Ancient Egypt

Lasting over 3,000 years (3150 BC to 30 BC), ancient Egypt is thought to be one of the greatest civilizations of the ancient world.

The main reason that ancient Egypt was so successful was because of its location close to the Nile River. The Ancient Egyptians established their rule in the northeastern area of Africa and became very experienced in growing so many crops and using advanced irrigation methods.

Each year, the Nile would flood and overflow its banks, and this brought rich, fertile soil to the fields. The Nile also gave ancient Egyptians a way to travel, and that allowed them to build ships to transport people, build materials, and trade items.

Culture and Kingdoms

During the success of Ancient Egypt, they were divided into three major ruling areas: Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom.

Each one brought about the development of advanced science, medicine, writing, religious beliefs, and astronomy. The original Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt were once ruled by two separate kings, but when King Narmer united the two

(3100 to c.2680 B.C.), he created the first complete dynasty for the country. Each succeeding Pharaoh wore a double crown; white for Lower Egypt and red for Upper Egypt.

The culture of Ancient Egypt focused on their religious beliefs. Both religion and government were blended together as the head of the country was also their religious leader. The writing was done through the use of hieroglyphics, which are pictures that tell a story.

The art of writing was so important that the scribes that perfected it were thought to be some of the most powerful in the land.

The Empire

Egypt was known as a conquering nation, and each pharaoh would make sure that the countries conquered contributed to Egypt’s wealth.

The large monuments were constructed to tell the tales of every invasion and the success of the pharaoh in the conquests. Around 700 B.C. the empire started to become weak and it slowly gave way to being conquered by other nations, with the last and final conquest by Rome.

Even the most famous Egyptian woman, Cleopatra, was actually of Greek descent. She was from the Ptolemaic family dynasty.

The Pyramids

Archeologists have studied the hieroglyphs to figure out how Egyptians lived every day, and these often contained images that supported their belief in an afterlife.

The Egyptian Pharaohs had huge pyramids constructed for their burial tombs, with many artifacts that were well-preserved for their journey after death. They also became experts at mummification, which involved preparing the body in specific ways after death.

Facts about Ancient Egypt:

  • Egyptians make a kind of paper called papyrus and developed ink for writing. They are thought to be one of the earliest civilizations involved in the invention of writing.
  • Ancient Egyptians were well-known for their engineering skills in building, but also created tools such as the farming plow, musical instruments, medicines, and toothpaste. Many of the Ancient Egyptians were both scientists and mathematicians.
  • Both Egyptian women and men wore makeup. They used it as a way to help protect their skin from the hot sun but also because they believed it to have powers of healing.
  • Cats were thought to be sacred in Ancient Egypt. Many mummified cats have been found buried with the same honor that they would use for humans.
  • The Egyptians of the past discovered that moldy bread was beneficial for infections. We have later found the powerful antibiotic, penicillin, was created from a type of mold.
  • The Pharaoh was considered to be a God. One of the habits was to always keep his hair covered so that the common people couldn’t see it.
  • Many Egyptians wore wigs. Women would often mix perfumes with wax and sit it on the top of their wigs. As the wax warmed from body heat, it would melt down and give the wig a nice smell.