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Ancient Egypt: The Brief History

Ancient Egypt: The Brief History

Egypt was among the oldest countries of the world. The Egyptians had been flourishing in an incredible speed since the prehistoric period. While basic things like language, religion, rulers, climate, or border of the Ancient Egypt changed, Egypt still exists as a country in this day and age.

In the past, many powers like Roman, Greeks, etc. occupied the power to take over the Ancient Egypt. The ancient rulers were the “Pharaoh” which meant “Great House”.  The dynasties of the Ancient Egypt are often divided into 30 or 31 dynasties. Hieroglyphic script was one of the earliest traces of ancient writing system of the Egyptians.

Image of Ancient Egypt Pharaoh
Pharaoh of the Egyptian

Ancient Egypts experienced many names since its dawn. But one of the most popular names was “Kemet” meaning the black soil. According to scholars and researchers, the name “Kemet” indicated the fertile soil in Egypt of that time. Thanks to  Nile river and its flooding, the soil was kept fertile which helped the Egyptians survive. Without it, it might have been only the desert.

Prehistory of the Ancient Egypt

The exact date of the first migration to Egypt has been remaining a mystery by far. What we know is that people went out of Africa to travel to Egypt around 2,000,000 years ago. People believed that Egypt was the land that ancient people crossed to reach Africa.

Many debates have been surrounding Ancient Egypt though. For example, it is unclear how the Ancient Egypt became united? Or who was the early Egyptian ruler? According to an excavation carried out recently, the early rulers might have included Iry-Hor. Scholars claimed that Iry Hor was the one that discovered Memphis which once was the Egyptian captial of the ancient time.

The climate of the prehistory was much better than it is now. This means that the desert of this day once was a very fertile land. On the Gilf Kebir plateau in southwest Egypt, there was a famous archaeological site that people now call it the “cave of the swimmers”. But what surrounds the cave now is just the barren desert. It has rock art that the archaeologists interpret as people were swimming. The exact date of the creation of the rock art was unclear but archaeologists believed it  was from the prehistoric times.

Image of Egyptian cave rock art
Cave rock art (Cre: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

Religion of the Ancient Egypt

In the ancient time, the Egyptians followed the polytheistic religion. It meant the Egyptians worshiped more than one god or goddess. One of the most important gods was Osiris the god of the underworld. The Egyptians believed that the dead would reach the land kind of paradise. In their afterlife, they lived forever. The living could have mummified the dead to preserve the body and cast spell to follow them in the underworld.

The shabti which was the figurines were the common things that the Egyptians would bury with the dead. They believed the shabti would do the work for the dead in their afterlife. But the religion of the Ancient Egypt didn’t remain stable all the time. It changed over time. For example, when the Egyptians came under Roman and Greek, they were religiously  associated with the Roman and Greeks.

Image of Osiris God of Underworld in Egyptian belief

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