EGYPTIAN Ancient Egypt is one of the most famous early civilizations. The culture flourished in the Nile River Valley for thousands of years. The Nile River was aimortant part of ancient Egypt. AGRICULTURE IN ANCIENT EGYPT The ancient Egyptian economy was based on farming. Farmers had to give 3/5 of their crops to pharaoh as a tax. Farming land was called ―Black Land for crops‖. Irrigation was very important for farming. Irrigation is watering dry land by using streams, canals – even by carrying water back and forth in skin bags. The Egyptians were the first to use irrigation methods. Flooding of Nile was important for growing crops. Farmers worked by rise and fall of the Nile in a yearly cycle. They never needed fertilizers because the flood soil was so rich. The Egyptians believed that when Osiris, the god of death and rebirth, was dead, the river was low, but when Osiris was alive, the Nile would overflow. GOVERNMENT IN ANCIENT EGYPT Before upper and lower Egypt was united, each area was ruled by a king. The king of Lower Egypt wore a red crown and the king of upper Egypt wore a white crown. In 3100. B.C., Menes the king of Upper Egypt united the two halves of the country. The united country was then divided into 40 regions. A king of Egypt was referred to as Pharaoh, which comes from the Egyptian word meaning ‘great estate’ or ‘great house’. There was a governor for each region. Each governor had to obey the pharaoh. The Pharaoh was the highest person in the government and had total power over the people. They wore a double crown to represent upper and Lower Egypt. The Egyptians had to spend few months every year working on pyramids. THE EARLY SCRIPT The invention of Script marks a quantum leap forward in human cultural development. A seated scribe holding a papyrus roll was one of the most popular subjects in their early art. The Egyptian school was called the ‘House of Life’ (Per-Ankh). There were two inventions, first - the script itself, Second – the technological development of materials (papyrus, pen, ink) capable of recording, transmitting and preserving the script. The Alphabet All Scripts, even modern alphabets, are artificial conventions limited in their ability to reproduce the spoken words. The ancient Egyptian script was pictographic. The writing was associated with Thoth, the ibis headed god of learning and writing, referred to as ‘words of god’. Egyptian writing is a mixed script – combining signs denoting ideas with phonetic signs. .
Words and Syllabus Pictogram was a sort of ideogram which means the pictogram for foot could also express the verbal idea to walk. Pictograms could be combined to provide extended meanings. It also contained some phonetic signs capable of expressing syllabus. Most alphabets are written in the same direction (English, left to right or Arabic left to right). Hieroglyph could be written from left to right or right to left or in vertical columns. With the passage of time, there developed two cursive styles (a) hieratic (Greek-priestly) and (b) demotic (popular) a development from hierarchic around 700BC. Pen and Papyrus Paper Egyptian paper was made from papyrus reed. Papyrus The ancient Egyptians were the first to solve demanding technological problem of manufacturing high quality writing material. Papyrus reed grew profusely along the banks of Nile. Papyrus was a valuable commodity with multiple uses : the rind, the stripped from the stem, was used for making mats, cloths, sandals and rope. Bundles of papyrus stems were used to make boats. Pen and Ink Reed (Juncus Maritimus) supplied the pen. Cut about 10 inches long. The tip was cut on a slant and then crushed or chewed by scribe to form a fine brush. Both black and red inks were common. They were made from carbon or fine soot and finely ground ochre respectively. The constituents were mixed with a weak solution of gum and paste shaped into small cakes, dried and placed on scribes palette. The reed brush was then dipped into water and rubbed over surface of hardened block. The scribes standard kit included ink palette, water cup and brush holder. The Library of Alexandria The library of Alexandria was established under one of the early of Ptolemaic rulers. The Ptolemaics gathered hundreds of thousands of Egyptian manuscripts, which were collected from all over Egypt. It was then believed that the library would protect this Egyptian written knowledge, from any possible invaders. The library was reputed to contain over 200,000 manuscripts. During the time of Julius Ceaser, the library was burned down. The library was rebuilt and restocked again during Roman era. The final blow to the library was by the Muslims who in 640 CE invaded Egypt. The Leyeden papyrus compress about seventy five recipes pertaining to the make of alloys, for soldering metals, for colouring the surface of metals, for testing the quality of or purity of metals or for irritating the precious metals. There are fifteen recipes for writing in gold or silver in imitation of gold and silver writing. There are eleven recipes for dyeing stuffs in purple or other colours.
International Trade in Ancient Egypt The needs of a civilized society, such as the ancient Egyptians were not fully satisfied by the production in homeland. The red sea gave access to Africa and the Far East. The Mediterranean sea gave them access to countries in and around the area. Navigation was the principal means of transport, the Egyptians built a whole range of boats. They also conducted various imports and exports to and from different places. The Egyptians Origin of Gregorian Calender The present so called Gregorian calendar is an imitation of ancient Gregorian calendar. When Julius Caesar came to Egypt , he was impressed by the Egypt calendar and commissioned the astronomer Sosigenes to introduce a calendar into roman empire. This resulted in Julian calendar of 365 days a year or 366 days every leap year. The Egyptian triple calendar was created. They worked accordingly. Each calendar has its own purpose- A lunar calendar, civil calendar and a calendar of 365 days. Mathematics Egyptians achieved less in the field of Mathematics from the Babylonians. They had decimal notation for whole numbers, but they did not reduce to fraction basis. They multiplied by a method which was used in Russia. The number to be multiplied is first doubled, then redoubled and so on. Egyptian ―pi‖ was 3.16 which is much closer to the modern 3.14. Egyptian numerals The Egyptians had extended their use of numbers to include hundreds of thousands and millions. One of the earliest examples of Egyptian writing were the hieroglyphs on Narmer or Menes, the first king of upper and lower Egypt (3000 BC). The numerals on the hieroglyphs cited the existence of thousands of heads of cattles and thousands of prisoners. Pyramids and mummies The three pyramids in Giza are the most visited attraction in the world. The great pyramid of the fourth Dynasty king Khufu, the ultimate resurrection machine is the biggest pyramid ever built. The pyramids of Khafra and Menkaura are the last remaining seven wonders of the Ancient world. It was the hope of every Egyptian to be reborn after daeath with the sun god Ra and be resurrected with each sunrise. The pyramids were the gargantuan residences for the royal dead. They felt that the body had to be preserved so that soul may return. for this purpose they mummified or embalmed their dead and placed in tomb inside pyramid which was their home. They wrapped bodies were referred to as mummies.