Portal:Ancient Egypt

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THE ANCIENT EGYPT PORTAL

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The golden funeral mask of king Tutankhamun, a symbol for many of ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100  BC (according to conventional Egyptian chronology) with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes (often identified with Narmer). The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power in the New Kingdom, ruling much of Nubia and a sizable portion of the Near East, after which it entered a period of slow decline. During the course of its history Egypt was invaded or conquered by a number of foreign powers, including the Hyksos, the Libyans, the Nubians, the Assyrians, the Achaemenid Persians, and the Macedonians under the command of Alexander the Great. The Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom, formed in the aftermath of Alexander's death, ruled Egypt until 30 BC, when, under Cleopatra, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province.

The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came partly from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense population, and social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, and a military intended to assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, and administrators under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs. [1]

The many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the quarrying, surveying and construction techniques that supported the building of monumental pyramids, temples, and obelisks; a system of mathematics, a practical and effective system of medicine, irrigation systems and agricultural production techniques, the first known planked boats, Egyptian faience and glass technology, new forms of literature, and the earliest known peace treaty, made with the Hittites. Ancient Egypt has left a lasting legacy. Its art and architecture were widely copied, and its antiquities carried off to far corners of the world. Its monumental ruins have inspired the imaginations of travelers and writers for millennia. A newfound respect for antiquities and excavations in the early modern period by Europeans and Egyptians led to the scientific investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater appreciation of its cultural legacy. ( Full article...)

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Ruined pyramid with a deep black depression at the center of the base of the pyramid.
North side of the pyramid with the entrance to the subterranean structures

The pyramid complex of Userkaf was built c. 2490 BC for the pharaoh Userkaf (reigned 2494–2487 BC), founder of the 5th Dynasty of Egypt (c. 2494–2345 BC). It is located in the pyramid field at Saqqara, on the north-east of the step pyramid of Djoser (reigned c. 2670 BC). Constructed in dressed stone with a core of rubble, the pyramid is now ruined and resembles a conical hill in the sands of Saqqara. For this reason, it is known locally as El-Haram el-Maharbish, the "Heap of Stone", and was recognized as a royal pyramid by western archaeologists in the 19th century.

Userkaf's pyramid is part of a larger mortuary complex comprising a mortuary temple, an offering chapel and a cult pyramid as well as separate pyramid and mortuary temple for Userkaf's wife, queen Neferhetepes. Userkaf's mortuary temple and cult pyramid are today completely ruined and difficult to recognize. The pyramid of the queen is no more than a mound of rubble, with its funerary chamber exposed by stone robbers. ( Full article...)

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Egyptian camel transport3.jpg
Credit: American Colony Jerusalem

Although the camel was known in ancient Egypt from the time of the New Kingdom, it was not used as a beast of burden until the Late Period.

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News

5th September 2018. At Lisht was discovered a rock cut tomb of an Egyptian official, dating to the 12th Dynasty. Rock-cut Tomb in a 4000-year-old Elite Cemetery Discovered


26th August 2018 An Egyptian team under the direction of Fahima El Nahas discovered several Ptolemaic tombs in the west of Alexandria. Ptolemaic rock-cut tombs discovered in Alexandria


August 2018: in the tomb of the mayor of Memphis Ptahmose who dates around 1300 BC was found well preserved cheese, more than 3000 years old. [1]

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Tutankhamun's golden mask

Tutankhamun ( /ˌttənkɑːˈmn/, Ancient Egyptian: twt-ꜥnḫ-jmn), Egyptological pronunciation Tutankhamen ( /ˌttənˈkɑːmɛn/) ( c. 1341 – c. 1323 BC), commonly referred to as King Tut, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who was the last of his royal family to rule during the end of the 18th Dynasty (ruled c. 1332 – 1323 BC in the conventional chronology) during the New Kingdom of Egyptian history. His father was the mummy found in the tomb KV55, believed to be the pharaoh Akhenaten. His mother is his father's sister, identified through DNA testing as an unknown mummy referred to as " The Younger Lady" who was found in KV35.

Tutankhamun took the throne at eight or nine years of age under the unprecedented viziership of his eventual successor, Ay, to whom he may have been related. He married his half sister Ankhesenamun. During their marriage they lost two daughters, one at 5–6 months of pregnancy and the other shortly after birth at full-term. His names—Tutankhaten and Tutankhamun—are thought to mean "Living image of Aten" and "Living image of Amun", with Aten replaced by Amun after Akhenaten's death. A small number of Egyptologists, including Battiscombe Gunn, believe the translation may be incorrect and closer to "The-life-of-Aten-is-pleasing" or, as Professor Gerhard Fecht believes, reads as "One-perfect-of-life-is-Aten". ( Full article...)

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Sources

  1. ^ James (2005), p. 8; Manuelian (1998), pp. 6–7.

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