Essay about ancient egyptian civilization

One might speculate that the role of the king had become largely ceremonial, with rotating pharaohs serving for a limited amount of time and high-ranking officials wielding true political power. But surviving records do not substantiate such practices. Imagery in Dynasty 13 transitions between the idealizing and humanizing tendencies of art from Dynasty 12, often combining the two.

Magnificent statues of the kings were still created, despite the fact that most royal tombs seem to have been left unfinished and temple additions were limited. The numerous statues and stelae of nonroyal elite are often as fine as those of the earlier Middle Kingdom. During the Middle Kingdom, monumentality achieved a greater balance between architecture and sculpture. While large temples, pyramid complexes, and tomb superstructures were built, none of these buildings had the same massiveness as their Old or New Kingdom counterparts.

At the same time, overlifesize and monumental sculptures—largely, though not exclusively, depicting the pharaoh—became widespread L. Monumentality was a device used by Middle Kingdom kings to stress their dominion over the entire country. Contrasting with monumentality in Middle Kingdom art is a penchant for delicate, intimate detail In some cases, Middle Kingdom artists lavished extraordinary attention and labor on parts of objects that were not easily visible.

For example, Middle Kingdom jewelry was not only covered with impossibly tiny inlays, but the backs of the best pieces were embellished with elaborate chased decoration visible solely to the women who wore them The Metropolitan Museum has long been at the forefront of the excavation and study of Middle Kingdom art and archaeology.

Between and excavations were undertaken in the temple of Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II at Deir el-Bahari; the tombs of officials on the West Bank at Thebes; the pyramid complexes of Amenemhat I and Senwosret I at Lisht; and the mastabas of officials built at Lisht. In the last thirty years, excavations at Lisht and the pyramid complex of Senwosret III at Dahshur have brought to light fresh information about Middle Kingdom architectural forms, iconography, and artistic development.

Oppenheim, Adela. Grajetzki, Wolfram. Duckworth Egyptology.

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Hayes, William C. Cambridge, Mass. See on MetPublications.

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Parkinson, R. Studies in Egyptology and the Ancient Near East. London: Equinox, The Middle Kingdom mid-Dynasty 11—Dynasty 14, ca. Thebes came into prominence for the first time, serving as capital and artistic center during Dynasty The masterful design, representing a perfect union of architecture and landscape unique for its time, included painted reliefs of ceremonial scenes and hieroglyphic texts.

Essay on Civilization In Egypt

At the end of Dynasty 11, the throne passed to a new family with the accession of Amenemhat I, who moved the capital north to Itjtawi, near modern Lisht. Strongly influenced by the statuary and reliefs from nearby Old Kingdom monuments in the Memphite region, the artists of Dynasty 12 created a new aesthetic style.

The distinctive works of this period are a series of royal statues that reflect a subtle change in the Egyptian concept of kingship. Catharine H. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. See works of art. Works of Art Essay The Middle Kingdom designates a period of ancient Egyptian civilization stretching from approximately to B.

Citation Oppenheim, Adela. Further Reading Grajetzki, Wolfram. See on MetPublications Parkinson, R. Egypt in the New Kingdom ca. Egypt in the Old Kingdom ca. Egyptian Tombs: Life Along the Nile. Chronology Egypt, — B. The great days of Ancient Egypt fell between c. Egypt was a leading Middle Eastern power again between and BCE, and the Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great felt the need to have himself crowned as pharaoh in BCE — which suggests that the civilization of the pharaohs still had life in it.

His general, Ptolemy, on becoming independent ruler of the country in BCE, was also crowned pharaoh, and his line lasted down to the famous queen, Cleopatra, who died in 31 BCE. During this time its culture changed out of all recognition. Egypt is situated in the Nile Valley , in the north east of Africa. At its greatest extent, in c. The Ancient Egyptian civilization produced the first government to rule an entire nation. The Sumerians , who were the only other people to have a literate and urban civilization by BCE, lived in small city-states, each numbering no more than a few tens of thousand people.

The unified kingdom of Egypt, on the other hand, covered an entire country thousands of square miles in size and with millions of inhabitants. The Pharaoh was the ruler of Ancient Egypt, both politically and religiously. In Egyptian eyes, the pharaoh was a god himself, who stood between heaven and earth.

World History: Ancient Egypt for Kids

His personal welfare and the welfare of the entire people were bound tightly together. Pharaoh was in charge of the army, and would go to war when his lands were threatened — demanding valuable gifts from the conquered people if victory was obtained. Egypt was divided into nomes, which were administrative regions up to 42 of them , each governed by a nomarch. Pharaoh himself was surrounded in his palace by high officials, ministers and courtiers. He represented the Pharaoh in the administration of the land, treasury and legal system.


Soldiers of ancient Egyptian armies were armed with bows and arrows, spears, and round-topped shields made from stretched animal skin over wooden frames. Weapons and armour continued to improve after the adoption of bronze: shields were now made from solid wood with a bronze buckle, spears were tipped with a bronze point, and the bronze Khopesh — a hook shaped slashing weapon — was introduced.

In the New Kingdom, chariots became a standard part of the army. Pharaohs are often shown riding at the head of the army. Modern scholars tend to think this may be a propaganda device, as for a commander-in-chief to be fighting in the thick of the action alongside his troops would not necessarily have been the best place for him to be.

Egypt in the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2030–1650 B.C.)

On occasion, however, he may well have done; many commanders in subsequent history have charged into battle in person when conditions called for this kind of example. The prime duty of the army was to defend Egypt against foreign invasion. It was also at times deployed in conquering and occupying foreign possessions, in protecting mining expeditions to the Sinai and Nubia, and in garrisoning forts along important trade routes, especially in Nubia.

The ancient Egyptians worshipped many gods and goddesses. These included Ra, the sun god; Isis, the goddess of nature and magic; Horus, the god of war; and Osiris, the god of the dead. The pantheon of gods and goddesses gradually changed over time, as new gods became more important, and some less so. The rise and fall of gods and goddesses seems to have mirrored the political fortunes of the different temples and priesthoods.

For example, when the rulers of Thebes became kings of all Egypt, and founded the New Kingdom, its local god Amun became the chief god, and was united with Ra to become Amun-Ra. Gods were worshipped in temples run by priests. Only on occasions was the god brought out and shown to the public. Small domestic statues were used by normal Egyptians to worship the gods and goddesses in their own homes.

Charms and amulets were worn for protection against the forces of evil. Egyptian religious beliefs about the afterlife also changed over time. In early times, the afterlife seems to have been intimately connected to the preservation of the physical body by mummification. This always retained some force. However, the idea grew up that human beings are composed of both physical and spiritual aspects. After death, the latter lived on.

Ancient Egypt - History Of Ancient Egypt Civilization (Documentary)

The great majority of the people were peasant farmers. Because of the fertile nature of the Nile Valley, they were able to produce the large surplus which sustained the refined lifestyle of the Pharaoh and his court, his officials, the priests and all the other members of the elite. Peasants also provided the mass labour which built the pyramids and temples along the Nile Valley.