Ancient Egypt spanned nearly 3,000 years. To better understand the ebb and flow of this vibrant civilization, Egyptologists introduced three clusters, splitting this vast period of time firstly into the Old Kingdom...
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.