The Civilization Of Ancient Egypt



is significant in several ways. Together with those of Mesopotamia, India, and China, it was one of the earliest civilizations, and it is perhaps the best example of continuous cultural evolution based on internal stimuli, rather than the complex mix of internal and external factors found, for example, in Mesopotamia. Egyptian influence on other peoples was also significant. Its hieroglyphic writing system and other cultural elements were adapted by ancient kingdoms of the Sudan. Syria-Palestine was strongly affected by Egyptian religion and art. And the cults of some Egyptian gods had followers in both Greece and Rome. The two last regions and the Bible are the most important ...

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and other--supplement more traditional archaeological techniques. Egypt's well preserved pyramids and cemeteries on the dry desert, and sturdy stone-built temples, have been studied by archaeologists since the early 19th century, but river-plain town mounds and all sites in densely settled northern Egypt now receive more attention than previously. Funerary and temple inscriptions survived well, but they paint an idealized, oversimplified picture of history and society. Papyrus texts and ostraca (pottery fragments) are rarer but more realistic. They now are better studied and are supplemented by new types of archaeological analysis (see Egyptology).
Environment strongly affected history. In a largely rainless climate, Egypt's agricultural productivity depended on a long but very narrow floodplain; on average 19.2 km (11.9 mi) wide, it reached a maximum of 248 km (154.1 mi) in the Delta and was formed by the Nile's annual inundation. Periodic, long-term decreases in ...

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of highly accomplished art forms (statuary, relief, and painting), which were among the most distinctive of the ancient world.
Continuity was very strong. Egypt's religion (see mythology), its concepts of social order, and its system of strong monarchical government remained fundamentally the same for over 3,000 years. Environmental stability helped, as did ethnic and linguistic continuity; unlike other areas of the Near East, Egypt did not periodically have to absorb large new populations with languages and ideas different from those already established. Equally important was a powerful and tenacious worldview shared by all Egyptians--an orderly cosmos, enfolding gods, humans, and ...

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Added: 5/22/2005 03:50:59 AM
Category: Geography
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 4529
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