writing , literature
sword , chariot
ANCIENT 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 . It is one of six historic
civilizations to arise independently. Egyptian civilization followed
Egypt and coalesced around 3150 BC (according to
Egyptian chronology ) with the political unification of
Upper and Lower
Egypt under the first pharaoh ,
referred to as
Menes ). The history of ancient
Egypt occurred as a
series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative
instability known as Intermediate Periods: the
Old Kingdom of the
Bronze Age , the Middle Kingdom of the Middle
Bronze Age and the
New Kingdom of the Late
Bronze Age .
Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power in the New Kingdom , during
the Ramesside period, where it rivalled the
Hittite Empire , Assyrian
Empire , after which it entered a period of slow
Egypt was invaded or conquered by a succession of foreign
powers, such as the
Hyksos , Libyans , the
Nubians , the
Assyrians , Babylonians , the Achaemenid Persians , and the
Macedonians in the Third Intermediate Period and the Late Period of
Egypt . In the aftermath of
Alexander the Great 's death, one of his
Ptolemy Soter , established himself as the new ruler of
Egypt. This Greek
Ptolemaic Kingdom ruled
Egypt until 30 BC, when,
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
religious beliefs .
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
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
Egyptians led to the scientific
investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater appreciation of
its cultural legacy.
* 1 History
* 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)
* 1.6 Second Intermediate Period (1674–1549 BC) and the
* 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
* 1.11 Roman period
* 2 Government and economy
* 2.1 Administration and commerce
* 2.3 Legal system
* 2.4 Agriculture
* 2.4.1 Animals
* 2.5 Natural resources
* 2.6 Trade
* 3 Language
* 3.1 Historical development
* 3.2 Sounds and grammar
* 3.3 Writing
* 3.4 Literature
* 4 Culture
* 4.1 Daily life
* 4.2 Cuisine
* 4.3 Architecture
* 4.4 Art
* 4.5 Religious beliefs
* 4.6 Burial customs
* 5 Military
* 6 Technology, medicine, and mathematics
* 6.1 Technology
* 6.2 Faience and glass
* 6.3 Medicine
* 6.4 Maritime technology
* 6.5 Mathematics
* 7 Population
* 8 Legacy
* 9 See also
* 10 Notes
* 11 References
* 12 Further reading
* 13 External links
History of ancient Egypt ,
History of 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 the Middle
Pleistocene some 120,000 years ago. By the late
the arid climate of Northern Africa became increasingly hot and dry,
forcing the populations of the area to concentrate along the river
Main article: Predynastic
Egypt A typical
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
which probably originated in the Western Desert; it was known for its
high quality ceramics, stone tools , and its use of copper.
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
Ethiopia , used to shape blades and other objects from
flakes . In
Naqada II times, early evidence exists of contact with
Near East , particularly
Canaan and the
Byblos coast. Over a
period of about 1,000 years, the
Naqada culture 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 Hierakonpolis , and later at
Naqada III leaders expanded their control of
Nile . They also traded with
Nubia to the south, the oases
of the western desert to the west, and the cultures of the eastern
Near East to the east. Royal Nubian burials at
Qustul produced artifacts bearing the oldest-known examples of
Egyptian dynastic symbols, such as the white crown of
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)
Early Dynastic Period of Egypt
Early Dynastic Period of Egypt
The Early Dynastic Period was approximately contemporary to the early
Akkadian civilisation of
Mesopotamia and of ancient
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
Menes may have been the pharaoh
Narmer , who is depicted wearing royal
regalia on the ceremonial
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
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 civilization. The
Narmer Palette depicts the
unification of the Two Lands.
OLD KINGDOM (2686–2181 BC)
Old Kingdom of Egypt
Old Kingdom of Egypt The Giza Pyramids
Major advances in architecture, art, and technology were made during
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. Khafre Enthroned
Along with the rising importance of a central administration arose a
new class of educated scribes and officials 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 power of the pharaoh, and that the economy could no
longer afford to support a large centralized administration. As the
power of the pharaoh diminished, regional governors called nomarchs
began to challenge the supremacy of the pharaoh. This, coupled with
severe droughts between 2200 and 2150 BC, is assumed 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)
First Intermediate Period of Egypt
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
Mentuhotep II finally defeated the Herakleopolitan
rulers, reuniting the Two Lands. They inaugurated a period of economic
and cultural renaissance known as the Middle Kingdom .
MIDDLE KINGDOM (2134–1690 BC)
Middle Kingdom of Egypt Amenemhat III, the last
great ruler of the Middle Kingdom
The pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom restored the country's prosperity
and stability, 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 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 military and political security and
vast agricultural and mineral wealth, the nation's population, arts,
and religion flourished. In contrast to elitist
Old Kingdom attitudes
towards the gods, the Middle Kingdom experienced an increase in
expressions of personal piety and what could be called a
democratization of the afterlife, in which all people possessed a soul
and could be welcomed into the company of the gods after death.
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 perfection.
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 during the later Thirteenth and Fourteenth
dynasties. During this decline, the Canaanite settlers began to seize
control of the delta region, eventually coming to power in
SECOND INTERMEDIATE PERIOD (1674–1549 BC) AND THE HYKSOS
Second Intermediate Period of Egypt
Second Intermediate Period of Egypt Temple of
Derr ruins at 1960.
Around 1785 BC, as the power of the Middle Kingdom pharaohs weakened,
a Western Asian people called the
Hyksos had already settled in the
Eastern Delta town of
Avaris , seized control of Egypt, and forced the
central government to retreat to Thebes. The pharaoh was treated as a
vassal and expected to pay tribute. The
Hyksos ("foreign rulers")
retained Egyptian models of government and identified as pharaohs,
thus integrating Egyptian elements into their culture. They and other
invaders introduced new tools of warfare into Egypt, most notably the
composite bow and the horse-drawn chariot .
After their retreat, the native Theban kings found themselves trapped
between the Canaanite
Hyksos ruling the north and the Hyksos' Nubian
Kushites , to the south of Egypt. After years of
vassalage, Thebes gathered enough strength to challenge the
a conflict that lasted more than 30 years, until 1555 BC. The
Seqenenre Tao II and
Kamose were ultimately able to defeat
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. In the New Kingdom
that followed, the military became a central priority for the pharaohs
seeking to expand Egypt's borders and attempting to gain mastery of
Near East . The maximum territorial extent of ancient Egypt
(15th century BC)
NEW KINGDOM (1549–1069 BC)
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
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. Between their reigns,
promoted peace and restored trade routes lost during the Hyksos
occupation, as well as expanding to new regions. When Tuthmosis III
died in 1425 BC,
Egypt had an empire extending from Niya in north west
Syria to the fourth waterfall of the
Nubia , cementing
loyalties and opening access to critical imports such as bronze and
Djeser-Djeseru is the main building of Hatshepsut's
mortuary temple complex at
Deir el-Bahri ; the building is an example
of perfect symmetry that predates the
Parthenon by a thousand years
Four statues of divinities in sanctuary of
Abu Simbel temples
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
ever built. The pharaoh
Hatshepsut used such hyperbole and grandeur
during her reign of almost twenty-two years. Her reign was very
successful, marked by an extended period of peace and wealth-building,
trading expeditions to Punt , restoration of foreign trade networks,
and great building projects, including an elegant mortuary temple that
rivaled the Greek architecture of a thousand years later, a colossal
pair of obelisks, and a chapel at Karnak. Despite her achievements,
Amenhotep II, the heir to Hatshepsut's nephew-stepson Tuthmosis III,
sought to erase her legacy near the end of his father's reign and
throughout his, touting many of her accomplishments as his. He also
tried to change many established traditions that had developed over
the centuries, which some suggest was a futile attempt to prevent
other women from becoming pharaoh and to curb their influence in the
Around 1350 BC, the stability of the New Kingdom seemed threatened
further 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 attacked the power
of the temple that had become dominated by the priests of
Thebes, whom he saw as corrupt. Moving the capital to the new city of
Akhenaten turned a deaf ear to events
Near East (where the
Mitanni , and Assyrians were
vying for control). He was devoted to his new religion and artistic
style. After his death, the cult of the
Aten was quickly abandoned,
the priests of
Amun soon regained power and returned the capital to
Thebes. Under their influence the subsequent pharaohs
Tutankhamun , Ay
Horemheb worked to erase all mention of Akhenaten's heresy, now
known as the
Amarna Period . 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 the
Hittites in the
Battle of Kadesh (in modern
Syria ) and, after
fighting to a stalemate, finally agreed to the first recorded peace
treaty, around 1258 BC. With both the
Egyptians and Hittite Empire
proving unable to gain the upper hand over one another, and both
powers also fearful of the expanding Middle
Assyrian Empire , Egypt
withdrew from much of the
Near East . The
Hittites were thus left to
compete unsuccessfully with the powerful Assyrians and the newly
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)
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, Berber tribes from what was later to be called
Libya had been
settling in the western delta, and the chieftains of these settlers
began increasing their autonomy.
Libyan princes took control of the
Shoshenq I in 945 BC, founding the
Libyan Berber, or
Bubastite , dynasty that ruled for some 200 years. Shoshenq also
gained control of southern
Egypt by placing his family members in
important priestly positions.
In the mid-ninth century BC,
Egypt made a failed attempt to once more
gain a foothold in
Western Asia .
Osorkon II of Egypt, along with a
large alliance of nations and peoples, including
Canaan , the
Arameans , and neo Hittites
among others, engaged in the
Battle of Karkar
Battle of Karkar against the powerful
Shalmaneser III in 853 BC. However, this coalition of
powers failed and the Neo
Assyrian Empire continued to dominate
Libyan Berber control began to erode as a rival native dynasty in the
delta arose under
Leontopolis . Also, the
Nubians of the Kushites
Egypt from the lands to the south. Around 730 BC
Libyans from the west fractured the political unity of the country
Drawing on millennia of interaction (trade, acculturation,
occupation, assimilation, and war ) with Egypt, the Kushite king Piye
left his Nubian capital of
Napata and invaded
Egypt around 727 BC.
Piye easily seized control of Thebes and eventually the
Nile Delta .
He recorded the episode on his stela of victory.
Piye set the stage
for subsequent Twenty-fifth dynasty pharaohs, such as
Taharqa , to
reunite the "Two lands" of Northern and Southern Egypt. The Nile
valley empire was as large as it had been since the New Kingdom.
The Twenty-fifth dynasty ushered in a renaissance period for ancient
Egypt. Religion, the arts, and architecture were restored to their
glorious Old, Middle, and New Kingdom forms. Pharaohs, such as
Taharqa, built or restored temples and monuments throughout the Nile
valley, including at Memphis, Karnak, Kawa,
Jebel Barkal , etc. It
was during the Twenty-fifth dynasty that there was the first
widespread construction of pyramids (many in modern
Sudan ) in the
Nile Valley since the Middle Kingdom.
Piye made various unsuccessful attempts to extend Egyptian influence
Near East , then controlled by
Assyria . In 720 BC, he sent an
army in support of a rebellion against Assyria, which was taking place
Philistia and Gaza . However,
Piye was defeated by
Sargon II and
the rebellion failed. In 711 BC,
Piye again supported a revolt against
Assyria by the
Ashdod and was once again defeated by the
Sargon II . Subsequently,
Piye was forced from the Near
From the 10th century BC onwards,
Assyria fought for control of the
southern Levant. Frequently, cities and kingdoms of the southern
Levant appealed to
Egypt for aid in their struggles against the
powerful Assyrian army.
Taharqa enjoyed some initial success in his
attempts to regain a foothold in the Near East.
Taharqa aided the
Jerusalem was besieged by the
Sennacherib . Scholars disagree on the primary reason
for Assyria's abandonment of their siege on Jerusalem. Reasons for the
Assyrian withdrawal range from conflict with the Egyptian/Kushite army
to divine intervention to surrender to disease. Henry Aubin argues
that the Kushite/Egyptian army saved
Jerusalem from the Assyrians and
prevented the Assyrians from returning to capture
Jerusalem for the
remainder of Sennacherib's life (20 years). Some argue that disease
was the primary reason for failing to actually take the city; however,
Senacherib's annals claim Judah was forced into tribute regardless.
Sennacherib had been murdered by his own sons for destroying the
rebellious city of
Babylon , a city sacred to all
Mesopotamians , the
Assyrians included. In 674 BC
Esarhaddon launched a preliminary
incursion into Egypt; however, this attempt was repelled by Taharqa.
However, in 671 BC,
Esarhaddon launched a full-scale invasion. Part of
his army stayed behind to deal with rebellions in
Phoenicia , and
Israel . The remainder went south to Rapihu , then crossed the Sinai ,
and entered Egypt.
Esarhaddon decisively defeated Taharqa, took
Memphis , Thebes and all the major cities of Egypt, and
chased back to his Nubian homeland.
Esarhaddon now called himself
"king of Egypt, Patros, and Kush ", and returned with rich booty from
the cities of the delta; he erected a victory stele at this time, and
paraded the captive Prince Ushankhuru , the son of
Taharqa in Nineveh
Esarhaddon stationed a small army in northern
Egypt and describes
how "All Ethiopians (read
Kushites ) I deported from Egypt,
leaving not one left to do homage to me". He installed native
Egyptian princes throughout the land to rule on his behalf. The
Esarhaddon effectively marked the end of the short lived
Empire . Twenty-fifth Dynasty
However, the native Egyptian rulers installed by
unable to retain full control of the whole country for long. Two years
Taharqa returned from
Nubia and seized control of a section of
Egypt as far north as Memphis .
Esarhaddon prepared to return
Egypt and once more eject Taharqa; however, he fell ill and died in
Nineveh , before he left Assyria. His successor,
Ashurbanipal , sent an Assyrian general named
Sha-Nabu-shu with a
small, but well trained army, which conclusively defeated
Memphis and once more drove him from Egypt.
Taharqa died in
His successor, Tanutamun , also made a failed attempt to regain Egypt
for Nubia. He successfully defeated Necho , the native Egyptian puppet
ruler installed by Ashurbanipal, taking Thebes in the process. The
Assyrians then sent a large army southwards.
Tantamani (Tanutamun) was
heavily routed and fled back to Nubia. The Assyrian army sacked Thebes
to such an extent it never truly recovered. A native ruler,
Psammetichus I was placed on the throne, as a vassal of Ashurbanipal,
Nubians were never again to pose a threat to either
LATE PERIOD (672–332 BC)
Late Period of ancient Egypt and History of Achaemenid
With no permanent plans for conquest, 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 (taking
advantage of the fact that
Assyria was involved in a fierce war
Elam and that few Assyrian troops were stationed in Egypt)
was able to free
Egypt relatively peacefully from Assyrian vassalage
with the help of Lydian and Greek mercenaries, the latter of whom were
recruited to form Egypt's first navy. Psamtik and his successors
however were careful to maintain peaceful relations with Assyria.
Greek influence expanded greatly as the city of Naukratis became the
home of Greeks in the delta.
In 609 BC
Necho II went to war with
Babylonia , the Chaldeans , the
Medians and the
Scythians in an attempt to save Assyria, which after a
brutal civil war was being overrun by this coalition of powers.
However, the attempt to save Egypt's former masters failed. The
Egyptians delayed intervening too long, and
Nineveh had already fallen
Sin-shar-ishkun was dead by the time
Necho II sent his armies
northwards. However, Necho easily brushed aside the
Josiah but he and the Assyrians then lost a battle at
Harran to the Babylonians,
Medes and Scythians.
Necho II and
Ashur-uballit II of
Assyria were finally defeated at
Syria ) in 605 BC. The
Egyptians remained in the area
for some decades, struggling with the Babylonian kings Nabopolassar
Nebuchadnezzar II for control of portions of the former Assyrian
Empire in The
Levant . However, they were eventually driven back into
Nebuchadnezzar II even briefly invaded
Egypt itself in 567
BC. 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
Pelusium . Cambyses II then assumed the formal title of pharaoh,
Egypt from his home of
Egypt under the control of a satrapy . A few temporarily
successful revolts against the Persians marked the fifth century BC,
Egypt was never able to permanently overthrow the Persians.
Following its annexation by
Egypt was joined with
Lebanon ) in the sixth satrapy of the Achaemenid
Empire . This first period of Persian rule over Egypt, also
known as the Twenty-seventh dynasty , ended after more than
one-hundred years in 402 BC, and from 380 to 343 BC the Thirtieth
Dynasty ruled as the last native royal house of dynastic Egypt, which
ended 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 the Macedonian ruler
Alexander the Great without a
Main articles: History of Ptolemaic
Alexander the Great, 100 BC – 100 AD, 54.162,
In 332 BC,
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
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 Syriac
opponents from the
Near East made this situation unstable, leading
Rome to send forces to secure the country as a province of its empire.
Main article: History of Roman
Egypt The Fayum mummy portraits
epitomize the meeting of Egyptian and Roman cultures.
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
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
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.
GOVERNMENT AND ECONOMY
ADMINISTRATION AND COMMERCE
The pharaoh was usually depicted wearing symbols of royalty and
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. Young Egyptian laborers treated by doctors after
circumcision, as a part of a rite of passage to citizenship.
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
Hatshepsut and Cleopatra
VII even became pharaohs, while others wielded power as Divine Wives
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 .
Ancient Egyptian agriculture See also: 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
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
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 the
Egyptians were the
only people to keep their animals with them in their houses. During
the Predynastic and Late periods, 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 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
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
Canaan dates to
slightly before the First Dynasty.
Narmer had Egyptian pottery
Canaan and exported back to
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.
Egypt relied on
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
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.
r n kmt
Egyptian language is a northern Afro-Asiatic language closely
related to the Berber and
Semitic languages . It has the second
longest 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 Egyptian , 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
Ancient Egyptian was a synthetic language , but it became more
analytic later on.
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 Later 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
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 1822,
after the discovery of the Rosetta stone and years of research by
Thomas Young and
Jean-François Champollion , were hieroglyphs almost
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. Later 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
Story of Sinuhe , written in
Middle Egyptian , might be the
classic of Egyptian literature. Also written at this time was the
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 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 the
Greco-Roman period were set
in previous historical eras, when
Egypt was an independent nation
ruled by great pharaohs such as
Ramesses II .
Ostraca of hunting a lion with a spear, aided by a dog.
Statues depicting lower-class ancient Egyptian occupations. A
painted depiction of
Senet (in the tomb of Queen Nefertari , Valley of
the Queens , Thebes,
Egypt ), one of the world\'s earliest known board
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 . The ancient
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-Madinah has
resulted in one of the most thoroughly documented accounts of
community life in the ancient world that spans almost four hundred
years. There is no comparable site in which the organization, social
interactions, working and living conditions of a community were
studied in such detail.
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.
Ancient Egyptian architecture The well preserved
Temple of Horus at Edfu is an exemplar of 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
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,
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 Twenty-fifth dynasty was a notable exception, as all
Twenty-fifth dynasty pharaohs constructed pyramids.
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.
Egyptian Vase in
Ancient Egyptian artisans used stone to carve 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
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 and thoroughly erased
after Akhenaten's death and replaced by the traditional forms.
Ancient Egyptian religion The
Book of the Dead
was a guide to the deceased's journey in the afterlife.
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,
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
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 people.
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
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 ancient
Egypt for burials of the poor, who could not afford the elaborate
burial preparations available to the elite. Wealthier
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
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. Beginning in the New Kingdom, books of the dead were
included in the grave, along with 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 deceased.
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
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, such
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
hired to fight for Egypt.
TECHNOLOGY, MEDICINE, AND MATHEMATICS
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
their own alphabet and decimal system . Glassmaking was a highly
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.
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 period.
Medical papyri show empirical knowledge of anatomy, injuries, and
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. Documented extent of Ancient Egyptian geographic
Egyptians knew how to assemble planks of wood into a ship hull
and had mastered advanced forms of shipbuilding as early as 3000 BC.
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
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.
According to professor O'Connor, the 5,000-year-old ship may have even
Pharaoh 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 in
Giza pyramid complex
Giza pyramid complex at the foot of the
Great Pyramid of Giza
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 . Early
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 Punt Expedition
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
Nile Delta , showing relation of Lake Timsah
to Ballah Lakes.
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
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 by extrapolating dates of
ancient sites constructed along its course.
Egyptian mathematics Astronomical chart in
Senemut\'s tomb ,
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
the Moscow Mathematical
Papyrus show that the ancient
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
Ancient Egyptian mathematicians had a grasp of the principles
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 result:
Area ≈ 2 = ( 256⁄81)r 2 ≈ 3.16r 2,
a reasonable approximation of the formula π r 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
Main article: Population history of
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 scholars.
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 lead 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
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.
Although the mummies contain almost no DNA from sub-Saharan Africa,
some 15% to 20% of modern Egyptians’ DNA reflects sub-Saharan
See also: Tourism in
ANCIENT NEAR EAST
Israel and Judah
* Crete (Minoan)
* Indus Valley
History of the world
Ancient maritime history
Cradle of civilization
Followed by the
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 materials
Egypt to erect Egyptian-style structures. Early historians such
Strabo , and
Diodorus Siculus studied and wrote about
the land, which Romans came to view as a place of mystery.
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 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 riding a camel in front of Giza pyramids
Frontispiece of Description de l\'Égypte , published in 38 volumes
between 1809 and 1829.
Relief from interior of the Temple of
Rameses II .
Arnold J. Toynbee
* Glossary of ancient
Index of ancient Egypt-related articles
* Outline of ancient
* ^ "Chronology". Digital
Egypt for Universities, University
College London. Archived from the original on 16 March 2008. Retrieved
25 March 2008.
* ^ 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
OCLC 60255819 . Retrieved 22 July 2009.
* ^ Hayes (1964) p. 220
* ^ Childe, V. Gordon (1953), New Light on the Most Ancient Near
East, (Praeger Publications)
* ^ 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
Universities, University College London. Archived from the original on
28 March 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
* ^ A B Shaw (2002) p. 61
* ^ Emberling, Geoff (2011). Nubia: Ancient Kingdoms of Africa. New
York: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. p. 8. ISBN
* ^ "The
Qustul Incense Burner".
* ^ "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
* ^ 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 )
* ^ "Hatshepsut". Digital
Egypt for Universities, University
College London. Archived from the original on 18 November 2007.
Retrieved 9 December 2007.
* ^ Clayton (1994) p. 108
* ^ 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
* ^ 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 interpretation."
* ^ James (2005) p. 54
* ^ Cerny (1975) p. 645
* ^ Emberling, Geoff (2011). Nubia: Ancient Kingdoms of Africa. New
York, NY: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU. pp.
9–10. ISBN 978-0-615-48102-9 .
* ^ "Tomb reveals Ancient Egypt\'s humiliating secret". Daily
Times, Pakistan. 29 July 2003. Archived from the original on 5
November 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
Herodotus (2003). The Histories. Penguin Books. pp. 106–107,
133–134,. ISBN 978-0-14-044908-2 .
* ^ Shaw (2002) p. 345
Herodotus (2003). The Histories. Penguin Books. pp. 151–158.
ISBN 978-0-14-044908-2 .
* ^ Diop, Cheikh Anta (1974). The African Origin of Civilization.
Chicago, Illinois: Lawrence Hill Books. pp. 219–221. ISBN
* ^ Bonnet, Charles (2006). The Nubian Pharaohs. New York: The
American University in Cairo Press. pp. 142–154. ISBN
* ^ A B Mokhtar, G. (1990). General History of Africa. California,
USA: University of California Press. pp. 161–163. ISBN 0-520-06697-9
* ^ A B Emberling, Geoff (2011). Nubia: Ancient Kingdoms of Africa.
New York: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. pp. 9–11.
* ^ A B Silverman, David (1997). Ancient Egypt. New York: Oxford
University Press. pp. 36–37. ISBN 0-19-521270-3 .
A. Leo Oppenheim (1964), Ancient Mesopotamia
* ^ Aubin, Henry T. (2002). The Rescue of Jerusalem. New York, NY:
Soho Press, Inc. pp. 6–13. ISBN 1-56947-275-0 .
* ^ Aubin, Henry T. (2002). The Rescue of Jerusalem. New York, NY:
Soho Press, Inc. pp. 152–153. ISBN 1-56947-275-0 .
* ^ A B
Georges Roux (1964), Ancient Iraq
* ^ Aubin, Henry T. (2002). The Rescue of Jerusalem. New York, NY:
Soho Press, Inc. p. 160. ISBN 1-56947-275-0 .
* ^ George Roux - Ancient Iraq
* ^ Esharhaddon's Syrio-Palestinian Campaign
Georges Roux (1964), Ancient Iraq, pp 330–332
* ^ 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
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 .
Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution and the National Science
Foundation. pp. 83–95. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link
* ^ 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.
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* ^ Scheel (1989) p. 14
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* ^ Shaw (2002) p. 72
* ^ Naomi Porat and Edwin van den Brink (editor), "An Egyptian
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* ^ Naomi Porat, "Local Industry of Egyptian Pottery in Southern
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* ^ Loprieno (2005) p. 2147
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* ^ 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,
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* ^ Lichtheim (1980) p. 159
* ^ Manuelian (1998) p. 401
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* ^ "Music in Ancient Egypt". Digital
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* ^ 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
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* ^ Manuelian (1998) pp. 399–400
* ^ Clarke (1990) pp. 94–7
* ^ Badawy (1968) p. 50
* ^ "Types of temples in ancient Egypt". Digital
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* ^ Dodson (1991) p. 23
* ^ 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",
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* ^ Wasserman, et al. (1994) pp. 150–3
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* ^ "Mummies and Mummification: Late Period, Ptolemaic, Roman and
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* ^ 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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* ^ Full version at Met Museum
* ^ Understanding of
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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
* ^ Marincola, John (2001). Greek Historians. Oxford University
Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-19-922501-9 .
* ^ Fehling, Detlev (1994). "The art of
Herodotus and the margins
of the world". In Z. R. W. M. von Martels. Travel Fact and Travel
Fiction: Studies on Fiction, Literary Tradition, Scholarly Discovery,
and Observation in Travel Writing. Brill's studies in intellectual
history. 55. Leiden: Brill. p. 13. ISBN 9789004101128 .
* ^ Boedeker, Deborah (2000). "Herodotus' genre(s)". In Mary Depew
& Dirk Obbink. Matrices of Genre: Authors, Canons, and Society.
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* ^ Robin Waterfield, Carolyn Dewald (1998). The Histories. Oxford:
Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192824252 .
* ^ Wade, L. (2017). "Egyptian mummy DNA, at last". Science . 356
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* ^ Siliotti (1998) p. 8
* ^ Siliotti (1998) p. 10
* ^ El-Daly (2005) p. 112
* ^ Siliotti (1998) p. 13
* ^ Siliotti (1998) p. 100
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