A ncient Egypt
What was Ancient Egypt?
Ancient Egypt was found in 3100 B.C. The Ancient Egyptians built their civilization next
to the River Nile. The people who lived there, the Ancient Egyptians, had rulers, jobs, and gods
of their own.
Scribes were the writers of Ancient Egypt. They used papyrus and wrote prophecies, and
other important words or information. Some scribes worked at temples, writing down prophecies
priests got from the gods.
Priests worked at temples. They honored, and believed in the gods of Ancient Egypt.
Sometimes, if a local paid them and asked a question, the priests conversed with the gods, and a
scribe wrote the answer.
Soldiers did the same things that soldiers do now. They guarded the pharaohs house, or
Farmers grew food for the Ancient Egyptians, such as ingredients for bread, or grapes.
They planted crops near the River Nile, and other moist places. Black was the color of good soil,
so it was considered a lucky color in Ancient Egypt. Red was the color of desert sand, and you
can’t grow anything in the desert, so it was considered an evil color.
Farmers used many tools to plant their crops well. They used the hoe to make farming
ground. They used the Shaduf tool to get water from the river Nile and water their crops.
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The River Nile, the longest river in the world, provided water for the Ancient Egyptians.
It also let the Ancient Egyptians fish and hunt. It was used to bathe, and used for drinking water.
They also washed their clothes in the waters.
Every day after the farmers harvested, the Nile rose, and flooded the soil, making it new
again and ready for the new harvest season.
There are three stages of the harvesting cycle, based on the flooding of the River Nile.
Akhet i s the stage where the Nile floods. P eret is the stage where farmers so the seeds in the soil.
And the final stage is S hemu, the stage where the crops are harvested.
However, the Nile did have downsides. Dangerous animals such as crocodiles and hippos
lived under the surface. They sometimes attacked the Egyptians if they leaned to close to the
Many Egyptians emptied their waste into the Nile, so it was polluted, and unsafe to drink.
Since the Nile was one of their only water sources, they had no choice but to drink the water,
many got sick, and died.
The pharaoh is the ruler of Ancient Egypt. He ruled Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. The
word ‘pharaoh’ means Great House. It comes from the Egyptian ‘pero’.
The pharaoh has 2 main symbols, the crook and the flail. The crook stood for kingship,
and the flail stood for fertility.
The most famous pharaoh in Egyptian history was probably King Tutankhamun. He was
made pharaoh when he was 9 or 10 years old. He died at age 19. King Tutankhamun was the
12th pharaoh in Egyptian history.
Tutankhamun’s father was called Amenhotep IV, later known as Akhenaten. He ruled for
about 20 years, but during his reign, he would not let people worship any god except Aten, or Ra.
Hatshepsut was one of the only female pharaohs. She wore the symbols of kingship like
all pharaohs, and ruled Ancient Egypt for almost 20 years. When a pharaoh died, they were
buried inside a pyramid with many jewels. If anyone stole the jewels, they would be put put to
death. These thieves became known as tomb robbers. After pharaohs died, it was said they
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One of the most important locations in Ancient Egypt is the Great Pyramid of Giza. It
became one of the 7 Ancient Wonders of the world, and is the last existing one on the list.
Nobody knows how the pyramid was built. One theory is ramps, which were used to
place blocks on higher locations, but nobody knows whether this is true or not.
The Sphinx of Giza is a limestone statue from Egypt. The face of the pharaoh Khafre is
probably the face there, and was most likely built during his reign. According to some
measurements, it would have taken 3 years to build, as long as 100 people worked on it.
The first big stone building built by the Ancient Egyptians was the Step Pyramid of
Djoser. It was built by Djoser’s vizier Imhotep. It is found Northwest of Memphis. It is the oldest
pyramid in Egypt, and built in about 2650 B.C.
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Ancient Egyptians took burial rites very seriously. They believed that if the burial was
not done in a specific way, the soul would not reach the afterlife.
The Ancient Egyptians believed that when you reached the afterlife, some organs would
be valuable to you, and some would not. So before the bodies were buried, people called
embalmers removed the ‘unimportant’ organs. The brain was considered unimportant, so it was
removed through the nose with a metal hook.
In order to wrap the body, the wrappings had something added, so the body would not
decompose. The entire process to get the mummy ready for burial took about 70 days.
After the mummy had been placed in a sarcophagus, a golden box with different layers, it
was ready for burial. The family of the dead sometimes hired mourners, women who were paid
to cry at the funeral.
One of the most important ceremonies the Ancient Egyptians performed was the
‘Opening of the Mouth ceremony.’ It permitted the dead to eat and drink again in the afterlife.
They were then buried with a book called B ook of the Dead.
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After the body was buried, their soul reached the afterlife. The reason all deceased were
buried with the Book of the Dead was because it contained instructions and directions in order to
survive the underworld..
If the instructions were obeyed, the dead reached a scale in which their heart was
weighed. This is why the Ancient Egyptians left the heart while the embalmers were removing
other body parts. This scale determined whether you had been good or bad in your life in Ancient
If you were bad, a monster devoured your heart, and you would never make it to the
afterlife, which was the goal for all souls. If you were good, you completed the journey, reached
the afterlife, and lived there happily.
This is a chart of some gods, and what they control.
Bast(et)- Goddess of cats
Ra/Re/Amun- God of the sun
Shu- God of the wind
Tefnut- Goddess of moisture
Nut & Geb- Goddess of sky, and God of Earth.
Osiris- God of the Dead
Anubis- God of funeral rites
Horus- God of sky/rebirth
Set- God of chaos
Isis Goddess of magic
Nephthys- Goddess of rivers/service/sleep
Sobek-God of crocodiles
Khonsu-God of the moon
Ra is the god of the sun. Every day he drives his sun chariot across the sky, and brings it
back at dawn. He had 2 children, Shu and Tefnut. Shu then had Nut, goddess of the sky, as a
child. Nut married Geb, the god of Earth.
Nut became pregnant, but Ra forbid her to give birth, for he had heard a prophecy
claiming that one of Nut’s children would become the pharaoh of the gods instead of him. Nut
could not give birth to her children on any of the 360 days in the year.
Nut gambled Khonsu, the moon god, and won enough moonlight to add 5 extra days to
calendar, and had her 5 children, Osiris, Horus, Set, Isis, and Nephthys, on those days/ Some
versions say that Osiris later married Isis, and Set married Nephthys.
Isis wanted her husband Osiris to become pharaoh, so she sent a poisonous snake to bite
Ra, and made sure nothing and no one could heal him except her. She then told Ra she would
only heal him if he told her his secret name. He did, and Isis healed him. Having his secret name
meant she had power over him. She forced him out, and Osiris became pharaoh.
For a special occasion, Set brought in a golden coffin, and said that anyone who fit
perfectly into it could keep it. Osiris fit, and Set trapped him, and broke the coffin in pieces.
Osiris became god of the dead.
Horus was Isis and Osiris’ son, so he challenged Set and won. Horus became the pharaoh
of the gods.