Give Me History

Ancient Egypt

Ancient History > Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptian Pyramids

Ancient Egypt was one of the most influential times in all of world history. Spanning over 3000 years, it became a civilization that has continued to stand out as a time of tremendous power.

At the height of its glory, Ancient Egypt elongated from what is today known as Syria in The Middle East, down through the country of Sudan in Africa. However long before it was a great empire, Ancient Egypt was a series of city states that were concentrated along the Nile River. This area was divided into what was called Lower and Upper Egypt, according to the flow of the Nile. It was around the year 3100BC that these two halves became united as one and would remain a stronghold for a thousand years.

The history of Ancient Egypt is divided into the three periods of great prosperity, known as The Old, Middle and New Kingdoms from 2575BC to 1075BC. There were also two eras of instability that became known as The First and The Second Intermediate.

Throughout its time, Ancient Egypt was governed by over three hundred rulers, who later became known as Pharaohs. Pharaohs could be either men or women and they were looked upon as people who would safeguard their people and their land.  When a Pharaoh’s life ended it was believed that they passed on to an afterlife, where they would assume the form of Gods and Goddesses. In order to prepare for this, immense preparations were made. Structures built with limestone, known as pyramids, were constructed with underground mausoleums and burial chambers. These tombs were filled with everything a Pharaoh would need in their next life, such as food, gold, jewelry, even their pets. In order to prepare a Pharaoh’s body, the Ancient Egyptians practiced a preparation called mummification. During this process, all the internal organs, as well as any moisture, was removed from the body, leaving only a dried out shell that would stay so well preserved that they can still be observed today. The bodies were then placed in a box like structure known as a sarcophagus. This ritual of preparing for death was a true testament of the enormous importance religion had to the Egyptian people.

The Ancient Egyptians were innovative pioneers in the dynamics of mathematics. They invented and used a system built on the cubit, which was a measure of length. Cubits were used successfully and enabled the Egyptians to design and construct the great pyramids such as Giza, and Khafre. The Egyptians also applied astronomy to measure time and were the first people to devise and use the 365 day calendar. These methods were also used to survey and measure the land around the Nile River. The Egyptian people proved themselves to be great engineers who designed and manufactured dams and canals. They were also able to understand and utilize the irrigation system of the Nile which allowed their farming and agriculture to flourish.

The Egyptian people also developed a system of written language during The Old Kingdom known as hieroglyphics. This language was essentially a series of symbols that lined many of the tombs and also marked the abundance of pottery that was crafted. Overtime, hieroglyphics would develop into a cursive like language known as Hieratic Script. The people would use this script to write on a paper like product made from the papyrus plant. This paved the way for the Ancient Egyptians to develop a system of record keeping that would cause the Egyptian culture to spread.

Although the Ancient Egyptian people would eventually be conquered by the Romans and the Persians, they left behind a civilization that to this day remains one of the most iconic and fascinating in history.

The Great Pyramid of Giza or Kheops-Pyramid

Great Pyramid of Giza

Anyone who has ever gazed upon the Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or Cheops) can only stand in awe of the amazing achievement of its builders. From the Fourth Dynasty Pharaoh Khufu to its...

Relief of Thutmose II.

Thutmose II

Thutmose II who is believed by Egyptologists to have reigned from c. 1493 to 1479 BC. He was the 18th dynasty’s (c. 1549/1550 to 1292 BC) 4th pharaoh. This was an era in which ancient Egypt rose to the peak of its...

The wall decorations within Tutankhamun's Tomb.

Tomb of Tutankhamun

Today, Tutankhamun’s tomb is considered to be one of the world’s great art treasures. When his burial items go on tour, they continue to draw record crowds. Its fame is due in no small part to the grave goods in King...

The Mask of Tutankhamun.

Tutankhamun

Few Pharaohs have captured the public imagination over succeeding generations than the young Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Ever since Howard Carter discovered his tomb in 1922, the world has been enthralled with the splendour...

Egyptian wrestling scene.

Ancient Egyptian Sports

People have played sports seemingly since the dawn of time when the first cities and organized civilisations emerged. Unsurprisingly, ancient Egyptians enjoyed both individual and team sports. Just as ancient Greece had...

Queen Nefertari.

Queen Nefertari

Nefertari means ‘beautiful companion’ and was the first of Rameses the Great’s Great Royal Wives. Known also as Nefertari Meritmutor or ‘Beloved of the goddess Mut’ Nefertari is one of Egypt’s...

Nefertiti bust.

Nefertiti Bust

Surely one of the most enigmatic examples of ancient Egyptian art ever to come down to us through the passing centuries is the bust of Queen Nefertiti, the Pharaoh Akhenaten’s Great Royal Wife. Today she gazes unseeing...

The Eye of Horus or Ra.

The Eye of Ra

In ancient Egyptian religious lore, the Eye of Ra is an entity representing a female analog to Ra Egypts sun god. When unleashed it is a violent force able to subdue Ra’s enemies. The Eye is likened to the sun’s disk...

Roman Emperor Augustus.

Egypt Under Roman Rule

Cleopatra VII Philopator was the last Queen of Egypt and its last pharaoh. Her death in 30 BCE brought to an end over 3,000 years of an often glorious and creative Egyptian culture. Following Cleopatra VII’s suicide...

Ancient Egyptian Fashion

Ancient Egyptian Fashion

Fashion amongst the ancient Egyptians tended to be straightforward, practical and uniformly unisex. Egyptian society viewed men and women as equals. Hence, both sexes for the majority of Egypt’s population wore similar...

Cartouche in the Temple of Horus at Edfu. The inscribed name is Cleopatra.

Cartouche Hieroglyphics

An ancient Egyptian cartouche is an oval frame containing the hieroglyphs comprising the name of a God, a member of the aristocracy or a senior court official. Stylistically, a cartouche is designed to represent a loop...

Depicts the battles and conquests of Ramses II.

Pharaoh Ramses II

Ramses II (c. 1279-1213 BCE) was the third pharaoh of Egypt’s 19th Dynasty (c. 1292-1186 BCE). Egyptologists frequently acknowledge Ramses II as perhaps the most celebrated, most powerful and the greatest pharaoh of the...

Publicity photo of Claudette Colbert for the film Cleopatra.

Ancient Egyptian Queens

When we think of the Queens of Egypt the seductive allure of Cleopatra or Nefertiti’s enigmatic bust typically springs to mind. Yet the story of Egypt’s Queens is more complex than popular stereotypes would have us...

Amun Court in Hatshepsut Temple.

Hatshepsut

While she was neither Egypt‘s first female ruler, nor its only female pharaoh, Hatshepsut (1479-1458 BCE) was ancient Egypt ‘s first female ruler to reign as a male with the full authority of a pharaoh’s office. The...

The Pharaon Tutankhamun destroying his enemies.

Ancient Egyptian Warfare

Strategically, Egypt was blessed with imposing natural defensive lines. Egypt’s swath of desert made the country a difficult target for invasion. The Mediterranean Sea protected Egypt’s northern border while the five...