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The ancient Egyptian culture - Research Paper Example

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A fertile land flanked by the Arabian Desert on the east and the Libyan Desert (“Land and Resources” 5) on the west, the land where the ancient Egyptian civilization blossomed was one of the four great ancient civilizations that flourished near rivers…
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Download file to see previous pages The two deserts bordering Egypt on both sides is seemingly a drawback in the lush land near the river banks but the two land types were ideal to nurture one of the oldest civilizations in history. The Egyptians regarded the two land types as two different regions. The first type, the Kemet or “black land” (6), is where the ancient Egyptians grow crops. The land is literally black as a result of the flooding of the Nile leaving silt deposits on the soil. Favorable amounts of silt in soil improve water retention and aeration which are the best conditions for growing crops. The second type is the “red land” or the Desheret (6) which is the vast stretch of desert on both sides of the Kemet. Unlike the “black land”, the sand and heat of the Desheret was not beneficial for crops. The “red land” instead yielded precious stones, copper, gold and other minerals that are made into jewelry and tools. The desert was also the hunting grounds for the ancient Egyptians, rabbits, gazelles and antelopes were the usual prey of the hunters. The Nile River with its fertile soils and desert lands rich in minerals and precious stones provided the ideal environment and adequate resources for a society to thrive. The earliest Egyptian settlers were nomadic hunters who decided to live permanently on the banks of the Nile. The beginning of the Nile River civilization started between 3300 B.C. and 332 B.C. (5) prior to the establishment of a recognized government system. Evidences of the existence of the early occupants were unearthed in tombs. Polished semi-precious stones crafted into jewelry, pottery, clay sculptures and copper ornaments were obtained from the excavations and found to date back to the Pre-dynastic era of the Egyptian civilization. Prior to the beginning of Dynastic Egypt, Nile-dwellers are classified into two cultures with separate government systems. The Upper Egypt situated in the south of the Delta occupying the strip of land between the deserts. The Badarian and Naqadan culture flourished in Upper Egypt cultivating the land and crafting pottery (Hayes 14) that later became important archaeological artifacts. The state head in Upper Egypt dons the white hedget and believed to be the personification of their god. Lower Egypt’s culture was also influenced by Upper Egypt the government form however, is more bureaucratic and ruled by families. Rulers of Lower Egypt wear the red deshret. Pre-dynastic settlers in Egypt were growing wheat, barley and flax (Bell, Quie 40). The sowing season starts in October when the floods subside leaving the silt-rich soil ready for planting. Harvest season is from March to May just before June when the flooding occurs due to the overflowing of the Nile caused by heavy rains and the melting snow from Ethiopia. The inundation period starts from June and lasts until September (Deady 14). Animals were also domesticated during the Pre-dynastic period. Cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and dogs (Trigger 17) were among the animals the ancient Egyptians tamed. Donkeys were also domesticated and later utilized as a means of transportation. At the onset of the Early Dynastic Period in ancient Egypt, the unification of the two ancient Egyptian regions also brought on the maximized use of the entire stretch of the Nile for transportation and irrigation systems. Ancient Egypt had its first dynasty under the first pharaoh Narmer or Menes. Egypt became the largest nation under one ruler ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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