Queen Maatkare Hatshepsut, Pharaoh of Egypt during the 18th dynasty, from 1473 BC to 1458 BC, was one of only a handful of female rulers of ancient Egypt. Her story is unique in Egyptian history, and has been the source of many disputes among scholars. Hatshepsut reigned longer than any other female pharaoh. Among the legacies she left behind, none is greater than the mortuary temple she erected at Deir el Bahari in Thebes, the ruins of which still stand in present-day Luxor. The temple, designed by Senenmut, reflects the adjacent mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II, but is much larger. Reliefs and inscriptions on the temple walls tell stories from Hatshepsut's life, and profess her connection to the divine. Based on current knowledge, this essay will provide detailed information about Queen Hatshepsut and her mortuary temple. Hatshepsut was born around 1502 BC to Thutmose I and Ahmose. Both of her parents were from a royal background, and Thutmose I was Pharaoh when she was born. Her two brothers died in accidents, which meant that she was in a position to take over the throne after her father died. This was an unusual situation because very few women had ever become pharaohs. However, Hatshepsut was favored by her parents over her brothers, and she was beautiful and had a charismatic personality. Thus, despite her being a female, she had the makings to become a queen. Thutmose II was Hatshepsut's half-brother and husband, a common situation in ancient Egypt, where brother-sister and father-daughter marriages were accepted. When Thutmose I died, Hatshepsut was about 15 years old, and Thutmose II took over as pharaoh. Thutmose II died after only three or four years of rule, most likely of a skin disease. Hatshepsut had a daughter, named Neferure, but Thutmose II also had a son with...
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The way this article is written, its almost as a story is being told with commentary of Egyptian scholars. This format makes it more interesting, and gives the article a larger scale. The whole idea that Akhenaten would go against the old Egyptian customs is intriguing. The article says that it is quite possible that he may have been the first person to attempt monotheism. I can imagine how angry the populous and high members of society were. It was a great idea, but it was done too early and too fast. This radical change was most probably the reason for his downfall. The article goes on to discuss the events from Akhenaten's first day as pharaoh to the end of his lineage, where someone outside the family, a strong general named Horemheb takes the place of pharaoh. Horemheb goes to great lengths to destroy Akhenaten's name from history, along with his descendents. This course of action leads me to believe that Akhenaten's views where so different from tradition, that they were considered dangerous. Akhenaten could not have been a good leader. Although he single handedly raised the level of artistry and temple building, it was not enough to prevent him from being targeted by the surrounding officials. The article mentions correspondences from Tushratta, a king of the Mesopotamian state of Mitanni. Who writes about how Akhenaten sends him gold plated wooden statues instead of the pure gold ones. It seems that Akhenaten only concentrated himself on building temples for Aten, the god he chose above all. His neglect to affairs outside Egypt is a terrible decision and probably left Egypt defenseless from outside attacks. When he decided to elevate Aten to the level of the only god he definitely must have angered the priests of the other gods. At one point...
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1. The rise of the Egyptian empire During 12,000 B.C. early hunter-gatherers had appered to have moved into the Nile River Valley. Through time, these groups turned to farming and formed settlements along the river. This was the begining of the Ancient Egyptian empire. Throughout this empire many scientific advancements were made in mathematics and scienc alike. Many monuments were built in Giza and Luxor that still stand as monuments in the eternal desert sands today. In this period of history the idea of mummification came about which was to dehydrate a body and prepare them for there eternal sleep in the afterlife whch took about 105 day. This was usually done to a pharaohs who had the wealth to build a pyramid. This was a very important part in history which was why it was one of the most known civilizations to man. A. The dynasties of the pharaohs Over many centuries there were strong leaders that helped to unite early Egyptian settlements. Through these rulers two kingdoms were born-Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. The form of government in these kingdoms was a monarchy where the king or queen rules the kingdom. Throughout this time period many kings and Queens led Egypt like Ramses II and Hatshepsut. many wars broke out and many conflicts were solved due to the power of the current king or Queen. This is one way that each kingdom was diverse in many ways.Upper Egypt layed south from the Mediteranean Sea which was along the upper Nile River. Lower Egypt was north of that at the Nile River Delta. Sometime around 3200 B.C. a ruler from Upper Egypt named Menes united all Egypt into one Kingdom. This increased Egypts power and prosperity. Later on Egyptian rulers took the title of pharaoh which meant "great house" after the luxurious...
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"All of Egypt is the gift of the Nile." It was the Greek historian Herodotus who made that observation. The remarkable benefits of the Nile are clear to everyone, but through history he was the first to talk about it and consider its fascination. Through history, the Nile played a major role in the building of civilizations. The first civilizations to appear in history started on a river valley or in a place where resources are numerous and example of these are in India where Indus river is found and Tigris where Euphrates is found and many other places (cradles of civilization). The Nile is the longest river in the world, cuts a swath of green and life through the bareness of the giant Sahara desert in northern Africa. It is almost 4160 miles long from its remotest head stream, the Lavironza river in Burundi, in central Africa to its delta on the Mediterranean sea north east of Egypt. The river flows northward and drain 1100100 square miles, about tenth the size of Africa, passing through ten African countries. It has many tributaries but there are two main ones: the White Nile fed by lake Victoria and the Blue Nile coming from Ethiopian mountains. These two main branches join near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan and they continue together as Nile proper until meeting the Mediterranean Sea and forming the Nile delta in northern Egypt. Around 5000 BC, one of the first great civilizations developed in the northern Nile river valley dependent on agriculture in a land called Egypt. Water; Fertile soil; and river's flow north while prevailing wind blows south made the Nile the best transportation way, were examples of the Nile gifts. Another gift is that every year the flood came bringing disaster and famine due to destroying the crops...
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Have you every wondered where all writing began ? Have you often thought of the secrets about life that ancient civilizations took to their graves with them ? If so, you should be very interested in learning about an ancient writing technique called hieroglyphics, which many scientists believe is the origin of all writing (Bolia 2). Hieroglyphics are not only one of the oldest recorded languages, but it also has a documented history longer by far than that of any other. Hieroglyphics were first written down towards the end of the fourth millennium BC, and thereafter remained in continuous recorded use down to about the eleventh century AD, a period of over 4,000 years (Reagal 6). There are many misconceptions about where that hieroglyphics were first invented. Many people feel that because of the name, Egyptian hieroglyphics, that the system of writing was invented in Egypt ("Hieroglyphics" 237). However, it is hardly probable that the hieroglyphic system of writing was invented in Egypt (Bolia 1). Most evidence supports the theory that certain invaders who came from northeast or central Asia brought the system of writing into Egypt. Hieroglyphics were written by cutting pictures and symbols, which stood for words into stone, wood, and other materials. They were carved with marvelous accuracy, and they varied at depths of anywhere from one to three inches deep. Sometimes hieroglyphics were written on a special kind of paper called papyrus, which was formed from reed stems which had to be flattened, dried, and stuck together to make pages. After the pictures and symbols were carved they were usually colored. Generally, celestial objects were colored blue, along with metal vessels and instruments. As for the carvings of animals, birds, and reptiles, they were painted as far as possible to represent their natural colors. The hieroglyphics of ancient men...
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Ancient Egyptians do not routinely check into hospitals complaining of chest pains or sore muscles. There are no current medical reports that outline the symptoms or diagnosis of an ancient Egyptian's stomachache and no ancient Egyptian has shown up to any contemporary clinics for blood tests. The only way, therefore, for modern scientists and anthropologists to examine the cause, result, and other factors of ancient Egyptians' diseases is to study the preserved mummies. Through CAT scans, DNA tests and other high tech methods, the life, sickness, and death of the ancients has become, in many cases, startling clear. One of the earliest advances in the study of Egyptian pathology came in 1973, when the first successful autopsy was performed on a 2700-year-old male mummy. The hands, eyelashes, and most importantly, the internal organs were in surprisingly good condition and promised to provide scientists with numerous details. The results of the autopsy yielded an abundance of evidence that outlined the life and death of this young man. It was determined, from the amount of carbon in his lungs, that he had black lung disease, long suspected to be a common ailment of the Egyptians, as well as a quantity of sand in his lungs. Also found during the autopsy was evidence of arteriosclerosis, ear infection, and a parasitic roundworm. Aside from the astounding discoveries that this first mummy autopsy gave up, it also led to the founding of the Paleopathology Association, a group dedicated to the study and research of ancient diseases. Since this autopsy, the Association has been at work examining not only the causes of death of the Egyptians, but also how their illnesses fit into specific historical contexts. One of the next projects for the Association was the examination of a body that had been identified as a weaver from...
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Ancient Egypt was divided into two primary sections known as Upper and Lower Egypt. Lower Egypt is north of Upper Egypt. The Mediterranean Sea borders it to the north. The Nile River breaks up into tributaries in Lower Egypt and they mostly empty into the Mediterranean Sea. One branch goes to the Gulf of Suez. Lower Egypt is greener and less dry. It was known as the Nile Delta where crops grew easily and there was much wild life. The Nile River would go through periods where it would overflow its banks making the soil in the basin very fertile. There were irrigation systems that spread the water from the Nile to the surrounding farms. Egyptian farmers raised tree crops, barley, wheat, peas, and other vegetables. Oil was one of the most prized products and was used as payment to the workers of the state. Upper Egypt was at a higher elevation with mountain ranges in the Eastern Desert. The Nile River divided Upper Egypt into the Eastern and Western Deserts. The Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea were on the Eastern border of the Eastern Desert. The Red Desert of Western Egypt was a flatter and dry area that had very little life or water regardless of the season except for the Kharga Oasis and the Farfa Oasis. Most of the pyramids were built in Lower Egypt. Most of the temples were built in Upper Egypt. The pyramids of Lower Egypt included: the Step Pyramid, Bent Pyramid, Pyramid of Khufu, Pyramid of Khafre, and Pyramid of Menkaure. The Great Sphinx is also located in Lower Egypt. The temples of Upper Egypt include the Temple of Hathor, Temple of Horus, Temples of Ramases II, Temple of Queen Nofretari, Temple of Isis, and Temple of Amenhotep III. Memphis was the capital of Ancient Egypt....
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During the winter of 1906 Theodore Davis, who was excavating in the Valley of the Kings, discovered in a hidden reserve near Howard Carter's future working site a blue varnished pitcher with the name of Tutankhamen imprinted on it. The following year he entered an underground chamber, more than seven yards below the ground, also in the Valley of the Kings and location to the north of Horemheb's tomb. Torrential floods had filled the room that he found with mud which had dried up and from it the diggers discovered a broken wooden casket which contained several leaves of spread out gold upon which, among others, were the outline of Tutankhamen, his wife Ankhesensmun and Ay the "Divine Father." Days later these two discoveries were complemented by later finding pieces of pottery in a well shaft some hundred yards to the south of the tomb. Among them was a very beautiful long-necked wine bottle, which can now be found in the Metropolitan Museum. Some of the pots were still sealed with lids with the seal of the necropolis( Anubis, the dog, watching over nine prisoners) and the name of Tutankhamen and other Egyptian gods were also imprinted on the lids. One of the containers was wrapped in a piece of cloth, which was dated year 6 of Tutankhamen. Small bags containing contents, which had turned to dust, were found next to a heap of linen had probably been used for embalming and wrapping the mummy. The thing remarkable about these were three semicircular handkerchiefs or wig covers of different sorts, and fifty mummification bandages, which were not cut from a large piece of material, but instead they were woven with edging for the purpose. Davis and his partners were convinced that they had found all that remained of Tutankhamen's tomb. To...
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What caught our attention about Egyptian gods was that there were so many of them and they each served their own purpose. The Egyptian gods each were used to explain a certain aspect of nature, such as the sun, stars, or rain. Nut and Geb The sky is Nut's body, arching from horizon to horizon. Geb is the Earth, lying beneath her. During the day, Nut and Geb are separated, but each evening Nut comes down to meet Geb and this causes darkness. If storms came during the day, it was believed that Nut had come closer to the earth. Nut was married to the King of the Gods, Ra, but she was in love with Geb. When Ra found out, he was angry and said that Nut could not give birth to any children during the 360 days of the year. Nut was unhappy and asked the God of Wisdom, Thoth, to help. At this time, the Moon was as bright as the Sun. Thoth got some light from the Moon, so now the Moon gets bigger and smaller each month. With this light, Thoth made five new days, so now the year is 365 days long. Nut gave birth to her five children, on these five days. When Osiris, the oldest, was born, a loud voice said "The lord of all the earth is born." Seth, his brother, was born hating Osiris. Ra Ra is the sun god, and the King of all gods. He is a falcon crowned with a sun disk or a man with a falcon's head. Ra was the God of the Sun. He sailed across the heavens in a boat called the 'Barque of Millions of Years'. A crew of many gods joined him on this daily journey. The boat would sail through the twelve provinces, representing the twelve...
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Egyptian Mythology is the religion of ancient Egypt. The Egyptian faith was based on a collection of ancient myths, nature worship, and many deities. The most interesting and famous of these myths are a divine hierarchy that is developed and the creation of the earth is explained. According to the Egyptian's idea of creation, only the ocean existed at first. Then Ra, which is the sun, came out of an egg or a flower, and it appeared on the surface of the water. Ra had four children, the gods Shu and Geb and the goddesses Tefnut and Nut. Shu and Tefnut became the atmosphere. They stood on Geb, who became the earth, and raised up Nut, who became the sky. Ra ruled over all. Geb and Nut later had two sons, Set and Osiris, and two daughters, Isis and Nephthys. Osiris succeeded Ra as king of the earth, helped by Isis, his sister-wife. Set, however, hated his brother and killed him. Isis then embalmed her husband's body with the help of the god Anubis, who became the god of embalming. The powerful charms of Isis resurrected Osiris, who became king of the netherworld, the land of the dead. Horus, who was the son of Osiris and Isis, later defeated Set in a great battle and became king of the earth. From this myth of creation came the idea of the ennead, a group of nine divinities, and the triad, consisting of a divine father, mother, and son. Every local temple in Egypt had its own ennead and triad. The most important ennead, was that of Ra and his children and grandchildren. This group was worshiped at Heliopolis, which was the center of sun worship. Some of the local gods were taken over from foreign religions like the animal gods of prehistoric Africa....
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In ancient Egypt, life after death was an enormous part of the Egyptian life. The Egyptians believed that life after death was the greatest accomplishment of all, and with this belief the people of Egypt would spend most of there time preparing for the cross-over between life and death. In preparation for the cross over people would spend hours of time and large amounts of money to ensure that they will have a good mummification process and funeral. The more money you had or were willing to spend the better mummification and funeral there would be. People with more money were able to pay for better oils and perfumes, which their bodies would be covered in, and they could afford a better coffin or tomb that would ensure their crossing over. People would also have a portrait done of themselves during their life. This portrait was then placed over the head of the mummy. The quality of mummification the more of a chance they would have to go to the afterlife. The amount of people that attended your funeral or mourned over your death would also help with the crossing over. This was to prove that you were well liked or loved while you were living, showing that you were a good person. To guarantee a large amount of people were going to mourn over the death. A messenger would be paid in order to announce the death of someone allowing everyone to get ready for the mourning period. The cost of preparing for life after death is outrageous, and because of the amount of money that is spent in preparing for life after death, Pharaoh's were the only ones at first to get mummified. The Egyptians believed that the Pharaoh would become a God after death. In order to ensure that, the...
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The country of Egypt consisted of two narrow strips of arable land lining either bank of the river Nile, from Aswan to the northern Delta. Ancient Egyptian society treated men and women equally. Women participated in the political, economic, and judicial world of ancient Egypt on the same terms as men. This social system reflects Egyptian mythology, where Goddesses played an equal, if not chief, role. Egyptian goddesses were creators of deities, and the protectors of the pharaohs in the form of the cobra, vulture, or lioness. Female deities were kept separate from the males, with their own temples and followers. Egyptian mythology is a complex collection of stories, traditions, and practices. This is partly because the culture is so ancient, and partly because each city had its own set of deities, whose unique personalities are lost as their cults age. Bastet is first and foremost a protectress; specifically of the royal house and the Two Lands. Later she got the life-preserving goddess of joy and protector of women. Worshiped in the Delta city of Bubastis and usually depicted as a cat or in human form with the head of a cat, Bastet was seen as a protector of cats and those who cared for them. The domestic cat became highly regarded by Egyptian civilization as an animal of wonder. Originating between five and six thousand years ago. The Egyptians found cats fascinating, even regarding them as godlike. Because cats were deeply respected, they were often mummified and even buried in great tombs with their owners. In Egyptian society it was considered a high crime to kill a cat, punishable by death. Families owning cats made sure they received attention and respect. Deep respect was given to cats even after they died. Whenever a household cat died, the entire family would go...
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The Ancient Egyptians had a specific social pyramid, consisting of Pharaohs at the top and pheasants, tomb builders and farmers at the bottom. The social pyramid had a definite effect on how people of different status lived. The population lived as stereotypical rich and poor people. The life of the poor man greatly differed from that of the nobles or the pharaoh. The poor man's wife was the nurturer, the baker, the cook, the cleaner, and the washer. The wife had a few benefits although ancient Egyptian society was mostly sexist. Children were regarded as a blessing thus women married young. The rich usually adopted instead of going through the hassle of childbirth and the children could then have anything they wanted. It was good to be rich and bad to be poor. The social triangle was a definite "Pyramid" (pun intended) and consisted of all types of people. At the bottom of the triangle were the pheasants, tomb builders and farmers and made up more than half of the population, above the pheasants were the craftsmen, then scribes, priests, doctors, high priests and noblemen, and last but not at all least, the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh was at the top for obvious reasons but mostly because he was regarded as a reincarnated god. Some more differences between rich and poor were: Poor men wore cheap, coarse cloth for clothing while the rich would wear silky, light, airy linen that was comfortable. A poor man would mostly live on bread, meat (when they could get it – it was scarce), beer and water while the nobleman could eat various fruits and vegetables, quail, ox, duck, goose, pomegranates, flavored bread, wine, beer, and many more things. These are just some of the reasons that the poor man would envy the rich man. To really put it...
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Cleopatra was determined to preserve Egypt. Her personal ambitions will show her unwavering love, compassion, and commitment to making Egypt one of the greatest empires man has ever known. Her contributions to Egypt and the world have continued to be discussed and debated over the years. Cleopatra was born in 69 B.C. in Alexandria, Egypt. Her father King Ptolemy XII had five other children, Cleopatra VI, Berenice IV, Arsinoe IV, Ptolemy XIII, and Ptolemy XIV. Her mother died when she was very young. King Ptolemy eventually remarried, but there are no records of his second wife's name. There was not much love between the siblings. They each tried to out shine one another in a kind of race to win power over the throne. Their ambitious guardians, who were eager for their share of royal power, encouraged the fierce competition. As a result Cleopatra on her siblings grew up in an atmosphere of corruption and devious schemes to get to the top. Cleopatra had an unusually good education. At a very young age Cleopatra was quick and eager to learn, and as she grew older she moved on to more advanced literature, the arts, science and medicine, and the study of languages. She learned the stories and myths of Greek and Egyptian gods and goddess. She picked up bits of Egyptian lore from her female servants. Cleopatra was especially drawn to the Egyptian goddess Isis who was believed to have power over the heaven and earth, but whose greatest appeal was her compassion, mercy and concern for women and children. The Ptolemy dynasty were of Greek and Macedonian decent, none had a drop of Egyptian blood and none had bothered to learn the Egyptian language. The Princess Cleopatra was the first Ptolemy to learn the native Egyptian language so as to be able to...
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