12 Characteristics of Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt was the scene of one of the most important civilizations of antiquity. It is located in the extreme northeast of Africa, in a desert region, crossed in a south-north direction by a narrow and fertile valley through which the Nile River runs .

Characteristics Ancient Egypt

1.     History

Ancient Egypt dates back to 4000 BC Egyptian society developed along the Nile River, in small urban centers called nomes.

Ancient Egypt incites scholars and lovers of its mysteries and beauty, studies show that Egyptian society was complex with significant advances in various areas of human knowledge.

2.     Geographic location

Egypt comprises a large expanse of inhabited land along one of the most important rivers of antiquity, the Nile River. It is located in the upper northeastern part of the African continent.

The geography of the place is a sterile desert with stretches of green and living vegetation, the result of the natural fertilizer that comes from the river itself.

3.     Chronology

Around 3200 BC, King Menes or Namer managed to unite Lower and Upper Egypt, founded the capital in Memphis and promoted irrigation work in the land.

During this period, the mastaba was developed, a surface that corresponded to the first funerary structures, which would later allow the development of large pyramids. Namer became pharaoh and founded the first dynasty.

The Old Kingdom (2700-2200 BC) was marked by the construction of the great pyramids of Giza and the enigmatic structure of the Sphinx.

During the first intermediate period (2200-2010 BC) what we know is that there were political and social unrest, local leaders took power, which resulted in the separation of the government, with Thebes as the political center of the South and Herakleopolis as the political center from North.

The Middle Kingdom, a period of restoration of monarchical power (2010-1785 BC) which was followed by the second intermediate period, from 1785 to 1552 BC, the New Empire (1552-1069 BC) marked the territorial expansion of Egypt, incorporating mainly parts of Nubia.

The Third Intermediate Period (1069 to 672 BC) began with the sacking of the Assyrians and ended in the Late Period (672-525 BC) with the conquest of Egypt by the Persian Empire and then Greek rule by the Ptolemies and Romans.

4.     Society

Egyptian society lasted approximately 7,000 years and maintained a level of wealth never seen before. Various sciences were explored, but mainly medicine, writing and architecture were fundamental to Ancient Egypt.

5.     Decline of the Egyptian Empire

Although they maintained a metropolis and cultural center of the world in the city of Alexandria, Ancient Egypt, after the takeover of territory by the Romans, did not remain strong for long.

Due to cultural differences, Rome took full advantage of Egyptian wealth and mainly monopolized the production of grain from the plantations along the Nile.

6.     Economy

The main economic activity of Ancient Egypt was agriculture, the level of development of irrigation techniques made Egypt a large producer of cereals.

Various products came from their plantations, such as cotton, wheat, flax, barley, sesame and olive trees. Linen clothing was a commercial commodity, and rare stones such as lapis lazuli were coveted in Mediterranean markets.

7.     Culture

The Egyptians used their mathematical knowledge in the construction of great pyramids and temples, in irrigation and in the movement of the river and rain.

The climax was in the field of medicine, mainly in the development of anatomy, due to mummification. The study of astronomy was also important, as they needed to understand the movement of the planets to understand the cycles of the river.

8.     Religion

The Egyptians were polytheistic, maintaining a huge set of deities in their pantheon.

Egyptian deities could have human forms, the most common being deities in the form of animals (zoomorphism), and a hybrid of human and animal form (anthropopozoomorphism).

The Egyptians believed in the continuation of life after death, so mummification was important, bodies and their organs were preserved, as well as a person’s belongings, so that they could live in the afterlife.

The Book of the Dead taught the best way to help in this passage.