Ancient Egypt Study Guide

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Hieroglyphics
Hieroglyphics
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Hieroglyphics are a form of ancient writing developed by the Nile River valley people by about 3000 B.C. It used over 600 signs, pictures, or symbols to represent words or sounds. They created papyrus to write hieroglyphics down. The Rosetta Stone was a stone discovered that contained greek, hieroglyphics, and the Egyptian writing style called demotic, and helped scholars discover what each hieroglyphic meant.
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Cataracts
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Cataracts are also known as rapids. The Nile River was broken by a series of six great cataracts. At each cataract, the river was forced into a narrow channel cut through rock.
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Mummification
Mummification
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Mummification is a process of preserving the body with chemicals after death. The Egyptians beleived in the life after death. To get to the afterlife they need to preserve the body. Most organs are removed, then are treated with chemicals. Mummies were placed in a tomb stocked with clothing, food, tools, and weapons. The number or value of objects in the tomb depended on the importance of the person. The book of the dead was then placed in the tomb so the mummy had guide for the afterlife.
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Pharaoh
Pharaoh
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A pharaoh, meaning great house, was an Egyptian ruler title. They were called gods, and had temples built to honor them. Their power was usually kept in the family of rulers. Pharaohs held absolute, or unlimited, power. They not only led the government, but also served as judges, high priests, and generals of the armies.
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Sphinx
Sphinx
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The Sphinx as made in the Old Kingdom (C. 2540 B.C.- C. 2514 B.C.), and stands as symbols of the glory of Egyptian civilization. It is located at Giza, and may had portrayed Khafre, since it was built during his reign.
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Pyramid
Pyramid
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Pyramids started being built in the Old Kingdom. They were built to be tombs for the pharaohs. About 80 pyramids still stand. The most popular known pyramids are the Great Pyramids at Giza. The pyramids required great skill. Egytian architects and engineers ranked among the best in the ancient world. There are many theories on how the Egyptians built the pyramids.
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Sarcophagus
Sarcophagus
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A sarcophagus is an ancient marble or stone coffin, often decorated with artwork and inscriptions.
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Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone
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The Rosetta Stone is a stone that contained writing that helped Scholars learn how to read hieroglyphics. In 1798 a French army invaded Egypt. The next year a French officer found the stone. It was discovered in the village of Rosetta, and contained Greek, hieroglyphics, and an Egyptin writing style called demotic. Twenty-three years later, a French expert used the stone to learn hieroglyphics. All three passages said the same thing. The scholar used the Greek text to figure out Egypt’s mysterious language.
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Polytheism
Polytheism
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Ancient Egyptians beleived in this religion. Polytheism is the belief of many gods.
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Monotheism
Monotheism
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Monotheism is the belief in one god. Amonhotep IV beleived in this, and tried to convert Egyptians to this religion. He didn’t change people’s beleifs. When he died Egyptians returned to the old polytheistic religion.
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Amenhotep III
Amenhotep III
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Amenhotep was a pharaoh of ancient Egypt. He built 7,000 statues and brought arts and trade to Egypt.
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Amenhotep IV / Akhenaton
Amenhotep IV / Akhenaton
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This pharaoh ruled for 18 years. He shocked people in his time. He changed the religion to monotheism, which upset most people. He moved the capital. He married someone without royal blood.
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King Tut
King Tut
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He was a ruler of Egypt. He ruled as a boy. He is the best known king of Egypt today.
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\”Ka\”
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\”Ka\” is the name given by ancient Egyptians to the spirit, or human life force. It lives forever if it makes it to the afterlife.
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Hatshepsut
Hatshepsut
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Hatshepsut was a female pharaoh. She dressed up as a male pharaoh to show her dominance. She expanded trade and the arts.
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Upper Egypt
Upper Egypt
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Upper Egypt is the southern part of Egypt. This is because they didn’t have maps back then, and assumed that upper Egypt is north, since the Nile flew in the opposite direction.
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Lower Egypt
Lower Egypt
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Lower Egypt is the northern part of Egypt. This is because the Nile River flew in that direction. According to the ancient Egyptians, this was south, rather than north.
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Old Kingdom
Old Kingdom
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This period existed from about 2680 B.C.E. to about 2180 B.C.E. Many developments of science and arts took place during this time. The Great Sphinx was created during this time. Society was split into two classes in the old kingdom. The lower class were peasants and farmers who owes the pharaoh certain services. They served in the army and were used in building projects. The upper class included the pharaoh, the royal family, priests, scribes, and government officials. Toward the end of this kingdom, the nobles grew stronger, and the pharaohs grew weaker.
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Middle Kingdom
Middle Kingdom
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In 2050 B.C.E., a new line of pharaohs reunited Egypt. This period was called the golden age, since it was stable and prosperous. Priests and nobles weakened the power of the pharaoh again, and by 1780 B.C.E., the Middle Kingdom was becoming unstable. At this time, it is said by some historians that the Hyskos invaded and conquered Egypt.
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New Kingdom
New Kingdom
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This period was between 1570 B.C.E. to 1080 B.C.E. Leaders dove the Hyskos out of the country. For a time, the pharaohs once again has absolute power. They kept strict control of the government. After being with the Hyskos for a while, they figured out how to develop a strong army. They gained more land, and built an empire.
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Hyskos
Hyskos
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Hyskos are foreigners. They arrived in Egypt from Asia, introducing new war tools. Historians disagree on if they invaded Egypt. It is said that the Hyskos murdered Egyptians and made them their slaves, and destroyed Egypt. This is questionable because their is no evidence supporting these facts.
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Hierarchy
Hierarchy
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A hierarchy is the organization of people or things at different ranks in an administrative body. The Egyptians did this to divide people into different classes.
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Amon
Amon
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He is known as also amen and amon. He is the god of Thebes, air, war, and fertility. He is the father of the gods.
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Ra
Ra
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He is also known as Re. He and amon combine together as Amen-Re. Ra is the god of the sun and is the supreme judge. He is beleived to travel the sky during the day, and die during the night.
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Hapy
Hapy
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He is also known as Hapi. Hapy is the god of inundation and Nile floods. He is very important to the Egyptians.
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Ramses II
Ramses II
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Ramses II had a huge lifespan during his time. He was famous for a lot of building of temples. He was looked at as a model of what a king should be.
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Caravan
Caravan
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Caravans are groups of people traveling together for safety over long distances. The egyptians rode donkeys and camels together while trading with other cultures.
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Canopic Jars
Canopic Jars
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They are Jars in which the ancient Egyptians preserved the internal organs of a deceased person usually for burial with the mummy.
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Book of the Dead
Book of the Dead
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The Book of the Dead were placed in the tomb to serve as a kind of guide to the afterlife. The guide tells you everything you need to know on how to get there.
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Scribes
Scribes
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Scribes were Egyptian clerks who read or wrote for those who could not do so for themselves. Education was focused mainly on them. Scribes were important when it came to religion.
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Isis
Isis
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Isis was the godedd of magic. She was the wife of Osiris and a divine mother. She is the guardian of coffins and canopic jars. She became the symbol in Egypt for a commited wife and mother.
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Osiris
Osiris
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Osiris is the god of the underworld, the king of the dead, god of inundation, and god of vegetation. He beleives in good over evil.
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Horus
Horus
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He is the god of the pharaohs. He is the sky and falcon god. He is the son of Isis and Osiris. It is beleived that he gave the pharaoh help. This gave the pharaoh great power.
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Anubis
Anubis
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He is the god of embalmers and mummification. Anubis is the great god of Necropolis. He associated with and a guide to the dead.
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Creation Story
Creation Story
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A creation story is a tale that people create to explain how the world came to be. The Egyptians had many tales about how the world began.
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Nefertiti
Nefertiti
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Nefertiti was the wife of Akhenaten. She was a very powerful ruler and famous for her tomb that was defiled to prevent her from going to the afterlife.
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Cleopatra
Cleopatra
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Cleopatra was a pharaoh. She grew very loyal to the Romans and used her woman power. She commited suicide for her love when Octavin took over her power.
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Menes
Menes
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Menes was a king of upper Egypt who united all of Egypt into one kingdom. Menes founded a dynasty. He gained new territory, improved irrigation and trade, and was the first pharaoh.
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Dynasty
Dynasty
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A dynasty is a family of rulers whose right to rule is hereditary. Menes turned ancient Egypt into a dynasty.
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Nile River
Nile River
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The Nile River is the longest river in the world. It dominates Egypt’s geography. The Egyptians relied on the river for many things such as fertile soil.
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Empire
Empire
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An empire is a form of government that unites different territories and peoples under one ruler. The pharaohs created this in the New Kingdom.
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Papyrus
Papyrus
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Papyrus is a kind of paper made by Egyptians from the stem of a papyrus plant. Hieroglyphics were recorded on this. Making this was easier than carving. We get our word paper from papyrus.
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Thutmose III
Thutmose III
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Thutmose III was Hatshepsut’s stepson. He brought Egypt to the height of its power through conquest and trade.
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Afterlife
Afterlife
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The afterlife is the life after death. The Egyptians need to be good people to get there. Mummification is required to get there, too.
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Vizier
Vizier
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A vizier is the pharaoh’s closest advisor. (like a prime minister) He or she oversaw the daily running of Egypt.
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Sea People
Sea People
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The Sea People were a group who preformed a series of attacks on Egypt. Their work was a reason of Egypt’s decline.

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