The Nile River
- The Nile River is one of the most famous rivers in the world, and it was here that the civilization of Ancient Egypt was built, in northeast Africa.
- Most of the money and wealth that the ancient Egyptians built was because of the Nile River and the many skills they learned from it.
- Egyptian people had to learn to become experts in irrigation by taking water from the Nile and using to grow crops that could be sold.
- Great Egyptian cities were built because of this and the Nile was used for water as well as many other things like food, soil and to transport both the crops and Egyptian people.
- Every year there would be great floods along the Nile River and this would dig up fertile soil from the river bed which was very useful for growing food.
- The Nile flows right through to the Mediterranean Sea and it does this for 960 miles (1545 km).
The Ancient Egyptian Kingdom
- Many historians group the history of Ancient Egypt into three major kingdoms: the Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom.
- The Old Kingdom lasted from around 2649 BC to 2150 BC.
- The Middle Kingdom then came from around 2030 BC to 1640 BC.
- Finally, the New Kingdom spanned from about 1550 BC to 1070 BC.
- You might be wondering about the time in between these Kingdoms. These were called intermediate periods and were times of decline and chaos for the civilization.
- Ancient Egypt is well known for its rich and diverse culture that extended to religion, writing, arts and even the government.
- Religion and the government were closely tied because the Pharaoh was both the leader of the government and the leader of the religion — because they were considered to be gods.
- Writing was very important to the government of Ancient Egypt and only certain people, called scribes could read and write and they were considered to be very powerful.
How the Empire Ended
- The Empire of Ancient Egypt started to become weak somewhere around 700 BC.
- The Empire was the conquered by a number of other civilizations.
- The Assyrian Empire were the first to conquer Ancient Egypt, then about 100 years or so later, the Persian Empire also conquered them.
- Alexander the Great of Greece also conquered Egypt in 332 BC and set up his own ruling family, the Ptolemaic Dynasty.
- Finally, the Romans came to Egypt in 30 BC and conquered it to make it a province of Rome.
More Interesting Facts about Ancient Egypt
- A lot of the Old Testament in the bible takes place in Ancient Egypt. Egypt was also a major part in the stories of many Biblical people — such as Moses, Joseph and even Jesus.
- People in Ancient Egypt were divided into two areas. The red land was the deserts that protected Egypt on either side because they made it difficult for neighboring countries or invading armies to get through.
- The black land was the land close to the Nile River which was fertile and where ancient Egyptian people would grow their crops.
- Near the Nile River, two separate kingdoms developed — each with a different king.
- The Upper Egypt kingdom was known as the white crown, while the Lower Egypt kingdom was the red crown.
- In 3200 BC the Pharaoh of the north conquered the south and united Egypt. His name was King Narmer (also known as Menes).
- Menes built a new capital city for the united Egypt and called it Memphis, which comes from the Greek and means Balance of the Two Lands.
- People of Ancient Egypt mummified the bodies of their dead. Internal organs were removed and special oils were placed on their bodies before they were wrapped in cloth. Items belonging to the dead would be buried with them — the Egyptians believed that they would take these with them to the after life.
- Ancient Egyptians were plytheastic. This means they believed in many gods and goddesses, much like the Greeks and Romans.
- Gods were thought to offer protection to the people. Some would take care of them when they die, others controlled the weather and would generally help the people if they were worshipped.
- Ancient Egypt also developed a form of writing called hieroglyphics. These were pictures that represented words or phrases that could be understood by others.
- Hieroglyphics told a story in the same way our modern alphabet does and they could form words and sentences as well.