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Evan and Orla's Egyptian

Research Page

 

 

The Egyptians

The Egyptians were probably one of the most sophisticated ancient civilizations in the history of time. They were best known for their mummies and pyramids but have many more interesting facts that are almost never spoken about. Some of the things that will be mentioned in our site include the great pharaohs that ruled the Nile river, why they made mummies, who they adopted their writing from, and much more.

 

Politics

The top person in the Egyptian politics was the Pharaoh. Some famous Pharaohs include Tutankhamun(also known as King Tut), Ramses II, Cleopatra, Akhenaton, Hatshepsut, and Zoser who was probably the oldest known pharaoh. The pharaohs usually ruled Upper Egypt, Lower Egypt, the Nile or both Upper and Lower Egypt. The pharaohs didn't just sit around like you'd think a normal king would, but they were very sportive and participated in all religious festivals and most activities. The next most important people in Egypt were the viziers and the high priest. The high priest would help during the mummification process and would hold any religious festivals. The viziers took care of the main practical needs, which was a very important job. Then came the royal overseers that looked after a certain area in needs for example one would be an army commander and another the court leader. The royal overseers were very much like the viziers except they only looked after a little area and the viziers looked after a huge area. After the overseers came the district governors. There were forty-two if you counted all the governors. There was one for each district. Then came the less important, but still a little bit important, people like scribes, craftworkers, and farmers. The Egyptian form of government was, Monarchy.

 

Education

The main education source in Ancient Egypt was scribal schools. At a scribal school, you would learn to read and write. In order to become official scribes, your father had to de a scribe, and his father had to be a scribe, and so on and so on. The scribes were quite important because they kept the records of everything that was going on and if it weren't for them we would probably know much less about the Egyptians. Being a scribe is an extremely difficult job because in total there were over 100 different hieroglyphics to remember! The scribes used a kind of paper called papyrus which was made from reeds or as they called it "the papyrus plant". They used this paper when they were older and not in school but when they were in school, they were stuck with pieces of broken pottery. Each student left school at the age of only twelve, then they left for work. The Egyptians adopted their hieroglyphics from the Mesopotamians.

 

Language

The modern Egyptians now speak Arabic and the Ancient Egyptians spoke something similar to that. The Ancient Egyptian language had much in common with the Egyptian hieroglyphics. In fact, some hieroglyphics represented not a word but a sound! Some examples of Egyptian language such as "nfr" which means good, and "dbt" which means brick are simple words of the Egyptian language. You can tell by some names, such as Tutankhamun, that not all-Egyptian words are short. Some other kinds of schools included dance school, and jugglers' school.

Religion

The Egyptians were famous for their gods and goddess'. The most important gods are, Ma'at, Amon Ra, Hathor, Osiris, Anubis, Hapy, Taweret, Horus, Bast, Bes, Isis, and Thoth. Ma'at was the goddess of truth, Amon Ra was the king of the gods, Hathor was the goddess of love, Osiris was the god of the dead, Anubis was the god of embalming, Hapy was the god of the Nile, Tawaret was the goddess of birth, Horus was the god of the sky, Bast was the goddess of cats, Bes was the protector of homes, Isis was the wife and sister of Osiris and the mother of Horus, and Thoth was the scribe of the gods. In order to enter a temple or religious building, you had to shave your head and eyebrows to keep the gods happy. One of the biggest temples in Egypt was the Great Temple of Ptah in Memphis.

Sports

Egyptian sports included swimming, duck hunting, and rowing races. But by far their favorite sport was hippopotamus hunting. It was a dangerous sport but favored by pharaohs and farmers. All Egyptian sports had some dangerous risks including tipping out of a boat to being bitten by an alligator. The most popular sports were hunting. They hunted hippos, ducks, fish, gazelles, and ostrich. The Egyptians were inspired by the Greek Olympics but never actually got to have their own.

Food

The Egyptians were famous for their pastries. They made spiral pastries, ring shaped pastries, pyramid pastries, and even crocodile shaped pastries. The most popular beverage in Ancient Egypt was beer. Beer was made with stale barley bread mashed up in water for a couple of weeks until it became alcoholic and it was ready to drink. A normal meal consisted of onions, bread, and salted fish. The Egyptians did not use sugar, but in its place was honey. The Egyptian agricultural system consisted of barley, wheat, leeks, beans, lentils, onions, cabbages, radishes, lettuces, cucumbers, melons, dates, figs, and grapes. The Egyptians did not go get a drink from the Nile whenever they needed one. They had shadufs, which were water supply systems and you would fill it up with water and you would take the bucket back home with you which would contain a days supply of water.

War

Egyptians had many wars but the best known war of the Egyptians was their battle with the Nubians. The Nubians had many trades with Egyptians but eventually became their worst enemies. Now in modern days, Nubia is a part of southern Egypt. The weapons that were used in battle include daggers, clubs, and axes.

Trade

The Egyptians traded with many people. They traded pottery and papyrus for goods like olive oil, copper, silver, horses, lapis lazuli, turquoise, myrrh trees, frankincense, ivory, gold, amethyst, exotic furs, feathers, ebony wood, and spices. Their trading partners were, Crete, Nubia, central Africa, Cyprus, western Asia, Punt, the Sinai Desert, and from Syria.

Embalming (mummification)

The Egyptians embalmed so that when the Ka (or spirit) could recognize the body when it returned from the afterlife. Usually the body was preserved so well that they believe the Kas can still find their way back to the body today. Embalming was a very long process that took 70 days or more to do one body. The bandages were made out of linen and had hieroglyphics printed on them. Last year for a science project, we mummified apples with salt, Epsom salts, and baking soda. We found that the table salt worked best but this was nothing compared to the Egyptian process.

 

Glossary

 

Mesopotamia - this area of the eastern Mediterranean was very much like Egypt. Though their architecture was somewhat different because they used mud-bricks and the Egyptians used solid stone.

 

Dance (school)- here, boys would learn to dance professionally rather than going to scribal school to learn to read and write.

 

Jugglers' (school)- here boys would learn to juggle and perform professionally in a jugglers' booth instead of learning to dance or read and write.

The Nile- was what separated Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. The Egyptians believed that the Nile River gave them life.

 

KingTut- was probably the best known pharaoh of all Egypt. He was also the youngest as he died at the age of only 17. It is believed that he was either murdered or died of brain decease.

Ramses II- was probably the most powerful pharaoh because he was the only one that had "the Great" at the end of his name. He had 156 children!

 

 

Zoser- was the earliest pharaoh known in Egyptian history.

 

Hieroglyphics- was the Ancient Egyptian form of writing.

 

Pyramids- were large monuments made of sandstone. They stopped making them because of robbery, and that was when they began constructing tombs.

 

Nubians- were probably the Egyptians best traders but also had a long and Great War.

 

Lentils- produce seeds which were eaten a lot in those days and we continue eating them today.

 

Embalming- was almost like mummifying except embalming was more artificial and mummification was a natural process.

 

Viziers- There was 2 viziers in an ancient Egyptian city. They were very much like the royal overseers because they looked after the kingdom government.

 

http://touregypt.net/#Egypt siteseeing

 http://babelfish.altavista.digital.com/cgi-bin/translate?#Translate site to French(click on link, enter the URL of this site and translate from the language of your choice!)|

 http://www.egypt-tehuti.com/

 

 

 

Questions or comments? E-mail me at, egyptianre@hotmail.com.