The sands of the Nile River Valley hold many clues about one of the most mysterious, progressive, and artistic ancient civilizations. A great deal of evidence survives about how the ancient Egyptians lived, but questions remain. Even the wise sphinx would have trouble answering some of them. How were the pyramids built? Who came up with the idea for mummies and why? What was a typical day like for a pharaoh?
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None of the achievements of the remarkable ancient Egyptian civilization would have been possible without the Nile River. There is always a connection between landscape and how a people develop. It does not take the wisdom of a sphinx to understand why.
Egyptian society was structured like a pyramid. At the top were the gods, such as Ra, Osiris, and Isis. Egyptians believed that the gods controlled the universe. Therefore, it was important to keep them happy. They could make the Nile overflow, cause famine, or even bring death.
Ancient Egypt, also had dynasties. They were families who often ruled for a considerable number of years and did impressive things such as building pyramids during their rule.
Egyptian women could have their own businesses, own and sell property, and serve as witnesses in court cases. Unlike most women in the Middle East, they were even permitted to be in the company of men. They could escape bad marriages by divorcing and remarrying. And women were entitled to one third of the property their husbands owned. The political and economic rights Egyptian women enjoyed made them the most liberated females of their time.
In the computer-based Ancient Civilizations activity, students create their own civilization and see how it fares over the years based on choices they make for location, animals, plants and materials. Students trade resources between their civilizations, repeatedly go to war with unnamed enemies, and learn some fun facts about real-world ancient civilizations along the way. This activity was inspired by Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond.
In the paper-based Ancient Civilizations activity, students create their own civilization and see how it fares over the years based on choices they make for location, animals, plants and natural resources. Students create an artistic rendering of their civilization, trade resources between their civilizations and go to war with an unnamed enemy. This activity was inspired by Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond.
In this course, the student will study the emergence of the major civilizations of the ancient world, beginning with the Paleolithic Era (about 2.5 million years ago) and finishing with the end of the Middle Ages in fifteenth century A.D. The student will pay special attention to how societies evolved across this expanse of time - from fragmented and primitive agricultural communities to more advanced and consolidated civilizations. By the end of the course, the student will possess a thorough understanding of important overarching social, political, religious, and economic themes in the ancient world, ranging from the emergence of Confucian philosophy in Asia to the fall of imperial Rome. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: Identify and define the world's earliest civilizations, including the Neolithic Revolution, and describe how it shaped the development of these early civilizations; Identify, describe, and compare/contrast the first advanced civilizations in the world - Mesopotamia and Egypt; Identify and describe the emergence of the earliest civilizations in Asia: the Harappan and Aryan societies on the Indian subcontinent and the Shang and Zhou societies in China; Identify and describe the emergence of new philosophies - Daoism and Confucianism - during the Warring States period in China. Identify and describe the subsequent rise of the Qin and Han dynasties; Identify and describe the different periods that characterized ancient Greece - Archaic Greece (or the Greek Dark Ages), classical Greece, and the Hellenistic era; Identify and describe the characteristics of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic, and Imperial Rome; Analyze the emergence of the Mauryan and Gupta empires during the 'classical age' in India; Identify and analyze the Buddhist and Vedic (Hindu) faiths; Identify and describe the rise of civilizations in the Americas, particularly in Meso and South America; Analyze and describe the rise of Islam in the Middle East; Identify and describe the emergence of the Arab caliphate, the Umayyad dynasty, and Abbasid dynasty; Identify and describe the rise and fall of the Byzantine Empire; Identify and analyze key facets of medieval society in Western EuropeĺÎĺĚ_ĺÜthe Catholic Church, feudalism, and the rise of technology and commerce; Analyze and interpret primary-source documents that elucidate the exchanges and advancements made in civilizations across time and space. (History 101)
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This course serves as an introduction to the major artistic and architectural traditions of Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Near East. This course will explore how artifacts and monuments can be used to study the history and culture of the ancient world. It is divided into two units that chronologically focus on the art, architecture, and archaeology of each region. The first unit examines Ancient Egyptian tombs, monuments, and art from the Early Dynastic (c. 3100-2650 BCE) through the Roman (30 BCE- 4thcentury CE) periods. The second unit focuses on Ancient Near Eastern artistic and architectural traditions from the late Neolithic (c. 9500-4500 BCE) through the conquest of the Achaemenid Persian Empire (550-330 BCE) by Alexander the Great. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: Identify major ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern architectural sites, monuments, and works of art; Identify the general characteristics of ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern art and recognize the names and characteristics of the major art historical time periods of each region; Describe how art and architecture can be used to understand the politics, history, and culture of Ancient Egypt and the Near East; Explain ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern cosmology, conceptions of the afterlife, and kingship, as well as their relationship to architectural sites, monuments, and works of art. (Art History 201)
Student teams use their knowledge about ancient Egypt to design playgrounds for Egyptian children. This involves brainstorming ideas on paper, building models with LEGO® bricks or other materials, and explaining their ideas to the class in five-minute presentations.
This art history video discussion looks at a "House Altar" depicting Akhenaten, Nefertiti and Three of their Daughters, limestone, New Kingdom, Amarna period, 18th dynasty, c.1350 BCE (Agyptisches Museum/Neues Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin).
In this lesson, students learn about Ancient Egyptian rituals and attitudes about death and the afterlife.
The Ancient Egyptians used a naturally-occurring salt from the banks of the Nile River, called natron, to mummify their dead. Natron is made up primarily of sodium carbonate (a very efficient, but relatively expensive, dehydrating material), with about 17% sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). This activity explains how to create your own fish mummy using common baking soda!
In this lesson, from Science NetLinks, students explore how technological advances can lead to advancements in scientific knowledge, and specifically how new technologies are advancing the study of mummies. This lesson should help students understand how technology has improved the study of ancient civilizations.
This art history video discussion looks at "The Seated Scribe"‚ c. 2620-2500 B.C.E., c. 4th Dynasty, Old Kingdom, painted limestone with rock crystal, magnesite, and copper/arsenic inlay for the eyes and wood for the nipples, found in Saqqara (Musee du Louvre, Paris).
This art history video discussion looks at Thutmose's "Model Bust of Queen Nefertiti", New Kingdom, 18th dynasty, c. 1340 BCE, limestone and plaster (Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection/Neues Museum, Berlin).
History 116, the first part of the introductory surveys of Western Civilization. This course covers the period from early civilized man to the early Middle Ages of Europe, with emphasis on Greece, Rome, Egypt and other Mediterranean peoples.