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EGYPTIAN CIVILIZATION

Map of the Egyptian Civilization. Source : ancient-egypt-online.com

The Egyptian Civilization which centered along the Nile River have developed around 3100 to about 2686.

The area where the Egyptian Civilization developed was entirely a desert, the River of Nile flows northward through it from the lakes of East Africa and ends in the Mediterranean. Therefore, River Nile in turn has provided a fertile land which made it possible for the occurrence of the Nile Valley Civilization or simply Egyptian Civilization. Agriculture like in the Civilizations of Mesopotamia and India was the backbone of the Egyptian Civilization. The Nile Valley was a good land where the Egyptians farmed wheat, barley, date and other fruits. Also, the Egyptian land was endowed with natural resources of limestone and granite with which the Egyptians used to built monuments such as the Great Pyramids.

Before 3100 BC when King Menes became the King of Egypt, Egyptian Civilization was divided into the Upper and Lower Egypt. The Upper Egypt was the southern area of the River Nile, while the Lower Egypt was to the north of the Nile.

Kingdoms in the Egyptian Civilization

It was agreed by historians that Egyptian Civilization has undergone a rule of three kingdoms of the Old, Middle, and the New Kingdom.

The Old Kingdom 2250-2080 BC

The Old Kingdom was the first Kingdom in the history of the Egyptian Civilization. It started from 2250 and ends around 2080 BC.

When King Menes from the Upper Egypt conquered the Lower Egypt, he merged them to form the ruling dynasty of kings called Pharaohs and also became the sole ruler of the Egyptians. He also built a city of Memphis to serve as the capital of the of the Old Kingdom. During this period, the system of administration started with Pharaoh as the sole ruler of Egypt. He appointed officials who get the grant for the use of land in return for their service to the Pharaoh.

The Old Kingdom started the illness of collapse after it began facing extreme economic deterioration which caused some challenges to the supremacy of the Pharaoh. Thus, the complete collapsed of the Old Kingdom came in 2080 BC.

The Middle Kingdom 2080-1780

The Middle Kingdom started after the restoration of normalcy in Egypt. The new Pharaoh came to power and started a good sustainable system in order to avoid the previous incidences that caused the collapsed of the Old Kingdom.

Pharaoh Mentuhotep II came to power and brought some reforms. Therefore, as the system changed, most of the Middle Kingdom Pharaohs never enjoyed personal power.

The Middle Kingdom also started showing the sign of collapse during the reign of Pharaoh Amenemhat III, after some economic problems. Furthermore, the tribes of Hyksos have menaced the Egyptians, until they brought an end to the Middle Kingdom.

The New Kingdom 1549-1069 BC

The New Kingdom which started from 1549 to 1069 BC, was the last Kingdom as well as the most important in the history of the Ancient Egypt.

The New Kingdom have developed and became strong as a result of personal power which its Pharaohs possessed, unlike the rulers of the Middle Kingdom who were supposed to rule with some restrictions.

Also, the New Kingdom Pharaohs have developed a system of strethening the borders of Egypt as well as its relationship with neighboring states of Assyria and Canaan.

The most greatest among the New Kingdom Pharaohs and even all the Pharaohs in the history of Ancient Egypt was Pharaoh Ramesses II whose reign was even mentioned in the Holy Books of the Old Testament and the Qur’an. During his reign Egypt possessed great power and subordinated other people. Also, during the reign of Ramesses II, Ancient Egypt saw the buildings great palaces, statues, and monuments. While religiously, Ramesses II, called himself god and forced all the Egyptians to worshipped him.

The New Kingdom collapsed in 1078 BC, after the leadership of Egypt was tone apart between the tribes of Samunds and the priests of Amun.

Life in the Ancient Egypt

The Egyptians were entirely farmers who grew wheat and barley, fruits and vegetables for their sustainability. They also reared animals like sheep, goats, and other domestic animals.

Within the social life circle, men were the head of their families and worked in order to support their family.

Women on the other hand were more likely to stay at home, even though they have more freedom than their counterparts in the other Civilizations.

Boys were trained to be hard workers especially in farming. They also accompanied their parents to their respective places of work in order to learn.

While girls, were taught to stay at home to learn from their mothers, in order to be good house wives.

Hieroglyphic Writing

Like Mesopotamians, the Egyptians invented a form of writing called Hieroglyphic which has picture like characters.

Hieroglyphic writing was started in the 28 century BC, and developed fully into writing system in the years around 2000 BC.

Architecture

Egyptian Civilization was the first to have produced large and tallest structures among the earliest Civilizations.

These structures were the Great Pyramids of Egypt that built as tomb for the Pharaohs.

The Pyramids of Giza. Source : creativecommons.org

Ahmad Abdullahi, BA History

My name is Ahmad Abdullahi, I was born on 10th March, 1994 in Garun-Danga Town, Gabasawa L.G., Kano State. I attended FCE Demonstration Primary School from 2002 to 2007, FCE Staff Secondary School from 2007 to 2013, and Northwest University, Kano from 2013 to 2017, where I obtained bachelor degree in History.

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