Ancient Egyptian Civilization : Facts, History and Information: Life, Art, Religion, Achievements, Women's Rights

Research Topics Presentation Tips History Essays Ancient Civilizations Egypt

Egypt before 525 BCE

3100 BCE had regular cycles of floods

The region was isolated

There was no standing army

Divided into upper and lower kingdoms

Ruled alternately and foreigners by pharaohs, nobles

In 1560 BCE, Egyptians won war against occupying Assyrians leaving Egypt with a strong pharaoh and a strong army.

Religion

Egyptian deities alternated between polytheism and monotheism

Gods were often related to Nature, such as:

  • Re was a god of the sun or Ra
  • Osiris was god of nature who represented the growth of vegetation and the life giving power of the Nile. Eventually, Osiris represented the power of good over evil and the one who judges in the afterlife. This led to a strong belief in the afterlife with adoption of elaborate body preserving techniques and burials.
  • Aton was also a sun god. This was a monotheistic religion advanced by Amenhotep and Nefertiti but failed to convert the populace who converted back to the traditional gods.
  • King Tut led the return to the old ways and allowed magic to become mixed with the rituals

Achievements and Advancements

  • Developed writing
    • Pictographs and syllables
    • Hieroglyphics with pictographs, syllables and alphabetic
  • Developed papyrus from a common reed which made writing easy and documents much simpler to carry.
  • Calendar developed based on the star Sirius which was more accurate than the lunar calendar
  • Used the rate of a heartbeat as a diagnostic measure
  • Marked a circle into 360 degrees
  • Discovered the nature of pi
  • Devised methods to compute the area of a triangle and the volume of a pyramid.

Egyptian Art

Most notable art is the pyramids

  • No one knows how or why most of the pyramids were built
  • In 2400 BCE, Pyramids were built at Giza away from the flood plan and agricultural land

After the pyramids, major construction projects turned to temples

Sculptures were sculpted without any personality

Social Life

Distinct classes

  • Royal family
  • Priests
  • Nobles
  • Professional soldiers
  • Middle class that included Scribes, Merchants, Artisans and famers
  • Peasants
  • Slaves that were captured from war

Women had privileges that were unknown elsewhere

  • Wives were not secluded from society
  • Women could own and inherit property
  • Women could engage in business
  • Women could ascend to the throne

Egypt developed a thriving trade with Crete

  • Exported gold, wheat and linen
  • Imported silver, ivory and lumber

Developed industries with division of labor such as shipbuilding, glass making, textiles and pottery making.

Egyptians were excellent bookkeepers

  • Invented deeds for property
  • Invented written contracts
  • Invented written wills

Used gold and copper rings divided by weight for currency

Developed many musical instruments such as harps, oboes, lutes, flutes, clarinets and trumpets

Medical innovations included setting of fractures, prescribing moldy bread (antibiotics) and suppositories.