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120 Cards in this Set

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(see Asiatics). Egyptian term for the inhabitants of southern Palestine. They made periodic incursions into the Delta, and at some periods, lived as slaves in Egypt.
Abydene Symbol
Cult-image of Osiris in which the god's spirit could reside. lts original meaning is obscure, but it may have represented a stylized head and wig.
An invisible power or spirit which could be used to enhance the abilities of gods and men; represented by the hieroglyphs of a tufted ibis.
A stage of the predynastic cultures, named after the modern village of el-Amra; it was at the site near this village that the first discoveries of this type were made. However, Egyptologists now replace this term with 'Nagada I.'
A process by which animal gods acquired human or part-human physical characteristics.
Traditional northern enemies of Egypt; a collective term for peoples from Syria/ Palestine and those who live on Egypt's north-eastern borders.
The soul, represented with a human head and a bird body.
An abbrieviation that means 'Before the Common Era'. It has largely replaced the use of 'BC'. ('Before Christ') although this is still found in many publications.
Nomadic people who periodically harrassed Egypt's north-eastern border.
Cult symbol of the sun-god at Heliopolis, a squat stone obelisk topped by a pyramidion.
Divine bird that alighted on the Benben Stone; later described as the phoenix.
Boat Burials
Burial pits associated with some tombs and pyramids which once housed or still contain the remains of wooden' barques. These were possibly intended for sailing around thecelestial heaven.
Busirite Symbol
(Djed-pillar)Symbol of Osiris, sometimes believed to represent the god's backbone, it came to mean resurrection and stability.
Cannibal Hymn
A section of the Pyramid Texts which describes how the king ate and absorbed the gods' powers.
A composition of papyrus and gum or glue used to manufacture masks and other pieces of funerary equipment.
The Egyptian definition of the universe, meaning 'that which the sun encircles' Shown as a loop of rope with a knot at the base, this was elongated so that the king's, name could be written inside the cartouche. indicating that he owned the world.
Six cataracts interrupt the course of the Nile between Khartoum and Aswan. These are stretches where rocks impede the flow of the stream and make navigation difficult.
The covered passageway that led from the Valley Building to the Mortuary Temple in the pyramid complex.
A symbolic funerary monument which does not actually contain a burial.
Archaeologists' term for a non-negroid local tribe who settled in Lower Nubia and whose warlike attitudes forced the Egyptian kings of Dynasty 12 to take strong measures to control the area.
Coffin Texts
Spells derived from the Pyramid Texts, they were inscribed on coffins to provide magical assistance for the owner to achieve immortality.
Cosmic God
Term used by early Egyptologists to describe deities who represented the forces of nature, such as the sun, moon, stars and other elements
Creation myth, describing how the universe came into existence.
Temple where the god's worship was carried out.
A writing system used in ancient Mesopotamia which is characterised by wedgeshaped characters.
The process, encountered in the First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom, when ordinary people came to gain and exercise power in religious matters.
Symbol of Osiris, sometimes believed to represent the god's backbone, it came to mean resurrection and stability.
Double Crown
The 'Pschent.' A combination of the Red and White Corwns, this showed that the king ruled both Upper and Lower Egypt.
Dynastic Period
Egypt's historical period which extends from Dynasty 1 (c.3100 BC) to the conquest ofthe country by Alexander the Great (332 BC). It takes its name from the 31 dynastiesof rulers into which the historian Manetho divided this period.
Dynastic Race
A hypothetical ethnic group who, according to some scholars, may have entered Egypt during the Predynastic era. Their actual existence is now disputed.
Continuous lines of rulers who were often, but not always, members of the same family.
False door
Either a carved stone installation, or a feature carved into the living rock of the wall of a tomb, this represented a door to allow the deceased owner's spirit to enter and leave the tomb, in order to partake of the food offerings.
The Egyptians celebrated many festivals each year. Each would usually consist of a procession in which the images of a deity was moved from one temple to another. Key Theban festivals incuded the Festival of Opet and the Festival of the Valley.
Fields of Reeds
Land of Osiris, situated somewhere in the west.
Followers of Horus
Early supporters of the god Horus who probably established his cult in Egypt.
Followers of Thoth
Early supporters of the god Thoth whose standard occurs on palettes of the Predynastic Period.
A stage of the predynastic cultures, named after the modern village of el-Girza; it was at the site near this village that the first discoveries of this type were made. However, Egyptologists now replace this term with 'Nagada 11'.
Great Ennead
Group of nine gods, as in the Great Ennead of Heliopolis.
The language of the Greeks who, under Alexander the Great of Macedon, conquered Egypt in 332 BCE. Greek subsequently became the official language of Egypt during the Ptolemaic Period.
The formula, translated as the 'Boon-which-the-king-gives', used when the menu and funerary goods were offered at commoners' tombs; it ensured that these became efficacious through the king's bounty.
The god of kingship and celestial power.
Early place of worship in the predynastic villages; a simple reed hut that contained the deity's cult-statue/cult symbol.
The annual rising and flooding of the Nile: occured between August and November and called Akhet by the ancient Egyptians.
Island of Creation
According to mythology, this was the place where creation had occurred; each temple claimed to symbolize this island.
Jubilee Festival
Celebrated after thirty years' reign, or sometimes more frequently, this reaffirmed the coronation and renewed the king's ability and power to rule.
The spirit or 'double'. represented by a pair of up raised arms, the ka was believed to be part of an individual's personality before and after death.
Kamares ware
Minoan pottery found at some Egyptian sites as well as at Kamares in Crete.
Priest who performed a man's mortuary rites.
Foreigners shown in New Kingdom tomb scenes, who possibly came from Crete and the Aegean Islands.
A festival, possibly originating at Memphis, commemorating the death and resurrection of Osiris as a dead king. It dramatised the renewed growth of the vegetation after the subsidence of the Nile waters.
Linear A
An early (still undeciphered) linear writing system, derived from an older hieroglyphicscript; evolved by the Minoans c.1700 BCE, and used to write the Minoan language(c.1700 - c.1450 BCE).
Linear B
Script used by the Myceneans. At Knossos, they took over about two-thirds of thesigns from Linear A, and used them for their own script. Deciphered by Michael Ventriein 1952, Linear B was shown to be an early form of Greek.
Known to the ancient Egyptians as Heka; magic was personified as the god Heka, the eldest son of the universal creator, who represented a primary cosmic force. Heka could be invoked to solve problems or crises.
Mastaba tomb
Burial place (usually non-royal) that combined a burial chamber and offering chapel. The word mastaba (Arabic: bench, bench-shaped) describes its bench-like outer structure.
A southern Mediterranean culture, centred on Crete; it had strong links with Egypt,especially during the Middle Kingdom.
Miniature figurine, ship or building included in tomb equipment.
Mortuary Temple
(Royal Cult Complex) This was where rituals were performed on behalf of the gods, the Royal Ancestors, and to ensure the continuation of the current ruler during his lifetime and after death.
Method of preserving the body by means of evisceration and dehydration using natron.
The civilisation that replaced the Minoan culture in Greece.
Mystery Plays
Interpretations of events in a god's life, enacted in public as part of ceremonies atfestivals that were attended by pilgrims.
Nagada I
A term used for one of the principal predynastic cultures, named after the modern village near the site where the earliest finds of this type were excavated.
Nagada II
A term used for one of the principal predynastic cultures, named after the modern village near the site where the earliest finds of this type were excavated.
A cemetery, usually situated on the west bank of the Nile (from the Greek, 'city of the dead')
Negative Confession
Statement made by the deceased in front of the tribunal of 42 assessor-gods, at the Day of Judgement. The deceased denied a particular sin to each god, thus confirming his moral rectitude during life.
A term meaning 'New Stone Age.' A period characterised by settled farming, the cultivation of crops, and the use of a wide variety of tools made of stone and flint.
New Race
Flinders Petrie claimed that the skeletal remains and funerary goods he discovered during excavations at Nagada (1894-5 ACE) were not Egyptian, but belonged to a new, incoming group - his so-called 'New Race.' This theory was disproved by the Egyptologist J.De Morgan whose conclusions (that this was an indigenous culture dating to the period before the dynasties) were eventually accepted by Petrie.
A device for measuring the levels of water in the river.
The governor of a Nome (one of the 42 geographical divisions of Egypt.
A geographical district in Egypt.
The great primeval ocean from which the Island of Creation emerged, Nun represented darkness and non-existence.
Upright stone, topped by a pyramidion, which was a symbol of the sun-cult.
Offering table
Usually made of stone or pottery, the offering table was a large platter or low level table. It was piled high with food offerings which were presented to the tomb owner as part of the regular funerary rituals that continued after death.
Group of eight gods; for example, the Hermopolitan Ogdoad who featured in a creation myth.
A limestone flake or pottery sherd used as a writing or drawing surface.
A term meaning 'Old Stone Age'. A period characterised by the use of flints and other stone implements.
The whole group of gods found in one religious tradition.
Plural of papyrus - the name given to the writing material made from the giant marsh reed papyrus (Cyperus papyrus). The earliest example of a papyrus roll was found in the First Dynasty and papyrus was used as a writing material through to the Islamic Period.
This is the name given to the writing material made from the giant marsh reed papyrus (Cyperus papyrus). The earliest example of a papyrus roll was found in the First Dynasty and papyrus was used as a writing material through to the Islamic Period.
A picture that represents an idea.
Predynastic Period
The period that fell between the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic cultures, and theDynastic Period. The predynastic era consisted of a succession of cultures which sharedmany similar characteristics, including the apparent absence of written records.
Referring to the period (332 - 30 BCE) when Egypt was ruled by the descendants of Ptolemy I, who became pharaoh after Egypt was conquered by Alexander the Great.
Probably derived from the Greek word pyramis (meaning 'wheaten cake'); the Egyptian word for this monument was Mer or 'Place of Ascension'. The pyramid was closely associated with the sun-cult and, as the king's burial place, it provided him with a means of ascent to heaven.
Pyramid Texts
Magical texts inscribed on the interior walls of some pyramids to assist the king to reach heaven.
Small gilded pyramid-shaped stone that crowned the obelisk; this was lit by the sun from dawn to dusk.
The sun god and principal creator in religion. Also spelt Ra.
Red Crown
The 'Deshret', the crown which represented Lower Egypt.
Red Land
(To-mehu).The Egyptian name for Lower Egypt, including the Delta.
Ritual of the Royal Ancestors
This followed the Daily Temple Ritual in some temples, and affirmed the previous kings' acceptance of the current ruler. It is also known as the Ritual of Amenhotep I.
A series of acts performed by the priest or the king within the temple. The nature of which was kept closely guarded.
Rock-cut tomb
Special type of tomb in which the offering chapel and burial chamber are cut into the cliff side or rock.
Rectangular outer coffin, usually made of stone.
The dung-beetle; a symbol of rebirth and renewal.
A small ovoid stone, carved on the underside with hieroglyphs and symbols. Seals were used to make an impression in wax, to confirm ownership of property; some are incorporated into rings.
Originally believed to be a stage of the predynastic cultures, Egyptologists named this after the modern village of Semaina in Upper Egypt where the first discoveries of this type were made. However, this term has been discarded, because now the Semainean is identified entirely with the early part of Dynasty 1.
Sequence Dating
A method of dating a site's excavated material in relation to its pottery; the approximate age of the pottery will have been established by comparing it to other types of pottery from several sites and putting them in sequential order. Devised by the Egyptologist Sir William Flinders Petrie, this was one of his major contributions to archaeology and, despite some problems, this system is still in use today in situations where there is no absolute dating method for the ancient period under consideration.
Cell-like chamber in the tomb. which housed the deceased's statue.
Solar cult
Worship of the sun-god; he had several forms of which Re was the most important.
Son of Re
Part of the royal titulary that preceded the Nomen, this title (first used in the Old Kingdom) defined the king's relationship with his father, the sun-god.
Incantation recited in order to bring about a desired result.
Stone carving of a lion with the head of pharaoh, representing the sun-god or a king. The finest example - the Great Sphinx at Giza - was guardian of the sacred buildings in the locality.
(pl. stelae)Inscribed stone block placed in the tomb or at another religious place, to provide the deceased with a biography, prayers and offering scenes, in order to ensure his eternal life.
Step Pyramid
A stepped structure which predated the geometrically true pyramid with its smooth, sloping sides. The most famous example, built by Imhotep for King Djoser, is at Saqqara.
A people who inhabited the city-states in Mespotamia (the region of modern Iraq). They had a common culture and developed the earliest-known important civilisation in that area.
Part of the Mastaba tomb: a rectangular construction above ground, built of brick or stone, that marked the location of the burial and contained a chapel for the performance of the funerary cult.
A neck ornament distinctively worn for over five centuries in Western Asia; Byblos (on the Syrian coast) was a centre for the production of this jewellery.
Transitional pyramid
The pyramids that demonstrate an interim and developmental stage between the step and true pyramids.
Tribal God
Term used by early Egyptologists to describe gods with particular localised functions and centres of worship.
True pyramid
The ultimate stage in pyramid design, these smooth-sided structures may have beenassociated with the sun-cult.
Two Ladies
Wadjet and Nekhbet, Predynastic goddesses of Lower and Upper Egypt.
Two Lands
Egypt: the two separate kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt, united in C.3100 BCE by King Menes
(Duat).The underworld kingdom of Osiris, which was inhabited by non-royal persons who had successfully achieved eternity.
The historic joining of the Two Lands under the rule of a single king (Menes/Narmer) in c.3100 BCE.
Serpent which sat on the royal brow and spat venom at the king's enemies.
Valley Building
The 'entrance' to the conventional pyramid complex, where the king's body was received and the final rites were performed before he was buried in the pyramid burial chamber.
The organs removed from the body during the mummification process: stomach, lungs, liver and intestines.
King's chief minister. Egyptian = tjaty
Walls of the Ruler
(Walls of the Prince) A fortification, built by Amenemhet I (c.1970 BCE) to try to stem the waves of Asiatics infiltrating the Delta from the north-east. The exact location of this fortification is unknown.
Land of the dead, situated below the horizon where the sun sets.
White Crown
The 'Hedjat', the tall white crown which represented Upper Egypt.
White Land
(Shemau).The Egyptian term for Upper Egypt, the White Land, and the River Valley.