Egypt started 5,000 years ago, and lasted for over 3,000 years, longer than most other civilizations in the world’s history. It lies between Africa and the Middle East. This ancient country holds a history of over 6,000 years. The Pyramids, the Sphinx, the tomb of young King Tut are just a few pyramids built to bury thre rich and the royal.. The majority of the population in Egypt lives in an area along the Nile River called the Nile Valley and the Nile Delta. As a result, many places in this region are extremely crowded, with several thousand persons per square kilometer. Egypt’s civilians today are mostly Ancient Egyptians, Arabs, Turks, and other peoples are blended in their ancestry. About half of the population of the Nile Delta are fellahin (pronounced fel-uh-heen), or peasants–either small landowners or laborers–living on the produce of the land.
The average family of fellahin has four or five children, who start working as soon as they are able to do so. Most fellahin, especially the women, spend their lives in drudgery. The areas to the west and the east of the Nile River–the Western and the Eastern Deserts–only contain small settlements of semi-nomads–the Bedouins (pronounced bed-oo-in). They live by herding goats, sheep, and camels, or by trading–mainly with mining and petroleum camps, or with fishing communities on the coast. The Bedouins families are about the same size as the fellahin families, except that many Bedouin husbands have from two to four wives.
THE HISTORY OF EGYPT
Egyptian history begins around 3300 BC. This was when the Egyptians finally had enough symbols in their writing to record history. From 3100 BC inscriptions created a way for later Egyptians. It was also the time when the pharaoh, King Menes, created Egypt by uniting the two parts of Egypt, also known as Upper and Lower Egypt, into a single kingdom. A series of strong and able rulers established a well organized government. The Sun God Re was the most loved god-figure at the time. Over time, authority began to disappear and Egypt was controlled by foreign princes.
No other civilization in the time of the pharaohs could compete with Egypt’s magnificent buildings, its wealth, or its long centuries of peace. To a large extent, this is because other civilizations did not have Egypt’s main advantage — its great river. For tens of thousands of years the focal point of Egyptian life has been the River Nile. Egypt is correctly said to be the gift of the Nile and Egypt’s two most important areas are the Delta and the Nile Valley. The Nile Delta is the heartland of Egypt. The ancient Egyptians believed that the waters of the Nile came from a “mysterious heaven of plenty”. All of Egypt depended on the Nile for water, food, and transportation.
Pharaoh simply means “the one who lives in the palace”. Egyptians addressed their pharaoh as though he were a god with several forms. They thought he was more than human and addressed him with the names of several gods. The pharaoh’s most godlike names were “son of Re” and “giver of life like Re”. The Egyptians believed that no single name could express the greatness of their ruler. They also believed by serving the gods, the king helped the sun to rise every morning and helped the Nile to flood at the end of each summer. They believed that in return for the offerings of food and water that only the pharaoh could make, the gods would feed the souls of the Egyptians after death. The pharaoh’s power was almighty and unquestioned. As a matter of fact, just touching the pharaoh’s crown or scepter, even accidentally, carried the death penalty. The pharaoh’s chief duty was to build and maintain temples to the gods.
PYRAMIDS AND STRUCTURES
The buildings of Egypt that were mainly built 5,000 years ago were the pyrimids. All of them were built to contain the tombs of pharaohs. In the 27th century BC, the first pyramid was built and pyramids became the most popular way to bury royalty. They were the earliest buildings ever to be made by precisely cutting and putting together great blocks of stone. In stonework, Egypt led the world for more than 2,000 years.
PICTURES AND WORDS
Important Egyptians were wealthy enough to build magnificent tombs and furnish them richly with treasures, inscriptions, paintings, and statues. Egyptians did not paint images to show what people were really like, instead, a picture was a kind of diagram. To preserve the magical power of their art, the Egyptians believed they must copy exactly the style handed down through the ages. This meant that most artists painted in the same way, and the people they painted all looked the same. Tomb pictures were closely connected with Egypt’s famous picture writing, or hieroglyphs, invented about 5,000 years ago.