Uncovering the Culture of Ancient Egypt

Uncovering the Culture of Ancient Egypt

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Uncovering the Culture of Ancient Egypt by Alix Wood is a part of the Archaeology and Ancient Cultures series. It is designed for younger children aiming to pique their interest in and educate them about ancient cultures. The book is laid out with a 2-page spread that details a city, people, or topic in ancient Egyptian history including the Pyramids of Giza, pharaohs, temples, etc. It provides a short description of the topic with pictures of artifacts, ruins, art, and people of the times.

Uncovering the Culture of Ancient Egypt by Alix Wood is a part of the Archaeology and Ancient Cultures series. It is designed for younger, elementary school-aged children aiming to pique their interest in and educate them about ancient cultures.

This book concentrates on ancient Egypt’s people and wonders. Almost everyone is aware of the famous Pyramids of Giza, but fewer are familiar with Herakleopolis and the Karnak Temple and the incredible constructions within those sites. This book takes you on a tour of all three! It also takes you on a brief tour of the worker’s lives in their attempt to build monuments that would last through the ages, through Queen Hatshepsut’s reign, and through nearly-lost cities. In addition, it provides the story of the Rosetta Stone and how we came to understand many of the hieroglyphs in ancient Egypt. Within each section, it provides images of the monuments, people, and artifacts that it mentions. These images help take the reader to ancient Egypt and help visualize what is being shown in the text. Additionally, each page contains a map of Egypt showing where the current topics being mentioned are located. At the beginning of the book is a map showing Egypt’s place in the world. Within the text are words in bold that link to a glossary at the back of the book in order to help young readers learn new words they may be unfamiliar with. It also contains a short section that lists a few books and a website that one can go to if they are interested in learning more about the topic.

As stated in the series title, this book focuses on the archaeology and culture of ancient Egypt. In accordance with the other titles, this book does a nice job of showing and explaining many examples of artifacts found in ancient Egypt. What it does lack though, is an explanation of archaeology itself. It lacks an explanation of how digs work and how artifacts are identified. This book would be greatly enhanced if it explained just how archaeological discoveries are made.

This book does a bit better job of explaining the culture of ancient Egypt than the other books in the series. The connection between one age of Egypt to another is still lacking, but more context is given to each age of Egyptian history compared to what was given in the Mesopotamia or Greece titles in this series. Different hieroglyphs are shown corresponding to the stages of writing in Egyptian culture. However, there is a page in the book that shows hieroglyphs they claim resembles helicopters, submarines, spaceships, and gliders. The motivation for including them was likely innocent, as children would be intrigued by this, however, the acknowledging of conspiracy theories in a book for children who might not be able to distinguish fact from fiction so easily is disappointing.

Despite the few problems mentioned above, the book contains many colorful, interesting pictures of Egyptian artifacts. The images in the book are first-rate, although they could use a bit more of a description than what is generally given. It does contain just enough to be useful in learning about Egypt, though it would not make for a great stand-alone text, unless the reader struggled with large amounts of information at once. This book is effective in its picture-to-text ratio. It would be a beneficial tool for a child who struggled with reading large amounts of information at a single time. It is designed to keep the interest of a young child and teach them some interesting facts in a short space. It catches many of the most interesting aspects of Egyptian monuments and artifacts, providing a decent introduction to ancient Egyptian archaeology and cultures.

It is not a great foundational book for children, leaving much to be desired concerning the history and culture. However, this book is fairly well-done overall and would be a decent supplementary resource for elementary school-aged children.

Arabic is currently Egypt's official language. It came to Egypt in the 7th century, [2] and it is the formal and official language of the state which is used by the government and newspapers. Meanwhile, the Egyptian Arabic dialect or Masri is the official spoken language of the people. Of the many varieties of Arabic, the Egyptian dialect is the most widely spoken and the most understood, due to the great influence of Egyptian cinema and the Egyptian media throughout the Arabic-speaking world. Today many foreign students tend to learn it throughout Egyptian songs and movies, and the dialect is being labelled as one of the easiest and fastest to learn. [ citation needed ] Egypt's position in the heart of the Arabic speaking world has made it the centre of culture and its widespread dialect has had a huge influence on almost all neighbouring dialects, having so many Egyptian sayings in their daily lives. [ citation needed ]

The Egyptian language, which formed a separate branch among the family of Afro-Asiatic languages, was among the first written languages and is known from the hieroglyphic inscriptions preserved on monuments and sheets of papyrus. The Coptic language, the most recent stage of Egyptian written in mainly Greek alphabet with seven demotic letters, is today the liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox Church. [ citation needed ]

The "Koiné" dialect of the Greek language was important in Hellenistic Alexandria, and was used in the philosophy and science of that culture, and was later studied by Arabic scholars. [ citation needed ]

In the upper Nile Valley, southern Egypt, around Kom Ombo and south of Aswan, there are about 300,000 speakers of Nubian languages mainly Noubi, but also Kenuzi-Dongola. In Siwa Oasis, there is also the Siwi language that is spoken by about 20,000 speakers. Other minorities include roughly two thousand Greek speakers in Alexandria and Cairo as well as roughly 5,000 Armenian speakers. [ citation needed ]

Many Egyptians believed that when it came to a death of their Pharaoh, they would have to bury the Pharaoh deep inside the Pyramid. The ancient Egyptian literature dates back to the Old Kingdom, in the third millennium BC. Religious literature is best known for its hymns to and its mortuary texts. The oldest extant Egyptian literature is the Pyramid Texts: the mythology and rituals carved around the tombs of rulers. The later, secular literature of ancient Egypt includes the "wisdom texts", forms of philosophical instruction. The Instruction of Ptahhotep, for example, is a collation of moral proverbs by an Egto (the middle of the second millennium BC) seem to have been drawn from an elite administrative class, and were celebrated and revered into the New Kingdom (to the end of the second millennium). In time, the Pyramid Texts became Coffin Texts (perhaps after the end of the Old Kingdom), and finally, the mortuary literature produced its masterpiece, the Book of the Dead, during the New Kingdom.

The Middle Kingdom was the golden age of Egyptian literature. Some notable texts include the Tale of Neferty, the Instructions of Amenemhat I, the Tale of Sinuhe, the Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor and the Story of the Eloquent Peasant. Instructions became a popular literary genre of the New Kingdom, taking the form of advice on proper behavior. The Story of Wenamun and the Instruction of Any are well-known examples from this period.

During the Greco-Roman period (332 BC − AD 639), Egyptian literature was translated into other languages, and Greco-Roman literature fused with native art into a new style of writing. From this period comes the Rosetta Stone, which became the key to unlocking the mysteries of Egyptian writing to modern scholarship. The great city of Alexandria boasted its famous Library of almost half a million handwritten books during the third century BC. Alexandria's center of learning also produced the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint.

During the first few centuries of the Christian era, Egypt was a source of a great deal of ascetic literature in the Coptic language. Egyptian monasteries translated many Greek and Syriac words, which are now only extant in Coptic. Under Islam, Egypt continued to be a great source of literary endeavor, now in the Arabic language. In 970, al-Azhar University was founded in Cairo, which to this day remains the most important center of Sunni Islamic learning. In 12th-century Egypt, the Jewish Talmudic scholar Maimonides produced his most important work.

In contemporary times, Egyptian novelists and poets were among the last to experiment with modern styles of Arabic-language literature, and the forms they developed have been widely imitated. The first modern Egyptian novel Zaynab by Muhammad Husayn Haykal was published in 1913 in the Egyptian vernacular. Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz was the first Arabic-language writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Many Egyptian books and films are available throughout the Middle East. Other prominent Egyptian writers include Nawal El Saadawi, well known for her feminist works and activism, and Alifa Rifaat who also wrote about women and tradition. Vernacular poetry is said to be the most popular literary genre amongst Egyptians, represented most significantly by Bayram el-Tunsi, Ahmed Fouad Negm (Fagumi), Salah Jaheen and Abdel Rahman el-Abnudi.

About 75 percent of Egypt's population is Muslim, with a Sunni majority. About 22 percent of the population is Coptic Christian other religions and other forms of Christianity comprise the remaining three percent. Sunni Islam sees Egypt as an important part of its religion due to not only Quranic verses mentioning the country, but also due to the Al-Azhar University, one of the earliest of the world universities, and the longest functioning. It was created as a school for religion studies and works.

Egyptian art in antiquity Edit

The Egyptians were one of the first major civilizations to codify design elements in art. The wall painting done in the service of the Pharaohs followed a rigid code of visual rules and meanings. Early Egyptian art is characterized by the absence of linear perspective, which results in a seemingly flat space. These artists tended to create images based on what they knew, and not as much on what they saw. Objects in these artworks generally do not decrease in size as they increase in distance and there is little shading to indicate depth. Sometimes, distance is indicated through the use of tiered space, where more distant objects are drawn higher above the nearby objects, but in the same scale and with no overlapping of forms. People and objects are almost always drawn in profile.

Painting achieved its greats height in Dynasty XVII during the reigns of Tuthmose IV and Amenhotep III. The Fragmentary panel of the Lady Thepu, on the right, dates from the time of the latter king. [3]

Early Egyptian artists did have a system for maintaining dimensions within artwork. They used a grid system that allowed them to create a smaller version of the artwork, and then scale up the design based upon proportional representation in a larger grid.

Egyptian art in modern times Edit

Modern and contemporary Egyptian art can be as diverse as any works in the world art scene. Some well-known names include Mahmoud Mokhtar, Abdel Hadi Al Gazzar, Farouk Hosny, Gazbia Sirry, Kamal Amin, Hussein El Gebaly, Sawsan Amer and many others. Many artists in Egypt have taken on modern media such as digital art and this has been the theme of many exhibitions in Cairo in recent times. There has also been a tendency to use the World Wide Web as an alternative outlet for artists and there is a strong Art-focused internet community on groups that have found origin in Egypt.

Egypt's cultural contributions have included great works of science, art, and mathematics, dating from antiquity to modern times.

Technology Edit

Imhotep Edit

Considered to be the first engineer, architect and physician in history known by name, Imhotep designed the Pyramid of Djoser (the Step Pyramid) at Saqqara in Egypt around 2630–2611 BC, and may have been responsible for the first known use of columns in architecture. The Egyptian historian Manetho credited him with inventing stone-dressed building during Djoser's reign, though he was not the first to actually build with stone. Imhotep is also believed to have founded Egyptian medicine, being the author of the world's earliest known medical document, the Edwin Smith Papyrus.

Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt Edit

The silk road led straight through ancient Alexandria. Also, the Royal Library of Alexandria was once the largest in the world. It is usually assumed to have been founded at the beginning of the 3rd century BC during the reign of Ptolemy II of Egypt after his father had set up the Temple of the Muses or Museum. The initial organization is attributed to Demetrius Phalereus. The Library is estimated to have stored at its peak 400,000 to 700,000 scrolls.

One of the reasons so little is known about the Library is that it was lost centuries after its creation. All that is left of many of the volumes are tantalizing titles that hint at all the history lost due to the building's destruction. Few events in ancient history are as controversial as the destruction of the Library, as the historical record is both contradictory and incomplete. Its destruction has been attributed by some authors to, among others, Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, and Catholic zealots during the purge of the Arian heresy, Not surprisingly, the Great Library became a symbol of knowledge itself, and its destruction was attributed to those who were portrayed as ignorant barbarians, often for purely political reasons.

A new library was inaugurated in 2003 near the site of the old library.

The Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, designed by Sostratus of Cnidus and built during the reign of Ptolemy I Soter served as the city's landmark, and later, lighthouse.

Mathematics and technology Edit

Alexandria, being the center of the Hellenistic world, produced a number of great mathematicians, astronomers, and scientists such as Ctesibius, Pappus, and Diophantus. It also attracted scholars from all over the Mediterranean such as Eratosthenes of Cyrene.

Ptolemy Edit

Ptolemy is one of the most famous astronomers and geographers from Egypt, famous for his work in Alexandria. Born Claudius Ptolemaeus (Greek: Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαίος c. 85 – c. 165) in Upper Egypt, he was a geographer, astronomer, and astrologer. [4]

Ptolemy was the author of two important scientific treatises. One is the astronomical treatise that is now known as the Almagest (in Greek Η μεγάλη Σύνταξις, "The Great Treatise"). In this work, one of the most influential books of antiquity, Ptolemy compiled the astronomical knowledge of the ancient Greek and Babylonian world. Ptolemy's other main work is his Geography. This too is a compilation, of what was known about the world's geography in the Roman Empire in his time.

In his Optics, a work which survives only in an Arabic translation, he writes about properties of light, including reflection, refraction and colour. His other works include Planetary Hypothesis, Planisphaerium and Analemma. Ptolemy's treatise on astrology, the Tetrabiblos, was the most popular astrological work of antiquity and also enjoyed great influence in the Islamic world and the medieval Latin West.

Ptolemy also wrote influential work Harmonics on music theory. After criticizing the approaches of his predecessors, Ptolemy argued for basing musical intervals on mathematical ratios (in contrast to the followers of Aristoxenus) backed up by empirical observation (in contrast to the over-theoretical approach of the Pythagoreans). He presented his own divisions of the tetrachord and the octave, which he derived with the help of a monochord. Ptolemy's astronomical interests appeared in a discussion of the music of the spheres.

Tributes to Ptolemy include Ptolemaeus crater on the Moon and Ptolemaeus crater on Mars.

Medieval Egypt Edit

Abu Kamil Shuja ibn Aslam Edit

Ibn Yunus Edit

Modern Egypt Edit

Ahmed Zewail Edit

Ahmed Zewail (Arabic: أحمد زويل ‎) (born February 26, 1946) is an Egyptian chemist, and the winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on femtochemistry. Born in Damanhur (60 km south-east of Alexandria) and raised in Disuq, he moved to the United States to complete his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. He was awarded a faculty appointment at Caltech in 1976, where he has remained since.

Zewail's key work has been as the pioneer of femtochemistry. He developed a method using a rapid laser technique (consisting of ultrashort laser flashes), which allows the description of reactions at the atomic level. It can be viewed as a highly sophisticated form of flash photography

In 1999, Zewail became the third Egyptian to receive the Nobel Prize, following Anwar Sadat (1978 in Peace) and Naguib Mahfouz (1988 in Literature). In 1999, he received Egypt's highest state honor, the Grand Collar of the Nile.

Egyptology Edit

In modern times, archaeology and the study of Egypt's ancient heritage as the field of Egyptology has become a major scientific pursuit in the country itself. The field began during the Middle Ages, and has been led by Europeans and Westerners in modern times. The study of Egyptology, however, has in recent decades been taken up by Egyptian archæologists such as Zahi Hawass and the Supreme Council of Antiquities he leads.

The discovery of the Rosetta Stone, a tablet written in ancient Greek, Egyptian Demotic script, and Egyptian hieroglyphs, has partially been credited for the recent stir in the study of Ancient Egypt. Greek, a well-known language, gave linguists the ability to decipher the mysterious Egyptian hieroglyphic language. The ability to decipher hieroglyphics facilitated the translation of hundreds of the texts and inscriptions that were previously indecipherable, giving insight into Egyptian culture that would have otherwise been lost to the ages. The stone was discovered on July 15, 1799 in the port town of Rosetta Rosetta, Egypt, and has been held in the British Museum since 1802.

Football is the most popular sport in Egypt. Egyptian football clubs especially El Ahly and El Zamalek are known throughout the continent of Africa and enjoy the reputation of long-time champions of the sport regionally. They enjoy popularity even among non-Egyptians.

The Egyptian national football team won the African Cup of Nations seven times, setting a new record in Africa (years: 57, 59, 86, 98, 06, 08, 10). Egypt was the first African country to join FIFA, but it has only made it to the FIFA World Cup three times, in 1934, 1990 and 2018. In the World Military Cup, Egypt won the title five times and was the runner-up another two times.

Other popular sports in Egypt are basketball, handball, squash, and tennis.

The Egyptian national basketball team holds the record for best performance at the Basketball World Cup and at the Summer Olympics in Middle East and Africa. [5] [6] Egypt hosted the official 2017 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup and is the only African country to host an official basketball world cup at junior or senior level. Further, the country hosted the official African Basketball Championship on six occasions. Egypt also hosted multiple continental youth championships including the upcoming 2020 FIBA Africa Under-18 Championship and the 2020 FIBA Africa Under-18 Championship for Women. [7] The Pharaos won a record number of 16 medals at the official African Championship.

The Egyptian national squash team is always known for its fierce competition in worldwide championships, from the 1930s to today. Handball has become another increasingly popular sport among Egyptians as well. Since the early 1990s, the Egyptian national handball team has become a growing international force in the sport, winning regional and continental tournaments as well as reaching up to fourth place internationally in 2001. The Junior national handball team reached the first rank in 1993 under the lead of Captain Gamal Shams, and it hosted the tournament in 2010 setting a record in the audience number specially the match between Egypt and Denmark in the semifinals, the stadium was completely full.

In older times (the 1930s and 1940s), Egypt was a powerhouse in weightlifting, boxing, and wrestling with several Olympic and world championship medals.

Also, roller hockey (quad) is available in Egypt, but the teams that are playing this game may not exceed 10 teams and the most famous club which plays roller hockey is "Al-Zamalek sporting club", and also "Nasr-City sporting club". The Egyptian national roller hockey team has taken part in many world competitions, but unlikely the team didn't win any tournament.

Local sports clubs receive financial support from the local governments, and many sporting clubs are financially and administratively supported by the government.

Cinema Edit

Egyptian cinema has flourished since the 1930s. [8] As a result, the Egyptian capital has been dubbed the "Hollywood of the Middle East", where the world-renowned Cairo International Film Festival is held every year. The festival has been rated by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations as being among the 11 top-class film festivals worldwide. [9]

Most of Arabic-language TV and cinema has been notably affected by the Egyptian dialect, due to its simplicity. [ citation needed ]

The Egyptian film industry is the largest within Arabic-speaking cinema. [8]

Egyptian music is a rich mixture of indigenous Egyptian and Western influences.

As early as 4000 BC, ancient Egyptians were playing harps and flutes, as well as two indigenous instruments: the ney and the oud. However, there is a little notation of Egyptian music before the 7th century AD, when Egypt became part of the Muslim world. Percussion and vocal music became important at this time and has remained an important part of Egyptian music today.

Contemporary Egyptian music traces its beginnings to the creative work of Abdu-l Hamuli, Almaz, Sayed Mikkawi, and Mahmud Osman, who were all patronized by Khedive Ismail and who influenced the later work of Sayed Darwish, Umm Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Abdel Halim Hafez and other successful Egyptian musicians.

From the 1970s onwards, Egyptian pop music has become increasingly important in Egyptian culture, particularly among the large youth population of Egypt. Egyptian folk music is also popular, played during weddings and other festivities. In the last quarter of the 20th century, Egyptian music was a way to communicate social and class issues. The most popular Egyptian pop singers are Amr Diab, Tamer Hosny, Mohamed Mounir, Angham and Ali El Haggar. One of the most respected early electronic music composers, Halim El-Dabh, is an Egyptian.

Belly dance, or Raqs Sharqi (literally: oriental dancing) may have originated in Egypt, and today the country is considered the international center of the art.

Egyptian cuisine consists of local culinary traditions such as Ful medames, Kushari, and Molokhia. It also shares similarities with food found throughout the eastern Mediterranean like kebab and falafel.

Proving the Bible

NOVA: Have biblical archeologists traditionally tried to find evidence that events in the Bible really happened?

William Dever: From the beginnings of what we call biblical archeology, perhaps 150 years ago, scholars, mostly western scholars, have attempted to use archeological data to prove the Bible. And for a long time it was thought to work. [William Foxwell] Albright, the great father of our discipline, often spoke of the "archeological revolution." Well, the revolution has come but not in the way that Albright thought. The truth of the matter today is that archeology raises more questions about the historicity of the Hebrew Bible and even the New Testament than it provides answers, and that's very disturbing to some people.

But perhaps we were asking the wrong questions. I have always thought that if we resurrected someone from the past, one of the biblical writers, they would be amused, because for them it would have made no difference. I think they would have said, faith is faith is faith—take your proofs and go with them.

The fact is that archeology can never prove any of the theological suppositions of the Bible. Archeologists can often tell you what happened and when and where and how and even why. No archeologists can tell anyone what it means, and most of us don't try.

Yet many people want to know whether the events of the Bible are real, historic events.

3,000-year-old ‘lost golden city’ of ancient Egypt discovered

Archaeologists have hailed the discovery of what is believed to be the largest ancient city found in Egypt, buried under sand for millennia, which experts said was one of the most important finds since the unearthing of Tutankhamun’s tomb.

The famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced the discovery of the “lost golden city”, saying the site was uncovered near Luxor, home of the Valley of the Kings.

“The Egyptian mission under Dr Zahi Hawass found the city that was lost under the sands,” the archeology team said. “The city is 3,000 years old, dates to the reign of Amenhotep III, and continued to be used by Tutankhamun and Ay.”

It called the find the largest ancient city, known as Aten, ever uncovered in Egypt.

Betsy Bryan, Professor of Egyptian art and archaeology at Johns Hopkins University, said the find was the “second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun”, according to the team’s statement.

Items of jewellery such as rings have been unearthed, along with coloured pottery vessels, scarab beetle amulets and mud bricks bearing the seals of Amenhotep III.

Hawass, a former antiquities minister, said: “Many foreign missions searched for this city and never found it.”

A skeletal human remain is seen near Luxor, Egypt. Photograph: Zahi Hawass Center for Egyptolog/Reuters

The team began excavations in September 2020, between the temples of Ramses III and Amenhotep III near Luxor, 500km (300 miles) south of the capital, Cairo.

“Within weeks, to the team’s great surprise, formations of mud bricks began to appear in all directions,” the statement read. “What they unearthed was the site of a large city in a good condition of preservation, with almost complete walls, and with rooms filled with tools of daily life.”

After seven months of excavations, several neighbourhoods have been uncovered, including a bakery complete with ovens and storage pottery, as well as administrative and residential districts.

Amenhotep III inherited an empire that stretched from the Euphrates to Sudan, archaeologists say, and died around 1354 BC.

He ruled for nearly four decades, a reign known for its opulence and the grandeur of its monuments, including the Colossi of Memnon – two massive stone statues near Luxor that represent him and his wife.

“The archaeological layers have laid untouched for thousands of years, left by the ancient residents as if it were yesterday,” the team’s statement said.

Bryan said the city “will give us a rare glimpse into the life of the Ancient Egyptians at the time where the empire was at his wealthiest”.

Egyptologists said they found ‘rooms filled with tools of daily life’. Photograph: Zahi Hawass Center for Egyptolog/Reuters

The team said it was optimistic that further important finds would be revealed, noting it had discovered groups of tombs it reached through “stairs carved into the rock”, a similar construction to those found in the Valley of the Kings.

“The mission expects to uncover untouched tombs filled with treasures,” the statement added.

After years of political instability linked to a popular revolt in 2011, which dealt a severe blow to Egypt’s key tourism sector, the country is seeking to bring back visitors, in particular by promoting its ancient heritage.

Last week, Egypt transported the mummified remains of 18 ancient kings and four queens across Cairo from the Egyptian Museum to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation, a procession dubbed the “Pharaohs’ Golden Parade”.

“Lost Golden City” Discovered in Egypt Gives a Glimpse Into the Lives of Ancient Pharaohs

Egypt's “lost golden city” has at last been found. A team of Egyptian archeologists led by former antiquities minister Dr. Zahi Hawass announced in a statement on April 8, 2021 that they had uncovered the ancient city of Aten. The remarkably well-preserved city is over 3,000 years old and dates to the New Kingdom period of Egyptian history. Egyptologists around the world are hailing the discovery as&mdashin the words of American professor Betsy Brian&mdashthe “second most important archaeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun.” The settlement is the largest ancient city so far unearthed in Egypt

The city of Aten is actually connected to the legendary boy pharaoh of Egypt. Located near Luxor (ancient Thebes) in Upper Egypt, Aten is in close proximity to the Valley of the Kings. According to Hawass, the team began a search in the area for the mortuary temple of Tutankhamun. They were surprised to discover that under the sand was a vast expanse of well-preserved walls clearly delineating a city of great size. As it turns out, they had discovered the bureaucratic and industrial city complex founded by King Amenhotep III (who ruled 1391-1353 BCE). The complex also includes two royal palaces and a series of rock-cut tombs which have yet to be excavated.

Excavations at the site began in September 2020 and proceeded quickly. Countless walled rooms made of mud brick were used for different purposes&mdashincluding a bakery and kitchens that were clearly intended to feed many people. Scarabs, pottery, rings, and wine vessels have also been discovered. Inscriptions on the wine vessels as well as cartouches on the bricks have helped date much of the city's activities to Amenhotep III's reign, including the years he reigned with his son Akhenaten.

These snippets of daily life will be incredibly valuable to scholars. According to the press release, the team discovered a vessel containing cooked meat which bears the inscription: “Year 37, dressed meat for the third Heb Sed festival from the slaughterhouse of the stockyard of Kha made by the butcher luwy.” This poses a question for historians, who have typically thought Aten was abandoned in favor of moving the capitol to Amarna only a year after the dated inscription. With this new information, the history of these cities during the reign of Akhenaten and even Tutankhamun may be rewritten.

The excavation remains ongoing, with much of the administrative buildings and gravesites yet to be explored. The team announced that “the mission expects to uncover untouched tombs filled with treasures.” These rich discoveries may be more glittering than ancient vessels filled with meat, but every corner of the “lost golden city” of Aten is proving to be a goldmine of knowledge for understanding life in a center of royal power in ancient Egypt.

Egypt breakthrough: How ancient mythical kingdom was uncovered in ‘remarkable discovery'

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Egypt: Archaeologists use science to discover location of Punt

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The Land of Punt was said to be a place of &ldquowonderful things,&rdquo and it is recorded in ancient Egyptian history as early as the Fourth Dynasty under the Pharaoh Khufu, with the location celebrated in popular Egyptian literature &ldquoTale of the Shipwrecked Sailor&rdquo 4,000 years ago. Tomb inscriptions reveal how in the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt Queen Hatshepsut built a Red Sea fleet to facilitate trade between the head of the Gulf of Aqaba and points south as far as Punt to bring mortuary goods to Karnak in exchange for Nubian gold. Hieroglyphs detail much about the royals, inhabitants, and the variety of trees on the island, revealing it as the "Land of the Gods, a region far to the east in the direction of the sunrise, blessed with products for religious purposes," where traders could return with gold, ivory, ebony, incense, aromatic resins, animal skins, live animals, eye-makeup cosmetics, fragrant woods, and cinnamon.


But, the History Channel&rsquos &lsquoEgypt&rsquos Unexplained Files&rsquo revealed how experts suspected the Land of Punt to be nothing more than a legend passed down by Egyptians until a huge discovery changed everything.

The 2019 series explained: &ldquoIn 2004, archaeologists were digging at a site near the small Egyptian harbour of Wadi Gawasis on the Red Sea.

&ldquoKathryn Bard and her team from Boston University made a remarkable discovery &ndash ancient ships.

&ldquoThese ships were not built for the River Nile, they were made for the open ocean &ndash the first seafaring vessels to ever be uncovered from ancient Egypt.

An incredible discovery was made in Egypt (Image: GETTY/HISTORY CHANNEL)

The Land of Punt was shown in inscriptions (Image: HISTORY CHANNEL)

&ldquoAlongside the rigging, they discovered a set of strange boxes and realised the incredible significance of the find.&rdquo

Archaeologist Kathryn Bard explained what her team uncovered.

She said: &ldquoWe found pieces of ancient ships, 26 oil papyrus rope rigging from an ancient ship.

&ldquoWe excavated 43 discarded cargo boxes, and why do we know they were cargo boxes? Because two of them were inscribed like a package label with &lsquothe wonderful things of Punt.&rsquo

&ldquoThere is a wonderful fictional tale dating to 1900BC called &lsquoThe Tale of the Shipwreck Sailor&rsquo and it&rsquos about a sailor who is on a seafaring expedition.&rdquo

The narrator revealed how the breakthrough made experts revisit hieroglyphs previously ignored.

Archaeologists found goods bound for the kingdom (Image: HISTORY CHANNEL)

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He added: &ldquoThis was the first evidence that the mysterious Land of Punt was a real place and that the ancient Egyptians were trading, but where was it?

&ldquoFor over a century, the Land of Punt is thought to be nothing more than a tall tale, first discovered in a 4,000-year-old papyrus of a sailor telling stories of fabulous creatures and exotic spices.

&ldquoResearchers now re-examine an ancient tablet called the Palermo stone and find accounts of voyages that were previously considered fictional.

&ldquoIt reveals that Punt was the source of many essential goods brought into ancient Egypt, all the evidence points to Punt being a trading partner for ancient Egyptians.&rdquo

Then, the series explained a second breakthrough that would lead to the location being pinpointed.

The narrator added: &ldquoTeams excavating the ocean-going ships make an incredible breakthrough, they find shards of ancient pots that once contained goods from Punt and discover that the clay comes from the east coast of Africa.

Kathryn Band led the team of experts (Image: HISTORY)

Hatshepsut's temple was key to unlocking the secret (Image: GETTY)

Related articles

&ldquoBut exactly where on the coast remains a mystery to researchers, so they turn to inscriptions at Queen Hatshepsut&rsquos temple, where they find accounts of a voyage to Punt.

&ldquoThe depictions on the walls have long puzzled visitors because they have a different skin colour to the Egyptians and they find a passage that describes the animals &ndash baboons, dogs and incense trees.

&ldquoBaboons are not indigenous to Egypt, so if archaeologists can determine the origin, it could help them pinpoint the location of Punt.

&ldquoThey track down a baboon mine discovered int the Valley of the Kings and in 2010 a team of scientists tested the baboons using a scientific technique called stable oxygen isotope analysis.&rdquo

Ms Bard revealed the location to viewers, adding: &ldquoThe analysis points to northeast Africa, in what is today Eritrea or Eastern Sudan.&rdquo

A Study On Cheikh Anata Diop

's Institute of African Studies. Dr. Diop contributed to the scientific understanding of African history by refuting flawed euro-centric ideas on the origins of Egyptian civilization. Throughout his work, the main themes of Dr. Diop 's work was that Egypt was the center of a vast network linking Africa 's main cultures and languages and that it was the product of cultural influences from the African heartland. Therefore, the originators of classical Egyptian civilization were not Mediterranean whites

Archaeologists Have Discovered 110 Tombs From Three Different Eras of Ancient Egyptian History in the Nile Delta

Scholars are now trying to determine whether and how the people of one period absorbed the traditions of another.

The archeological site of 110 tombs at the Nile Delta. Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Excavations at an ancient site in the Nile Delta have uncovered no less than 110 tombs dating from three different periods of ancient Egyptian history.

The find includes 68 oval-shaped tombs from the predynastic Buto Period (6000–3150 B.C.), 37 rectangular-shaped tombs from the Second Intermediate Period (1782–1570 B.C., also known as the era of Hyksos, a Semitic people that ruled Egypt at the time), and five oval-shaped tombs from the Naqada III period (3200–3000 B.C.), according to Smithsonian Magazine.

“This is an extremely interesting cemetery because it combines some of the earliest periods of Egyptian history with another important era, the time of the Hyksos,” Salima Ikram, an Egyptologist at the American University in Cairo, told Reuters. “Egyptologists are working to understand how the Egyptians and the Hyksos lived together and to what degree the former took on Egyptian traditions.”

The discovery was announced in statement from the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, which plans to continue excavations on the site. Artifacts uncovered to date include stoves and ovens, pottery, silver rings, funerary furniture, scarab amulets, pottery, and bricks from old buildings.

Scarab amulets from the archeological site of 110 tombs at the Nile Delta. Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

The dead were buried in squatting positions in the Buto period tombs, while Hyksos period burials were done face-up, their heads pointing to the west. Both the Buto and Hyksos tombs included the remains of babies in jars, an ancient burial practice that remains mysterious.

“But there’s always the interpretation that the jar is almost like a womb, so basically the idea is to return [the] baby back into Mother Earth, or into the symbolic protection of his mother,” archaeologist Yoav Arbel told Live Science of a similar discovery last year.

Though maintaining tourism has been a struggle in Egypt over the past decade—first due to revolution, and more recently because of the ongoing pandemic—the government hopes discoveries such as these will encourage overseas travelers to visit.

Earlier this month, Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, marked the opening of Cairo’s long-awaited National Museum of Egyptian Civilization with an elaborate procession across the city of 22 ancient Egyptian royal mummies.

See more photos from the newly uncovered tombs below.

A human skeleton from a tomb at the Nile Delta. Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

A human skeleton from a tomb at the Nile Delta. Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Artifacts from the archeological site of 110 tombs at the Nile Delta. Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

A human skeleton from a tomb at the Nile Delta. Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.


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Egyptology, the study of pharaonic Egypt, spanning the period c. 4500 bce to ce 641. Egyptology began when the scholars accompanying Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Egypt (1798–1801) published Description de l’Égypte (1809–28), which made large quantities of source material about ancient Egypt available to Europeans. For a discussion of the long-standing fascination with ancient Egypt, see Sidebar: Egyptomania.

Written Egyptian documents date to c. 3150 bce , when the first pharaohs developed the hieroglyphic script in Upper Egypt. The documents of these kings, their successors, and their subjects, as well as the archaeological material of their culture, well preserved by Egypt’s arid climate, provide the source material for Egyptological study.

After the Roman conquest (31 bce ) the knowledge of pharaonic Egypt was gradually lost as Hellenism infused Egyptian culture. The temples alone preserved pharaonic religion and the hieroglyphic script. Christianity, introduced in the 1st century, slowly eroded this last bastion of pharaonic culture. By c. 250 ce the Greek alphabet, with six added letters from the demotic (cursive hieroglyphic script), replaced the hieroglyphic system. The last known hieroglyphs were carved in 394 at Philae, where the worship of Isis survived until about 570. Some observations about pharaonic Egypt had passed into Greco-Roman civilization through such Classical authors as Herodotus and Strabo. The worship of Isis and Osiris had also spread throughout the Roman Empire, and Manetho, an Egyptian priest, had compiled a list of kings for Ptolemy I that preserved the outline of Egyptian history in Greek. These factors helped keep a dim memory of ancient Egypt alive in Europe.

After the Arab conquest (641) only the Christian Egyptians, the Copts, kept alive the ancient language, written in Greek characters. In Europe the Coptic texts taken from Egypt during the Renaissance awakened interest in the Egyptian language. Athanasius Kircher, a German Jesuit, published a Coptic grammar in 1643, and European travelers to Egypt returned with antiquities and stories of wondrous ruins. The first scholar known to have engaged in scientific work, the 17th-century English astronomer John Greaves, measured the pyramids of Giza.

In 1799 a French engineer found the Rosetta Stone, a trilingual stela with Greek, hieroglyphic, and demotic texts. Knowledge of Coptic permitted the deciphering of the stone’s inscription, a work completed in 1822 by Jean-François Champollion. He and an Italian scholar, Ippolito Rosellini, led a combined expedition to Egypt in 1828 and published their research in Monuments de l’Égypte et Nubie. Karl Richard Lepsius followed with a Prussian expedition (1842–45), and the Englishman Sir John Gardner Wilkinson spent 12 years (1821–33) copying and collecting material in Egypt. Their work made copies of monuments and texts widely available to European scholars. Muḥammad ʿAlī’s government (1805–49) opened Egypt to Europeans and consular agents, and adventurers began to collect antiquities, often in ways that amounted to plunder. From this arose the great European Egyptian museum collections. Auguste Mariette went from the Louvre in 1850 and began excavations at Memphis, where he found the Serapeum. He convinced Saʿīd Pasha, viceroy of Egypt, to found the first Egyptian museum at Būlāq (1858 moved to Cairo, 1903) as well as the Service des Antiquités (1863). Mariette became the first director of this organization, which worked to stop the hitherto uncontrolled digging and collection of antiquities.

The research of Emmanuel de Rougé in France, Samuel Birch in England, and Heinrich Brugsch in Germany established Egyptology as an academic discipline. In 1880 Flinders Petrie brought to Egypt his technique of controlled, scientifically recorded excavation, which revolutionized archaeology he pushed back the origins of Egyptian culture to 4500 bce . The British Egypt Exploration Fund (later Society), founded in 1882, promoted excavations using Petrie’s principles, and other professional associations of Egyptologists spread these standards. Adolf Erman and Hermann Grapow published in Berlin the Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache, an exhaustive dictionary of hieroglyphic Egyptian. In 1954 Wolja Erichsen published his demotic lexicon, Demotisches Glossar. The Germans Erman, Eduard Meyer, and Kurt Sethe, the English scholars Francis Llewellyn Griffith and Sir Alan H. Gardiner, and the Czech Egyptologist Jaroslav Černý conducted research that shaped the currently accepted outlines of Egyptian history. James Henry Breasted founded the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago and pioneered American Egyptology with his survey of Egypt and Nubia (1895–96). He started the Epigraphic Survey in 1924 to make accurate copies of the inscriptions on monuments, which are subject to deterioration from exposure to the elements, and to then publish these records. The group’s current project, which began during the 1990–91 season, is a record of the temple of Amon in Madinat Habu.

American museums opened Egyptian collections in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and excavations in Egypt helped enlarge their exhibits. The University of Pennsylvania, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), the Brooklyn Museum, and the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University all have conducted work in Egypt. The discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb (1922), as well as Pierre Montet’s excavations of the intact royal tombs at Tanis, heightened public awareness of Egyptology.

The worldwide UNESCO-sponsored effort to raise the temples of Nubia and Philae above the waters of Lake Nasser (1960–75) and the Egyptian government-sponsored tours (during 1972 in London and 1976–79 at six U.S. museums) of objects from Tutankhamen’s tomb spurred international interest in Egypt. Researchers working in Nubia gained access to ancient Egyptian sites, especially in the poorly explored Nile River delta. In the 1970s excavation of ancient Avaris and Per Ramessu (city of the biblical Ramses) and Mendes yielded important insights into these ancient cities.

The building of the Aswān dams (1902 and 1970) led to international salvage excavations in Nubia, the results of which shed light on Egyptian history. A salvage operation led to a great find in the waters off Alexandria. In 1994 Jean-Yves Empereur—the archaeologist who founded the Centre for Alexandrian Studies (Centre d’Études Alexandrines)—was called in to study an underwater site before a concrete breakwater was erected over the area. The site, which contained huge masonry blocks, columns, and a statuary (including a colossal statue that is thought to represent Ptolemy II), is believed to hold some remains of the Pharos of Alexandria—the lighthouse that was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

In 1976 the First International Congress of Egyptology convened in Cairo reconvening at three-year intervals, it fosters closer contacts among scholars around the world. After 1952 Egyptians themselves became more involved in Egyptology. Regional museums opened at Alexandria, Al-Minyā, Mallawī, Luxor, and Aswān as increasing numbers of tourists visited Egypt.

Still, despite 200 years of excavation and research, many little-explored sites remain in Egypt. This was evidenced in the mid-1990s by a find near Bawiṭ (Al-Bawīṭī), south of Cairo, where archaeologists found one of the largest necropolises (burial places) ever uncovered burials there dated to the Roman era, about 2,000 years ago. Excavators uncovered some 100 mummies, ranging from the remains of wealthy individuals buried with golden masks to those buried in less costly terra-cotta or plaster workers dubbed the area “Valley of the Golden Mummies.” Based upon the 100 or so tombs yet to be opened at Bawiṭ, archaeologists expected the necropolis to hold between 5,000 and 10,000 mummies. The site was particularly interesting to scholars concerned with the burial practices of ordinary people during Egypt’s Greco-Roman period. In addition, the tombs had never before been opened, which allowed archaeologists the opportunity to study an undisturbed site.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.

Introduction to Ancient Egypt and Its Civilization

Colossal pyramids, imposing temples, golden treasures, enigmatic hieroglyphs, powerful pharaohs, strange gods, and mysterious mummies are features of Ancient Egyptian culture that have fascinated people over the millennia. The Bible refers to its gods, rulers, and pyramids. Neighboring cultures in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean wrote about its god-like kings and its seemingly endless supply of gold. The Greeks and Romans describe aspects of Egypt's culture and history.

As the 19th century began, the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt highlighted the wonders of this ancient land, and public interest soared. Not long after, Champollion deciphered Egypt's hieroglyphs and paved the way for other scholars to reveal that Egyptian texts dealt with medicine, dentistry, veterinary practices, mathematics, literature, and accounting, and many other topics. Then, early in the 20th century, Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun and its fabulous contents. Exhibitions of this treasure a few decades later resulted in the world's first blockbuster, and its revival in the 21st century has kept interest alive. Join Dr. David Silverman, Professor of Egyptology at Penn, Curator in Charge of the Egyptian Section of the Penn Museum, and curator of the Tutankhamun exhibitions on a guided tour of the mysteries and wonders of this ancient land. He has developed this online course and set it in the galleries of the world famous Penn Museum. He uses many original Egyptian artifacts to illustrate his lectures as he guides students as they make their own discovery of this fascinating culture.

Watch the video: Ταξίδια στο διάστημα