Section 4: Ancient Egyptian Culture Most of what we know about Egyptians is based on painting that cover the walls of tombs and temples. Social classes: Society resembled a Pyramid. Pharaoh Upper class Priests, pharaohs court Middle Class
Merchants and skilled workers Peasants Farm labor, build roads and temples Slavery Prisoners captured in war were made slaves. They were a separate class and it was not very large. They still had rights: Could own personal
items, and inherit land from masters and could be set free. Peasants Could own land but most worked the land of the wealthy. Flood season they worked on roads, temples and other buildings. After flood they would plant the field. One worker would use an oxen to plow the field while another would plant the seeds. Harvest season was very busy for everyone and
they worked from sundown to sunset. When season was over they feasteed and celebrated. Women of Egypt They were the living model of Isis, the wife of god Osiris. Had most of the rights that men had: Own property, run businesses, and enter legal contracts. They also traveled freely. The paintings show them supervising farm work
and hunting. They performed many roles such as priestess and dancer. Writing in Egypt Things were written down in picture like symbols called hieroglyphs. Sometimes symbols stood for ideas such as a picture of two legs is Go. Others stand for sounds such as an owl is M. They began using Hieroglyphs because they had to keep track of the kingdoms
wealth. Writing Materials At first the Egyptians write on clay and stone as the Sumerians. Then they found papyrus, an early form of paper made from a reed found in the marshy area of the Nile delta. The inner stalks of the plant were made into narrow strips and places side by side in one layer. Another layer was placed on top going the opposite direction. They pressed it flat and dried it in the sun. Sap plant glued the strips together. Once they were pasted side
by side, the sheets formed long strips that could be rolled up. Unlocking the Mystery The meaning of the hieroglyphs was lost after 400 A.D. It wasnt until 200 years ago, in 1789, that a large black stone was found with three different types of writing on it. The upper part is Hieroglyphs, middle part showed demotic, lower part Greek letters. This stone was called the Rosetta Stone because it was found near the Rosetta. The three sets had the same meaning.
In 1820s, Jean Francois Champollion, finally figured out the meaning and published it. Science and Medicine Important advances in astronomy and medicine. Astronomers or scientists who study stars and other objects in the sky, were able to predict the Nile floods- the waters would rise when they could see Sirus, the dog star, shortly before sunrise. Also calculated the year by seeing the time period between the Sirus appearance.
Mathematics Used basic math to find solutions to problems faced everyday. They could add, subtract, multiply, and divide. They could measure the stones so they were the proper size and used geometry to measure areas to figure out the amount of taxes for a plot of land. Medicine
Religion and medicine were closely related. Doctors were also priests that used religious practices and their knowledge of illnesses. Because of the work on mummies they knew a great deal about the body and learned to perform surgery. Herbalism - practice of creating medicines from plants. Used natural remedies to help ease everyday illnesses such as a stomach ache or headache. Mothers made their own medicine for their children. The Egyptians wrote down most of their medical knowledge on papyrus. Centuries later, the ancient Greeks and Romans used
these records. Questions?? How were the lives of Egypts peasants ruled by the seasons? During flood season, peasants worked on roads, temples, and buildings. After flood, they would farm and harvest. Section 5: Cultures of Nubia From 3100 B.C. many Nubian kingdoms arose only to die out when their rulers lost power.
Located south of Ancient Egypt beyond the first cataract of the Nile River. Egypt and Nubia were for the most part friendly neighbors. Egyptians called Nubia Ta Sety or the land of the bow as a reference to the Nubians skills as archers and the Egyptians hired the archers for their armies. Valuable Resources Rich mineral resources such as gold, copper, and iron ore.
Ore is a mineral or a combination of minerals, mined for production of metals. Nubia became a bridge for good traveling between central Africa and Egypt. Egypt benefited from Lower Nubia (between first and second cataract). Upper Nubia in the south had powerful kingdoms and they rivaled Egypt for control of land. One of the most powerful were the cities of Kerma, Napata, and Meroe and they were ruled by the Kushites. Kerma Culture
Kushites came to power when Egypt was weakening. By 1699 B.C., they expanded into S. Egypt. It was known for the artisans who made delicate pottery. Also used Royal burials and buried their kings in mounds as large as football fields. The kinds would be rested on top of goldcovered beds surrounded by jewelry, gold and ivory. Conflict w/Egypt Around 1500 B.C. Egypt regained its
strength and Pharaoh Thutmose I sent armies into Nubia and fought for 50 years. They finally gained control and ruled Nubia for the next 700 years. Nubians began to adopt the Egyptian ways such as worshipping Egyptian gods. Napata and Meroe South of Kerma is a land called Kush. Late 700s B.C. Egypt was weak and divided and the Nubian king and Kushites took control of Egypt. Moved the capital city to Thebes and then Memphis. In Taharkas rule the Nubians ruled all of Egypt.
The pharaohs of the 25th dynasty were Nubian. They brought back many of the Egyptian ways back and preserved them and began building pyramids (smaller). Rule did not last very long and about660 B.C., they were forced back into Nubia and moved capital to Meroe. The Nubians never again controlled Egyptian land. Capital of Meroe After the retreat from Egypt, the Nubians made a royal court in Meroe which was located between the 5th and 6th cataract and was the center of the empire. Ore was found in the rocky deserts east of Meroe.
They used ore to make iron weapons and tools. The plows gave them generous supplies of food and the weapons allowed them to control all trade all the way to the Red Sea. It is largely a mystery because they created their own hieroglyphics. Meroe weakened around 200 A.D.- fell to African kingdom of Features of the Nubian culture lasted over 3500 years: Pottery, furniture, jewelry, braided hairstyles, and clothing survive among people of the modern-day African country of sudan.
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