THE ANCIENT EGYPT PORTAL

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The golden funeral mask of king Tutankhamun, a symbol for many of ancient Egypt
The golden funeral mask of king Tutankhamun, a symbol for many of ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt was a civilization in ancient Northeast Africa, situated in the Egyptian Nile Valley in Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC (according to conventional Egyptian chronology) with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes (often identified with Narmer). The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power in the New Kingdom, ruling much of Nubia and a sizable portion of the Near East, after which it entered a period of slow decline. During the course of its history Egypt was invaded or conquered by a number of foreign powers, including the Hyksos, the Libyans, the Nubians, the Assyrians, the Achaemenid Persians, and the Macedonians under the command of Alexander the Great. The Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom, formed in the aftermath of Alexander's death, ruled Egypt until 30 BC, when, under Cleopatra, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province.

The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came partly from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense population, and social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, and a military intended to assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, and administrators under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs.[1]

The many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the quarrying, surveying, and construction techniques that supported the building of monumental pyramids, temples, and obelisks; a system of mathematics, a practical and effective system of medicine, irrigation systems, and agricultural production techniques, the first known planked boats, Egyptian faience and glass technology, new forms of literature, and the earliest known peace treaty, made with the Hittites. Ancient Egypt has left a lasting legacy. Its art and architecture were widely copied, and its antiquities were carried off to far corners of the world. Its monumental ruins have inspired the imaginations of travelers and writers for millennia. A newfound respect for antiquities and excavations in the early modern period by Europeans and Egyptians led to the scientific investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater appreciation of its cultural legacy. (Full article...)

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Neferirkare.jpg

The pyramid of Neferirkare (Egyptian: Bꜣ Nfr-ỉr-kꜣ-rꜥ "the Ba of Neferirkare") was built for the Fifth Dynasty pharaoh Neferirkare Kakai in the 25th century BC. It was the tallest structure on the highest site at the necropolis of Abusir, found between Giza and Saqqara, and still towers over the necropolis. The pyramid is also significant because its excavation led to the discovery of the Abusir Papyri.

The Fifth Dynasty marked the end of the great pyramid constructions during the Old Kingdom. Pyramids of the era were smaller and becoming more standardized, though intricate relief decoration also proliferated. Neferirkare's pyramid deviated from convention as it was originally built as a step pyramid: a design that had been antiquated after the Third Dynasty (26th or 27th century BC). This was then encased in a second step pyramid with alterations intended to convert it into a true pyramid; However, the pharaoh's death left the work to be completed by his successors. The remaining works were completed in haste, using cheaper building material. (Full article...)

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Nofretete Neues Museum.jpg
Credit: Xenon 77

Bust of Nefertiti. She was the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten. She was the mother-in-law and the stepmother of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun. She was made famous due to Nefertiti bust (pictured) currently on display in the Neues Museum.

Did you know...

Pyramid of Sahure

  • ... that the mortuary temple of the pyramid of Sahure (pictured) was decorated with over 10,000 sq. metres (107,640 sq. ft) of fine relief carvings?
  • ... that Iry-Hor is the earliest ruler of Egypt known by name?
  • ... that Qakare Ibi was the last pharaoh to have a pyramid build for himself in Saqqara?

News

5th September 2018. Rock-cut Tomb discovered in a 4,000-year-old Elite Cemetery


August 2018: in the tomb of the mayor of Memphis Ptahmose who dates around 1300 BC was found well preserved cheese, more than 3000 years old. [1]

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Niuserre Double Statue.jpg
Double statue portraying Nyuserre as both a young man and an old man, Museum of Egyptian Art in Munich

Nyuserre Ini (also Niuserre Ini or Neuserre Ini; in Greek known as Rathurês, Ῥαθούρης) was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh, the sixth ruler of the Fifth Dynasty during the Old Kingdom period. He is credited with a reign of 24 to 35 years depending on the scholar, and likely lived in the second half of the 25th century BCE. Nyuserre was the younger son of Neferirkare Kakai and queen Khentkaus II, and the brother of the short-lived king Neferefre. He may have succeeded his brother directly, as indicated by much later historical sources. Alternatively, Shepseskare may have reigned between the two as advocated by Miroslav Verner, albeit only for a few weeks or months at the most. The relation of Shepseskare with Neferefre and Nyuserre remains highly uncertain. Nyuserre was in turn succeeded by Menkauhor Kaiu, who could have been his nephew and a son of Neferefre.

Nyuserre was the most prolific builder of his dynasty, having built three pyramids for himself and his queens and completed a further three for his father, mother and brother, all in the necropolis of Abusir. He built the largest surviving temple to the sun god Ra constructed during the Old Kingdom, named Shesepibre or "Joy of the heart of Ra". He also completed the Nekhenre, the Sun temple of Userkaf in Abu Gorab, and the valley temple of Menkaure in Giza. In doing so, he was the first king since Shepseskaf, last ruler of the Fourth Dynasty, to pay attention to the Giza necropolis, a move which may have been an attempt to legitimise his rule following the troubled times surrounding the unexpected death of his brother Neferefre. (Full article...)

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  • All Gizah Pyramids
    All Gizah Pyramids
  • Ancient Egypt map-en
    Ancient Egypt map-en
  • Edwin Smith Papyrus v2
    Edwin Smith Papyrus v2
  • Giambattista Tiepolo - The Banquet of Cleopatra - Google Art Project
    Giambattista Tiepolo - The Banquet of Cleopatra - Google Art Project
  • Giza pyramid complex (map)
    Giza pyramid complex (map)
  • Le Jardin de Nébamoun
    Le Jardin de Nébamoun
  • Sphinx partially excavated2
    Sphinx partially excavated2
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    Standing Hippopotamus MET DP248993
  • The Mummy 1932 film poster
    The Mummy 1932 film poster

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  • All Gizah Pyramids
    All Gizah Pyramids
  • Ancient Egypt map-en
    Ancient Egypt map-en
  • Edwin Smith Papyrus v2
    Edwin Smith Papyrus v2
  • Giza pyramid complex (map)
    Giza pyramid complex (map)
  • Le Jardin de Nébamoun
    Le Jardin de Nébamoun
  • Sphinx partially excavated2
    Sphinx partially excavated2
  • Standing Hippopotamus MET DP248993
    Standing Hippopotamus MET DP248993
  • The Mummy 1932 film poster
    The Mummy 1932 film poster


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Sources

  1. ^ James (2005), p. 8; Manuelian (1998), pp. 6–7.
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