shaw (2002) p. 120
^ a b Shaw (2002) p. 146
^ Clayton (1994) p. 29
^ Shaw (2002) p. 148
^ Clayton (1994) p. 79
^ Shaw (2002) p. 158
^ Shaw (2002) pp. 179–82
^ Robins (1997) p. 90
^ Shaw (2002) p. 188
^ a b Ryholt (1997) p. 310
^ Shaw (2002) p. 189
^ Shaw (2002) p. 224
^ Clayton (1994) pp. 104–107
^ James (2005) p. 48
^ Bleiberg (editor), Edward (2005). "Ancient
Egypt 2675-332 BCE:
Architecture and Design". Arts and Humanities Through the Eras.
1. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
^ Aldred (1988) p. 259
^ Cline (2001) p. 273
^ With his two principal wives and large harem,
Ramesses II sired more
than 100 children. Clayton (1994) p. 146
^ Tyldesley (2001) pp. 76–7
^ Killebrew 2013, p. 2. Quote: "First coined in 1881 by the
French Egyptologist G. Maspero (1896), the somewhat misleading term
"Sea Peoples" encompasses the ethnonyms Lukka, Sherden, Shekelesh,
Teresh, Eqwesh, Denyen, Sikil / Tjekker, Weshesh, and Peleset
(Philistines). [Footnote: The modern term "Sea Peoples" refers to
peoples that appear in several New Kingdom Egyptian texts as
originating from "islands" (tables 1-2; Adams and Cohen, this volume;
see, e.g., Drews 1993, 57 for a summary). The use of quotation marks
in association with the term "Sea Peoples" in our title is intended to
draw attention to the problematic nature of this commonly used term.
It is noteworthy that the designation "of the sea" appears only in
relation to the Sherden, Shekelesh, and Eqwesh. Subsequently, this
term was applied somewhat indiscriminately to several additional
ethnonyms, including the Philistines, who are portrayed in their
earliest appearance as invaders from the north during the reigns of
Merenptah and Ramesses Ill (see, e.g., Sandars 1978; Redford 1992,
243, n. 14; for a recent review of the primary and secondary
literature, see Woudhuizen 2006). Hencefore the term
Sea Peoples will
appear without quotation marks.]"
^ The End of the
Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe
Ca. 1200 B.C., Robert Drews, p48–61 Quote: "The thesis that a great
"migration of the Sea Peoples" occurred ca. 1200 B.C. is supposedly
based on Egyptian inscriptions, one from the reign of Merneptah and
another from the reign of Ramesses III. Yet in the inscriptions
themselves such a migration nowhere appears. After reviewing what the
Egyptian texts have to say about 'the sea peoples', one Egyptologist
(Wolfgang Helck) recently remarked that although some things are
unclear, "eins ist aber sicher: Nach den agyptischen Texten haben wir
es nicht mit einer 'Volkerwanderung' zu tun." Thus the migration
hypothesis is based not on the inscriptions themselves but on their
^ James (2005) p. 54
^ Cerny (1975) p. 645
^ Shaw (2002) p. 345
^ Shaw (2002) p. 358
^ Shaw (2002) p. 383
^ Shaw (2002) p. 385
^ Shaw (2002) p. 405
^ Shaw (2002) p. 411
^ Shaw (2002) p. 418
^ James (2005) p. 62
^ James (2005) p. 63
^ Shaw (2002) p. 426
^ a b Shaw (2002) p. 422
^ Shaw (2003) p. 431
^ "The Church in Ancient Society", Henry Chadwick, p. 373, Oxford
University Press US, 2001, ISBN 0-19-924695-5
^ "Christianizing the
Roman Empire A.D 100–400", Ramsay MacMullen,
p. 63, Yale University Press, 1984, ISBN 0-300-03216-1
^ Shaw (2002) p. 445
^ a b c d Manuelian (1998) p. 358
^ Manuelian (1998) p. 363
^ "Egypt: Coins of the Ptolemies". University College London. 2002.
Retrieved 8 April 2017.
^ Meskell (2004) p. 23
^ a b c Manuelian (1998) p. 372
^ Walbank (1984) p. 125
^ Manuelian (1998) p. 383
^ James (2005) p. 136
^ Billard (1978) p. 109
^ "Social classes in ancient Egypt". Digital
Egypt for Universities,
University College London. Archived from the original on 13 December
2007. Retrieved 11 December 2007.
^ a b c Janet H. Johnson. "Women's Legal Rights in Ancient Egypt".
University of Chicago, 2004. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
Slavery in Ancient Egyptfrom http://www.reshafim.org.il. Retrieved
28 August 2012.
^ Oakes (2003) p. 472
^ McDowell (1999) p. 168
^ Manuelian (1998) p. 361
^ Nicholson (2000) p. 514
^ Nicholson (2000) p. 506
^ Nicholson (2000) p. 510
^ Nicholson (2000) pp. 577 and 630
^ a b Strouhal (1989) p. 117
^ a b c Manuelian (1998) p. 381
^ Nicholson (2000) p. 409
^ Heptner, V. G., Sludskij, A. A. (1992) . "Lion".
Mlekopitajuščie Sovetskogo Soiuza. Moskva: Vysšaia Škola [Mammals
of the Soviet Union. Volume II, Part 2. Carnivora (Hyaenas and Cats)].
Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution and the National Science
Foundation. pp. 83–95. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors
^ Oakes (2003) p. 229
^ Greaves (1929) p. 123
^ Lucas (1962) p. 413
^ Nicholson (2000) p. 28
^ C.Michael Hogan. 2011. Sulfur. Encyclopedia of Earth, eds. A.
Jorgensen and C.J. Cleveland, National Council for Science and the
environment, Washington DC Archived 28 October 2012 at the Wayback
^ Scheel (1989) p. 14
^ Nicholson (2000) p. 166
^ Nicholson (2000) p. 51
^ Shaw (2002) p. 72
^ Naomi Porat and Edwin van den Brink (editor), "An Egyptian
Southern Palestine During the Late Predynastic to Early Dynastic," in
Nile Delta in Transition: 4th to 3rd Millennium BC (1992), pp.
^ Naomi Porat, "Local Industry of Egyptian Pottery in Southern
Palestine During the Early
Bronze I Period," in Bulletin of the
Egyptological, Seminar 8 (1986/1987), pp. 109–129. See also
University College London web post, 2000.
^ Shaw (2002) p. 322
^ Manuelian (1998) p. 145
^ Harris (1990) p. 13
^ Loprieno (1995b) p. 2137
^ Loprieno (2004) p. 161
^ Loprieno (2004) p. 162
^ Loprieno (1995b) p. 2137–38
^ Vittman (1991) pp. 197–227
^ Loprieno (1995a) p. 46
^ Loprieno (1995a) p. 74
^ Loprieno (2004) p. 175
^ Allen (2000) pp. 67, 70, 109
^ Loprieno (2005) p. 2147
^ Loprieno (2004) p. 173
^ Allen (2000) p. 13
^ Loprieno (1995a) pp. 10–26
^ Allen (2000) p. 7
^ Loprieno (2004) p. 166
^ El-Daly (2005) p. 164
^ Allen (2000) p. 8
^ Strouhal (1989) p. 235
^ Lichtheim (1975) p. 11
^ Lichtheim (1975) p. 215
^ "Wisdom in Ancient Israel", John Day, /John Adney Emerton, /Robert
P. Gordon/ Hugh Godfrey/Maturin Williamson, p23, Cambridge University
Press, 1997, ISBN 0-521-62489-4
^ Lichtheim (1980) p. 159
^ Manuelian (1998) p. 401
^ Manuelian (1998) p. 403
^ Manuelian (1998) p. 405
^ Manuelian (1998) pp. 406–7
^ "Music in Ancient Egypt". Digital
Egypt for Universities, University
College London. Archived from the original on 28 March 2008. Retrieved
9 March 2008.
^ Manuelian (1998) p. 126
^ "The Cambridge Ancient History: II Part I, The Middle East and the
Aegean Region, c. 1800 – 13380 B.C", Edited I.E.S
Edwards–C.JGadd–N.G.L Hammond-E.Sollberger, Cambridge at the
University Press, p. 380, 1973, ISBN 0-521-08230-7
^ Manuelian (1998) pp. 399–400
^ Clarke (1990) pp. 94–7
^ Badawy (1968) p. 50
^ "Types of temples in ancient Egypt". Digital
Egypt for Universities,
University College London. Archived from the original on 19 March
2008. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
^ Dodson (1991) p. 23
^ Dodson, Aidan; Ikram, Salima (2008). The Tomb in Ancient Egypt.
Thames & Hudson. pp. 218, 275–276.
^ Robins (1997) p. 29
^ Robins (1997) p. 21
^ Robins (2001) p. 12
^ Nicholson (2000) p. 105
^ a b James (2005) p. 122
^ Robins (1998) p. 74
^ Shaw (2002) p. 216
^ Robins (1998) p. 149
^ Robins (1998) p. 158
^ James (2005) p. 102
^ "The Oxford Guide: Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology", edited by
Donald B. Redford, p. 106, Berkley Books, 2003,
^ James (2005) p. 117
^ Shaw (2002) p. 313
^ Allen (2000) pp. 79, 94–5
^ Wasserman, et al. (1994) pp. 150–3
^ "Mummies and Mummification: Old Kingdom". Digital
Universities, University College London. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
^ "Mummies and Mummification: Late Period, Ptolemaic, Roman and
Christian Period". Digital
Egypt for Universities, University College
London. Archived from the original on 30 March 2008. Retrieved 9 March
^ "Shabtis". Digital
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^ Shaw (2002) p. 245
^ Manuelian (1998) pp. 366–67
^ Clayton (1994) p. 96
^ Shaw, Garry J. (2009). "The Death of King Seqenenre Tao". Journal of
the American Research Center in Egypt. 45.
^ Shaw (2002) p. 400
^ Nicholson (2000) p. 177
^ Nicholson (2000) p. 109
^ Nicholson (2000) p. 195
^ Nicholson (2000) p. 215
^ Filer (1995) p. 94
^ Filer (1995) pp. 78–80
^ Filer (1995) p. 21
^ Figures are given for adult life expectancy and do not reflect life
expectancy at birth. Filer (1995) p. 25
^ Filer (1995) p. 39
^ Strouhal (1989) p. 243
^ Stroual (1989) pp. 244–46
^ Stroual (1989) p. 250
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^ Filer (1995) p. 38
^ a b Schuster, Angela M.H. "This Old Boat", 11 December 2000.
Archaeological Institute of America.
^ a b Shelley Wachsmann, Seagoing Ships and Seamanship in the Bronze
Levant (Texas A&M University Press, 2009), p. 19.
^ a b "Egypt's Ancient Fleet: Lost for Thousands of Years, Discovered
in a Desolate Cave". Discover Magazine.
^ "Most Ancient Port, Hieroglyphic Papyri Found". DNews.
^ a b Shea, William H. "A Date for the Recently Discovered Eastern
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^ Full version at Met Museum
^ Understanding of
Egyptian mathematics is incomplete due to paucity
of available material and lack of exhaustive study of the texts that
have been uncovered. Imhausen et al. (2007) p. 13
^ Imhausen et al. (2007) p. 11
^ Clarke (1990) p. 222
^ Clarke (1990) p. 217
^ Clarke (1990) p. 218
^ Gardiner (1957) p. 197
^ a b Strouhal (1989) p. 241
^ Imhausen et al. (2007) p. 31
^ Kemp (1989) p. 138
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^ Boedeker, Deborah (2000). "Herodotus' genre(s)". In Mary Depew &
Dirk Obbink. Matrices of Genre: Authors, Canons, and Society. Harvard
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^ Siliotti (1998) p. 10
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^ Siliotti (1998) p. 13
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