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Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt portal content : Ancient Egypt for Kids , Homework Help on Ancient Egypt, One-Stop Gateway to Ancient Egypt resources, Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of eastern North Africa , Includes information on Egyptian life, gods and goddesses, mummification , History of ancient Egypt - Dynasties - Ancient Egyptian religion - People

History of ancient Egypt - Dynasties - Ancient Egyptian religion

The Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza, built during the Old Kingdom, are modern national icons that are at the heart of Egypt’s thriving tourism industry.

A unified kingdom was founded c. 3150 BC by King Menes, leading to a series of dynasties that ruled Egypt for the next three millennia. Egyptian cultureflourished during this long period and remained distinctively Egyptian in its religionartslanguage and customs. The first two ruling dynasties of a unified Egypt set the stage for the Old Kingdom period, c. 2700−2200 BC., famous for its many pyramids, most notably the Third Dynasty pyramid of Djoser and theFourth Dynasty Giza Pyramids.

The First Intermediate Period ushered in a time of political upheaval for about 150 years.[14] Stronger Nile floods and stabilization of government, however, brought back renewed prosperity for the country in the Middle Kingdom c. 2040 BC, reaching a peak during the reign of Pharaoh Amenemhat III. A second period of disunity heralded the arrival of the first foreign ruling dynasty in Egypt, that of the Semitic Hyksos. The Hyksos invaders took over much of Lower Egypt around 1650 BC and founded a new capital at Avaris. They were driven out by an Upper Egyptian force led by Ahmose I, who founded the Eighteenth Dynasty and relocated the capital from Memphis to Thebes.

The New Kingdom c. 1550−1070 BC began with the Eighteenth Dynasty, marking the rise of Egypt as an international power that expanded during its greatest extension to an empire as far south as Tombos in Nubia, and included parts of the Levant in the east. This period is noted for some of the most well-known Pharaohs, including HatshepsutThutmose IIIAkhenaten and his wife NefertitiTutankhamun and Ramesses II. The first historically attested expression of monotheism came during this period as Atenism. Frequent contacts with other nations brought new ideas to the New Kingdom. The country was later invaded and conquered by LibyansNubians and Assyrians, but native Egyptians eventually drove them out and regained control of their country.[15]

The Thirtieth Dynasty was the last native ruling dynasty during the Pharaonic epoch. It fell to the Persians in 343 BC after the last native Pharaoh, KingNectanebo II, was defeated in battle.

Name

The English name Egypt was borrowed from Middle French Egypte, from Latin Aegyptus, from ancient Greek Aígyptos (Αἴγυπτος), from earlier Linear B a-ku-pi-ti-yo. The adjective aigýpti-, aigýptios was borrowed into Coptic as gyptios, kyptios, and from there into Arabic as qubṭī, back formed into qubṭ, whence English Copt. The Greek forms were borrowed from Late Egyptian (Amarna) Hikuptah “Memphis”, a corruption of the earlier Egyptianname Hwt-ka-Ptah (ḥwt-kꜣ-ptḥ), meaning “home of the ka (soul) of Ptah”, the name of a temple to the god Ptah at Memphis.[6] Strabo attributed the word to a folk etymology in which Aígyptos (Αἴγυπτος) evolved as a compound from Aigaiou huptiōs (Aἰγαίου ὑπτίως), meaning “below the Aegean“.

Miṣr, the Arabic and modern official name of Egypt (Egyptian ArabicMaṣr), is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew מִצְרַיִם‎ (Mitzráyim), literally meaning “the two straits” (a reference to the dynastic separation of upper and lower Egypt).[7] The word originally connoted “metropolis” or “civilization” and means “country”, or “frontier-land”.

The ancient Egyptian name of the country is Kemet (km.t)

History

Pre-historic Egypt

There is evidence of rock carvings along the Nile terraces and in desert oases. In the 10th millennium BC, a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishersreplaced a grain-grinding culture. Climate changes and/or overgrazing around 8000 BC began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt, forming the Sahara. Early tribal peoples migrated to the Nile River where they developed a settled agricultural economy and more centralized society.[11]

By about 6000 BC a Neolithic culture rooted in the Nile Valley.[12] During the Neolithic era, several predynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt. The Badarian culture and the successor Naqada series are generally regarded as precursors to dynastic Egypt. The earliest known Lower Egyptian site, Merimda, predates the Badarian by about seven hundred years. Contemporaneous Lower Egyptian communities coexisted with their southern counterparts for more than two thousand years, remaining culturally distinct, but maintaining frequent contact through trade. The earliest known evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared during the predynastic period on Naqada III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200 BC.[13]

Ancient Egypt

A unified kingdom was founded c. 3150 BC by King Menes, leading to a series of dynasties that ruled Egypt for the next three millennia. Egyptian cultureflourished during this long period and remained distinctively Egyptian in its religionartslanguage and customs. The first two ruling dynasties of a unified Egypt set the stage for the Old Kingdom period, c. 2700−2200 BC., famous for its many pyramids, most notably the Third Dynasty pyramid of Djoser and theFourth Dynasty Giza Pyramids.

The First Intermediate Period ushered in a time of political upheaval for about 150 years.[14] Stronger Nile floods and stabilization of government, however, brought back renewed prosperity for the country in the Middle Kingdom c. 2040 BC, reaching a peak during the reign of Pharaoh Amenemhat III. A second period of disunity heralded the arrival of the first foreign ruling dynasty in Egypt, that of the Semitic Hyksos. The Hyksos invaders took over much of Lower Egypt around 1650 BC and founded a new capital at Avaris. They were driven out by an Upper Egyptian force led by Ahmose I, who founded the Eighteenth Dynasty and relocated the capital from Memphis to Thebes.

The New Kingdom c. 1550−1070 BC began with the Eighteenth Dynasty, marking the rise of Egypt as an international power that expanded during its greatest extension to an empire as far south as Tombos in Nubia, and included parts of the Levant in the east. This period is noted for some of the most well-known Pharaohs, including HatshepsutThutmose IIIAkhenaten and his wife NefertitiTutankhamun and Ramesses II. The first historically attested expression of monotheism came during this period as Atenism. Frequent contacts with other nations brought new ideas to the New Kingdom. The country was later invaded and conquered by LibyansNubians and Assyrians, but native Egyptians eventually drove them out and regained control of their country.[15]

The Thirtieth Dynasty was the last native ruling dynasty during the Pharaonic epoch. It fell to the Persians in 343 BC after the last native Pharaoh, KingNectanebo II, was defeated in battle.

Modern Egypt

Female nationalists demonstrating in Cairo, 1919

Local dissatisfaction with Ismail and with European intrusion led to the formation of the first nationalist groupings in 1879, with Ahmad Urabi a prominent figure. In 1882 he became head of a nationalist-dominated ministry committed to democratic reforms including parliamentary control of the budget. Fearing a reduction of their control, the UK and France intervened militarily, bombarding Alexandria and crushing the Egyptian army at the battle of Tel el-Kebir.[26] They reinstalled Ismail’s sonTewfik as figurehead of a de facto British protectorate.[27]

In 1914 the Protectorate was made official, and the title of the head of state, which had changed from pasha to khedive in 1867, was changed to sultan, to repudiate the vestigial suzerainty of the Ottoman sultan, who was backing the Central powers in World War IAbbas II was deposed as khedive and replaced by his uncle,Hussein Kamel, as sultan.[28]

In 1906, the Dinshaway Incident prompted many neutral Egyptians to join the nationalist movement. After the First World War, Saad Zaghlul and the Wafd Party led the Egyptian nationalist movement to a majority at the local Legislative Assembly. When the British exiled Zaghlul and his associates to Malta on March 8, 1919, the country arose in its first modern revolution. The revolt led the UK government to issue a unilateral declaration of Egypt’s independence on February 22, 1922.[29]

Republic

On June 18, 1953, the Egyptian Republic was declared, with General Muhammad Naguib as the first President of the Republic. Naguib was forced to resign in 1954 byGamal Abdel Nasser – the real architect of the 1952 movement – and was later put under house arrest. Nasser assumed power as President in June, 1956. British forces completed their withdrawal from the occupied Suez Canal Zone on June 13, 1956. He nationalized the Suez Canal on July 26, 1956, prompting the 1956 Suez Crisis.

Three years after the 1967 Six Day War, during which Israel had invaded and occupied Sinai, Nasser died and was succeeded by Anwar Sadat in 1970. Sadat switched Egypt’s Cold War allegiance from the Soviet Union to the United States, expelling Soviet advisors in 1972. He launched the Infitah economic reform policy, while violently clamping down on religious and secular opposition.

In 1973, Egypt, along with Syria, launched the October War, a surprise attack against the Israeli forces occupying the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. It was an attempt to regain part of the Sinai territory Israel had captured 6 years earlier. Sadat hoped to seize some territory through military force, and then regain the rest of the peninsula by diplomacy. The conflict sparked an international crisis between the US and the USSR, both of whom intervened. The second UN-mandated ceasefire halted military action. While the war ended with a military Israeli victory, it presented Sadat with a political victory that later allowed him to regain the Sinai in return for peace with Israel.[31]

Sadat made a historic visit to Israel in 1977, which led to the 1979 peace treaty in exchange for Israeli withdrawal from Sinai. Sadat’s initiative sparked enormous controversy in the Arab world and led to Egypt’s expulsion from the Arab League, but it was supported by most Egyptians.[32] A fundamentalist military soldier assassinated Sadat in Cairo in 1981. He was succeeded by Hosni Mubarak.

In 2003, the Egyptian Movement for Change, popularly known as Kefaya, was launched to oppose the Mubarak regime and to establish democratic reforms and greater civil liberties.

In January 2011, a popular protest began against the Mubarak government, consisting of a wide range of class demographics. The objective of the protest was for the removal of Mubarak from power. On February 11, 2011, Vice President Omar Suleiman announced that Mubarak has stepped down as President of Egypt as a result of the popular protests starting January 25.[33][34] (See also 2011 revolution.)

On February 13, 2011, the high level military command of Egypt has announced that both the constitution and the parliament of Egypt has been dissolved. The parliamentary election will be held in September.[35]

 

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