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Table of Contents
From 3150 B.C. to 30 B.C., ancient Egypt was one of the world’s greatest and most influential civilizations. Egyptologists often divide the golden history of ancient Egypt into three kingdoms: the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom.
See the fact file below for more information on Ancient Egypt or alternatively, you can download our 28-page Ancient Egypt worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY
- Like other ancient civilizations, Egypt was established along a rich body of water. The Nile River is the longest in the world. It is located in northeast Africa and flows through several countries until it connects with the Mediterranean Sea.
- During ancient times, Egypt was divided into two regions – Upper and Lower Egypt – in relation to the flow of the Nile River. Moreover, ancient Egyptians devised a seasonal calendar based on the river. Akhet refers to the flooding season, Peret for the growing season, and Shemu for the harvest season.
- Since deserts mostly surround Egypt, the Nile River provided the people with fertile land, building materials, and a transportation route.
- The fertile soil along the Nile River made growing crops like papyrus, wheat, and flax easy.
- Ancient Egyptians called the Nile “Aur,” which means ‘black’ from the rich black soil produced every flooding season.
- Ancient Egyptians also used the mud from the riverbanks to make sun-dried bricks. Moreover, they quarried limestone from the hills near the river.
- As one of the world’s oldest and longest surviving civilizations, ancient Egypt is outlined by Dynasties and Kingdoms.
- For over three thousand years, ancient Egypt was ruled by over 30 dynasties from the Ptolemaic Dynasty set by the Greeks until the famous pharaohs who built some of Egypt’s most historic architecture like the pyramids and the Sphinx.
- Scholars also divided the history of ancient Egypt through kingdoms or periods. The Old Kingdom lasted for 400 years, from 2575 B.C. to 2150 B.C., and was ruled by the Third until Sixth Dynasty. It was during this kingdom that a strong centralized government was established.
- The Third Dynasty was founded by pharaoh Djoser who divided the land into nomaes (states) headed by a nomarch (governor). It was under Djoser that the pyramid of Giza was built and the Great Sphinx during the Fourth dynasty.
- The Middle Kingdom emerged when the pharaoh united the states again into one central government.
- When Mentuhotep II became king of southern Egypt, he invaded the north, which eventually united Egypt into one. It is sometimes called the Period of Reunification that lasted between 2040 to 1782 B.C.
- The New Kingdom, also known as the golden age of ancient Egypt, emerged from 1520 B.C. and lasted until 1075 B.C.
- Famous pharaohs ruled during the New Kingdom, including Ramesses II, Thutmose III, Hatshepsut, Tutankhamun, and Akhenaten. Except for Tutankhamun, who rose to fame due to the discovery of his tomb in November 1922 BCE, these pharaohs launched expeditions and invasions of lands including Kush, Nubia, modern-day Israel, Lebanon, and Syria. Accompanying land expansion was gaining wealth and trade goods from many parts of the ancient world.
- As a result, numerous and massive temples for the gods and pharaohs were built, including the Temple of Luxor, the Temple of Karnak, and the Temple of Hatshepsut.
- In 30 B.C, Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire. The defeat of Mark Antony and Queen Cleopatra by Octavian at the Battle of Actium led to the collapse of Egypt as an independent civilization.
PHARAOHS AND THE EGYPTIAN LIFE
- The supreme ruler of ancient Egypt was called a pharaoh. Pharaohs are like kings and emperors; they were considered descendants of gods who ruled the kingdom’s political and religious affairs. The Queen of Egypt or the Great Royal Wife also shared great power and could rule in the absence of the pharaoh.
- Akhenaten was known for saying there was only one god, the sun god. He was the husband of Nefertiti and son of the famous pharaoh King Tut. Interrupting the long history of polytheism in ancient Egypt, Akhenaten declared Aten the sun god, the one true god.
- At the age of 9, Tutankhamun, known as King Tut, became the pharaoh of Egypt. Following the famous excavation of his tomb, scholars came up with different theories of the young king’s death and contribution to Egyptian politics.
- Also known as the lady pharaoh, Hatshepsut is considered one of the greatest pharaohs in ancient Egypt. She initially served as a regent for her son but later ruled on her own during the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Hatshepsut, the second historically confirmed female pharaoh, reinforced the power of women in ancient times. Under Hatshepsut, trade networks were re-established, while building projects were strengthened in Upper and Lower Egypt.
- Ramesses II, or the Great Ramesses, ruled Egypt for 67 years and was known to have built more monuments and statues than any other pharaoh.
- Cleopatra VII Philopator was another powerful woman who ruled Egypt during the last days of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. She was known in history for making alliances with the Romans, including Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony.
- Pharaohs were the only people in ancient Egypt allowed to wear a headdress with the goddess cobra on it.
- Under the leadership of the pharaoh was a vizier or Chief Overseer of the Land, like Imhotep, who has been credited for building the first pyramid and was made into a god.
- Under the vizier were nomarchs or governors who were in charge of the nome or states. They were often appointed by the pharaohs and sometimes placed through inheritance of the position.
- To support the government, citizens paid taxes.
- One of the main cultural features of ancient Egypt was their belief in life after death. Through mummification, they prolonged the existence of the dead’s physical body through embalming. As part of preserving the body, a kind of crystal substance called natron is rubbed inside and on the body. Vital organs are removed except the heart, while the body is wrapped in linen and placed in a stone tomb called a sarcophagus.
- Among the most famous and well-preserved mummies were King Tut and Ramses II, which were entombed in the Valley of Kings.
- Ancient Egyptians collected written spells concerning the afterlife in the Book of the Dead. It comprises over 190 chapters written in hieroglyphics on papyrus sheets.
- Ancient Egyptians practiced polytheism, meaning they had multiple gods and goddesses representing natural elements of the world, including the sun (Ra), underworld (Osiris), and deserts and storms (Seth).
- Religion and mythology were intertwined during the time, similar to how the power and authority of pharaohs were unquestionable as the gods.
- In ancient Egypt, both men and women wore makeup. They usually decorated their eyes with kohl or black paint and covered their skin with oils. The wealthier the individuals, the more makeup they wore since kohl was expensive. Women of noble births used creams and powders.
CONTRIBUTION AND LEGACY
- Generally, ancient Egyptians were pioneers in medicine, architecture, and mathematics. Their solar calendar concept was used for the cycle of flooding, planting, and harvesting. Improvements in irrigation and measurement were also introduced. Most importantly, ancient Egyptians had excellent knowledge of medicine and surgery, as recorded in Ebers Papyrus.
- Ancient Egyptians invented their writing system called hieroglyphics. They were very good at keeping records to maintain control of the empire.
- Most text and religious records were written on papyrus sheets made from fibers of a plant of the same name. They even traded this invention with the ancient Greeks.
- Shipbuilding was an industry of communities near the Nile River. They began building small boats made of papyrus reeds. Later on, they built large ships out of cedar wood from Lebanon. Moreover, wealthy Egyptians built funeral boats because they believed that the dead needed a boat for the journey to the afterlife.
- Ancient Egyptians are probably most famous for their pyramids built with a deep understanding of mathematics and architecture.
- Other contributions included the black ink, plow (ox-drawn), sickle, shadoof, clock, wig, toothpaste, and surgical instruments such as swabs, bandages, and lint.
Ancient Egypt Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Ancient Egypt across 28 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Ancient Egypt worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Ancient Egypt (from 3150 B.C. to 30 B.C), which was one of the greatest and most powerful civilizations in the world. Scholars often divide the golden history of ancient Egypt into three kingdoms namely the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Ancient Egypt Facts
- The Great House
- Immortality in Ancient Egypt
- Crack the Code
- Social Classes
- Egyptian Clothing
- Deities of Egypt
- The River Nile
- Chronological Dynasties
- Ancient Egyptian Terms
- Secrets of the Afterlife
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Link will appear as Ancient Egypt Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 17, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.