Topic: Ancient Egypt

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4.2 Kiloyear Event

Ancient Near East Meteorology Meteorology/droughts and fire events sub-project Ancient Egypt

The 4.2-kiloyear BP aridification event was one of the most severe climatic events of the Holocene epoch. It defines the beginning of the current Meghalayan age in the Holocene epoch. Starting in about 2200 BC, it probably lasted the entire 22nd century BC. It has been hypothesised to have caused the collapse of the Old Kingdom in Egypt as well as the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia, and the Liangzhu culture in the lower Yangtze River area. The drought may also have initiated the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilisation, with some of its population moving southeastward to follow the movement of their desired habitat, as well as the migration of Indo-European-speaking people into India.

Some scientists disagree with this conclusion and point out that the event was neither a global drought nor did it happen in a clear timeline.

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Coffin Texts

Death Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt/Egyptian religion

The Coffin Texts are a collection of ancient Egyptian funerary spells written on coffins beginning in the First Intermediate Period. They are partially derived from the earlier Pyramid Texts, reserved for royal use only, but contain substantial new material related to everyday desires, indicating a new target audience of common people. Ordinary Egyptians who could afford a coffin had access to these funerary spells and the pharaoh no longer had exclusive rights to an afterlife.

As the modern name of this collection of some 1,185 spells implies, they were mostly inscribed on Middle Kingdom coffins. They were also sometimes written on tomb walls, stelae, canopic chests, papyri and mummy masks. Due to the limited writing surfaces of some of these objects, the spells were often abbreviated, giving rise to long and short versions, some of which were later copied in the Book of the Dead.

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Sea Peoples

Ancient Near East Ancient Egypt Archaeology Ethnic groups Israel Palestine Dacia

The Sea Peoples are a purported seafaring confederation that attacked ancient Egypt and other regions of the East Mediterranean prior to and during the Late Bronze Age collapse (1200–900 BCE). Following the creation of the concept in the nineteenth century, it became one of the most famous chapters of Egyptian history, given its connection with, in the words of Wilhelm Max Müller: "the most important questions of ethnography and the primitive history of classic nations". Their origins undocumented, the various Sea Peoples have been proposed to have originated from places that include western Asia Minor, the Aegean, the Mediterranean islands and Southern Europe. Although the archaeological inscriptions do not include reference to a migration, the Sea Peoples are conjectured to have sailed around the eastern Mediterranean and invaded Anatolia, Syria, Phoenicia, Canaan, Cyprus and Egypt toward the end of the Bronze Age.

French Egyptologist Emmanuel de Rougé first used the term peuples de la mer (literally "peoples of the sea") in 1855 in a description of reliefs on the Second Pylon at Medinet Habu documenting Year 8 of Ramesses III. Gaston Maspero, de Rougé's successor at the Collège de France, subsequently popularized the term "Sea Peoples" — and an associated migration-theory — in the late 19th century. Since the early 1990s, his migration theory has been brought into question by a number of scholars.

The Sea Peoples remain unidentified in the eyes of most modern scholars and hypotheses regarding the origin of the various groups are the source of much speculation. Existing theories variously propose equating them with several Aegean tribes, raiders from Central Europe, scattered soldiers who turned to piracy or who had become refugees, and links with natural disasters such as earthquakes or climatic shifts.

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Senet: board game from predynastic and ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt Board and table games

Senet (or senat) is a board game from ancient Egypt, whose original rules are the subject of conjecture. The oldest hieroglyph resembling a senet game dates to around 3100 BC. The full name of the game in Egyptian is thought to have been zn.t n.t ḥˁb, meaning the "game of passing".

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Late Bronze Age Collapse

Africa Ancient Near East Ancient Egypt Greece Turkey Archaeology

The Late Bronze Age collapse was a dark age transition in a large area covering much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa (comprising the overlapping regions of the Near East, the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa, with the Balkans, the Aegean, Anatolia, and the Caucasus), which took place from the Late Bronze Age to the emerging Early Iron Age. It was a transition which historians believe was violent, sudden, and culturally disruptive, and involved societal collapse for some civilizations during the 12th century BCE. The palace economy of Mycenaean Greece, the Aegean region and Anatolia that characterized the Late Bronze Age disintegrated, transforming into the small isolated village cultures of the Greek Dark Ages. The Hittite Empire of Anatolia and the Levant collapsed, while states such as the Middle Assyrian Empire in Mesopotamia and the New Kingdom of Egypt survived but were considerably weakened.

Competing and even mutually compatible theories for the ultimate cause of the Late Bronze Age collapse have been made since the 19th century. These include volcanic eruptions, droughts, invasions by the Sea Peoples or migrations of Dorians, economic disruptions due to the rising use of ironworking, and changes in military technology and methods of war that saw the decline of chariot warfare.

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Hydraulic Empire

International relations Ancient Egypt Politics Sociology Asia

A hydraulic empire, also known as a hydraulic despotism, hydraulic society, hydraulic civilization, or water monopoly empire, is a social or government structure which maintains power and control through exclusive control over access to water. It arises through the need for flood control and irrigation, which requires central coordination and a specialized bureaucracy.

Often associated with these terms and concepts is the notion of a water dynasty. This body is a political structure which is commonly characterized by a system of hierarchy and control often based on class or caste. Power, both over resources (food, water, energy) and a means of enforcement such as the military, is vital for the maintenance of control.

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