Egypt: The Fundamentals of the Pyramides

Egypt: The Fundementals of the Pyramides

The fundamental motive of the pyramid is the funeral mound. A small upheaval above the natural level of the ground results of itself from the earth displaced by the bulk of the buried body. Our present practice of interment clearly illustrates this. Increased dimensions elevate the mound to an independent monument.

Many nations, some of a high degree of civilization, have contented themselves with such imposing hills of earth over the grave,–tumuli, which, from the manner of their construction, assumed a conical form. Others placed the mound upon a low cylinder, thus better marking its distinction from accidental natural elevations.

The Egyptians and the Mesopotamians rejected the cone entirely, and formed, with plane surfaces upon a square plan, the highly mon- umental pyramid. Peculiar to the former people are the inclined sides which give to the pyramid its absolute geometrical form, as opposed to the terraced structures of Chaldaea.

The sand of the desert ebbed and flowed fifty centuries ago as constantly as in our time, when the sphinx, after being uncovered to its base, has been quickly hidden again to the neck. Rulers, unwilling that their gigantic tombs should be thus submerged, were obliged to secure to them great height, with inclined and unbroken sides, upon which the sand could not lodge.

Nile River Under the Egyptian Blue Sky

Nile River Under the Egyptian Blue Sky

The changeless blue of the Egyptian sky, the strictly regular return of all the natural phenomena connected with the Nile, that wonderful stream of the land’s life, are entirely in accord with the fixedness of Egyptian civilization in all its branches.

Though the high state of advance which we first find in Egyptian art, three thousand years before the Christian era, must necessarily have been preceded by less perfected degrees, it is wholly impossible to perceive such stages of development in any of the monuments known. After Egypt had attained a certain height of civilization, its history, during the thousands of years known to us, shows none of those phases of advance or decline, of development in short, to be observed in Europe during every century, if not during every decade.

The Egyptian completed buildings and statues begun by his remote ancestors without the slightest striving for individual peculiarity. He commenced new works in the same spirit, leaving them for similar execution by his great-grandchildren. Numberless generations thus dragged on without bequeathing a trace of any peculiar character and ability. It is only by the cartouches of the kings in the hieroglyphic inscriptions that it is possible to separate the dynasties, and to group into periods of a thousand years or more, works of art which seem from their style to belong to one and the same age.

What gigantic revolutions have affected the civilization of Europe during the fourteen centuries elapsed since the overthrow of the Roman Empire, and how slight are the appreciable changes during the nearly equal number of years of the ancient dynasties of Memphis–the period of the pyramids, or again of the Theban kingdom–from the seventeenth dynasty to the rule of the Ptolemies!

Great Pyramids: The symbols sacred to the Sun-God

Great Pyramids: The symbols sacred to the Sun-God

The Egyptians had many gods, but there were two whom they worshiped above all others. The sun, which shines so gloriously in the cloudless Egyptian sky, was their greatest god, and their most splendid temples were erected for his worship. Indeed, the pyramid is a symbol sacred to the Sun-god. They called him Re (pronounced ray). The other great power which they revered was the shining Nile.

The great river and the fertile soil he refreshes, and the green life which he brings forth–all these the Egyptian thought of together as a single god, Osiris, the imperishable life of the earth, which revives and fades every year with the changes of the seasons. It was a beautiful thought to the Egyptian that this same life-giving power which furnished him his food in this world would care for him also in the next, when his body lay out yonder in the great cemetery of Gizeh, which we are approaching.

But this vast cemetery of Gizeh tells us of many other things besides the religion of the Egyptians. As we look up at the colossal pyramids behind the Sphinx we can hardly grasp the fact of the enormous forward stride taken by the Egyptians since the days when they used to be buried with their flint knives in a pit scooped out on the margin of the desert. It was the use of metal which since then had carried them so far. That Egyptian in Sinai who noticed the first bit of metal lived over a thousand years before these pyramids were built. He was buried in a pit like that of the earliest Egyptian peasant.

The Seven Wonders of the Antique World and Middle Ages

The Seven Wonders of the Antque World and Middle Ages

The Seven Wonders of the World Of Antiquity:

(1) The Pyramids of Egypt.
(2) The Gardens of Semiramis at Babylon.
(3) The statue of Zeus at Olympia, the work of Phidias.
(4) The Temple of Diana at Ephesus.
(5) The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
(6) The Colossus at Rhodes.
(7) The Pharos of Egypt, the Walls of Babylon or the Palace of Cyrus.

The Seven Wonders of the World Of the Middle Ages:

(1) The Coliseum of Rome.
(2) The Catacombs of Alexandria.
(3) The Great Wall of China.
(4) Stonehenge.
(5) The Leaning Tower of Pisa.
(6) The Porcelain Tower of Nankin.
(7) The Mosque of St. Sophia at Constantinople.

The palace of the Escurial has sometimes been called the eighth wonder, a name which has also been given to a number of works of great mechanical ingenuity, such as the dome of Chosroes in Madain, St. Peter’s of Rome, the Menai suspension bridge, the Eddystone lighthouse, the Suez Canal, the railway over Mont Cenis, the Atlantic cable, etc.

Ancient Egypt Timeline

Ancient Egypt Timelineient Egypt Timeline

5000 BC First evidence of people settling along the Nile Delta
4400 – 4000 BC Babarian culture- people practiced agriculture and domesticated sheep and goats, — known for pottery
4000 – 3500 BC Amratian Society of Upper Egypt – first signs of hierarchical civilization
3200 BC Hieroglyphics developed
3110 – 2884 BC Menes joined Upper and Lower Egypt into one kingdom with the capitol at Memphis
3000 BC Irrigation increased farmland, people worship the sun
3000 – 2890 BC 1st Dynasty kings buried in first royal tombs at Abydos

1st Dynasty
(2920 – 2770) During this time the capital at Memphis was founded. Papyrus was invented. Writing was used by the government. Many impressive artifacts have been found from this period.
2890 – 2686 BC Wooden coffins and corpses wrapped in resin

2nd Dynasty
(2770 – 2650) After much rivalry for the throne Hetepsekhemsy won. At this time the kings disagreed over which god, Horus and Seth, was in power. This was finally settled when Khasekhemwy became ruler. He took both titles. Disorder erupted during the end of this dynasty. There could have been a civil war.

3rd Dynasty
2686 – 2648 BC Step Pyramid at Saqqara built by King Djoser

4th Dynasty
(2575-2467) During this dynasty there was a great peace. The kings were able to put their energies in art. King Khufu’s Great Pyramid of Giza was built. People prayed to the sun god Re. The first religious words were written on the walls of the royal tombs.
2550 – 2490 BC Khufu (Cheops), Khephren (Chephren), and Menkare build great pyramids
2494 – 2487 BC King Userkaf builds temple for sun god Ra at Abusir.

5th Dynasty
For the first time high officials came from people outside of the royal family. The pyramids begin to be smaller and less solid. However, the carvings in the temples were of great quality. Papyrus scrolls from this time have been discovered. They showed record keeping of goods.
2375 – 2345 BC The Pyramid Texts describe Osiris
2420 – 2258 BC Pepi I and Pepi II rule – government weakens

6th Dynasty
(2323-2152) Many records of trading expeditions have been discovered from this period.
2160 BC Capitol moves from Memphis to Herakleopolis in northern Middle Egypt – Upper Egypt controlled by Theban rulers.
7th and 8th Dynasties
(2150 – 2135) The political structure of the Old Kingdom collapsed. There was famine, civil disorder, and a high death rate.

9th and 10th Dynasties
(2135 – 1986) Egypt split into the north, ruled from Herakleopolis, and the south, ruled from Thebes.

11th Dynasty
(2074-1937) Prosperous period with much foreign trade. Many large building projects. Skilled jewelry making.
The government became strong with King Amenemhet I’s rule.
Egypt was unified once again under the rule of Metuhotep. He built an exceptional mortuary complex at Dyr al-Bahri.

2134 – 2000 BC  Capital moved to Thebes – Egypt is reunited by Mentuhotep II
1985 – 1956 BC  Amenemhat I begins trade with Asia and the Aegean
1956 – 1911 BC  Collection of letters from a farmer to his family written describing family and agricultural life
1956 – 1911 BC  Senusret I builds temple of Karnak at Thebes

12th Dynasty
Amenemhet moved the capital back to Memphis. Sesostris II reorganized Egypt into 4 regions (northern and southern halves of the Nile Valley and eastern and western Delta).
1877 – 1870 BC Senusret II builds Faiyum irrigation scheme

13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, & 17th Dynasties

(1783-1539) Few monuments from this period survived. Each king reigned for only a short time. Some of these kings were born commoners. The eastern Delta region broke away during this time.
1700 BC Earliest evidence of diagnostic medicine
1650 BC Capital moved to Thebes – Extensive building
1650 – 1580 BC spells known as the Book of the Dead first appear
1560 BC War between Thebes and Asiatic ruler

18th Dynasty
(1539-1295) Ahmose finally beat the Hyksos and sent them out of Egypt. This dynasty had a number of strong rulers.
Thutmose I conquered parts of the Near East and Africa.
Hatshepsut and Thutmose made Egypt a super power.
Amenhotep II began an artistic revolution.
Akhenaton and Nefertiti began a new religion with one god.
Tutankhamen reigned.
1532 – 1528 BC Asiatic kings conquer capital of Hyksos
1504 – 1492 BC Thutmose I begins military campaigns
1380 BC Building of the Temple of Luxor by Amenhotep III
1367 – 1350 BC Rule of Amenhotep IV (Akhenaton) – changed from a polytheism to a monotheistic society
1336 – 1327 BC Reign of Tutankhamon

19th Dynasty
(1295-1186) Seti I restored many monuments. His temple at Abydos has some of the most superior carved wall relief. Many battles and treaties were written between Egypt and Asiatic powers.
1279 – 1213 BC Ramses II begins building projects – including his mortuary temple The Ramesseum (on the West Bank near Luxor)

20th Dynasty
(1186-1069) Setakht restored order to the country. Ramesses III was one of the greatest kings.
1186 – 1089 BC Royal Tombs in the Valley of the Kings plundered

21st Dynasty
(1070-945) The kings weakened, and Egypt was no longer a world power.
Civil war and foreign invaders tore Egypt apart.
The capital moved from Tanis to Libyan, to Nubia, to Thebes, to Sais, and then back to Nubia and Thebes.
1069 BC Civil War
1069 – 1043 BC Mummification techniques improved
984 BC Osorkon the Elder becomes the first Libyan pharaoh

22nd Dynasty (945-712)

23rd Dynasty
730 BC Conquest of Egypt by Kush under Kashta and then Piankhy

24th Dynasty (725-715)

25th Dynasty
(712-657) The Nubians fell under the Assyrians invasion.
The Greeks helped re-establish order.
A renaissance in the arts of the 25th Dynasty showed a return to the Old Kingdom style.

26th Dynasty (664-552
)Mid 650s BC Psamtek I drives off Assyrian invaders and defeats Kushite kings
610 – 595 BC Nekau Ii begins to construct a canal from Nile to the Red Sea

27th Dynasty
(525-404) The Persian Conquest
The Persians invaded and ruled Egypt. They were pushed out in 404 B. C.
525 BC Persians invade Egypt, Cambyses defeats the Egyptians at the Battle of Pelosium
510 – 497 BC King Dauius completes the canal from the Nile to the Red Sea

28th Dynasty
(404 -399) Amytravios retakes Egypt from Persia

29th Dynasty (399-380)

30th Dynasty
343 – 342 BC Artaxerxes I of Persia retakes Egypt
332 BC Alexander the Great invades Egypt
331 BC Alexandria is founded
323-30 BC Ptolemaic Dynasty
Confusing time with many co-regencies.
Alexandria became the new capital. It was home to the greatest library of the ancient world.
Egypt was powerful until Cleopatra died. Egypt was then ruled by Rome.
300 BC The Temple of Isis was built on the island of Philae in the Nile River.
31 BC Queen Cleopatra VII and Mark Anthony are defeated – Octavian enters Egypt beginning Roman rule

Roman Emperors
After Cleopatra and Antony committed suicide in 30 B. C. Egypt was ruled by the Romans.
Egypt does not have another Egyptian ruler for 2000 years.
395 – 641 AD Egyptian hieroglyphic writing is no longer used – People can no longer understands its symbols
641 AD Egypt conquered by Muslin Arabs
1822 AD Rosetta Stone helps Jean Francois Chompollion break the hieroglyphic code.

Ancient Egyptians and Their Nile River Beliefs

Ancient Egyptians and Their Nile River Beliefs

The Egyptians believed the earth looked like a pancake. In the center flowed the Nile River. They thought that around the Great Circle was the ocean. They also believed the sky was flat like the earth and that it was held up with four poles so that the air could flow between the earth and the sky.

Hapy was the god of floods. He was always dressed as a boater or fisherman. He carried a platter of wheat, barley, dates, and flax.

The Nile River begins in the mountains of Africa and flows north to the Mediterranean Sea. It flows through thousands of miles of desert. After thousands of miles the river has many waterfalls and rapids called cataracts. At the delta the Nile calms down. It branches into many small streams before flowing into the Mediterranean.

Every summer the Nile flooded the river valley. After three months the water would recede leaving behind a thin, rich layer of silt.

The Nile was the fastest way to travel through Ancient Egypt. Traveling on the Nile River was an easy task for the Egyptians. The currents flowed north. Boats could let the currents carry them to their north destination. When the boat wanted to return south, the winds carried them southward. When the winds were not blowing the Egyptians used paddles or long poles to move them forward.

Most of the boats were made from giant papyrus reeds tied together. The royal family and the priest had wooden boats made from cedar wood. It came from Syria. The large wooden boats owned by the royal family were more than 100 feet long. Cargo boats carried granite, cattle, and food to people along the river. These were pulled by teams of men with many sets of oars. When the wind died down the men had to tow the boats along the river with long ropes from the banks.

Traders used the Nile for transportation. They would carry products such as coffee beans, wheat, or furs. Traders bartered to gain the best deals.

The Seven Wonders: The Pyramids of Giza

The Seven Wonders: The Pyramids of Giza

The Giza Necropolis stands on the Giza Plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo. This complex of ancient monuments includes the three pyramid complexes known as the Great Pyramids, the massive sculpture known as the Great Sphinx, several cemeteries, a workers’ village and an industrial complex.

It is located some 9 km (5 mi) inland into the desert from the old town of Giza on the Nile, some 25 km (15 mi) southwest of Cairo city centre. The pyramids were popularised in Hellenistic times when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Today it is the only one of the ancient Wonders still in existence.

Egypt may be an endless playground for you

Egypt may be an endless playground for you

If you are looking for a holiday contrary to custom, but want to enjoy a relaxing, sun filled and exciting holiday, Egypt is certainly a reasonable option for you!

With it, the lines of participating in the beautiful north east coast offering both summer sun and winter in Egypt is increasingly popular throughout the year, and it only be a 7 hour flight from UK Kingdom makes holiday destination in Egypt an easily accessible and perfect.

If you are looking for the sun, the desert climate will certainly be in the hotel and you won, AOT need help finding a place to sunbathe! With most of the country being covered with sand, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to basking in the sun.

Egypt offers obviously a bit of history simply outstanding for you to explore. Valley of the Kings in Luxor, with tombs, temples and statues, Cairo, the pyramids of the participant and the world famous museum holds some of the most famous treasures on earth, and the beauty of nature in the country of origin former life, the Nile Valley with it, flora and fauna AO.

If you love diving, Egypt will be an endless playground for you with its abundance of coral reefs and clear waters filled with fish clean the most spectacular. The year-round sunshine beaches has created a marine life, you can look at AOT nowhere else on the planet.

El Gouna is a beautiful network of islands that are separated only by shallow lagoons of blue light, each island has a small number of beach Äúhuts, the AU that are more like a five star hotel room on stilts. Water sports, horseback riding and eat and drink and is easy to find in this area and it makes it a perfect honeymoon or vacation for couples.

Nearby on the main field, there is a 18 hole golf course and a karting circuit in real size, so if you fancy a bit of a break from all the relaxing you Äôll do they offer an excellent excuse for a little fun.

If you are wanting to do really really far from everything, there is an area called Hurghada has many hotels on the seafront in front of small wrecks sting of the turquoise sea and small islands scattered in the distance. This area is known to be quiet, calm and relaxed. You need to do some travel for an action packed day, but if you want to hide away from the rat race to the fullest extent, Hurghada is an excellent choice for you.

Egypt: The Nile Delta

Egypt: The Nile Delta

North of Cairo the bordering limestone walls of the valley shrink and diverge from each other, and the river fans out into a number of distributaries. This is the delta of the Nile, a monotonous triangular plain that has been likened to the back of a leaf, for the river and canals stand out like veins above the adjoining lowlands.

Although half the delta is still occupied by lakes and swamps, salt marshes and lagoons, the remainder contains the most fertile soil in Africa. The delta measures about 100 miles from its head to the sea and about 150 along the coast. Its area, 9650 square miles (about 25,000 sq. km.), including the coastal lakes, comprises a little more than three-fourths of the Nile land in Egypt and is nearly equal to the land area of the state of Maryland.

The Delta Land

The delta conforms in outline to a gulf of the Pleistocene Mediterranean and consists of mud that has been laid down since that period by the Blue Nile and the Atbara River. These streams have brought into the mainstream of the Nile the silt from the Ethiopian highlands with which their flood waters are heavily loaded. Although there is some merging of the dark alluvial land of the delta with the light-colored sand of the bordering desert, it is nowhere sufficient to obscure the line of contact between them.

The average thickness of the alluvium is 65 feet, but it varies in depth with the configuration of the sea floor on which it has been laid down. It tends, naturally, to be heaviest and thickest at the south end of the delta and near the two branches that now carry Nile water to the sea. But even in the southern part of the delta an occasional sterile sandy mound, once an offshore island in the ancient Mediterranean gulf, still stands above the alluvium.

North of Cairo, the Nile veers toward the northwest, and about ten miles from the city bifurcates into its two present delta branches — the Damietta (Arabic Dumyat) or eastern branch, and the Rosetta (Rasheed) or western branch. Both are winding streams of considerable width. The Rosetta, 150 miles long, averages 1640 feet wide, and the Damietta, a few miles longer, 885 feet. Of the delta land, 40 per cent is between these branches and 39 and 21 per cent, respectively, east and west of them.

The eastern and western extensions of the delta land correspond to the extent of the Nile flood in ancient times, when not two, as now, but several branches carried the Nile water to the sea. As late as the first century A. D., Strabo reported the Nile as having seven branches, and a twelfth century map by Idrisi, the Arab geographer, shows six branches but indicates a trend toward consolidation into the present two. The most easterly of these, the Pelusaic, to which the early canal makers connected their waterways to the Gulf of Suez, at one time carried water as far east as Pelusium or Tina Bay, east of the present Mediterranean entrance to the Suez Canal.

Owing to the somewhat greater flow until fairly recent times of Nile water and Nile silt across the eastern side of the delta than across the western side, the surface of the delta slopes down slightly from southeast to northwest, but to all appearances it is a remarkably level plain. Its elevation at its apex is only a little more than fifty feet above the sea and its average slope only 1:10,000. A wide belt along the coast, called in Arabic “barari” (barren land), is so close to sea level that only by pumping for drainage and constantly battling against salinity can a large and muchneeded acreage there be reclaimed for cultivation.

A considerable part of this coastal belt is occupied by four shallow, brackish lakes — from east to west, Manzala, Burullus, Idku, and Maryut. These lakes are separated from the sea by only a low sand belt varying in width from narrow bars to stretches several miles across. Besides serving as outlets for most of the drainage from the cultivated land of the delta, these lakes support a fishing industry which supplies most of the fish on sale at the delta markets. Part of the catch is sold fresh in nearby urban centers; the remainder is salted for wider distribution. Matariya (on Lake Manzala). Baltim (on Lake Burullus), and Idku (on Lake Idku) are the principal fishing villages.

Lake Manzala (560 square miles) extends eastward from near the lower Damietta Branch to the Isthmus of Suez, where part of the land on which Port Sa’id stands was built up by filling in some of the eastern end of the lake. Lake Burullus (215 square miles) lies between the two Nile branches, and Lake Idku (55 square miles) faces the curve of Abu Qir Bay west of the Rosetta Branch. The surface of Maryut (76 square miles), south of Alexandria, is a few feet below sea level, but it is barred from the sea by limestone ridges.

The alluvial projections that the Damietta and Rosetta branches have built out at their mouths break the delta coast line into three smooth crescentic curves, of which Abu Qir Bay is the only indentation of any prominence. Cape Abu Qir, which marks its western limit, is the terminus of the limestone ridges that parallel the coast to the west (see section on the Western Desert in this chapter). The sea off the delta front is shallow and its floor gently sloping. Within ten miles of the coast it is nowhere more than 20 meters (65.6 feet) deep, and the 50-meter (164-foot) bathy-metric contour lies at an average distance of twenty-five miles offshore.

Since ancient times, the sinking of the delta’s Pleistocene foundation has kept pace with the deposition of Nile silt. In spite of the enormous quantities of silt deposited there each year (until the present complete perennial irrigation of all the land under cultivation in the delta was well advanced) by the Nile flood, there has been no perceptible increase in the elevation of the delta above the sea. Evidence of the subsidence of the delta foundation is to be seen in the ruins of Graeco-Roman settlements at or below sea level along the coast between Alexandria and Cape Abu Qir and in the remains of still more ancient settlements submerged in the coastal lakes or appearing as islands in the marshlands and lagoons around Lakes Burullus and Manzala.

Since records have been kept, there has been no seaward extension of the delta of any consequence, even though during the height of the Nile flood a large volume of silt-laden water is discharged through the Damietta and Rosetta branches. The west-east Gibraltar current along the African coast of the Mediterranean is so effective in carrying the Nile silt eastward that there is no perceptible accumulation of it except at the mouths of these branches. The bars it forms there are serious obstacles to coastwise vessels entering and leaving the ports of Damietta and Rosetta.

All About Abou Simbel Temple in Egypt

All About Abou Simbel Temple in Egypt

It is a curious chance that the most ancient monuments of human civilization should stand upon a land which is one of the youngest geological formations of our earth.

The scene of that artistic activity made known to us by the oldest architectural remains of Africa and of the world was not Upper Egypt, where steep primeval cliffs narrow the valley of the Nile, but the alluvion of the river’s delta. It would be difficult to decide whether the impulse of monumental creativeness were here first felt, or whether the mere fact of the preservation of these Egyptian works, secured by the indestructibility of their construction as well as by the unchangeableness of Egyptian art, be sufficient to explain this priority to other nations of antiquity — notably to Mesopotamia.

Although no ruins have been found in Chaldaea of earlier date than the twenty-third century B.C., it is not at all impossible that remains of greater antiquity may yet come to light in a country which is by no means thoroughly explored. Nor should we deem the old est structures now preserved to be necessarily those first erected. The perishable materials of the buildings which stood in the plains of the Euphrates and Tigris, generally sun-dried bricks with asphalt cement, were not calculated to insure long duration, or to prevent their overthrow and obliteration by the continual changes in the course of these rivers, through the silting and swamping of their valleys. Yet, though tradition would incline us to assume that Chaldaean civilization and art were the more ancient, the oldest monuments known exist upon the banks of the Nile.