Ancient Egypt: Tradles Of Western Civilization

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Ancient Egypt

Egypt is considered to be one of the “cradles of Western Civilization” and has had a profound impact on civilizations throughout history. The Egyptians were able to create a unique culture and make remarkable advances in their time. Ancient Egypt is divided into three major timeframes: the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and New Kingdom. Instead of using normal chronology, the Egyptians marked the years with the beginning and end of a pharaoh’s reign. This is why it is difficult for historians to give accurate dates of events that took place during the early dynasties. A dynasty is the word used to describe a string of rulers from the same bloodline. The Old Kingdom dates from about 2686 BC through 2135 BC and includes the third
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In order to reach the afterlife, the body must be preserved. For this reason, mummification became an important part of the burial process. During this process, all internal organs, other than the heart, were removed. They were preserved in jars to be kept for that person in the afterlife. Embalming fluid and strips of cloth was also used to preserve the body. People were also buried with everything that may be needed in the after life. This included pots, pets, jewels, and even servants, which were considered human sacrifices who would serve their master after death. Common people were not buried in the elaborate tombs that Egypt is known for. Instead, they were buried in the dry ground, which also preserved the body. These elaborate tombs were only available to the pharaohs and extremely wealthy nobles. Before the construction of the pyramids, pharaohs were buried in tombs called mastabas. These were not successful because they allowed moisture to reach the corpse and decompose the body. King Djoser built the first pyramid during the Fourth Dynasty. The pyramids were successful in preserving the body of the pharaohs because they kept the air extremely dry. This pyramid was nowhere near the greatest or largest of the pyramids. The most recognizable, the Pyramid of Giza, was not built until the Fourth Dynasty. Pyramids during this time were as …show more content…
Oddly, the Egyptians had no word for art and the intricacy of their artwork varied throughout the dynasties. During the Pre-Dynastic Era, much of the artwork in Egypt was very unique. Jewelry was made from the precious stones that could be found in the desert and slates were carved and decorated into animals. As time progressed, artwork became larger. The Old Kingdom is known as the classical age of Egyptian sculpture. By this time, artisans had become accustomed to working with large pieces of stone. They sculpted humans as well as animals. People were often portrayed as idealized versions; men being portrayed as young as muscular and the women as healthy. Their faces were often bland, similar, and without emotion, making it difficult to know the person that the statue was actually modeled after. Only during the Fourth Dynasty were portraits of specific individuals common. These were much more realistic, showing fat rolls and individual facial

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