Egyptian Encyclopedia – *a work in progress

anachronous history forums AFRICA KMT (Egypt) Egyptian Encyclopedia – *a work in progress

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  • #5661

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    Egyptian Timeline

    The below dating system has been very useful, and Egyptologists by this system, have been able to add chronological dates to the Egyptian dynasties. So, tracing the course of Egyptian civilisation, based on the King Lists and other historical documents, also with the aid of relics & artefacts, both Historians & Egyptologists agreed upon & organised the following major periods of Ancient Egypt.

    Early Dynastic Period 3150 – 2686BCE.

    The Old Kingdom 2686 – 2181BCE.

    The First Intermediate Period 2181 – 2040BCE.

    The Middle Kingdom 2040 -1782BCE.

    The Second Intermediate Period 1782 – 1570BCE.

    The New Kingdom. 1570 – 1070BCE.

    The Third Intermediate Period 1070 – 525BCE.

    The Late Period 525 – 332BCE.

    Reference used : Nathalie Beax-Grimal & Salima Ikram.


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  • #6074
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    The Egyptian Creation Story :

    Each culture has its own version of the creation of the world and the universe, the Egyptian universe consisted only of the primordial churning ocean, from which arose the fertile hill, the early sun-god Atum, brought light into the world, separating the sky from the earth, which was supported on a pillar at each of the four corners of the Earth.

    Nun created a son, Shu, and a daughter Tefnut. Tefnut was lost for sometime and when Nun found her the god’s tears of pleasure created the first men. Shu & Tefnut produced Geb & Nut, who then produced, Isis, Osiris, Nephthys & Set.

    Reference used : John Coleman.

  • #5733
    Forum Editor

    A Passion For All Thing Egyptian :

    For centuries, if not for millennia, people have been fascinated by the ancient Egyptian culture, including, its language, politics, religion, burial practices, architecture and unique characteristic art. Indeed, even the  Romans & Greeks were intrigued, if not seduced by the exotic people of the Nile.

    For years nations have organised site-seeing tours, but unfortunately, the wealth of these nations have purchase Egyptian treasures and transported them back to their homeland, hopefully to museums, instead of personal collections.

    Today, Egyptology is bigger than ever and its world-wide interest has grown over recent years, so much so that many global universities now offer degrees in both Egyptology & Egyptian archaeology.

    Reference used : Professor Christine El Mahdy.

  • #5710
    Forum Editor

    The Ancient Egyptians :

    The ancient people of the Nile valley were a melting pot of many ethnic groups, with many different origins, prior to 5,000BCE, the Nile valley did not have any settled population, because the surrounding areas were rich in vegetation, as the all-consuming sands of the desert had not appeared.

    This ancient area was inhabited by a number of nomadic hunter-gathering tribes, which followed the large animals such as lions, giraffes and ostriches as a source of food. However, due to climatic change, in approximately 5,000BCE, the area surrounding the Nile valley began to seriously dry out and was no longer able to sustain wandering herds of creatures living in the wild.

    This climate shift meant that the nomadic tribes all converged on the Nile valley, because the great river was slowly becoming the only source of fresh water in the region. As a result, the first Egyptian population was a collection of different nomadic tribes, which slowly integrated with each other and created a new society.

    In the South of Egypt, the origins of the people were closer to Nubia, resulting in a darker complexion, in the North of Egypt, the people were more in the Near East, creating a paler complexion, as backed up by DNA sampling. By 3100BCE and the start of the pharaonic period of Egyptian history, a brand new culture, the Egyptian culture we recognise today, had developed from a collection of different people, with an exciting fusion of different cultures and languages.

    Reference used : Salima Ikram.

  • #5709
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    The Floods Of The Nile :

    Every year for the months between July & October, the Nile flooded covering the land on both banks with as much as two feet of water. When the water receded, very fertile black silt covered the land, because of this, the ancient Egyptians called their country Kemet, which means : ‘The Black Lands’.

    Through careful crop management and intricate irrigation canals, the Nile valley became a major agricultural area, although the inundation of the Nile was essential for the agricultural success of the ancient Egyptian civilisation, a risk always existed of the Nile flooding to much or not enough. Either situation resulted in crop failure, famine, and unfortunately death.

    Since 1830AD, a series of dams and sluices at the Southern end of the Nile have checked the flood levels, in 1960AD, the modern Egyptians constructed the High Dam of Aswan, which has stopped the Nile flooding altogether.

    Although these new technologies create a more stable environment for the modern Egyptian agriculture, the steady nature of the present day Nile, under the control of humankind, makes imaging the precarious up & down aspects of ancient Egyptian life, difficult.

    Reference used : Betsy Bryan.

  • #5708
    Forum Editor

    The Seven Year Famine :

    During the reign of Djoser in the Third Dynasty, Egypt is said to have experienced seven years of famine, because of particularly low annual flooding of the Nile, not irrigating the crops. The king was held responsible for the situation because he was an intermediary between the people and the gods.

    The famine was seen as punishment from the gods for the king not doing his job and neglecting his position, on the Island of Sehel, in the South of Egypt, Ptolemy V 204 – 181BCE commissioned a stela recording this famine and Djoser’s actions.

    I was in mourning on my throne, those in the palace were in grief, because the flood had failed to come in time, in a period of seven years, grain was very scant, kernels were dried up, every man robbed his twin, and the children cried.

    The hearts of the old were needy, the temples were shut, the shrines were covered in dust, everyone was in great distress. I consulted one of my staff, the chief lector-priest of Imhotep, he departed from me, but returned to me quickly in grief.

    Referenced used : Charlotte Booth.

  • #5669
    Forum Editor

    Fresh Water Egypt.

    The Nile is one of the world’s longest rivers, running 6,741 kilometres from Eastern Africa to the Mediterranean with six cataracts or white water rapids, caused by rocky outcrops on the river-bed at the Southern section of the Nile between Aswan & Khartoum.  A major North flowing river in North-Eastern Africa, there is always the debate whether the Amazon in Brazil is the longest river in the world.

    The Nile’s drainage basin covers eleven countries, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, The Republic of Sudan & Egypt. In particular the Nile is the primary water source of both Egypt & Sudan.

    The first white water rapid at Aswan created a natural boundary for Egypt, until The New Kingdom 1550BCE, when the ancient Egyptians began travelling further and further South in their hunt for gold and new areas to construct their flourishing empire.

    As said before, the Nile flows from the South to the North, from the interior of Africa to the Mediterranean, Southern Egypt is called Upper Egypt because its the closest territory to the source of the Nile, and Northern Egypt as Lower Egypt.

    Reference used : Salima Ikran, Charlotte Booth & Wikipedia.


  • #5668
    Forum Editor

    Exploring Egypt

    The ancient Egyptians have gripped the imagination for centuries, ever since Egyptologists deciphered hieroglyphs in the early 19th century. This wonderful civilisation has opened to historians, archaeologists and the natural curiosity of ordinary people to the wonders of the Nile.

    Information abounds about the ancient Egyptians, including fascinating facts on virtually every aspect of their daily lives, everything from the role of women, sexuality, and even the cosmetics they used, the manly pursuits of fishing, hunting and warfare, all recorded in detail thanks to hieroglyphs.

    So who were that ancient Egyptians ? And where did they come from ? Egypt was a intricately organised culture, that developed and flourished along the banks of the river Nile.

    The ancient Egyptian civilisation would never have developed if it weren’t for the Nile, the only source of water in this region of North Africa, Egypt is often referred to as, ‘The Nile Valley’, the collective term refers to the fertile land situated along the banks of the Nile.

    Covering an area of 34,000 square kilometres, this overall area has not altered much during the last 5,000 years, although the course of the Nile itself has changed and with artificial irrigation the fertile land has increased in size.

    Reference used : Charlotte Booth & Lyla Pinch-Brook.

  • #5664
    Forum Editor

    Uniting The Land of Egypt.

    The Egyptian civilisation, as it is known today, started during the reign of Narmer 3100BCE, at the start King Narmer’s reign, Egypt was divided into locally governed regions, this complicated system made Narmer instrumental in unifying these regions and to be governed at one central location with the king chairing all debates.

    Historians are uncertain whether the unification of Egypt was achieved by peaceful means, by small skirmishes or a major battle, the unification is recorded on the Narmer Palette, which is a ceremonial slate, that was discovered at Hierakonopolis. The Palette includes the earliest battle scene from ancient Egypt, as well as a number of images that continued to be used for the next 3,000 years.

    The images include, the king hitting an enemy over the head with the Royal Mace, the king wearing the crown of Upper & Lower Egypt and the king depicted as a ferocious Egyptian bull trampling the enemies of the Nile.

    The symbolism of the Palette reinforces the idea that the king was the undisputed head of the single state of Egypt. The imagery is the beginning of the kingship ideology prescribing that Egypt should never again be divided. From this point on, all kings & pharaohs tried to maintain this ideal and all strived to rule a united Egypt.

    Reference used : Charlotte Booth & Orly Gold-Wasser.

  • #5663
    Forum Editor

    The Existing List Of Kings

    Most of the existing King-Lists are recorded in religious and funerary contexts, although few of these lists are located in tombs & temples, most of the lists of Royal Names are recorded on cartouches on monumental stone blocks or temple walls as hieroglyphs.

    The kings who commissioned these inscriptions were trying to show that their lineage was a very ancient lineage, and like the world over, the right to rule, the known king-lists include : The Royal List of Thutmosis III, from Karnak, The List of Sety I, from Abydos, & The Abydos King List of Ramses II.

    The Saqqara Tablet from the Tomb of Tenroy, which identifies 57 Kings, The Turin Royal Canon from the 19th century BCE & The Palermo Stone from the 5th century BCE. Finally, The Graffiti from the quarries of Wadi Hammamat.

    Egyptologists use the king-list in combination with each other, as an example, talking the king-lists speech, other historical records and archaeological evidence, are used, as the king-lists are not that reliable on their own merit, unfortunately, they omitted or scratched out portions of the text of disliked rulers, perhaps, after the demise of unpopular kings.

    Reference used : Maria Perez & Charlotte Booth.


  • #5662
    Forum Editor

    The Pre-Dynastic Egypt

    The pre-Dynastic period dates from approximately 5500 – 3100BCE and ends with the unification of Greater Egypt, during this period Egypt was divided into two very distinctive cultures, of Upper Egypt & Lower Egypt.

    Archaeologically speaking, cemetery sites are located primarily in Upper Egypt and the living settlement site were in Lower Egypt, close to the irrigation of the Nile. For many years, archaeologists thought the cultures of Upper & Lower Egypt were completely separate from the Later Egyptian Cultures.

    Victorian archaeologists just assumed, incorrectly, that the pre-Dynastic cultures were completely foreign cultures to the Lands of The Nile, and a culture created by an Asiatic invasion. More recent research now shows a slow progression from these contrasting cultural elements to a better-known Egyptian civilization.

    The cultures of both areas are very different from the more traditional culture that most people associate with ancient Egypt, however, several commonalities that continued through the Graeco-Roman period appear in the art of these earliest Egyptian cultures including :

    Smiting Depictions, or images in which the Egyptian King is hitting the enemies of the Nile, the Goddess Hathor with images of her cattle and livestock agricultural cult, The Red Crown of Lower Egypt, which symbolises the Royal Power of the Kings, in this region, the earliest depiction of the Red Crown of Lower Egypt is dated at 3500BCE approximately because of the numerous ceramic potsherds found around the Red symbol of authority.

    Reference used : Charlotte Booth & Edda Bresciani.

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anachronous history forums AFRICA KMT (Egypt) Egyptian Encyclopedia – *a work in progress