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Development Of Ancient Egypt

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Geographical determinism played an essential role in Egypt’s development. Blessed with natural barriers that fostered isolation, it was protected from invasion and the barriers gave it a sense of security while not hindering the development of trade. The Nile River was of central importance to life in Egypt. The Nile River, the longest river in the world, begins in heart of Africa and courses northwards for thousands of miles. The areas that spanned 7 miles on both banks of river were capable of producing abundant harvests. Flooding was gradual and predictable in contrast to Mesopotamian rivers. Like Mesopotamia, Egypt was a river valley civilization.

The economy in Egypt was a command economy. The government ordered the citizens to work and decided what goods and services they were to produce. All the decisions were made by the government. Egypt belonged to a living god (Pharaoh). The Pharaoh had a bureaucracy, and 2 viziers, one for each half of Egypt. Civil servants gave each farmer a certain amount of grain from the state granary. The purpose of economy was to provide luxury for the Pharaoh. The most important aspect of the Egyptian economy was agriculture, which was the backbone of Egyptian prosperity.

Egyptian civilization was characterized by continuity over thousands of years. Egyptians believed in cyclical rather than linear progress. Overall, Egyptians had a positive attitude towards everyday life, and were confident, optimistic and materialistic. Features of their culture include monogamy, arranged marriages. Women were respected in ancient Egypt. Egyptian art was largely functional, either religious of formulaic.

Religion was an integral part of everyday life. Gods were associated with heavenly bodies and natural forces, and religion was characterized by monophysitism. The sun god was known as Aton/Ra, who generated the other gods. The, female goddess Isis is god of fertility. The male god Osiris (Isis’ husband) is god of water, and the god of the desert is Seth.

Mantheo, an Egyptian priest in 3rd century B.C., originally divided history into 31 dynasties. Today, it is divided into 3 major periods, the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms. They were periods of long-term stability, characterized by strong monarchial authority, competent bureaucracy, freedom from invasion, temples and pyramids, and intellectual and cultural activity. Between the periods of stability were Intermediate Periods, characterized by political instability, weak political structure, rivalry for leadership, invasion, less building, and an overall restructuring of society.

The first Egyptian royal dynasty was in 3100 B.C. under a king called Menes, uniting upper and lower Egypt into a single kingdom. The Old Kingdom went through the 3rd and 6th dynasties, lasting from 2686-2125 BC. It was an age of prosperity and splendor, and the largest and greatest pyramids were constructed. Pyramids were tombs, if the ka, or the spiritual body of the dead person, was properly mummified and the tomb furnished with various



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