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Egypt from 2100-1700 BC - Research Paper Example

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Last Name, First Name Paper Egypt from 2100 – 1700BC — Social The period extending from roughly 2100 to roughly 1700 BC in Ancient Egypt is usually known as “The Middle Kingdom” and it can be broken into two sub-sections: the Eleventh and the Twelfth Dynasties.i As its name suggests, a defining feature of this time was the strong and stable rule of the royal families, which in turn created a society which was hierarchical and well regulated…
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Egypt from 2100-1700 BC
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Download file to see previous pages There are villages built alongside quarries and building sites, and so poor people must have lived near to the wealthy people, but segregated into their own living quarters. Some indication of Egyptian family life from this period has survived in papyri, such as letters from an old farmer Hekanakhte who left his home to go on business: “these letters, which are full of sharp commands to his several sons to do his bidding, to stop whingeing about the slender rations he has allowed them, and to be kind to his new wife.”ii The content of these letters may not be very significant in terms of historical facts, but it is interesting that the tone is so authoritarian, and the sons and wife all have to obey the commands of the father figure. Reading between the lines, there is a suggestion that the sons were not respectful, and perhaps this was a stepmother whom they resented. This evidence suggests that the Egyptian society of the time was patriarchal, and that families were expected to work the land together. The importance of agriculture was immense, because it brought the food on which the cities depended. The population of Egypt was then, as now, mostly gathered along coastal areas in the North and especially along the banks of the Nile, whose life-giving waters sustained the crops, and also served as a transport artery along the Eastern edge of the country. Hard work in the fields was probably the reality for a large number of people. This period was also known for its commitment to funerary rites, including the building of tombs and pyramids, the worship of Osiris, lively trade with countries around the Eastern Mediterranean, and advances in medicine, pottery and literature. Some of it looks back to earlier Egyptian glory and this why it is sometimes likened to a Renaissance period. The monuments are not quite so huge, and there is more evidence of modest day to day living, paying taxes and working on crafts, which suggests that at least some of the ordinary people were beginning to enjoy the pleasures and achievements of advanced civilization. Reflection It is pleasing to see in the period from 2100 to 1700 that towns and villages are growing up, partially with the support of the ruling Pharoahs, and are developing their own local economies. The worship of female gods, and the mummification of queens shows also a positive role for women, in some layers of society at least, but I do think that this was probably a very sexist society, where gender roles were pretty much fixed. There seems also to be a great respect for elders, and so to be young, and female, and especially to be a servant or slave, must have been very difficult. Added to this is the tendency of the Nile to flood, and the unreliability of harvests, which means that living conditions may have varied from season to season depending on the weather conditions. The evidence of taxes being levied is also a rather modern complaint, and this made me think that many aspects of life back in this period must have been similar to modern times. The lower classes always struggle to meet this obligation to the state, and it seems unfair that those who work the hardest seem to benefit the least. I had not been aware ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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