Ancient EgyptIts Rise And Fall
During 12,000 B.C. early hunter-gatherers had appeared to have moved into the Nile River Valley. Through time, these groups turned to farming and formed settlements along the river. This was the beginning of the Ancient Egyptian empire. Throughout this empire many scientific advancements were made in mathematics and science alike. Many monuments were built in Giza and Luxor that still stand as monuments in the eternal desert sands today. In this period of history the idea of mummification came about which was to dehydrate a body and prepare them for there eternal sleep in the afterlife which took about 105 day. This was usually done to a pharaohs who had the wealth to build a pyramid. This was a very important part in history which was why it was one of the most known civilizations to man.
A. The dynasties of the pharaohs
Over many centuries there were strong leaders that helped to unite early Egyptian settlements. Through these rulers two kingdoms were born-Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. The form of government in these kingdoms was a monarchy where the king or queen rules the kingdom. Throughout this time period many kings and Queens led Egypt like Ramses II and Hatshepsut. many wars broke out and many conflicts were solved due to the power of the current king or Queen. This is one way that each kingdom was diverse in many ways.Upper Egypt laid South from the Mediterranean Sea which was along the upper Nile River. Lower Egypt was north of that at the Nile River Delta. Sometime around 3200 B.C. a ruler from Upper Egypt named Menes united all Egypt into one Kingdom. This increased Egypt's power and prosperity. Later on Egyptian rulers took the title of pharaoh which meant “great house” after the luxurious houses they dwelled in. Menes also founded a dynasty which was a family of rulers in which the right to rule passes on within the family usually from father to son or father to daughter.
1. Old Kingdom
The old kingdom lasted from about 2650 to 2180 B.C. This is the period when many important developments in science and the arts took place. One example of their great accomplishments are the mighty pyramids that still stand in the Egyptian sands today. Around this time is when the upper class of Egypt consisted of the pharaoh, the royal family, and the priests and officials who helped govern the city. These were the people who usually had pyramids built for them. A pyramid is a large building where mummified bodies were placed. These pyramids were triangular and were almost geometrically perfect. Scientists and archeologists are still amazed on how they were built. The bodies that were placed in these pyramids were first taken through the long process of mummification. This process involved removing the untrails of the deceased and placing them in canopic jars. Then the body was left to dehydrate in salt for many day. Then frankincense was placed in the body after dehydration. After that the body was wrapped in linen and placed in the sarcophagus in the pyramid. around the tomb were placed objects that the dead could use in the after life such as chariots and even boats. These tombs were very luxurious while the tombs of the peasants were nothing but a hole in the ground. The peasants and farmers who stood for most of the population were considered the lower class. The lower class owed the pharaohs certain services, such as duty in the army or work on the pyramids and irrigation systems. Near the end of the old kingdom the group of upper class Egyptians gradually became a hereditary group of noble which grew stronger as the pharaohs grew weaker. Throughout the last 100 years of the old kingdom civil wars divided the country as rivals claimed the thrown.
2. First intermediate period
The first intermediate period is one of two intermediate periods. This period is when a series of weak pharaohs ruled Egypt. During this time many invasions and civil wars occurred throughout Egypt. Most of Egypt was in conflict and was very difficult to control. That is a reason why the rulers were so weak for a long period of time and were not able to re-establish order. Since the kingdom was broken apart during the old kingdom this period was very hard to control and that is one reason why the pharaohs in this period were weak. During this period there was also widespread famine due to low Nile floods. This period lasted from 2134 to 2040 until the Middle kingdom was created.
3. Middle Kingdom
The Middle Kingdom was a time of rebirth for Egypt. There was a new line of pharaohs that reunited Egypt. Once again the hereditary class of nobles and priests weakened the power of the pharaoh. There were many rivalries and conflicts that divided the power of the middle kingdom and caused it to fall into disorder around 1780 B.C. Around 1650 B.C. an Asiatic people known as the Hyksos overwhelmed the Egyptians. According to records of Egypt hundreds of years later the savage and warlike Hyksos savagely invaded Lower Egypt. Some scholars belive that the nomadic Hyksos migrated to the Nile River Delta around the year of 1800B.C. In the confusion following the collapse of the Middle Kingdom the Hysos became the most powerful people in the region and ruled most of Lower Egypt for more than 100 years. This period is also when trade was revised. The rebirth of trade helped to re-establish Egypt. There were also the organization of canals and reservoirs that helped the economy of Egypt greatly. This middle Kingdom lasted until the start of the second intermediate period.
4. Second intermediate period
The second intermediate period began around 1640B.C. and ended around 1550B.C. this is a period when pharaohs lost complete control of the thrown. There was very little power to the thrown due to the many civil wars breaking up the kingdom of Egypt. This is also the period in when the Hyksos from the east started to settle in the delta region of the Nile River Valley. The Hyksos were taking over Egypt and starting to settle and create kingdoms of there own. The Hyksos created some of the most powerful kingdoms known to the Egyptians such as that of the rule of Ramses II. Ramses II was also known as Ramses The Great since he was considered such a great ruler for being the one who drove the Hyksos from Egypt and built many monuments and temples throughout his empire of Egypt.
5. New Kingdom
The new kingdom started right after the second intermediate period in 1550 B.C. and lasted until 1070 B.C.this is the period in when the Hyksos were driven out of Egypt by an army forged by many leaders in Upper Egypt. A strong line of pharaohs from the city of Thebes which is a city far up the Nile ruled and reunited Egypt. This is when Egypt frontired to for an empire. An empire is a form of government in which a single individual or a single people rules over many other peoples and their territories. This empire stretched from along the eastern end of the Mediterranean to Nubia in the south. The ruler who helped to restore Egypt to become a lavish empire was Ramses II. He helped to expand Egypt using his power and army. He was also know as Ramses the Great since he was considered such a good king. Another reason why he was considered a great king was that he built monuments and temples throughout the empire. With the vast army that Egypt had it was easier to conquer territory than to rule and keep it. Some times they allowed the local prince of the conquered region to act as governor and to insure his loyalty they took his sons and brothers to be trained at the place of Thebes as hostages. Only strong pharaohs could hold the empire together since whenever a part of the government of Egypt showed some signs og weakness some parts of the empire would revolt and try to break away. Another important thing that happened in the new kingdom was the introduction of monotheism. Monotheism is the belief in one god instead of the prior religion which was called polytheism which was the belief in many gods like ancient Roman and Greek cultures. This religion would forever change the world to help it become what it is today. If it wasn't for the creation of monotheism than we would still be worshiping many gods today such as the god of wine who was Dionysos in the Greek culture.
6. Third intermediate period
This period wasn't so much of and intermediate period but more of the fall of the Egyptian empire. Ramses the Great was a great king but his descendants weren't. The did not have the ruing skills like Ramses did so the empire he worked to build from a fallen kingdom began to break-apart and fall again like so many before that. . This is when Egypt slowly fell into decline. Many early records from this time say that there was an upheaval in the Eastern Mediterranean. Armies from Nubia, Assyria, and Persia invaded and ravaged Egypt. Egypt was so overwhelmed in attacks from many different forces that it was beginning to fall into ruin. Egypt was no longer the major imperial power that it once was but just a mere shadow of its former self as dynasties of Egyptian pharaohs continued to reign. It was not until around the 300’s B.C. that the rule in Egypt by Egyptians was finally at an end after thousands of years. Many years later Napoleons army invaded Egypt and took it over. A year after that one of his soldiers stumbled upon the Rosetta stone which helps to translate the Egyptian language. The discovery of this helps us to understand how Egypt was thousands of years ago. If it wasn't for this discovery we would not know as much about Egypt as we know now. We still don't know everything about Ancient Egypt and that is how large that it was that many of its mysteries are still unsolved to this day. Two mysteries of Egypt are the pyramids and how they were built and what purpose was the Sphinx. Many scholars debate on where the stone that was used to build the pyramids. Many of these stones had a weight of over thousands of pounds and would have been nearly impossible to transport to Egypt. Another mystery of the pyramids is how they were so exactly well built. They were so geometrically perfect that with all the technology that is current in this day and age it would be impossible to rebuild a pyramid as exact as they were.
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