Ancient Egyptian religion
Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals that formed an integral part of ancient Egyptian society. It centered on the Egyptians' interaction with many deities believed to be present in, in control of, the world. Rituals such as prayer and offerings were provided to the gods to gain their favor. Formal religious practice centered on the pharaoh, the rulers of Egypt, believed to possess a divine power by virtue of their position, they acted as intermediaries between their people and the gods, were obligated to sustain the gods through rituals and offerings so that they could maintain maat, the order of the cosmos. The state dedicated enormous resources to the construction of the temples. Individuals could interact with the gods for their own purposes, appealing for help through prayer or compelling the gods to act through magic; these practices were distinct from, but linked with, the formal rituals and institutions. The popular religious tradition grew more prominent in the course of Egyptian history as the status of the pharaoh declined.
Egyptian belief in the afterlife and funerary practices is evident in great efforts made to ensure the survival of their souls after death, providing tombs, grave goods, offerings to preserve the bodies and spirits of the deceased. The religion lasted for more than 3,000 years; the details of religious belief changed over time as the importance of particular gods rose and declined, their intricate relationships shifted. At various times, certain gods became preeminent over the others, including the sun god Ra, the creator god Amun, the mother goddess Isis. For a brief period, in the theology promulgated by the Pharaoh Akhenaten, a single god, the Aten, replaced the traditional pantheon. Ancient Egyptian religion and mythology left behind many writings and monuments, along with significant influences on ancient and modern cultures; the beliefs and rituals now referred to as "ancient Egyptian religion" were integral within every aspect of Egyptian culture. The Egyptian language possessed no single term corresponding to the modern European concept of religion.
Ancient Egyptian religion consisted of a vast and varying set of beliefs and practices, linked by their common focus on the interaction between the world of humans and the world of the divine. The characteristics of the gods who populated the divine realm were inextricably linked to the Egyptians' understanding of the properties of the world in which they lived; the Egyptians believed that the phenomena of nature were divine forces of themselves. These deified forces included animal characteristics, or abstract forces; the Egyptians believed in a pantheon of gods, which were involved in all aspects of nature and human society. Their religious practices were efforts to sustain and placate these phenomena and turn them to human advantage; this polytheistic system was complex, as some deities were believed to exist in many different manifestations, some had multiple mythological roles. Conversely, many natural forces, such as the sun, were associated with multiple deities; the diverse pantheon ranged from gods with vital roles in the universe to minor deities or "demons" with limited or localized functions.
It could include gods adopted from foreign cultures, sometimes humans: deceased pharaohs were believed to be divine, distinguished commoners such as Imhotep became deified. The depictions of the gods in art were not meant as literal representations of how the gods might appear if they were visible, as the gods' true natures were believed to be mysterious. Instead, these depictions gave recognizable forms to the abstract deities by using symbolic imagery to indicate each god's role in nature; this iconography was not fixed, many of the gods could be depicted in more than one form. Many gods were associated with particular regions in Egypt. However, these associations changed over time, they did not mean that the god associated with a place had originated there. For instance, the god Montu was the original patron of the city of Thebes. Over the course of the Middle Kingdom, however, he was displaced in that role by Amun, who may have arisen elsewhere; the national popularity and importance of individual gods fluctuated in a similar way.
Deities had complex interrelationships, which reflected the interaction of the forces they represented. The Egyptians grouped gods together to reflect these relationships. One of the more common combinations was a family triad consisting of a father and child, who were worshipped together; some groups had wide-ranging importance. One such group, the Ennead, assembled nine deities into a theological system, involved in the mythological areas of creation and the afterlife; the relationships between deities could be expressed in the process of syncretism, in which two or more different gods were linked to form a composite deity. This process was a recognition of the presence of one god "in" another when the second god took on a role belonging to the first; these links between deities were fluid, did not represent the permanent merging of two gods into one. Sometimes, syncretism combined deities with similar characteristics. At other times it joined gods with different natures, as when Amun, the god of hidden power, was linked with Ra, the god of the sun.
The resulting god, Amun-Ra, thus united the power that lay behind all things with the greatest and most visible force in nature. Many deities could be given epithets that seem to indicate that they were greater than any other god, suggesting some kind of u
Egyptian astronomy begins in prehistoric times, in the Predynastic Period. In the 5th millennium BCE, the stone circles at Nabta Playa may have made use of astronomical alignments. By the time the historical Dynastic Period began in the 3rd millennium BCE, the 365-day period of the Egyptian calendar was in use, the observation of stars was important in determining the annual flooding of the Nile; the Egyptian pyramids were aligned towards the pole star, the temple of Amun-Re at Karnak was aligned on the rising of the midwinter Sun. Astronomy played a considerable part in fixing the dates of religious festivals and determining the hours of night, temple astrologers were adept at watching the stars and observing the conjunctions and risings of the Sun and planets, as well as the lunar phases. In Ptolemaic Egypt, the Egyptian tradition merged with Greek astronomy and Babylonian astronomy, with the city of Alexandria in Lower Egypt becoming the centre of scientific activity across the Hellenistic world.
Roman Egypt produced the greatest astronomer of Ptolemy. His works on astronomy, including the Almagest, became the most influential books in the history of Western astronomy. Following the Muslim conquest of Egypt, the region came to be dominated by Arabic culture and Islamic astronomy; the astronomer Ibn Yunus observed the Sun's position for many years using a large astrolabe, his observations on eclipses were still used centuries later. In 1006, Ali ibn Ridwan observed the SN 1006, a supernova regarded as the brightest stellar event in recorded history, left the most detailed description of it. In the 14th century, Najm al-Din al-Misri wrote a treatise describing over 100 different types of scientific and astronomical instruments, many of which he invented himself. In the 20th century, Farouk El-Baz from Egypt worked for NASA and was involved in the first Moon landings with the Apollo program, where he assisted in the planning of scientific explorations of the Moon. Egyptian astronomy begins in prehistoric times.
The presence of stone circles at Nabta Playa in Upper Egypt dating from the 5th millennium BCE show the importance of astronomy to the religious life of ancient Egypt in the prehistoric period. The annual flooding of the Nile meant that the heliacal risings, or first visible appearances of stars at dawn, were of special interest in determining when this might occur, it is no surprise that the 365-day period of the Egyptian calendar was in use at the beginning of Egyptian history; the constellation system used among the Egyptians appears to have been of native origin. The precise orientation of the Egyptian pyramids serves as a lasting demonstration of the high degree of technical skill in watching the heavens attained in the 3rd millennium BCE, it has been shown the pyramids were aligned towards the pole star, because of the precession of the equinoxes, was at that time Thuban, a faint star in the constellation of Draco. Evaluation of the site of the temple of Amun-Re at Karnak, taking into account the change over time of the obliquity of the ecliptic, has shown that the Great Temple was aligned on the rising of the midwinter Sun.
The length of the corridor down which sunlight would travel would have limited illumination at other times of the year. Astronomy played a considerable part in religious matters for fixing the dates of festivals and determining the hours of the night; the titles of several temple books are preserved recording the movements and phases of the Sun and stars. The rising of Sirius at the beginning of the inundation was a important point to fix in the yearly calendar. One of the most important Egyptian astronomical texts was the Book of Nut, going back to the Middle Kingdom or earlier; the death of a king had a strong connection to the stars for Ancient Egyptians. They believed once a king was deceased, their soul would become a star. Translated pyramid texts describe the king ascending and becoming the Morning Star among the Imperishable Stars of past kings. Beginning with the 9th Dynasty, ancient Egyptians produced'Diagonal star tables', which were painted on the inside surface of wooden coffin lids.
This practice continued until the 12th dynasty. These'Diagonal star tables' or star charts are known as'diagonal star clocks'; these star charts featuring the paintings of Egyptian deities, decans and star observations are found on the ceilings of tombs and temples. From the tables of stars on the ceiling of the tombs of Rameses VI and Rameses IX it seems that for fixing the hours of the night a man seated on the ground faced the Astrologer in such a position that the line of observation of the pole star passed over the middle of his head. On the different days of the year each hour was determined by a fixed star culminating or nearly culminating in it, the position of these stars at the time is given in the tables as in the centre, on the left eye, on the right shoulder, etc. According to the texts, in founding or rebuilding temples the north axis was determined by the same apparatus, we may conclude that it was the usual one for astronomical observations. In careful hands, it might give results of a high degree of accuracy.
Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius attributed the planetary theory where the Earth rotates on its axis and the interior planets Mercury and Venus revolve around the Sun which in turn revolves around the Earth, to the ancient Egyptians. He named it the "Egyptian System," and stated that "it did not escape the skill of the Egyptians," though there is no other evidence it was known in ancient Egypt
Portraiture in ancient Egypt
Portraiture in ancient Egypt forms a conceptual attempt to portray "the subject from its own perspective rather than the viewpoint of the artist... to communicate essential information about the object itself". Ancient Egyptian art was a religious tool used "to maintain perfect order in the universe" and to substitute for the real thing or person through its representation. Artistic conservatism during the 3000 years of the Dynastic age was a direct result of the ideal of Ma'at. Modification and innovation would have moved art away from the initial state of perfection, present at the time of the creation of the universe; the deceased "had to advertise for his or her adherence to... Ma'at" and therefore, chose the most perfect way to represent him/herself and excluded his/her imperfect qualities. In this civilisation, "a statue of a person was believed to be a permanent abode for the spirit of that individual and guaranteed his or her eternal life after death"; such idealized representation of the deceased made him "eternally beautiful" and attested to his sinless life.
In an attempt to "convey the spectrum of the deceased's personality" rather than the physical image, there was a "reluctance to show individual features... because it conflicted with the representation of the perfect person". When discussing portraiture in ancient Egypt it is important to differentiate between the modern concept of portraiture and its ancient Egyptian counterpart. In Western art, portraiture captures the exact physical resemblance of a person as well as his/her inner qualities. Ancient Egyptian art had religious roots and functions, therefore, the result is quite different. To assess ancient Egyptian art and portraiture, it must be examined on its own terms and within its specific cultural context. Idealism apparent in ancient Egyptian art in general and in portraiture was employed by choice, not as a result of lack of proficiency or talent; this is evident in the realistic depiction of birds and animals. This choice was made for religious, magical and social reasons. What can be defined as a portrait outside of the western tradition?
It is difficult to understand the ancient Egyptians' concept of portraiture, therefore in approaching portraiture from ancient Egypt one must try to ignore the modern concept of what a portrait should be. "The Egyptians sought something different in their representations of the human, we should not judge them by our own standards". After understanding why "portraits" were made in ancient Egypt, one can debate whether they are real portraits when they are examined "through ancient eyes". There are three concepts one must bear in mind when looking at ancient Egyptian portraiture: "the person represented may have chosen the particular form, for him or her, it was real". A statue was believed to convey a person's true identity by bearing an inscription of its owner's name upon it; the identity of a person inhabited it regardless whether there was any physical or facial resemblance. Other factors contributing to the further clarification of the person's identity could include a certain facial expression, a physical action or pose, or presence of certain official regalia.
As to the king's identity, it was determined through his various royal epithets as well as his different manifestations as a human, deity or animal, as a sphinx. Sometimes certain physical features reoccur in statues and reliefs of the same person, but that doesn't mean that they are portraits but rather a manifestation is a single quality or aspect; the preservation of the deceased body through mummification affected tomb sculpture as artistic objects were created to help further preserve the body for the afterlife. Such objects are apotropaic amulets that "ensured the eternal existence of the deceased's soul" and "naturalistically sculpted heads of the deceased – reserve heads – substitutes in case the skull was damaged". In such funerary context, the deceased's statue was not just an abode for his personality, but became the focal point of the cult's offerings; as the deceased wished to be remembered as an upright and blameless individual, the ka statues tend to be idealized. Many royal ideal representations are a "type of countenance... including iconographic and stylistic details physiognomical characteristics physical particularities with a great deal of traditional idealization".
In other words, they are idealized well studied forms of the ruling kind, sometimes, hard to be discarded with his death. Therefore, the deceased king's idealized form may prevail during the beginning of his successor's reign till the artists found a new conventionalized form to represent the new king; such borrowing of older forms of representations was used during the Kushite and Saite periods as efforts for a renaissance of the arts. However, it was sometimes an exact copy of older reliefs to the point of copying the exact names and titles of the older relief as is the case with the relief of "Taharqa as Sphinx trampling fallen enemies" and a 5th Dynasty relief in the Sun Temple in Abu Sir; the concept of portraiture is still debated upon with regards to Egyptian art, but its modern definition. The debate arises because of the expression of the inner qualities – that have no concrete manifestation – in contrast to the physical resemblance, more emphasized for the easy identification of the subject.
In other words, portraiture is subjective as it is not a mere photographic
Thutmose III was the sixth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Thutmose III ruled Egypt for 54 years and his reign is dated from 24 April 1479 BC to 11 March 1425 BC, from the age of two and until his death at age fifty-six. While he was shown first on surviving monuments, both were assigned the usual royal names and insignia and neither is given any obvious seniority over the other. Thutmose served as the head of Hatshepsut's armies. During the final two years of his reign, he appointed his son and successor, Amenhotep II, as his junior co-regent, his firstborn son and heir to the throne, predeceased Thutmose III. Becoming the sole ruling pharaoh of the kingdom after the deaths of Thutmose II and Hatshepsut, he created the largest empire Egypt had seen; when Thutmose III died, he was buried in the Valley of the Kings, as were the rest of the kings from this period in Egypt. Thutmose III was the son of Thutmose II by Iset, his father's great royal wife was Queen Hatshepsut. Her daughter, was Thutmose's half-sister.
When Thutmose II died, Thutmose III was too young to rule. Hatshepsut became his regent, soon his co-regent, shortly thereafter declared herself to be the pharaoh while never denying kingship to Thutmose III. Thutmosis III had little power over the empire while Hatshepsut exercised the formal titulary of kingship, her rule was quite marked by great advancements. When Thutmose III reached a suitable age and demonstrated the capability, she appointed him to head her armies. Thutmose III had several wives: Satiah: She may have been the mother of his firstborn son, Amenemhat. An alternative theory is. Amenemhat predeceased his father. Merytre-Hatshepsut. Thutmose's successor, the crown prince and future king Amenhotep II, was the son of Merytre-Hatshepsut. Additional children include Menkheperre and daughters named Nebetiunet, Meryetamun and Iset. Merytre-Hatshepsut was the daughter of the divine adoratrice Huy. Nebtu: she is depicted on a pillar in Thutmose III's tomb. Menwi, Menhet, three foreign wives.
Neferure: Thutmose III may have married his half-sister, but there is no conclusive evidence for this marriage. It has been suggested. Thutmose III reigned from 1479 BC to 1425 BC according to the Low Chronology of Ancient Egypt; this has been the conventional Egyptian chronology in academic circles since the 1960s, though in some circles the older dates 1504 BC to 1450 BC are preferred from the High Chronology of Egypt. These dates, just as all the dates of the Eighteenth Dynasty, are open to dispute because of uncertainty about the circumstances surrounding the recording of a Heliacal Rise of Sothis in the reign of Amenhotep I. A papyrus from Amenhotep I's reign records this astronomical observation which theoretically could be used to correlate the Egyptian chronology with the modern calendar; this document has no note of the place of observation, but it can safely be assumed that it was taken in either a Delta city, such as Memphis or Heliopolis, or in Thebes. These two latitudes give dates 20 years apart, the Low chronologies, respectively.
The length of Thutmose III's reign is known to the day thanks to information found in the tomb of the military commander Amenemheb-Mahu. Amenemheb-Mahu records Thutmose III's death to his master's 54th regnal year, on the 30th day of the third month of Peret; the day of Thutmose III's accession is known to be I Shemu day four, astronomical observations can be used to establish the exact dates of the beginning and end of the king's reign from 24 April 1479 BC to 11 March 1425 BC respectively. Considered a military genius by historians, Thutmose III conducted at least 15 campaigns in 20 years, he was an active expansionist ruler, sometimes called Egypt's greatest conqueror or "the Napoleon of Egypt." He is recorded to have captured 350 cities during his rule and conquered much of the Near East from the Euphrates to Nubia during seventeen known military campaigns. He was the first pharaoh after Thutmose I to cross the Euphrates, doing so during his campaign against Mitanni, his campaign records were transcribed onto the walls of the temple of Amun at Karnak and are now transcribed into Urkunden IV.
He is regarded as one of the greatest of Egypt's warrior pharaohs who transformed Egypt into an international superpower by creating an empire that stretched from the Asian regions of southern Syria and Canaan to the east, to Nubia to the south. Whether the Egyptian empire covered more areas is less certain; the older Egyptologists, most Ed. Meyer, believed that Thutmosis had subjected the islands of the Aegean Sea; this can no longer be upheld today. A submission of Mesopotamia is unthinkable. In most of his campaigns, his enemies were defeated town by town until being beaten into submission; the preferred tactic was to subdue a much weaker city or state one at a time resulting in surrender of each fraction until complete domination was achieved. Much is known about Thutmosis "the warrior" not only because of his military achievements, but because of his royal
Immanuel Velikovsky was a Russian independent scholar who wrote a number of books reinterpreting the events of ancient history, in particular the US bestseller Worlds in Collision published in 1950. Earlier, he had played a role in the founding of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. Velikovsky's work is cited as a canonical example of pseudoscience and has been used as an example of the demarcation problem, his books use comparative mythology and ancient literary sources to argue that Earth suffered catastrophic close contacts with other planets in ancient history. In positioning Velikovsky among catastrophists including Hans Bellamy, Ignatius Donnelly, Johann Gottlieb Radlof, the British astronomers Victor Clube and Bill Napier noted "... Velikovsky is not so much the first of the new catastrophists.... Velikovsky argued, he proposed a revised chronology for ancient Egypt, Greece and other cultures of the ancient Near East. The revised chronology aimed at explaining the so-called "dark age" of the eastern Mediterranean and reconciling biblical history with mainstream archaeology and Egyptian chronology.
In general, Velikovsky's theories have been ignored or vigorously rejected by the academic community. Nonetheless, his books sold well and gained an enthusiastic support in lay circles fuelled by claims of unfair treatment for Velikovsky by orthodox academia; the controversy surrounding his work and its reception is referred to as "the Velikovsky affair". Immanuel Velikovsky was born in 1895 to a prosperous Jewish family in Russia; the son of Shimon Velikovsky and Beila Grodensky, he learned several languages as a child and was sent away to study at the Medvednikov Gymnasium in Moscow, where he performed well in Russian and mathematics. He graduated with a gold medal in 1913. Velikovsky traveled in Europe and visited Palestine before studying medicine at Montpellier in France and taking premedical courses at the University of Edinburgh, he returned to Russia before the outbreak of World War I, enrolled in the University of Moscow, received a medical degree in 1921. Upon taking his medical degree, Velikovsky left Russia for Berlin.
With the financial support of his father, Velikovsky edited and published two volumes of scientific papers translated into Hebrew. The volumes were titled Scripta Universitatis Atque Bibliothecae Hierosolymitanarum, he enlisted Albert Einstein to prepare the volume dealing with physics. This project was a cornerstone in the formation of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as the fledgling university was able to donate copies of the Scripta to the libraries of other academic institutions in exchange for complimentary copies of publications from those institutions. In 1923, Velikovsky married a young violinist. Velikovsky lived in what was the British Mandate of Palestine from 1924 to 1939, practising medicine in the fields of general practice and psychoanalysis which he had studied under Sigmund Freud's pupil Wilhelm Stekel in Vienna. During this time, he had about a dozen papers published in psychoanalytic journals, he was published in Freud's Imago, including a precocious analysis of Freud's own dreams.
In 1939, with the prospect of war looming, Velikovsky travelled with his family to New York City, intending to spend a sabbatical year researching for his book Oedipus and Akhenaton. The book was inspired by Freud's Moses and Monotheism and explored the possibility that Pharaoh Akhenaton was the legendary Oedipus. Freud had argued that Akhenaton, the monotheistic Egyptian pharaoh, was the source of the religious principles that Moses taught to the people of Israel in the desert. Freud's claim was based in part on the resemblance of Psalm 104 in the Bible to the Great Hymn to the Aten, an Egyptian hymn discovered on the wall of the tomb of Akhenaten's courtier, Ay, in Akhenaten's city of Akhetaten. To disprove Freud's claim and to prove the Exodus as such, Velikovsky sought evidence for the Exodus in Egyptian documents. One such document was the Ipuwer Papyrus, which he felt reported events similar to several of the Biblical plagues. Since conventional Egyptology dated the Ipuwer Papyrus much earlier than either the Biblical date for the Exodus or the Exodus date accepted by many of those who accepted the conventional chronology of Egypt, Velikovsky had to revise the conventional chronology.
Within weeks of his arrival in the United States, World War II began. Launching on a tangent from his original book project, Velikovsky began to develop the radical catastrophist cosmology and revised chronology theories for which he would become notorious. For the remainder of the Second World War, now as a permanent resident of New York City, he continued to research and write about his ideas, searching for a means to disseminate them to academia and the public, he published two small Scripta Academica pamphlets summarising his theories in 1945. He mailed copies of the latter to academic libraries and scientists, including Harvard astronomer Harlow Shapley in 1947. In 1950, after eight publishing houses rejected the Worlds in Collision manuscript, it was
Chronology is the science of arranging events in their order of occurrence in time. Consider, for example, the use of a timeline or sequence of events, it is "the determination of the actual temporal sequence of past events". Chronology is a part of periodization, it is a part of the discipline of history including earth history, the earth sciences, study of the geologic time scale. Chronology is the science of locating historical events in time, it relies upon chronometry, known as timekeeping, historiography, which examines the writing of history and the use of historical methods. Radiocarbon dating estimates the age of living things by measuring the proportion of carbon-14 isotope in their carbon content. Dendrochronology estimates the age of trees by correlation of the various growth rings in their wood to known year-by-year reference sequences in the region to reflect year-to-year climatic variation. Dendrochronology is used in turn as a calibration reference for radiocarbon dating curves.
The familiar terms calendar and era concern two complementary fundamental concepts of chronology. For example, during eight centuries the calendar belonging to the Christian era, which era was taken in use in the 8th century by Bede, was the Julian calendar, but after the year 1582 it was the Gregorian calendar. Dionysius Exiguus was the founder of that era, nowadays the most widespread dating system on earth. An epoch is the date. Ab Urbe condita is Latin for "from the founding of the City", traditionally set in 753 BC, it was used to identify the Roman year by a few Roman historians. Modern historians use it much more than the Romans themselves did. Before the advent of the modern critical edition of historical Roman works, AUC was indiscriminately added to them by earlier editors, making it appear more used than it was, it was used systematically for the first time only about the year 400, by the Iberian historian Orosius. Pope Boniface IV, in about the year 600, seems to have been the first who made a connection between these this era and Anno Domini.
Dionysius Exiguus’ Anno Domini era was extended by Bede to the complete Christian era. Ten centuries after Bede, the French astronomers Philippe de la Hire and Jacques Cassini, purely to simplify certain calculations, put the Julian Dating System and with it an astronomical era into use, which contains a leap year zero, which precedes the year 1. While of critical importance to the historian, methods of determining chronology are used in most disciplines of science astronomy, geology and archaeology. In the absence of written history, with its chronicles and king lists, late 19th century archaeologists found that they could develop relative chronologies based on pottery techniques and styles. In the field of Egyptology, William Flinders Petrie pioneered sequence dating to penetrate pre-dynastic Neolithic times, using groups of contemporary artefacts deposited together at a single time in graves and working backwards methodically from the earliest historical phases of Egypt; this method of dating is known as seriation.
Known wares discovered at strata in sometimes quite distant sites, the product of trade, helped extend the network of chronologies. Some cultures have retained the name applied to them in reference to characteristic forms, for lack of an idea of what they called themselves: "The Beaker People" in northern Europe during the 3rd millennium BCE, for example; the study of the means of placing pottery and other cultural artifacts into some kind of order proceeds in two phases and typology: Classification creates categories for the purposes of description, typology seeks to identify and analyse changes that allow artifacts to be placed into sequences. Laboratory techniques developed after mid-20th century helped revise and refine the chronologies developed for specific cultural areas. Unrelated dating methods help reinforce a chronology, an axiom of corroborative evidence. Ideally, archaeological materials used for dating a site should complement each other and provide a means of cross-checking. Conclusions drawn from just one unsupported technique are regarded as unreliable.
The fundamental problem of chronology is to synchronize events. By synchronizing an event it becomes possible to relate it to the current time and to compare the event to other events. Among historians, a typical need to is to synchronize the reigns of kings and leaders in order to relate the history of one country or region to that of another. For example, the Chronicon of Eusebius is one of the major works of historical synchronism; this work has two sections. The first contains narrative chronicles of nine different kingdoms: Chaldean, Median, Persian, Greek, Peloponnesian and Roman; the second part is a long table synchronizing the events from each of the nine kingdoms in parallel columns. The adjacent image shows two pages from the second section. By comparing the parallel columns, the reader can determine which events were contemporaneous, or how many years separated two different events. To place all the events on the same time scale, Eusebius used an Anno Mundi era, meaning that events were dated from the supposed beginning of t
Ancient Egyptian architecture
Spanning over two thousand years in total, what is called ancient Egypt was not one stable civilization, but instead a civilization in constant change and upheaval split into periods by historians. Ancient Egyptian architecture is not one style, but a set of styles with commonalities used during each period of ancient Egyptian history; the most well known example of ancient Egyptian architecture are the Egyptian pyramids. Due to location, most ancient Egyptian buildings were built of mud brick and limestone—readily available materials—by slaves. Monumental buildings were built via the post and lintel method of construction, many buildings were aligned astronomically. Columns were adorned with decorated capitals which were made to resemble plants important to Egyptian civilization, such as the papyrus plant. Ancient Egyptian architectural motifs have influenced present-day architecture, reaching the wider world first during the Orientalizing period and again during the nineteenth century Egyptomania.
Due to the scarcity of wood, the two predominant building materials used in ancient Egypt were sun-baked mud brick and stone limestone, but sandstone and granite in considerable quantities. From the Old Kingdom onward, stone was reserved for tombs and temples, while bricks were used for royal palaces, the walls of temple precincts and towns, for subsidiary buildings in temple complexes; the core of the pyramids consisted of locally quarried stone, sand or gravel. For the casing stones were used that had to be transported from farther away, predominantly white limestone from Tura and red granite from upper Egypt. Ancient Egyptian houses were made out of mud collected from the damp banks of the Nile river, it was left to dry in the hot sun to harden for use in construction. If the bricks were intended to be used in a royal tomb like a pyramid, the exterior bricks would be finely chiselled and polished. Many Egyptian towns have disappeared because they were situated near the cultivated area of the Nile Valley and were flooded as the river bed rose during the millennia, or the mud bricks of which they were built were used by peasants as fertilizer.
Others are inaccessible, new buildings having been erected on ancient ones. However, the dry, hot climate of Egypt preserved some mud brick structures. Examples include the village Deir al-Madinah, the Middle Kingdom town at Kahun, the fortresses at Buhen and Mirgissa. Many temples and tombs have survived because they were built on high ground unaffected by the Nile flood and were constructed of stone. Thus, our understanding of ancient Egyptian architecture is based on religious monuments, massive structures characterized by thick, sloping walls with few openings echoing a method of construction used to obtain stability in mud walls. In a similar manner, the incised and flatly modeled surface adornment of the stone buildings may have derived from mud wall ornamentation. Although the use of the arch was developed during the fourth dynasty, all monumental buildings are post and lintel constructions, with flat roofs constructed of huge stone blocks supported by the external walls and the spaced columns.
Exterior and interior walls, as well as the columns and piers, were covered with hieroglyphic and pictorial frescoes and carvings painted in brilliant colors. Many motifs of Egyptian ornamentation are symbolic, such as the scarab, or sacred beetle, the solar disk, the vulture. Other common motifs include palm leaves, the papyrus plant, the buds and flowers of the lotus. Hieroglyphs spells. In addition, these pictorial frescoes and carvings allow us to understand how the Ancient Egyptians lived, wars that were fought and their beliefs; this was true when exploring the tombs of Ancient Egyptian officials in recent years. Ancient Egyptian temples were aligned with astronomically significant events, such as solstices and equinoxes, requiring precise measurements at the moment of the particular event. Measurements at the most significant temples may have been ceremonially undertaken by the Pharaoh himself; as early as 2600 BC the architect Imhotep made use of stone columns whose surface was carved to reflect the organic form of bundled reeds, like papyrus and palm.
Their form is thought to derive from archaic reed-built shrines. Carved from stone, the columns were decorated with carved and painted hieroglyphs, ritual imagery and natural motifs. Egyptian columns are famously present in the Great Hypostyle Hall of Karnak, where 134 columns are lined up in 16 rows, with some columns reaching heights of 24 metres. One of the most important type are the papyriform columns; the origin of these columns goes back to the 5th Dynasty. They are composed of lotus stems which are drawn together into a bundle decorated with bands: the capital, instead of opening out into the shape of a bellflower, swells out and narrows again like a flower in bud; the base, which tapers to take the shape of a half-sphere like the stem of the lotus, has a continuously recurring decoration of stipules. At the Luxor Temple, the columns are reminiscent of papyrus bundles symbolic of the marsh from which the ancient Egyptians believed the creation of the world to have unfolded; the Giza Necropolis stands on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt.
This complex of ancient monuments is located some 8 kilometers inland into the desert from the old town of Giza on the Nile, some 20 kilometers southw