Egypt ,Then and Now Based on a book by Scott Bruaw Egypt is located in the northeast corner of the African continent at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Ocean. Israel borders it in the east across the Sinai Peninsula. Libya marks
Egypts western border and Sudan forms the southern. In 1967, during the Six Day War, Israel seized the Sinai. In 1978, after years of hostilities, representatives from Israel and Egypt met at Camp David, Maryland and signed a landmark peace accord. The following year the two countries finalized peace negotiations
with a treaty. The Sinai was returned to Egypt and peace was restored. The treaty is still in effect. The Nile River is Egypts most distinctive geographic feature. It flows from the mountains in the South northward across the desert to the Mediterranean Ocean. The Nile is the worlds longest river an
the only major river that flows south to north. The Aswan Dam, completed in 1970, controls the seasonal flooding and provides hydroelectric power. The Nile also provided water for irrigation and silt from annual flooding which occurred in the middle of July. Snowmelt from southern mountains flooded the
river which began the Season of Inundation in Egypt. During this time the flood plains remained underwater. When they receded in September or October a layer of mud and silt remained to fertilize the new crops. The Nile also served as Egypts highway. Ancient Egypt followed the Nile upriver from the delta to
the rapids at Aswan. Boats travelled this route to visit towns and villages situated along the river above the high water mark. The expanse of desert surrounding the Nile formed a natural barrier to invaders. Because of this relative safety, Egyptian culture was left to flourish.
Around 3100 BC, kings in the upland region of the Nile in the south began conquering local rulers and consolidating them under their control. By 2650 BC, the power of the kings had grown so much they had unified the upland and lowland regions of the Nile under a single ruler. These rulers were known as King of
Upper and Lower Egypt. These rulers were known as King of Upper and Lower Egypt. These kings were commonly called pharaohs. They were considered living gods, and acted as the earthly embodiment of the gods of ancient Egypt.
Unified rule provided social stability and allowed Egyptians to focus on the arts. Great building projects such as the sphinx, the pyramids at Giza, and the necropolis at Thebes occurred during this time. Artistic style was formalized with the establishment of rules for writings and drawings. These rules were codified into a canon. The canon kept art and writing
relatively unchanged through 3000 years of Egyptian history. Although times of unified rule were productive, disruption was inevitable. Civil War and foreign domination caused political instability. Without the support of local rulers, a pharaoh couldnt maintain control over Egypt. Power fragmented between local rulers. The problems would
continue until a strong ruler emerged to restore centralized power. The times of unrest were referred to as Intermediate Periods. A brief timeline Around 1000 BC, Egypt was entering its third (and last) Intermediate Period. The pharaohs were weak
and control was fragmented. It was in this state in 525 BC that the Persians conquered Egypt. They were driven out in 404 BC, but returned again in 343 BC. In 332 BC while building his Greek empire, Alexander the Great took control of Egypt and appointed his general, Ptolemy I, governor. After
Alexander died, Ptolemy assumed the role of pharaoh. His descendents ruled Egypt for the next 300 years. The Greeks were enamored of Egyptian art and writing. The number of common hieroglyphs in common use increased from 700 to 3000. Cleopatra was the last of the Greek
pharaohs. In 30 BC, during a Roman civil war, Cleopatra and her lover Marc Antony were allied against Octavian (later called Augustus). After they were defeated at the Battle of Actium, she committed suicide. With her death, Egypt became a Roman province and the reign of the pharaohs ended.
The Romans were much less tolerant of Egyptian culture and many traditions were banned, Ancient Egyptian writing forms began to disappear. Several centuries later in 640 AD with the Roman Empire in decline the Arabs overran Egypt. As Arabic
customs and language spread, Ancient Egyptian culture and spoken language slowly disappeared. A brief timeline of Egyptian history 4000 BC: Egyptians trace their origins to the Mount Rwenzori range in East Africa 3500 BC: Egyptians invent the sail
3000 BC: Egyptians begin to measure time through a calendar based on the three natural cycles (the solar day, the lunar month and the solar year) 3100 BC: hieroglyphic writing in Egypt 3000 BC: the Egyptians worship the sun 2700 BC: Egyptians write on papyrus 2620 BC: Imhotep, high priest of Ptah at Memphis and founder of Medicine, erects a pyramid made of stone at Saqqara (overlooking Memphis) for pharaoh Djoser ("step pyramid")
2600 BC: poetry and music 2599 BC: Huni becomes pharaoh and builds the step pyramid of Maidun (completed by his successor Sneferu) 2323 BC: Unas is murdered and Teti founds the 6th dynasty 2289 BC: Teti dies and his son Pepi I succeeds him 2255 BC: Pepi I dies and is buried in a pyramid, "Man-nefer-mare", which gives Hiku-Ptah its new name Men-nefer, or Memphis 2134 BC: Egypt splits into two smaller states (Memphis in the north and Thebes in the south)
2100 BC: Egyptian Book of the Dead 1492 BC: Tuthmosis I dies and is the first pharaoh buried in a tomb cut in the rock at the necropolis outside Thebes ("Valley of the Kings") 1353 BC: Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) becomes pharoah, married to Nefertiti, and builds the new capital at Amarna, north of Thebes, dedicated to the god Atum, banishing all other gods 1333 BC: a child, Tutankhamon, becomes pharaoh 1323 BC: Tutankhamon is killed at 19 and is buried in the "Valley of the Kings" at Thebes
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