AP®︎ World History
Lesson summary: Ancient Egypt
An overview of ancient Egypt.
|state||a territory organized under the control of a single government; the unification of Egypt created a state, for example, and some states, like ancient Egypt, were ruled by kings.|
|dynasty||a chain of rulers who are members of the same family, often with sons succeeding their fathers as rulers; ancient Egyptian history is often divided by royal dynasties.|
|divine kingship||the idea that a political ruler held his power by favor of a god or gods; Ancient Egyptian kings were believed to be living incarnations of gods.|
|hieroglyphics||a form of writing that used images to express sounds and meanings; Ancient Egyptian writing is one example of hieroglyphics.|
|irrigation||the process of directing water to crops, usually through channels or levees; ancient Egyptians built many levees and irrigation channels to take advantage of the Nile for agricultural purposes.|
|c.6000 BCE||Widespread settlement of the area immediately surrounding the Nile River began as the Sahara Desert expanded|
|c.2686—2181 BCE||Old Kingdom period, when Egypt first unified as a single state|
|c.2041—1640 BCE||Middle Kingdom period, when kings regained control and focused on expanding trade and irrigation|
|1550—1077 BCE||New Kingdom period, when the term "pharaoh" began to be used for kings|
Environment: Early civilizations often adapted to and tried to alter their environments. The Nile River in Egypt made successful agriculture possible because it flooded annually and deposited a new layer of nutrient-rich soil each year. This flooding was so regular that the ancient Egyptians set their three seasons—Inundation, or flooding, Growth, and Harvest—around it.
State building: Agriculture and the development of cities gradually led to the development of states. Centralized states were able to organize large numbers of people and resources. Rulers often claimed divine kingship, the idea that a ruler was favored by the gods, which gave them more legitimacy and power.
Culture: Early civilizations developed urban planning, monumental architecture, and systems of writing and record-keeping. Ancient Egyptians used monumental architecture such as pyramids as a way to honor rulers. They also developed writing systems, which were used for recording economic and political information, as well as literature. Ancient Egyptians engaged in trade with Mesopotamia to the east and Nubia to the south. These exchanges of goods also facilitated the exchange of culture and ideas
- What were two ways in which the Nile River was essential to Egyptian civilization?
- How did Egyptian rulers use the idea of divine kingship?
- What similarities and differences existed between early states in Egypt and Mesopotamia?
Want to join the conversation?
- when it flooded did it always go to the farming or did t mess up the farming ?(8 votes)
- It made the fields so flooded with crops that all that were planted would die. So they learned from the repetitiveness of the flooding and planted their crops around that particular season of the river. This helped the crops in the end because the flooding provided nutrients for the crops that they would plant after it had flooded.(2 votes)
- How did the Egyptians find out about Mesopotamia?(2 votes)
- The nomadic peoples of Egypt would have been drawn to Mesopotamia by the abundant natural resources.(2 votes)
- how many years did ancient Egypt exist(1 vote)
- The text said that the term "state" means "a territory organized under the control of a single government” .What does "a single government" mean exactly? Can the government of a single dynasty be counted as a single government? Thanks : )(1 vote)
- How did Egyptian civilization create a balance between maintaining and having enough resources for future purposes, and how did it grow?(1 vote)
- What similarities and differences existed between early states in Egypt and Mesopotamia?(1 vote)
- they were both different civilizations and both of them had discovered many things. They had both invented different things that we use today.(1 vote)
- Why did the fertile cresent form in mesopotamia(0 votes)
- both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers made the land in Mesopotamia fertile(1 vote)