Ancient Egyptian Civilization

Topics: Ancient Egypt, Egypt, Egyptians Pages: 6 (1524 words) Published: September 4, 2014
1.Timeline of Ancient Egyptian civilization:

c. 5000 BC: The coming of farming to the Nile Valley

c. 3500-3000: The Pre-dynastic period, leading to the unification of Egypt

c. 2650: The beginning of the Old Kingdom

c.2575-2465: The Great Pyramids of Giza built

c. 2150: The fall of the Old Kingdom leads to the 1st Intermediate period begins

2074: The Middle Kingdom begins; Egypt is united and powerful again

1759: The fall of the Middle Kingdom leads to the 2nd Intermediate period, and the occupation of norhern Egypt by the Hyksos

1539: The reunification of Egypt and the expulsion of the Hyksos begins the New Kingdom, a period when Egypt became a leading power in the Middle East

1344-1328: The pharaoh Akhenaton carries out a short-lived religious reformation

1336-1327: Tutankhamen reigns

1279-1213: The reign of Ramses II brings Egypt to the height of its power

c. 1150 onwards: The New Kingdom falls into decline

728: Egypt is conquered by Nubian kings

656: Egypt is occupied by the Assyrians

639: The Egyptians expel the Assyrians and begin a period of revival

525: Egypt is conquered by the Persians

332: Egypt is conquered by Alexander the Great

305: Ptolemy, one of Alexander the Great's generals, founds a Greek-speaking dynasty

30: Cleopatra, the last queen of independent Egypt in ancient times, dies, and Egypt is annexed by the Roman Empire

2.Political System

In ancient Egypt, government revolved heavily around a single figure, the Pharaoh, who the people believed to be a living god. This type of government is called a theocracy. This status basically granted the pharaoh (who was, in almost all cases, a man) virtually limitless power and control over his subjects. A good number of the people carrying out the Pharaoh's decrees where priests and holy men. This group formed their own social class as they were given preferential treatment before other citizens and were a kind of nobility in their own right. The government structure of ancient Egypt involved other officials, including viziers, army commanders, chief treasurers, the minister of public works, and tax collectors, all of whom answered directly to the pharaoh.

3. Economic System

As in all ancient societies, agriculture was the main economic activity. The harvests in Egypt were richer than in most other countries at the time, due to the fertile soil near the Nile river. The main crops of Ancient Egypt were wheat and barley, as well as lettuce, beans, onions, figs, dates, grapes, melons and cucumbers. Flax was grown by many farmers, and then used for the production of linens. There was no typical money system in Egypt. Products were bartered, and workers were paid in wheat, barley and, occasionally, in craft products like pottery, clothes etc. But barley could be defined as a type of money, since it was easy to use as payment.Crafts were produced in small shops. Their wares included linen textiles, pottery, bricks, tools, glass, weapons, furniture, jewellery, perfume, rope, baskets, mats and writing material. Egypt also had a substantial output of mineral products, like limestone, sandstone, granite; copper, gold, tin and gems. Trade was important to Egypt, and goods were exported to and imported from countries around the Mediterranean Sea, Aegean Sea and the Red Sea. The main exports from Egypt were gold and other minerals, wheat, barley and papyrus sheets.

4. Religious System

Religion was very important to the Ancient Egyptians. Their religion was strongly influenced by tradition, which caused them to resist change. One of the very strong traditions was that of Divine Kingship. Divine Kingship is the belief that the Pharaoh was not only the King (political ruler) but also a god. The Pharaoh was associated with Horus, son of Ra, the sun god. Later it was believed that at death he became Osiris, or an Osiris, and would help the Egyptians in their afterlife. Due to their beliefs, the Pharaoh...
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