Ancient Egyptian Civilization
The Growth of Egyptian Civilization
Egypt has been called “the gift of the Nile.” Without this mighty river, all Egypt would be desert, for it receives little rainfall. Heavy spring and summer rains at the source of the Nile once caused the river to overflow regularly each July. The yearly flooding of the Nile made it possible for Neolithic farmers to grow crops in the valley. The flood waters brought moisture to the dry land and also left behind a layer of rich black soil that was excellent for crops. To increase the number of crops they could grow each year, the ancient Egyptians built reservoirs to store water and dug canals to carry it to the fields. Besides encouraging farming, the Nile was excellent for transportation route. Vast deserts to the east and west of the river protected Egypt from attack, allowing people of the Nile villages to enjoy long periods of peace and prosperity.
The Egyptians believe in many gods.
Egyptians believed that many gods controlled nature, sent yearly floods, and made the crops grow or as the dwelling places of gods. Egyptian polytheism included the worship of animals such as cats or crocodiles. The Egyptians believed the gods could change their shape. An important feature of Egyptians religion was the belief in life after death. The Egyptians connected their beliefs about birth and death with the rising and setting sun with the yearly flooding of the Nile. The God Osiris was seen as the ruler of the Nile and rich harvests, who died each year and was brought back to life by his wife Isis.
Egypt is united under one ruler.
About 3,000 B.C a ruler of Upper Egypt known as Menes conquered lower Egypt and brought all Egypt under his rule. Where the two kingdoms met, he built the city of Memphis as his capital. A double crown became his symbol. Menes’ rule established the first dynasty, or family of rulers in Egypt. There were at least thirty dynasties in Egypt’s history. Scholars divide...
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