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    Old Kingdom Egypt: Developments & Achievements

    This lesson goes over the developments in engineering, architecture, and art achieved during the Old Kingdom of Egypt. They are still under...

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    Old Kingdom Egypt: Developments & Achievements

    Instructor: Joshua Sipper

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    This lesson goes over the developments in engineering, architecture, and art achieved during the Old Kingdom of Egypt. They are still under scrutiny in modern times and seem to defy explanation due to their amazing design, complexity, and ingenuity. Updated: 12/16/2021

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    The Old Kingdom in Egypt

    Say ''Egypt'' and many people will think of the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid right away. They are, after all, two of the most iconic structures in Egypt's history. It turns out that they, as well as many other achievements, were made during the Old Kingdom of Egypt.

    The Old Kingdom of Egypt existed around the years of 2680 to 2180 BCE, and included the end of the Third Dynasty through the Sixth. The Fourth Dynasty was where the period reached its zenith. The most well-recognized Pharaohs during the Fourth Dynasty period were Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure.

    Khufu was known to be a stable leader who organized storage and stability of the Egyptian food supply and was involved in some spectacular building projects. Khafre and Menkaure followed in Khufu's footsteps and continued massive construction projects as well as centralized government control of food and other administration. Let's take a closer look at the developments and achievements of this period.

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    The Old Kingdom & The Pyramids

    The most recognizable, iconic structures in Egyptian history are the pyramids. But where did this concept of building originate, and how did it become the monstrous achievement it is?

    Pyramids actually started being constructed before the Old Kingdom as Pharaoh Djoser began the practice of constructing step pyramids, which were a sort of rough, proto-pyramid structure.

    Later, a Pharaoh named Sneferu continued his work and perfected the design of the pyramid into what we know today. Sneferu did not actually complete the Great Pyramid, but left his designs to Khufu and his continuing dynastic lineage to continue his legacy.

    He would not have been disappointed, as Khufu constructed what is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Great Pyramid of Giza. At almost 500 feet high, this pyramid held the world record for tallest structure built by humans until the Eiffel Tower in 1889.

    Khufu's successors also built pyramids, although theirs would never rise to the height of the Great Pyramid. All historical reports point to this period of unprecedented construction as being one of prosperity and growth in Egypt.

    According to ancient writings, Khufu provided well for the workers (who were not actually slaves, contrary to myth) as well as the general population of Egypt. His reign as well as the reigns of Khafre and Menkaure were marked as a golden age of Egypt.

    The Old Kingdom Art

    Egyptian achievement during the Old Kingdom period was not confined to construction projects. There were also some of the most pronounced advances in art, engineering, and cultural understanding. During this period, sculptors refined their art and produced realistic sculptures (wood, copper, and stone) of full-sized people for the first time.

    Sculptors also perfected stone reliefs, intricately and accurately depicting animals, plants, people, and landscapes. Most of these reliefs adorned temples and tombs as natural representations of the passing of humanity from this world to the next.

    Another hybrid art-construction project is the iconic Great Sphinx. While there's some debate among historians as to whether it was created by Djedefre (a short-reigning Pharaoh between Khufu and Khafre) or Khafre, the Sphinx is usually associated with the latter. Regardless, it's considered another of the world's greatest monuments. It is perfectly aligned with Khafre's own pyramid, which is itself a major achievement.

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    Major Events in World History Study Guide

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    Ch 1. History of Ancient Civilizations

    Ch 2. History of the Ancient Middle East & India

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    Early Egypt Flashcards

    Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards terms like Which caused the decline of Ancient Egypt's Old Kingdom?, What form of government was represented by Egyptian pharaohs, in that they were both political leaders and religious figures?, When the Nile River flooded every June, what was left behind when the water receded that allowed the civilization to flourish? and more.

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    Which caused the decline of Ancient Egypt's Old Kingdom?

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    pharaohs losing power

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    What form of government was represented by Egyptian pharaohs, in that they were both political leaders and religious figures?

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    theocracy

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    1st Edition

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    Terms in this set (14)

    Which caused the decline of Ancient Egypt's Old Kingdom?

    pharaohs losing power

    What form of government was represented by Egyptian pharaohs, in that they were both political leaders and religious figures?

    theocracy

    When the Nile River flooded every June, what was left behind when the water receded that allowed the civilization to flourish?

    a rich layer of soil

    The map shows ancient river valley civilizations.

    Letter A shows the location of which ancient river valley?

    Nile

    When King Menes united the kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt by establishing a succession of rulers from the same family, he founded the first Egyptian

    dynasty

    In addition to being the leader of Egypt, what role did the pharaoh play?

    god

    During the Kingdom, Queen Hatshepsut was a powerful female pharaoh who encouraged trade.

    New

    The Middle Kingdom was brought to a close with the invasion of the Hyksos, a mixed Semitic-Asiatic group. Which aspect of their military capabilities enabled the Hyksos to conquer Egypt?

    improved weapons, including horse-drawn chariots

    How did Egypt's main crops of papyrus and cereals best contribute to the development of the civilization?

    They had many uses at home and could be traded for other goods.

    Which achievement did the Old Kingdom and the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt have in common?

    both built great monuments

    The contains many great monuments constructed by the pharaohs of the New Kingdom.

    Valley of the Kings

    The Hyksos, as an invading force, brought advanced bronze weaponry to Egypt at the end of the Middle Kingdom. How did the pharaohs of the New Kingdom adopt this technology to the empire's advantage?

    They used the technology in conquests to expand the empire.

    What is King Menes known for accomplishing?

    uniting the kingdoms of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt

    How did cataracts in the Nile River make transportation difficult?

    Cataracts' shallow depth and rushing water made the river impassable.

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    Old Kingdom of Egypt

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    Old Kingdom of Egypt

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    "Old Kingdom" redirects here. For other uses, see Old Kingdom (disambiguation).

    Old Kingdom of Egypt

    c. 2686 BC–c. 2181 BC

    During the Old Kingdom of Egypt ( 2700 BC – 2200 BC), Egypt consisted of the Nile River region south to Abu (also known as Elephantine), as well as Sinai and the oases in the western desert. with Egyptian control/rule over Nubia reaching to the area south of the third cataract.[1]

    Capital Memphis

    Common languages Ancient Egyptian

    Religion

    Ancient Egyptian religion

    Government Divine, absolute monarchy

    Pharaoh

    • c. 2686–c. 2649 BC

    Djoser (first)

    • c. 2184–c. 2181 BC

    Last king depends on the scholar, Neitiqerty Siptah (6th Dynasty) or Neferirkare (7th/8th Dynasty)

    History • Established c. 2686 BC • Disestablished c. 2181 BC Population • 2500 BC 1.6 million[2]

    Preceded by Succeeded by

    Early Dynastic Period of Egypt

    First Intermediate Period

    Part of a series on the

    History of Egypt show Prehistoric Egypt show Ancient Egypt show Greco-Roman Egypt show Medieval Egypt show Early modern Egypt show Late Modern Egypt Egypt portal vte

    In ancient Egyptian history, the Old Kingdom is the period spanning c. 2700–2200 BC. It is also known as the "Age of the Pyramids" or the "Age of the Pyramid Builders", as it encompasses the reigns of the great pyramid-builders of the Fourth Dynasty, such as King Sneferu, who perfected the art of pyramid-building, and the kings Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure, who constructed the pyramids at Giza.[3] Egypt attained its first sustained peak of civilization during the Old Kingdom, the first of three so-called "Kingdom" periods (followed by the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom), which mark the high points of civilization in the lower Nile Valley.[4]

    The concept of an "Old Kingdom" as one of three "golden ages" was coined in 1845 by the German Egyptologist Baron von Bunsen, and its definition would evolve significantly throughout the 19th and the 20th centuries.[5] Not only was the last king of the Early Dynastic Period related to the first two kings of the Old Kingdom, but the "capital", the royal residence, remained at , the Ancient Egyptian name for Memphis. The basic justification for a separation between the two periods is the revolutionary change in architecture accompanied by the effects on Egyptian society and the economy of large-scale building projects.[4]

    The Old Kingdom is most commonly regarded as the period from the Third Dynasty to the Sixth Dynasty (2686–2181 BC). Information from the Fourth to the Sixth Dynasties of Egypt is scarce, and historians regard the history of the era as literally "written in stone" and largely architectural in that it is through the monuments and their inscriptions that scholars have been able to construct a history.[3] Egyptologists also include the Memphite Seventh and Eighth Dynasties in the Old Kingdom as a continuation of the administration, centralized at Memphis. While the Old Kingdom was a period of internal security and prosperity, it was followed by a period of disunity and relative cultural decline referred to by Egyptologists as the First Intermediate Period.[6] During the Old Kingdom, the King of Egypt (not called the Pharaoh until the New Kingdom) became a living god who ruled absolutely and could demand the services and wealth of his subjects.[7]

    Under King Djoser, the first king of the Third Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, the royal capital of Egypt was moved to Memphis, where Djoser established his court. A new era of building was initiated at Saqqara under his reign. King Djoser's architect, Imhotep, is credited with the development of building with stone and with the conception of the new architectural form, the step pyramid.[7] The Old Kingdom is perhaps best known for a large number of pyramids constructed at this time as burial places for Egypt's kings.

    Contents

    1 History

    1.1 Rise of the Old Kingdom

    1.2 Height of the Old Kingdom

    1.3 Fifth Dynasty

    1.4 Decline into the First Intermediate Period

    2 Art 3 References 4 Further reading 5 External links

    History[edit]

    Rise of the Old Kingdom[edit]

    Main article: Third Dynasty of Egypt

    The Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara.

    The first King of the Old Kingdom was Djoser (sometime between 2691 and 2625 BC) of the Third Dynasty, who ordered the construction of a pyramid (the Step Pyramid) in Memphis' necropolis, Saqqara. An important person during the reign of Djoser was his vizier, Imhotep.

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

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