Today more than sixty-one million people live in Egypt. Egypt is located in northeastern Africa. On the north it borders the Mediterranean Sea, on the east the Red Sea and the State of Israel in the Sinai desert. Most of the population is concentrated in the Nile Valley, which is only a very small part (six percent) of Egyptian territory. Almost all the rest of the country is desert.
Archaeological evidence shows us that hunters lived in Egypt more than 250,000 years ago when the region was a green grassland. Around 25,000 BC, climate changes turned Egypt into a desert. The people survived by hunting and fishing and through agriculture.
In 3100 BC, King Menes joined the two parts of the land into one kingdom. The Dynasty that he founded, together with the one after it, are now called the "Archaic Period". Egypt soon evolved into a centralized and well organized kingdom. Egypt gained a growing influence in the ancient world and its power came to dominate the Near East for more than 500 years. The construction of the great pyramids of the 4th dynasty (about 2575 - 2465 BC) took place during this time. The new kingdom expanded rapidly and the country was quite stable internally. Ancient Egypt and its culture had a tremendous impact on what is now the Western World.
After the death of Tutankhamon the fourth, the Dynasty and the power of the king weakened. A period of decline followed and Egypt was invaded by the Assyrians and the Persians, and opened its borders to the Greeks for the first time. The arrival of Alexander the Great in 332 BC put an end to Ancient Egyptian history. For 250 years Egypt was ruled by Greeks; Alexandria, rather than Athens, became the center of learning and culture. The Greeks also introduced new agricultural techniques and restored older temples. In 30 BC the Romans conquered Egypt. This led to an increase in prosperity in the beginning. But Rome did not give any local autonomy to Egypt and, in the...
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