Old Kingdom of Egypt
In ancient Egyptian history, the Old Kingdom is the period spanning c. 2686–2181 BC. It is known as the "Age of the Pyramids" or the "Age of the Pyramid Builders", as it encompasses the reigns of the great pyramid builders of the Fourth Dynasty—King Sneferu perfected the art of pyramid-building and the pyramids of Giza were constructed under the kings Khufu and Menkaure. Egypt attained its first sustained peak of civilization—the first of three so-called "Kingdom" periods which mark the high points of civilization in the lower Nile Valley; the term itself was coined by 18th-century historians, the distinction between the Early Dynastic Period and Old Kingdom is not one which would have been recognized by Ancient Egyptians. Not only was the last king of the Early Dynastic Period related to the first two kings of the Old Kingdom, but the "capital"—the royal residence—remained at Ineb-Hedg, the Ancient Egyptian name for Memphis; the basic justification for a separation between the two periods is the revolutionary change in architecture accompanied by the effects on Egyptian society and economy of large-scale building projects.
The Old Kingdom is most regarded as the period from the Third Dynasty through the Sixth Dynasty. Information from the Fourth through Sixth Dynasties of Egypt is scarce, historians regard the history of the era as "written in stone" and architectural in that it is through the monuments and their inscriptions that scholars have been able to construct a history. Egyptologists include the Memphite Seventh and Eighth Dynasties in the Old Kingdom as a continuation of the administration centralized at Memphis. While the Old Kingdom was a period of internal security and prosperity, it was followed by a period of disunity and relative cultural decline referred to by Egyptologists as the First Intermediate Period. During the Old Kingdom, the king of Egypt became a living god who ruled and could demand the services and wealth of his subjects. Under King Djoser, the first king of the Third Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, the royal capital of Egypt was moved to Memphis, where Djoser established his court. A new era of building was initiated at Saqqara under his reign.
King Djoser's architect, Imhotep, is credited with the development of building with stone and with the conception of the new architectural form—the step pyramid. The Old Kingdom is best known for the large number of pyramids constructed at this time as burial places for Egypt's kings; the first King of the Old Kingdom was Djoser of the Third Dynasty, who ordered the construction of a pyramid in Memphis' necropolis, Saqqara. An important person during the reign of Djoser was his vizier, Imhotep, it was in this era that independent ancient Egyptian states became known as nomes, under the rule of the king. The former rulers were forced to assume the role of governors or otherwise work in tax collection. Egyptians in this era worshiped their Pharaoh as a god, believing that he ensured the annual flooding of the Nile, necessary for their crops. Egyptian views on the nature of time during this period held that the universe worked in cycles, the Pharaoh on earth worked to ensure the stability of those cycles.
They perceived themselves as a specially selected people. The Old Kingdom and its royal power reached a zenith under the Fourth Dynasty, which began with Sneferu. After Djoser, Pharaoh Snefru was the next great pyramid builder. Snefru commissioned the building of three pyramids; the first is called the Meidum pyramid, named for its location in Egypt. Snefru abandoned it; the Meidum pyramid was the first to have an above-ground burial chamber. Using more stones than any other Pharaoh, he built the three pyramids: a now collapsed pyramid in Meidum, the Bent Pyramid at Dahshur, the Red Pyramid, at North Dahshur. However, the full development of the pyramid style of building was reached not at Saqqara, but during the building of'The Great Pyramids' at Giza. Sneferu was succeeded by his son, who built the Great Pyramid of Giza. After Khufu's death, his sons Djedefra and Khafra may have quarrelled; the latter built the Sphinx in Giza. Recent reexamination of evidence has led Egyptologist Vassil Dobrev to propose that the Sphinx had been built by Djedefra as a monument to his father Khufu.
Alternatively, the Sphinx has been proposed to Khufu himself. There were military expeditions into Canaan and Nubia, with Egyptian influence reaching up the Nile into what is today the Sudan; the kings of the Fourth Dynasty were king Menkaure, who built the smallest pyramid in Giza and Djedefptah. The Fifth Dynasty began with Userkaf and was marked by the growing importance of the cult of sun god Ra. Fewer efforts were devoted to the construction of pyramid complexes than during the Fourth Dynasty and more to the construction of sun temples in Abusir. Userkaf was succeeded by his son Sahure. Sahure was in turn succeeded by Neferirkare Kakai, Sahure's son. Neferirkare introduced the prenomen in the royal titulary, he was followed by two short-lived kings, his son Neferefre and Shepseskare, the latter of uncertain parentage. Shepseskare may have been deposed by Neferefre's brother Nyuserre Ini, a long lived pharaoh who built extensively in Abusir and rest
"Aryan" is a term, used as a self-designation by Indo-Iranian people. The word was used by the Indic people of the Vedic period in India as an ethnic label for themselves and to refer to the noble class as well as the geographic region known as Āryāvarta, where Indo-Aryan culture is based; the related Iranian people used the term as an ethnic label for themselves in the Avesta scriptures, the word forms the etymological source of the country name Iran. It was believed in the 19th century that Aryan was a self-designation used by all Proto-Indo-Europeans, a theory that has now been abandoned. Scholars point out that in ancient times, the idea of being an "Aryan" was religious and linguistic, not racial. Drawing on misinterpreted references in the Rig Veda by Western scholars in the 19th century, the term "Aryan" was adopted as a racial category through the works of Arthur de Gobineau, whose ideology of race was based on an idea of blonde northern European "Aryans" who had migrated across the world and founded all major civilizations, before being diluted through racial mixing with local populations.
Through the works of Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Gobineau's ideas influenced the Nazi racial ideology which saw "Aryan peoples" as innately superior to other putative racial groups. The atrocities committed in the name of this racial ideology have led academics to avoid the term "Aryan", replaced, in most cases, by "Indo-Iranian"; the English word "Aryan" was borrowed from the Sanskrit word ārya, आर्य, in the 18th century and thought to be the self-designation used by all Indo-European people. Philologist J. P. Mallory argues that "As an ethnic designation, the word is most properly limited to the Indo-Iranians, most justly to the latter where it still gives its name to the country Iran. In early Vedic literature, the term Āryāvarta was the name given to northern India, where the Indo-Aryan culture was based; the Manusmṛti gives the name Āryāvarta to "the tract between the Himalaya and the Vindhya ranges, from the Eastern to the Western Sea". The term was used as a national name to designate those who worshipped the Vedic deities and followed Vedic culture.
The Sanskrit term comes from proto-Indo-Iranian *arya- or *aryo-, the name used by the Indo-Iranians to designate themselves. The Zend airya'venerable' and Old Persian ariya are derivates of *aryo-, are self-designations. In Iranian languages, the original self-identifier lives on in ethnic names like "Alans" and "Iron"; the name of Iran is the Persian word for land/place of the Aryans. The Proto-Indo-Iranian term is hypothesized to have proto-Indo-European origins, while according to Szemerényi it is a Near-Eastern loanword from the Ugaritic ary, kinsmen, it has been postulated the Proto-Indo-European root word is *haerós with the meanings "members of one's own group, freeman" as well as the Indo-Iranian meaning of Aryan. Derived from it were words like the Hittite prefix arā- meaning member of one's own group, peer and friend; the word *haerós itself is believed to have come from the root *haer- meaning "put together". The original meaning in Proto-Indo-European had a clear emphasis on the "in-group status" as distinguished from that of outsiders those captured and incorporated into the group as slaves.
While in Anatolia, the base word has come to emphasize personal relationship, in Indo-Iranian the word has taken a more ethnic meaning. A review of numerous other ideas, the various problems with each is given by Oswald Szemerényi. Proto-Indo-Europeans: during the 19th century, it was proposed that "Aryan" was the self-designation of the Proto-Indo-Europeans, a hypothesis, abandoned. "Aryan language family": the Indo-Aryan languages, Iranian languages and Nuristani languages, Indo-Aryan languages also called Indic. The term "Aryan" is used by Iranian nationalists to refer themselves. During the 19th century it was proposed that "Aryan" was the self-designation of the Proto-Indo-Europeans. Based on speculations that the Proto-Indo-European homeland was located in northern Europe, a 19th-century hypothesis, now abandoned, the word developed a racialist meaning; the Nazis used the word "Aryan" to describe people in a racial sense. The Nazi official Alfred Rosenberg believed that the Nordic race was descended from Proto-Aryans, who he believed had prehistorically dwelt on the North German Plain and who had originated from the lost continent of Atlantis.
According to Nazi racial theory, the term "Aryan" described the Germanic peoples. However, a satisfactory definition of "Aryan" remained problematic during Nazi Germany; the Nazis considered the purest Aryans to be those that belonged to the "Nordic race" physical ideal, known as the "master race" during Nazi Germany. Although the physical ideal of the Nazi racial theorists was the tall, fair-haired and light-eyed Nordic individual, such theorists accepted the fact that a considerable variety of hair and eye colour existed within the racial categories they recognised. For example, Adolf Hitler and many Nazi officials had dark hair and were still considered members of the Aryan race under Nazi racial doctrine, because the deter
Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings known as the Valley of the Gates of the Kings, is a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, rock cut tombs were excavated for the pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom. The valley stands on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes, within the heart of the Theban Necropolis; the wadi consists of East Valley and West Valley. With the 2005 discovery of a new chamber and the 2008 discovery of two further tomb entrances, the valley is known to contain 63 tombs and chambers, it was the principal burial place of the major royal figures of the Egyptian New Kingdom, as well as a number of privileged nobles. The royal tombs are decorated with scenes from Egyptian mythology and give clues as to the beliefs and funerary rituals of the period. All of the tombs seem to have been opened and robbed in antiquity, but they still give an idea of the opulence and power of the pharaohs; this area has been a focus of archaeological and egyptological exploration since the end of the eighteenth century, its tombs and burials continue to stimulate research and interest.
In modern times the valley has become famous for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. In 1979, it became a World Heritage Site, along with the rest of the Theban Necropolis. Exploration and conservation continues in the valley, a new tourist centre has been opened; the Valley of the Kings is situated over 1,000 feet of limestone and other sedimentary rock, which form the cliffs in the valley and the nearby Deir el-Bahri, interspersed with soft layers of marl. The sedimentary rock was deposited between 35–56 million years ago during a time when the Mediterranean Sea sometimes extended as far south as Aswan. During the Pleistocene the valley was carved out of the plateau by steady rains. There is little year-round rain in this part of Egypt, but there are occasional flash floods that hit the valley, dumping tons of debris into the open tombs; the quality of the rock in the Valley is inconsistent, ranging from finely-grained to coarse stone, the latter with the potential to be structurally unsound.
The occasional layer of shale caused construction and conservation difficulties, as this rock expands in the presence of water, forcing apart the stone surrounding it. It is thought that some tombs were altered in shape and size depending on the types of rock the builders encountered. Builders took advantage of available geological features; some tombs were quarried out of existing limestone clefts, others behind slopes of scree, or were at the edge of rock spurs created by ancient flood channels. The problems of tomb construction can be seen with tombs of his father Setnakhte. Setnakhte started to excavate KV11 but broke into the tomb of Amenmesse, so construction was abandoned and he instead usurped the tomb of Twosret, KV14; when looking for a tomb, Ramesses III extended. The tomb of Ramesses II returned to an early style, with a bent axis due to the quality of the rock being excavated. Between 1998 and 2002 the Amarna Royal Tombs Project investigated the valley floor using ground-penetrating radar and found that, below the modern surface, the Valley's cliffs descend beneath the scree in a series of abrupt, natural "shelves", arranged one below the other, descending several metres down to the bedrock in the valley floor.
The area of the Theban hills is subject to infrequent violent thunderstorms, causing flash floods in the valley. Recent studies have shown that there are at least seven active flood stream beds leading down into the central area of the valley; this central area appears to have been flooded at the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty, with several tombs buried under metres of debris. The tombs KV63, KV62, KV55 are dug into the actual wadi bedrock rather than the debris, showing that the level of the valley was five meters below its present level. After this event dynasties leveled the floor of the valley, making the floods deposit their load further down the valley, the buried tombs were forgotten and only discovered in the early 20th century; this was the area, the subject of the Amarna Royal Tombs Project ground scanning radar investigation, which showed several anomalies, one of, proved to be KV63. The Theban Hills are dominated by the peak of al-Qurn, known to the Ancient Egyptians as ta dehent, or "The Peak".
It has a pyramid-shaped appearance, it is probable that this echoed the pyramids of the Old Kingdom, more than a thousand years prior to the first royal burials carved here. Its isolated position resulted in reduced access, special tomb police were able to guard the necropolis. While the iconic pyramid complexes of the Giza plateau have come to symbolize ancient Egypt, the majority of tombs were cut into rock. Most pyramids and mastabas contain sections which are cut into ground level, there are full rock-cut tombs in Egypt that date back to the Old Kingdom. After the defeat of the Hyksos and the reunification of Egypt under Ahmose I, the Theban rulers began to construct elaborate tombs that reflected their newfound power; the tombs of Ahmose and his son Amenhotep I were in the Seventeenth Dyna
Maspero television building
Maspero is the name of the huge building on the bank of the Nile river in Cairo, Egypt. It is the headquarters of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (formerly the Arab Radio and Television Union, the oldest state-run broadcasting organisation in the Arab World and Africa. Maspero is the name of the street, which this building overlooks. Gamal Abdel Nasser, the President of the United Arab Republic ordered the construction of the building in August 1959; the first broadcast from Maspero commenced on 21 July 1960 with the country's introduction of television on the eighth anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. It was built with a budget of 108 000 Egyptian pounds; the building was named after the French archaeologist Gaston Maspero, the chairman of the Egyptian Antiquities Authority. As a key institution of the state, it was one of the first state buildings to be protected by the Egyptian Army during the outbreak of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. Maspero demonstrations Maspero massacre
Order of St Michael and St George
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent King George IV, while he was acting as regent for his father, King George III. It is named in honour of St Michael and St George; the Order of St Michael and St George was awarded to those holding commands or high position in the Mediterranean territories acquired in the Napoleonic Wars, was subsequently extended to holders of similar office or position in other territories of the British Empire. It is at present awarded to men and women who hold high office or who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country, can be conferred for important or loyal service in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs; the Order includes three classes, in descending order of seniority and rank: Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross Knight Commander or Dame Commander Companion It is used to honour individuals who have rendered important services in relation to Commonwealth or foreign nations.
People are appointed to the Order rather than awarded it. British Ambassadors to foreign nations are appointed as KCMGs or CMGs. For example, the former British Ambassador to the United States, Sir David Manning, was appointed a CMG when he worked for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, after his appointment as British Ambassador to the US, he was promoted to a Knight Commander, it is the traditional award for members of the FCO. The Order's motto is Auspicium melioris ævi, its patron saints, as the name suggests, are St. Michael the Archangel, St. George, patron saint of England. One of its primary symbols is that of St Michael subduing Satan in battle; the Order is the sixth-most senior in the British honours system, after The Most Noble Order of the Garter, The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, The Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick, The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India. The third of the aforementioned Orders—which relates to Ireland, no longer a part of the United Kingdom—still exists but is in disuse.
The last of the Orders on the list, related to India, has been in disuse since that country's independence in 1947. The Prince Regent founded the Order to commemorate the British amical protectorate over the Ionian Islands, which had come under British control in 1814 and had been granted their own constitution as the United States of the Ionian Islands in 1817, it was intended to reward "natives of the Ionian Islands and of the island of Malta and its dependencies, for such other subjects of His Majesty as may hold high and confidential situations in the Mediterranean". In 1864, the protectorate ended and the Ionian Islands became part of Greece. A revision of the basis of the Order in 1868, saw membership granted to those who "hold high and confidential offices within Her Majesty's colonial possessions, in reward for services rendered to the Crown in relation to the foreign affairs of the Empire". Accordingly, numerous Governors-General and Governors feature as recipients of awards in the order.
In 1965 the order was opened to women, with Evelyn Bark becoming the first female CMG in 1967. The British Sovereign appoints all other members of the Order; the next-most senior member is the Grand Master. The office was filled by the Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. Grand Masters include: 1818–1825: Sir Thomas Maitland 1825–1850: Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge 1850–1904: Prince George, Duke of Cambridge 1904–1910: George, Prince of Wales 1910–1917: None 1917–1936: Edward, Prince of Wales 1936–1957: Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone 1957–1959: Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax 1959–1967: Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis 1967–present: Prince Edward, Duke of KentThe Order included 15 Knights Grand Cross, 20 Knights Commanders, 25 Companions but has since been expanded and the current limits on membership are 125, 375, 1,750 respectively. Members of the Royal Family who are appointed to the Order do not count towards the limit, nor do foreign members appointed as "honorary members".
The Order has six officers. The Order's King of Arms is not a member of the College of Arms, like many other heraldic officers; the Usher of the Order is known as the Lady Usher of the Blue Rod. Blue Rod does not, unlike the usher of the Order of the Garter, perform any duties related to the House of Lords. Prelate – The Rt. Rev. David Urquhart Chancellor – Rt Hon. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen Secretary – Sir Simon McDonald Registrar – Sir David Manning King of Arms – Sir Jeremy Greenstock Lady Usher of the Blue Rod – Dame DeAnne Julius Members of the Order wear elaborate regalia on important occasions, which vary by rank: The mantle, worn only by Knights and Dames Grand Cross, is made of Saxon blue satin lined with crimson silk. On the left side is a representation of the star; the mantle is bound with two large tassels. The collar, worn only by Knights and Dames Grand Cross, is made of gold, it consists of depictions of crowned lions, Maltese Crosses, the cyphers "SM" and "SG", all alternately.
In the centre are two winged lions, each holding a book and seven arrows. At less important occasions, simpler insignia are used: The star is an insignia used only by Knights and Dames Grand Cross and Knights and Dames Commanders, it is worn pinned to the left breast. The Knight and