- Slides: 11
Geography The ancient Egyptians thought of Egypt as being divided into two types of land, the 'black land' and the 'red land'.
The 'black land' was the fertile land on the banks of the Nile. The ancient Egyptians used this land for growing their crops. This was the only land in ancient Egypt that could be farmed because a layer of rich, black silt was deposited there every year after the Nile flooded. The 'red land' was the barren desert that protected Egypt on two sides. These deserts separated ancient Egypt from neighbouring countries and invading armies. They also provided the ancient Egyptians with a source for precious metals and semi-precious stones.
Ancient Egypt was divided into two kingdoms, known as Upper and Lower Egypt. The pharaohs were known as the rulers of the Two Kingdoms. Lower Egypt is to the north and is that part where the Nile Delta drains into the Mediterranean Sea. Upper Egypt is to the south from the Libyan desert down to just past Abu Simbel.
Around 3100 BC, two kingdoms that had grown up along the Nile river were united when the ruler of Upper Egypt conquered the kingdom in Lower Egypt. Thus began what is now generally accepted as the first of at least 30 Egyptian dynasties. Ancient Egyptian dynasties are grouped into periods of stability referred to as 'kingdoms' and periods of fragmentation and chaos referred to as 'intermediate periods'.
The Old Kingdom "The Age of the Pyramids" The ancient Egyptians built pyramids as tombs for the pharaohs and their queens. The pharaohs were buried in pyramids of many different shapes and sizes from before the beginning of the Old Kingdom to the end of the Middle Kingdom. There about eighty pyramids known today from ancient Egypt. The three largest and best-preserved of these were built at Giza at the beginning of the Old Kingdom. The most well-known of these pyramids was built for the pharaoh Khufu. It is known as the 'Great Pyramid'.
The Old Kingdom (c. 2600 - c. 2150 BC) The Old Kingdom lasted approximately 500 years and is sometimes called the "Age of Pyramids". (The Old Kingdom includes the 4 th through the 8 th dynasties. ) Great achievements in art and architecture were realized including the completion of 20 major pyramids. During this time, the kings of Egypt were totalitarian dictators owning all land, minerals and water. The kings shared these resources with the people in return for taxes and obedience.
The Middle Kingdom (1938 – c. 1600 BC) After a century and a half of conflict, Thebian nobles reunited Egypt. During this time period the king had less absolute power and more emphasis was placed on concepts of justice. Unlike the Old Kingdom the Egyptian religion began to accept the idea that the afterlife was for the common people as well as the king. The Middle Kingdom includes the 12 th and 13 th dynasties.
Reflect and Analyze PAGE 83 QUESTIONS: # 1, 2, 3 a & b