Egypt Notes

Chap 3: Egypt

  1. The Nile
    1. 4,000 mile river that runs north through east Africa and dumps into the Mediterranean
    2. Nubia
      1. A region on the upper part (south) of the nile
      2. Contains six important rapids that impede travel
      3. Upper Nubia
        1. More rain that allowed for a good harvest
        2. Land only fertile within 2 mi. Of the river
      4. Lower Nubia
        1. Steep mtns and the fell along the Nile
        2. Dry and infertile
          1. Had to live very close to the river
    3. Egypt
      1. Upper Egypt
        1. 6 miles of fertile land on either side of the Nile
      2. Lower Egypt
        1. Large marshy fertile land surrounded by desert
        2. Ends in a large fertile delta
          1. A plain at the mouth of a river where water deposits into a larger source
    4. Geography
      1. The Nile allowed for extremely fertile land
        1. As water arrived to the river from the source it would carry deposits of silt
          1. Silt is fine fertile soil
        2. The silt would be carried down river and deposit on the banks
        3. Flooding was consistent and not extreme (unlike Mesopotamia)
      2. The Desert
        1. Egypt is surrounded by extremely hot and uninhabitable desert
        2. Allowed for a natural protection from invasion
  2. Kingdom overview
    1. Egypt is governed by a pharaoh
      1. God-King who hold absolute power of Egypt 
      2. The earthly form of Horus and Re(sun god)
      3. Responsible for the Nile flooding every year
    2. 3 traditional crowns
      1. Red crown of lower Egypt
      2. White crown of upper Egypt
      3. Blue crown for ceremonies and battle
    3. Unification of Egypt
      1. Upper and lower Egypt are first unified under Menes around 3100 BC
      2. Establishes capital at Memphis 
    4. Egypt is historically organized in three groups of dynasties
      1. Old kingdom
        1. Known for peaceful trade 
      2. Middle Kingdom
        1. Invested heavily in public works and city development
          1. Including irrigation
      3. New kingdom
        1. Marked by conquest and military advancement
        2. Bronze weapons and charioteers 
  3. Old Kingdom (2660-2180BC)
    1. Development of Religion
      1. Polytheistic
        1. Principle gods include; 
          1. Amon-creator of existence and the world
          2. Re/Ra- sun-god, creator of life
            1. Horus- the falcon god
            2. Horus united egypt and bestowed divinity on the Pharaoh
          3. Osiris- god of fertility, god of the dead
          4. Isis- who brought Osiris back to life each year
          5. Anubis- god of mummification
      2. Cycle of Life in Egypt
        1. Due to the dryness of Egypt, things didn’t decay/change quickly
        2. The Nile flooded consistently 
        3. Thus there was a sense of permanence in the world
        4. Death was therefore another part of the cycle, and life and death were closely united
      3. Pharaoh
        1. Means “great house”
          1. Thus they deserved to be surrounded by wealth
        2. The human form of Horus
        3. Communicated the link between the gods and the people
        4. Upon death, joins and unites with Horus
    2. Pyramids
      1. Begins with Pyramid of Djoser
        1. A stepped pyramid
        2. First Pharaoh of the 3rd Dynasty
      2. The great Pyramids
        1. The Great Pyramid of Giza- Khufu (2589-2556BC)
          1. Largest of the pyramids in egypt
        2. Pyramid of Khafre
          1. Second largest in Egypt
          2. Includes the construction of the Sphinx
        3. Pyramid of Menkaure
          1. Rebuilt by the 6th dynasty after a flood
          2. Sophisticated and complex sculptures
  4. Middle Kingdom (2080-1640BC)
    1. 1st Intermediate Period
      1. Egypt split between 10th and 11th Dynasties
      2. resolved when Mentuhotep II of the 11th dynasty ambushed and killed the 10th Dynastic leader (2055BC)
    2. 11th Dynasty
      1. Mentuhotep II reunited Egypt
      2. His reign and his son’s, Mentuhotep III, are both successful.
        1. They built forts and reinforced northern boundaries
    3. 12th Dynasty
      1. Amenemhet I was military advisor to Mentuhotep IV, then led a revolt to overthrow him
      2. Built a new capital, Amenemhet Itj Tawy
      3. Nomes
        1. Egyptian Governors
        2. Amenemhet tried to reduce their power but ended up creating a feudal system
      4. Coregent
        1. Beginning with Amenemhet and his son Senusret I
        2. A system of the Pharaoh appointing one of his sons to co-rule the kingdom
        3. Becomes standard in the New Kingdom
      5. Later descendants, Senusret III and Amenemhet III greatly strengthened Egypt
        1. Construction of the canals to the Faiyum
        2. Invaded Lower Nubia and built large fortresses there
        3. Control Nubian trade
        4. Reconstruct canals around the lower cataracts
      6. Decline
        1. Amenemhet IV was a weak leader
        2. Egyptian cities were cut off from the rest of the nation
        3. Crop failures and Nile troubles
        4. Sobeknefru (1st female Pharaoh) ruled for 4 years but dies with no heir
        5. The 13th Dynasty will rule briefly before being overthrown by the Hyksos (15th) and the rulers of Xios (14th)
  5. The New Kingdom (1570-1075BC)
    1. Hyksos Invasion (2nd Intermediate Period [1640-1570BC])
      1. Hyksos population grew large enough to take over egyptians
        1. Hyksos brought many new technologies
          1. Bronze- much stronger than copper
          2. Armor and chariots
          3. Composite bows