Ancient Egypt

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The Egyptian civilization, which populated the northeastern corner of Africa, was both very strong and secure. They had strong religious beliefs as well as an organized class system, politics, achievements and inventions, incredible leaders, and the rights for women that no other society had at the time. Egypt did expand tremendously but eventually collapsed and then re-developed, continuing on their legacy.

This civilization was created around 1100 BC and was geographically isolated and located in the northeast corner of Africa. They were between both the sea and desert which prevented any other forms of life from entering their area and attacking. They also had the Nile River that was 750 miles long which they relied on to flood each year.

The Egyptians were very strong believers in order and organization of their community and because of this belief they created a social class system. This pyramid had the pharaoh on top, followed by priests and nobles, then traders, artisans, shopkeepers, and scribes, continuing with farmers and herders, and finally unskilled workers/slaves at the bottom. The Pharaoh was both their religious idol and their political leader which put him above all others.

As for their religious beliefs, the Egyptians were polytheistic (believed in many gods) and had human and animal forms of god. They also followed Divine Kingship and had a book entitled The Egyptian Book of the Dead, which was not really a book, it was just magical spells written down by the Egyptians. These spells were used to help the Egyptian civilization safely reach the afterlife and they have uncovered a total of 200 spells from the ancient world (Egypt.mrdonn.org/bookofthedead). Overall, this book of spells ended up being a religious, political, and a literary testament (Govil, power point). Along with that, the Egyptian civilization had religious festivals and daily rituals (Govil, power point) and believed in over 2000 gods and goddesses (egypt.mrdonn.org/gods).

Their religious beliefs also were taken a step further; the Egyptians built beautiful, enormous pyramids to store bodies that passed on. To store these bodies, they went through a process known as mummification. The process was so they could follow their belief in life after death. They started off by removing the organs from the mummy and putting it out in the sun to dry out for 60 days straight. To do this they cut the body open and removed the heart, liver, and spleen. Following that, the brain was removed with a hook through the nose and discarded. The Egyptians believed that the heart was involved in thinking and emotion, not the brain. Afterward, they stuffed the body and put the dried out organs in canopic jars next to the body in the tomb (schoolhistory.com). To finish off the process, they wrapped the body in cloth and placed it in a sarcophagus. The sarcophagus was extremely decorative because it was meant to be above the ground, not buried. After all was said and done, they closed the sarcophagus and left the body to rest.

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The Egyptians were politically secure. The pharaoh being the leader both religiously and politically set the rules and represented the monarchy. In addition, the ancient Egyptians loved having government related titles. “But in ancient Egypt, the only title that really mattered besides the title of Pharaoh was that of Vizier. The Vizier was Pharaoh’s right hand man.” (Egypt.mrdonn.org/government).

Women in this society had a lot more rights than women did in other parts of the world at the time. These women were able to own land and control it as well as if they were married they could remain independent. Also they could sue for divorce and had equal legal protection. Women were able to also work in the field or workshop and took care of the home and children as well. They sometimes even held government positions and served as priestesses (Govil, power point).

The...
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