Ancient History of Egypt

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Hyksos
foreigners from the Middle East; Ruled from Avaris (belonged to cult of Seth); without control of all of Egypt, Kings of the shepherds, captured Memphis and founded city in the nome of Seth, conquer Egyptians
Rosetta Stone
o 3 languages: Demotic, Greek, Hieroglyphics
o Discovered by Napoleon’s conquest
o Attributed to the translation of Hieroglyphics
o Ptolemy Period
The Pyramids at Giza
Khufu (Cheops in Greek) = biggest pyramid; Khafra (his son) = close in size; Menkaura (his grandson) = small
The Cult of Seth
Seth = Egyptian god of chaos; god of desert, storms, war; Hyksos followed this cult –> often times followed during intermediate periods
Ma’at
concept in Egyptian culture; when everything in order, balance and unified; this is the duty of the king due to his military and religious standing; signifies king is central for everyday life and also is in the grand scheme and that Egyptian culture prioritized unification of state
The White and Red Crowns
White = Upper Egypt; Red = lower Egypt –> Palette of Narmer depicts crowns
Palette of Narmer
first royal inscriptions from Egypt; king from Upper Egypt beating a man from lower Egypt with a mace; a falcon (representing Horus) is perched holding a papyrus plant around a man’s neck = handing over Delta to king; backside portrays same king with red crown of Lower Egypt standing over decapitated bodies; significant because it portrays unification of Egypt and hints that a battle was necessary
Step Pyramid
3rd dynasty – Djoser was first to use this type of mortuary complex; Imhotep was the architect responsible
Egyptian Languages
a. Old Egyptian (2650 – 2100) = Funerary
b. Middle Egyptian (2100 – 1785) = Spoken during this time; used again during Graeco-Roman period for monumental inscriptions
c. Late Egyptian (1500 – 700) = Vernacular; Business documents/letters/stories
d. Demotic (700 BC – 470 AD) = Documents until late Roman times
e. Coptic (3rd cent) = Used by Christians
The Giza Pyramid Kings – Khufu, Khafra, Menkaura
Khufu – portrayed by Greeks as Cheops; dictator, built the largest mortuary complex known to man
Khafra – built a slightly smaller pyramid
Menkaura – portrayed as generous leader; smallest pyramid of all
Imhotep
important architect; created the step pyramid; reproduced in stone what was already being built in mud brick, reed, and papyrus
Tomb U-J at Abydos
still contained many bone and ivory objects from all parts of Egypt indicating trade from within Egypt (Abydos) and also to areas outside of Egypt
Valley of the Kings
valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, tombs were constructed for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom
Aswan Dam/City of Aswan
experienced famine because of natural effects of Nile flow; built dam to ensure irrigation and stop flooding
Hierakonpolis
Palette of Narmer was excavated here; the religious and political capital of Upper Egypt at the end of the Predynastic period; in the first intermediate period •Ankhtifi was the nomarch and supporter of the pharaoh in Hekaleopolis (10th dynasty) and extensively decorated his tomb at El-Mo’alla and inscribed the tomb’s walls with his autobiography which details his initiatives in re-establishing order in the land
Symbols of papyrus and lotus
papyrus -> Lower Egypt; lotus -> Upper Egypt; often depicted together signify unity
Sed/Sed Festivals
Festival necessary in order to renew kingship or continued role of Pharaoh
Amun-Ra
started from cult of Amun in Thebes –> connected with Ra to form a super god that was important to Egyptian culture; nationally recognized after Thebes (Ahmose I) defeated the Hyksos
Nome Gods
Ra – Sun god
Horus – god of kingship
Seth – god of chaos/war/desert
Min – god of fertility
Nut – god of sky
Isis – goddess of motherhood
Nubians in Art
always portrayed as inferior; if ever in control, was perceived as negative time period of chaos
Serekh
Upright relief rectangle into which the name of a king was written with a vertical patterns in the bottom half. Depiction of Falcon (Horus)
Ostracon
broken pieces of stone in the Middle Kingdom; entire tale of Sinuhe was written on ostracon
Itj-tawi
capital of 12th dynasty onwards; Amenemhat – the Seizer of the Two Lands;
Avaris
13th dynasty (MK) Itj-Tawi, led by Kendjer becomes weak and leads to rise of 14th Dynasty (2nd IP) and this to become capital; Hyksos take this as capital in 15th dynasty
Palermo Stone
Made in the Old Kingdom -5th Dynasty; List of kings from the 1st – early 5th Dynasty
King’s List
Turin; the papyrus is the most extensive list available of kings compiled by the Egyptians
Unification of Egypt
Cataract
obstruction in Nile; river too shallow and resulted in small white water rapids over boulders
Manetho
Egyptian historian and priest who lived during the Ptolemaic era; Tells the story of Egypt in Greek to the royal Greeks; Most organized and detailed list of Egyptians kings by reign; Wrote the Aegyptiaca
Sneferu
had three pyramids – medium (step pyramid); bent (failed pyramid); red (first real pyramid) in Dahshur
Saqqara
vast, ancient burial ground in Egypt, serving as the necropolis for the Ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis;
Naqada Period
Naqada III is coterminous with the so-called Protodynastic Period of Ancient Egypt; unification of Egypt starting; Hierakonpolis, Naqada, Abydos are three main cities before kingdom
Prophecy of Neferty
Pseudo prophecy justifying rise of 12th dynasty king “Ameny” (Amenenhat). Important because it reflects use of propaganda.
Thebes
city in Upper Egypt that served as political pole during centralized time of power; capital during the 1st Intermediate Period (competing against Heracleopolis) and part of the Middle Kingdom; Center for religious cult of Amun-Ra; show centralization can easily fall to regional powers
Tale of Sinuhe
written on ostracon; story involved offical who ran away, fought rebel forces, lived in tribes, came back to be buried in Egypt. Significance: Egypt is the best; importance of death and burial in Egypt
cartouche
an oval with a horizontal line at one end, indicating that the text enclosed is a royal name, coming into use during the beginning of the Fourth Dynasty under Pharaoh Sneferu
Categories: Ancient