Running Head: ANCIENT EGYPT
Title: History of Egypt
Section 1: Relational Identifications and Significances
Sir Williams Flinders a British archaeologist and Egyptologist was born in Charlton near Greenwich on June 3, 1853 and died in Jerusalem on July 28, 1942. He was an excavator named after his grandfather, Mathew Flinders, a renowned British explorer, hydrographer and navigator. Due to his ethnological and archaeological interests from childhood he invented sequence dating. This dating used the remains of ancient cultures to reconstruct the history (Hart, 2011).
He used sequence dating in Egypt such as at Gurob. He found a number of Aegean and papyri pottery that validated dates of antique Greek civilizations. He also revealed the now-famous painted pavement at Tell El-Amarna where he excavated the city of Akhenaton.
Horus was a nephew to Seth. Seth had engaged in many competitions with Horus, he always tried to defeat him so as to take the position of the king, but he always failed. To settle this down Seth was made the King of the Southern Egypt while Horus was made the king of the Northern Egypt. Horus did not leave at that point, he continued proclaiming his powers to the extent of scolding the gods. This caused alarm amongst them as it triggered conflict among them. This called for Geb, Lord of Gods, to stand and appoint Horus as the king of the whole of Egypt. With Egypt becoming one then development diversified without boundaries. (Shaw, 2003).
The Egyptian Deities ISIS (Aset, Ast) Symbols: The knot of Isis and the scorpion. Cult Centre: Heliopolis Isis was the sister of Osiris (who was also her husband), Nephthys and Seth, the daughter of Nut and Geb and the mother of Horus the Child. Isis is depicted as a woman wearing a vulture headdress and the solar disk between a pair of horns (which is sometimes underneath the symbol of her name, ...
Hatshepsut was a great grandmother to Akhenaten. Hatshepsut assumed power on death of her husband on c.1504. She was among the few females Pharaohs of Egypt. She funded major building programs and encouraged commercial expansion through trade expedition (Shaw, 2003).
Akhenaten used the wealth of the Amen temples to strengthen the royal control of his officialdom, and this brought the loss of most of Egyptian possessions in Syria and Canaan. According to their way of the administering power in their reign they ended up being hated both by people (Deady, 2011).
The desert borders made the Egyptian religion for thousands of years to remain almost untouched by the beliefs of foreign cultures and civilizations (Deady, 2011).
The ancient Egyptians are known for their good keeping of rituals and rites as part of religion. Creation myths, some of them super powerful, existed amongst them. They believed that kings were living gods. They believed the sun protected them thus they celebrated the sun’s cycle daily in temples to help safeguard the sun god from danger and continue his journey (Shaw, 2003).
These daily temple rituals and strong beliefs in myths helped a lot in retracing historical background of the present day archaeological sites in Egypt.
Section 2: Egyptian History as per the Chronology of Manetho
Manetho was a priest who served during the two Ptolemaic kings Ptolemy I Soter (304285 BC) and Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285246 BC) (Shaw, 2003).
He could read Greek and Egyptian hieroglyphics so he could collect information from temple libraries and inscriptions on temple walls. He got names of kings and even sometimes he had the number of years they ruled. Manetho compiled a list of ancient Egypt’s Pharaohs. The pieces of his work established the succession of kings where the archaeological evidence was questionable (Hart, 2011).
According to Manetho, Tethtoosis was the first to reign in Egypt. He ruled for twenty five years then he died (Deady, 2011).
His son Chebron took over for thirteen years, Amenophis, for twenty years and seven months and then came his sister Amesses who ruled for twenty one years and nine months. After her came Merphes who reigned for twelve years and nine months and then Merphramuthosis for twenty five years and ten months. Then Thmosis came, for nine years and eight months. After him came Amenophis who ruled for thirty years and ten months.
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Amenophis was later succeeded by Orus for thirty six years and five months. Acenchres was next in the reign for twelve years and one month and then her younger brother Rathotis for nine years (Hart, 2011).
Then the seat was held by two Acencheres for twenty four months and eight months. They were succeeded by Armais for four years and one month. After him was Ramesses, for one year and four months and then came Armesses Miammoun for sixty six years and two months. Amenophis came later, and reigned for nineteen years and six months. He was succeeded by Sethosis and Ramesses who had a military of horse and a marine force. Egypt was named after Sethosis.
The understanding on Manetho’s history of Egypt which is based on fragmentary records comes from Christian historians (Deady, 2011).
His chronology of Egyptian kings is mostly imaginary considering the facts that no record from Manetho himself that exist. In his chronology, he introduced new dynasties whenever he came across a discontinuity of kinship. This discontinuity could be either genealogical, where he used “son” to refer to the successor of the previous pharaoh to mark continuity, or geographical. Manetho’s chronology contradicts other sources in many incidents. Sometimes, the length for king’s reign or the years he gives each reign does not conform to other sources. This inaccuracy in time of each reign and comprehensive details about the successive reigns has created difficulty in trying to detect the accurate of an event or a tribute (Hart, 2011).
From the palace of Ramses III, hundreds of tiles were excavated bearing the Pharaoh’s name who according to Manetho lived in the twelfth century BCE. According to Manetho’s chronology the artisans at this time who were Greeks, carved their names on the tiles before they were fired. On the contrary, the theoretical structure states that Greeks had not developed the alphabets until 400 years later that is on 8th century BCE (Shaw, 2003).
Manetho’s chronology does not replicate the other historical dynastic rule put across by other archaeological writers. For instance, in Manetho’s model of the god-kings, there are seven names of kings unlike other models that have eight names (Hart, 2011).
... gods. The temple of Luxor was built largely by the King Amenhotep III (who at that time was the ninth Pharaoh to rule Egypt) ... eleven days, but had grown to twenty-seven days by the reign of Ramesses III in the 20 th dynasty. At that ... long disappeared, the stone temples have survived. The temple remained buried beneath the town of Luxor for thousands of years, and was not ...
Section III: Part One.
Egypt was divided into the kingdoms of Lower and Upper Egypt during the pre-dynastic period (Shaw, 2003).
The north was defeated after years of struggle with the kings of south. Egypt was then united under one king of the south called Menes (Deady, 2011).
For more than three hundred years, the civilization of Ancient Egypt had flourished. At least one temple was allocated to every large town and the fertile temple lands kept for certain taxes and other privileges. As a result, the priesthood became both wealthy and powerful. The hereditary position of the priest became powerful to a position of threatening the king himself. Temples were taken as the houses of the deities or kings to whom they were dedicated. Temples were constructed for the authorised adoration of the gods and memorial of pharaohs in Ancient Egypt (Shaw, 2003).
Some rituals done in the temples such as, giving offerings to the gods, rebuilding their mythical interactions through commemorations, and warding off the powers of disorder were seen as indispensable for the gods to continue safeguarding the divine structure of the universe.
In the Dynastic period, Egyptians were building temples out of stone. These temples are covered with data of the gods and goddesses and religious texts and petitions (Hart, 2011).
The walls were filled with their own powers which became the spiritual circle of protection. Even with the fact that the mystic group no longer required to cast circles for defence from outside or increase power within as the temples fortifications did that, priest or priestesses were still known as the “People of the Circle”. The temples were built in sacred places or power spots. With the temples being built over them, the power from the spots would seep into the temple’s walls, and the magic imbued in them would work for hundreds or thousands of years. Sometimes the ancient Egyptians would bring down a temple and reconstruct the old stones into another temple (Hart, 2011).
They did this as a method of pre-charging the new temple with power. For instance, the Temple of Dendar, it was removed from Egypt to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Deady, 2011).
Presently these temples and sacred places carry the same magical power with them, for example, the Temple of Hathor at Denderah. Temples could also be considered as both economical as well as religious centres because some that owned large tracts of land offered employment to thousands of laymen to cater for it. The priests who managed these influential institutions had immense influence, and despite their apparent relegation to the king they sometimes posed substantial challenges to his authority (Hart, 2011).
... observations of the Sun and the stars. Although the ancient Egyptians worshiped many gods, Egypt is also often recognized as the origin of the ... animals. In addition, natural barriers provided good protection from other peoples. The desert to the west, the seas to the ... temple complexes, and statues combining human and animal forms are only a few of the many remnants that survive from ancient Egypt. ...
Even as the nation declined and the eventual loss of freedom to the Roman Kingdom, temple-building in Egypt still carried on until the coming of Christianity. Under Christianity, the Egyptian religion encountered growing persecution and the last temple was locked in AD 550. However, at the start of the 19th century an ardent desire and interest to know about the Ancient Egypt had developed that saved those ancient buildings from destruction and neglect (Shaw, 2003).
SECTION III: Part Two
Amenhotep IV ruled in the Eighth Dynasty of Egypt for seventeen years. He changed his name to Akhenaten which meant ‘living spirit of Aten’ (Deady, 2011).
This is because during his reign he abandoned the Egyptian traditional polytheism and introduced Monotheism, reverence centred on the Aten. He had to force his religious reforms and interests on his people. He forced the wide-scale withdrawal of usage of traditional god’s names, particularly those of Amun, and he revised the titles of the Aten. In the fifth year of his reign, the king marked the beginning of construction on his new city called Akhetaten where he centralised the Egyptian religious practises of the Aten. Akhenaten, by the 9th year of his reign, he had declared Aten as not only the supreme god but also the only god and he was the only intercessor amid Aten and his people (Shaw, 2003).
This god was worshiped in the open sunlight unlike the others that were worshiped in dark temple enclosures.
With Akhenaton being the only intermediary, he eliminated priesthood and placed himself as a god-king thus he became the first king to be termed as Pharaoh (Hart, 2011).
The common people ostensibly continued with their old worship practises despite the fact that they had no temples. This much reflects that during his reign only the nobles embraced the Aten, and they were doing this just to increase favour from the king. Although Akhenaten introduced monotheism in Egypt, it can be stated that maybe he had fear of the power of the priests and in order to securely protect his kingdom he came up with a way to eradicate the priesthood (Hart, 2011).
Ancient Egypt The giant pyramids, temples, and tombs of ancient Egypt tell an exciting story about a nation that rose to power more than 5, 000 years ago. This mighty civilization crumbled before conquering armies after 2, 500 years of triumph and glory. The dry air and drifting desert sands have preserved many records of ancient Egypt until modern times. The ancient Egyptians lived colorful, ...
However, his religious ideas did not last after his death. The economic collapse that followed after his reign forced his successor, Tutankhamen, to appease the offended gods. He renovated the temples, made new images, priests chosen, and endowments replaced (Deady, 2011).
The Akhenaten’s city of worship, Akhetaten, was left to the desert sands. Although Abraham existed long before Akhenaten, it can be stated that he is the first one to introduce monotheism in ancient Egypt because he contradicted the traditional forms of worshiping many gods.
Section III: Part Three.
The invention of agriculture or the Neolithic revolution was a significant turn over for the ancient Egyptians (Shaw, 2003).
Unlike during the Palaeolithic period when the human life was nomadic, and they carried out hunting and gathering, this revolution was an extremely beneficial change to the way people lived. The introduction of agriculture steered to permanent settlements, the formation of social classes and the ultimate growth of civilizations. At about 10,000BCE, domestication of both crops and some animals and started thus it subsidised the hunting and gathering that was tiresome and unreliable (Deady, 2011).
This factor also increased the population of the people respectively as there was readily available food to feed them. Agricultural invention was a momentous turning point in human history in general.
The rise of Islam in 613 CE was major turning point for the ancient Egyptian traditional beliefs. The Egyptian tradition consisted of a chain of many gods who served different purposes (Hart, 2011).
They had a reason of leaving the worship of all those gods and serving one God who also united them together. When the Islamic regime came it took a remarkably short time to develop Muslim dynasties all over Egypt and the surrounding states. This was an extraordinary turning point to them as it brought people together in worship thus it promote unity amongst them.
At around 1150 B.C, some people called the Sea people came from nowhere (Deady, 2011).
... it reflects that maybe the religion of Ancient Egypt was being debased. People began to make up gods or they began to form cults ... afterlife was central in Ancient Egyptian religion. Death is not the end, but rather it is a transitional state. Such an experience ... matches exactly the Egyptians' belief of the transformation process, which ...
These people included various groups from different origins. The coming of the Sea people was accountable for the downfall of some of the Late Bronze Age civilizations. It can also be said that at one point served as one of the several catalysts that put that downfall in motion. Although the Egyptian fought out the Sea people, it was left at a very unstable state. However, Egypt was free off chains of the Greek Bronze Age civilization after the coming of the sea people (Shaw, 2003).
After the fading of the Bronze Age, Iron Age revolution came into the rise. Iron technology replaced bronze completely as it was positively accepted into the communities. The iron technology facilitated much in the Agrarian Revolution which was a great turning point to not only Egypt but also the world history in general (Hart, 2011).
With the invention of new farming technologies, food production raised thus it lead to permanent settlement of people. The Egyptian mostly abandoned their nomadic life and settled on the Nile valley for agriculture.
The coming of the Islamic regime also was a turn over for the religious beliefs of the Egyptians. They believed that there was an afterlife for someone when he passed away. When someone died he was believed that his meritorious deeds were weighed against his nefarious deeds by their god Osiris (Deady, 2011).
The person was punished according to the weight of his deeds on earth but, the Islamic rise changed all these beliefs. The Egyptian centralised their beliefs in doing good and living in to the best as it was stated in the Quran. This is because they did not know about what would happen after they died. They abandoned the gods and followed the teaching of Last Prophet of God, Muhammad, as it is stated in the Quran (Hart, 2011).
Deady, K. W. (2011).
Ancient Egypt: Beyond the Pyramids. Minnesota: Capstone Press.
Hart, G. (2011).
Ancient Egypt. Canberra: Dorling Kindersley.
Shaw, I. (2003).
The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. London: Oxford University Press.