Egypt the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, across the Mediterranean lie Greece and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt. Egypt has one of the longest histories of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 6th–4th millennia BCE. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt saw some of the earliest developments of writing, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. Iconic monuments such as the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of Memphis, Thebes and the Valley of the Kings, reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of scientific and popular interest. Egypt's long and rich cultural heritage is an integral part of its national identity, which has endured, assimilated, various foreign influences, including Greek, Roman, Ottoman Turkish, Nubian.
Egypt was an early and important centre of Christianity, but was Islamised in the seventh century and remains a predominantly Muslim country, albeit with a significant Christian minority. From the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century, Egypt was ruled by foreign imperial powers: The Ottoman Empire and the British Empire. Modern Egypt dates back to 1922, when it gained nominal independence from the British Empire as a monarchy. However, British military occupation of Egypt continued, many Egyptians believed that the monarchy was an instrument of British colonialism. Following the 1952 revolution, Egypt expelled British soldiers and bureaucrats and ended British occupation, nationalized the British-held Suez Canal, exiled King Farouk and his family, declared itself a republic. In 1958 it merged with Syria to form the United Arab Republic, which dissolved in 1961. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Egypt endured social and religious strife and political instability, fighting several armed conflicts with Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, occupying the Gaza Strip intermittently until 1967.
In 1978, Egypt signed the Camp David Accords withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and recognising Israel. The country continues to face challenges, from political unrest, including the recent 2011 revolution and its aftermath, to terrorism and economic underdevelopment. Egypt's current government is a presidential republic headed by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, described by a number of watchdogs as authoritarian. Islam is the official religion of Egypt and Arabic is its official language. With over 95 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa, the Middle East, the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa, the fifteenth-most populous in the world; the great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres, where the only arable land is found. The large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypt's territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
The sovereign state of Egypt is a transcontinental country considered to be a regional power in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world, a middle power worldwide. Egypt's economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, is projected to become one of the largest in the world in the 21st century. In 2016, Egypt became Africa's second largest economy. Egypt is a founding member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. "Miṣr" is the Classical Quranic Arabic and modern official name of Egypt, while "Maṣr" is the local pronunciation in Egyptian Arabic. The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew "מִצְרַיִם"; the oldest attestation of this name for Egypt is the Akkadian "mi-iṣ-ru" related to miṣru/miṣirru/miṣaru, meaning "border" or "frontier". There is evidence of rock carvings in desert oases. In the 10th millennium BCE, a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishers was replaced by a grain-grinding culture.
Climate changes or overgrazing around 8000 BCE began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt, forming the Sahara. Early tribal peoples migrated to the Nile River where they developed a settled agricultural economy and more centralised society. By about 6000 BCE, a Neolithic culture rooted in the Nile Valley. During the Neolithic era, several predynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt; the Badarian culture and the successor Naqada series are regarded as precursors to dynastic Egypt. The earliest known Lower Egyptian site, predates the Badarian by about seven hundred years. Contemporaneous Lower Egyptian communities coexisted with their southern counterparts for more than two thousand years, remaining culturally distinct, but maintaining frequent contact through trade; the earliest known evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared during the predynastic period on Naqada III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200 BCE. A unified kingdom was founded c. 3150 BCE
KV62 is the standard Egyptological designation for the tomb of the young pharaoh Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings, now renowned for the wealth of valuable antiquities it contained. The tomb was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter, underneath the remains of workmen's huts built during the Ramesside Period; the tomb was densely packed with items in great disarray due to its small size, the two robberies, the hurried nature of its completion. Due to the state of the tomb, to Carter's meticulous recording technique, the tomb took eight years to empty, the contents all being transported to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Tutankhamun's tomb had been entered at least twice not long after his mummy was buried, well before Carter's discovery; the outermost doors of the shrines enclosing the king's nested coffins were unsealed, though the inner two shrines remained intact and sealed. In 1907, just before his discovery of the tomb of Horemheb, Theodore M. Davis's team uncovered a small site containing funerary artifacts with Tutankhamun's name and some embalming parts.
Erroneously assuming that this site, numbered as KV54, was Tutankhamun's complete tomb, Davis concluded the dig. The details of both findings are documented in Davis's 1912 publication, The Tombs of Harmhabi and Touatânkhamanou, but Davis was to be proven spectacularly wrong. The British Egyptologist Howard Carter hired a crew to help him excavate at the site of KV62. Carter went back to a line of huts. After the crew cleared the huts and rock debris beneath, their young water boy accidentally stumbled on a stone that turned out to be the top of a flight of steps cut into the bedrock. Carter had the steps dug out until the top of a mud-plastered doorway was found; the doorway was stamped with indistinct cartouches. Carter ordered the staircase to be refilled, sent a telegram to Carnarvon, who arrived two-and-a-half weeks on 23 November along with his 21-year-old daughter, Lady Evelyn Herbert; the excavators cleared the stairway which allowed clearer seals lower down on the door to be read, seals bearing the name of Tutankhamun.
However, further examination showed that the door blocking had been breached and resealed on at least two occasions. Clearing the blocking led to a downward corridor, blocked with packed limestone chippings, through which a robbers' tunnel had been excavated and anciently refilled. At the end of the tunnel was a second sealed door, breached and re-sealed in antiquity. Carter made a hole in the door and used a candle to check for foul gases, before looking inside. "At first I could see nothing," he would write, "the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle flame to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged from the mist, strange animals and gold — everywhere the glint of gold." After a pause, Carnarvon asked, "Can you see anything?" Carter famously replied, "Yes, wonderful things..." The first step to the stairs was found on November 4, 1922. The following day saw the exposure of a complete staircase; the end of November saw access to the antechamber and the discovery of the annex, the burial chamber and treasury.
On November 29, the tomb was opened, the first announcement and press conference followed the next day. The first item was removed from the tomb on December 27. On February 16, 1923, the burial chamber was opened, on April 5, Lord Carnarvon died. On February 12, 1924, the granite lid of the sarcophagus was raised. In April, Carter left the excavation for the United States. In January 1925, Carter resumed activities in the tomb, on October 13, he removed the cover of the first sarcophagus. Work started in the treasury on October 24, 1926, between October 30 and December 15, 1927, the annex was emptied and examined. On November 10, 1930, eight years after the discovery, the last objects were removed from the tomb. In design, the tomb appears to have been intended for a private individual, not for royalty. There is some evidence to suggest that the tomb was adapted for a royal occupant during its excavation; this may be supported by the fact that only the burial chamber walls were decorated, unlike royal tombs in which nearly all walls were painted with scenes from the netherworld books.
Starting from a small, level platform, 16 steps descend to the first doorway, sealed and plastered, although it had been penetrated by grave robbers at least twice in antiquity. Beyond the first doorway, a descending corridor leads to the second sealed door, into the room that Carter described as the antechamber; this was used to hold material left over from the funeral and material associated with the embalming of the king. After an initial robbery, this material was either moved into the tomb proper, or to KV54, the corridor was sealed with packed limestone chippings which covered some debris from the first robbery. A robbery broke through the outer door and excavated a tunnel through the chippings to the second door; the robbery was discovered and the second door wa
Amenhotep II was the seventh Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt. Amenhotep inherited a vast kingdom from his father Thutmose III, held it by means of a few military campaigns in Syria, his reign is dated from 1427 to 1401 BC. Amenhotep II was born to a minor wife of the king: Merytre-Hatshepsut, he was not, the firstborn son of this pharaoh. However, between Years 24 and 35 of Thutmose III, both queen Satiah and prince Amenemhat died, which prompted the pharaoh to marry the non-royal Merytre-Hatshepsut, she would bear Thutmose III a number of children including the future Amenhotep II. Amenhotep II was born and raised in Memphis in the north, instead of in Thebes, the traditional capital. While a prince, he oversaw deliveries of wood sent to the dockyard of Peru-nūfe in Memphis, was made the Setem, the high priest over Lower Egypt. Amenhotep has left several inscriptions touting his athletic skills while he was a leader of the army before his crowning. Amenhotep was no less athletic than his powerful father.
He claims to have been able to shoot an arrow through a copper target one palm thick, that he was able to row his ship faster and farther than two hundred members of the navy could row theirs. Accordingly, some skepticism concerning the truth of his claims has been expressed among Egyptologists. Amenhotep acceded to the throne on the first day of the fourth month of Akhet, but his father died on the thirtieth day of the third month of Peret. If an Egyptian crown prince was proclaimed king but did not take the throne on the day after his father's death, it meant that he served as the junior coregent during his father's reign. A coregency with Thutmose III and Amenhotep II is believed to have lasted for two years and four months; when he assumed power, Amenhotep II was 18 years old according to an inscription from his great Sphinx stela: "Now his Majesty appeared as king as a fine youth after he had become'well developed', had completed eighteen years in his strength and bravery."After becoming pharaoh, Amenhotep married a woman of uncertain parentage named Tiaa.
As many as ten sons and one daughter have been attributed to him. Amenhotep's most important son was Thutmose IV. Princes Amenhotep, Webensenu and Nedjem are all attested, Amenemhat and Aakheperure as well as a daughter, are possible children. Papyrus B. M. 10056, which dates to sometime after Amenhotep II's tenth year, refers to a king's son and setem-priest Amenhotep. This Amenhotep might be attested in a stele from Amenhotep II's temple at Giza, however the stele's name has been defaced so that positive identification is impossible. Stele B may belong to Webensenu. Webensenu's name is otherwise attested on a statue of Amenhotep's chief architect and his canopic jars and a funerary statue have been found in Amenhotep II's tomb. Another Giza stele, stele C, records the name of a Prince Amenemopet, whose name is otherwise unattested; the same statue with the name Webensenu on it is inscribed with the name of prince Nedjem, otherwise unattested. There are other references to king's sons from this period who may or may not be sons of Amenhotep II.
Two graffiti from Sahel mention a king's son and stable master named Khaemwaset, but which king is his father is unknown. A figure with the name Amenemhet is recorded behind a prince Amenhotep in Theban tomb 64, assuming this Amenhotep is indeed the king's son from B. M. 10056, Amenemhat would be Amenhotep II's son. Additionally, a prince Aakheperure is mentioned in a Konosso graffito alongside a prince Amenhotep, if one again assumes that this Amenhotep was the same person as the one in B. M. 10056, Aakheperure would have been Amenhotep II's son. However, in both these cases the figure identified as Amenhotep has been identified by some as possible references to the King Amenhotep III, which would make these two princes sons Thutmose IV. In addition to sons, Amenhotep II may have had a daughter named Iaret, but she could have been the daughter of Thutmose IV. Two more sons had been attributed to Amenhotep II in the past. Gauthier catalogued one Usersatet, the "King's son of Kush," as a son of Amenhotep II, as well as one Re.
Usersatet served as Amenhotep's chief official in Nubia and was not a blood relative of the king. Amenhotep's coronation can be dated without much difficulty because of a number of lunar dates in the reign of his father, Thutmose III; these sightings limit the date of Thutmose's accession to either 1504 or 1479 BC. Thutmose died after 54 years of reign. Amenhotep's short coregency with his father would move his accession two years and four months earlier, dating his accession to either 1427 BC in the low chronology, or in 1454 BC in the high chronology; the length of his reign is indicated by a wine jar inscribed with the king's prenomen found in Amenhotep II's funerary temple at Thebes. Mortu
Ramesses II known as Ramesses the Great, was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, most powerful pharaoh of the New Kingdom, his successors and Egyptians called him the "Great Ancestor". He is known as Ozymandias in Greek sources, from the first part of Ramesses' regnal name, Usermaatre Setepenre, "The Maat of Ra is powerful, Chosen of Ra". Ramesses II led several military expeditions into the Levant, reasserting Egyptian control over Canaan, he led expeditions to the south, into Nubia, commemorated in inscriptions at Beit el-Wali and Gerf Hussein. The early part of his reign was focused on building cities and monuments, he established the city of Pi-Ramesses in the Nile Delta as his new capital and used it as the main base for his campaigns in Syria. At fourteen, he was appointed prince regent by his father, Seti I, he is believed to have taken the throne in his late teens and is known to have ruled Egypt from 1279 to 1213 BC. Manetho attributes Ramesses II a reign of 2 months.
Estimates of his age at death vary. Ramesses II celebrated an unprecedented fourteen Sed festivals during his reign—more than any other pharaoh. On his death, he was buried in a tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Early in his life, Ramesses II embarked on numerous campaigns to restore possession of held territories lost to the Nubians and Hittites and to secure Egypt's borders, he was responsible for suppressing some Nubian revolts and carrying out a campaign in Libya. Although the Battle of Kadesh dominates the scholarly view of the military prowess and power of Ramesses II, he enjoyed more than a few outright victories over the enemies of Egypt. During Ramesses II's reign, the Egyptian army is estimated to have totaled about 100,000 men. In his second year, Ramesses II decisively defeated the Sherden sea pirates who were wreaking havoc along Egypt's Mediterranean coast by attacking cargo-laden vessels travelling the sea routes to Egypt; the Sherden people came from the coast of Ionia, from southwest Anatolia or also from the island of Sardinia.
Ramesses posted troops and ships at strategic points along the coast and patiently allowed the pirates to attack their perceived prey before skillfully catching them by surprise in a sea battle and capturing them all in a single action. A stele from Tanis speaks of their having come "in their war-ships from the midst of the sea, none were able to stand before them". There was a naval battle somewhere near the mouth of the Nile, as shortly afterward, many Sherden are seen among the pharaoh's body-guard where they are conspicuous by their horned helmets having a ball projecting from the middle, their round shields, the great Naue II swords with which they are depicted in inscriptions of the Battle of Kadesh. In that sea battle, together with the Sherden, the pharaoh defeated the Lukka, the Šqrsšw peoples; the immediate antecedents to the Battle of Kadesh were the early campaigns of Ramesses II into Canaan. His first campaign seems to have taken place in the fourth year of his reign and was commemorated by the erection of what became the first of the Commemorative stelae of Nahr el-Kalb near what is now Beirut.
The inscription is totally illegible due to weathering. Additional records tell us that he was forced to fight a Canaanite prince, mortally wounded by an Egyptian archer, whose army subsequently, was routed. Ramesses carried off the princes of Canaan as live prisoners to Egypt. Ramesses plundered the chiefs of the Asiatics in their own lands, returning every year to his headquarters at Riblah to exact tribute. In the fourth year of his reign, he captured the Hittite vassal state of the Amurru during his campaign in Syria; the Battle of Kadesh in his fifth regnal year was the climactic engagement in a campaign that Ramesses fought in Syria, against the resurgent Hittite forces of Muwatallis. The pharaoh wanted a victory at Kadesh both to expand Egypt's frontiers into Syria, to emulate his father Seti I's triumphal entry into the city just a decade or so earlier, he constructed his new capital, Pi-Ramesses. There he built factories to manufacture weapons and shields producing some 1,000 weapons in a week, about 250 chariots in two weeks, 1,000 shields in a week and a half.
After these preparations, Ramesses moved to attack territory in the Levant, which belonged to a more substantial enemy than any he had faced in war: the Hittite Empire. Ramesses's forces were caught in a Hittite ambush and outnumbered at Kadesh when they counterattacked and routed the Hittites, whose survivors abandoned their chariots and swam the Orontes river to reach the safe city walls. Ramesses, logistically unable to sustain a long siege, returned to Egypt. Egypt's sphere of influence was now restricted to Canaan. Canaanite princes encouraged by the Egyptian incapacity to impose their will and goaded on by the Hittites, began revolts against Egypt. In the seventh year o
Tomb KV11 is the tomb of Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses III. Located in the main valley of the Valley of the Kings, the tomb was started by Setnakhte, but abandoned when it broke into the earlier tomb of Amenmesse. Setnakhte was buried in KV14; the tomb KV11 was restarted and extended and on a different axis for Ramesses III. The tomb has been open since antiquity, has been known variously as Bruce's Tomb and The Harper's Tomb; the 188-metre-long tomb is beautifully decorated. The second corridor is decorated with the Litany of Re. At the end of this corridor the axis of the tomb shifts; this third corridor is decorated with the Book of Gates and the Book of Amduat, leads over a ritual shaft, into a four-pillared hall. This hall is again decorated with the Book of Gates. A fourth corridor (decorated with scenes of the opening of the mouth ceremony and leads into a vestibule, with scenes of the Book of the Dead, into the burial chamber proper; the burial chamber is an eight-pillared hall in. This chamber is decorated with Book of divine scenes and the Book of the Earth.
Beyond this is a further set of annexes, decorated with the Book of Gates. Reeves, N & Wilkinson, R. H; the Complete Valley of the Kings, 1996, Thames and Hudson, London. Siliotti, A. Guide to the Valley of the Kings and to the Theban Necropolises and Temples, 1996, A. A. Gaddis, Cairo. Theban Mapping Project: KV11 - Includes description and plans of the tomb. Images taken from 3d models showing the breakthrough into KV10 from KV11
Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt
The Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt is classified as the first dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt, the era in which ancient Egypt achieved the peak of its power. The Eighteenth Dynasty spanned the period from 1549/1550 to 1292 BC; this dynasty is known as the Thutmosid Dynasty for the four pharaohs named Thutmose. Several of Egypt's most famous pharaohs were from the Eighteenth Dynasty, including Tutankhamun, whose tomb was found by Howard Carter in 1922. Other famous pharaohs of the dynasty include Hatshepsut, the longest-reigning woman pharaoh of an indigenous dynasty, Akhenaten, the "heretic pharaoh", with his Great Royal Wife, Nefertiti; the Eighteenth Dynasty is unique among Egyptian dynasties in that it had two women who ruled as sole pharaoh: Hatshepsut, regarded as one of the most innovative rulers of ancient Egypt, Neferneferuaten identified as the iconic Nefertiti. Dynasty XVIII was founded by Ahmose I, the brother or son of Kamose, the last ruler of the 17th Dynasty. Ahmose finished the campaign to expel the Hyksos rulers.
His reign is seen as the start of the New Kingdom. Ahmose was succeeded by his son, Amenhotep I, whose reign was uneventful. Amenhotep I left no male heir and the next pharaoh, Thutmose I, seems to have been related to the royal family through marriage. During his reign the borders of Egypt's empire reached their greatest expanse, extending in the north to Carchemish on the Euphrates and in the south up to Kurgus beyond the fourth cataract of the Nile. Thutmose I was succeeded by Thutmose II and his queen, the daughter of Thutmose I. After her husband's death and a period of regency for her minor stepson Hatshepsut became pharaoh in her own right and ruled for over twenty years. Thutmose III, who became known as the greatest military pharaoh also had a lengthy reign after becoming pharaoh, he had a second co-regency in his old age with his son Amenhotep II. Amenhotep II was succeeded by Thutmose IV, who in his turn was followed by his son Amenhotep III, whose reign is seen as a high point in this dynasty.
Amenhotep III undertook large scale building programmes, the extent of which can only be compared with those of the much longer reign of Ramesses II during Dynasty XIX. Amenhotep III may have shared the throne for up to twelve years with his son Amenhotep IV. There is much debate about this proposed co-regency, with different experts considering that there was a lengthy co-regency, a short one, or none at all. In the fifth year of his reign, Amenhotep IV changed his name to Akhenaten and moved his capital to Amarna, which he named Akhetaten. During the reign of Akhenaten, the Aten became, the most prominent deity, came to be considered the only god. Whether this amounted to true monotheism continues to be the subject of debate within the academic community; some state that Akhenaten created a monotheism, while others point out that he suppressed a dominant solar cult by the assertion of another, while he never abandoned several other traditional deities. Egyptians considered this "Amarna Period" an unfortunate aberration.
The events following Akhenaten's death are unclear. Individuals named Smenkhkare and Neferneferuaten are known but their relative placement and role in history is still much debated. Tutankhamun took the throne but died young; the last two members of the Eighteenth Dynasty—Ay and Horemheb—became rulers from the ranks of officials in the royal court, although Ay might have been the maternal uncle of Akhenaten as a fellow descendant of Yuya and Tjuyu. Ay may have married the widowed Great Royal Wife and young half-sister of Tutankhamun, Ankhesenamun, in order to obtain power. Ay married Tey, Nefertiti's wet-nurse. Ay's reign was short, his successor was Horemheb, a general during Tutankhamun's reign whom the childless pharaoh may have intended as his successor. Horemheb may have taken the throne away from Ay in a coup. Horemheb died childless, having appointed his successor, Ramesses I, who ascended the throne in 1292 BC and was the first pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty; this example to the right depicts a man named Ay who achieved the exalted religious positions of Second Prophet of Amun and High Priest of Mut at Thebes.
His career flourished during the reign of Tutankhamun. The cartouches of King Ay, Tutankhamun's successor appearing on the statue, were an attempt by an artisan to "update" the sculpture. Radiocarbon dating suggests that Dynasty XVIII may have started a few years earlier than the conventional date of 1550 BC; the radiocarbon date range for its beginning is 1570–1544 BC, the mean point of, 1557 BC. The pharaohs of Dynasty XVIII ruled for two hundred and fifty years; the dates and names in the table are taken from Hilton. Many of the pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Kings in Thebes. More information can be found on the Theban Mapping Project website. Several diplomatic marriages are known for the New Kingdom; these daughters of foreign kings are only mentioned in cuneiform texts and are not known from other sources. The marriages were to have been a way to confirm good relations between these states. Egyptian chronology Kuhrt, Amélie; the Ancient Near East: c. 3000–330 BC. London: Routledge. ISBN 9780415013536.
Hatshepsut: from Queen to Pharaoh, an exhibition catalog from The
Foundation deposits are the archaeological remains of the ritual burial of materials under the foundations of buildings. Examples of foundation deposits In the case of Ancient Egypt, foundation deposits took the form of ritual mudbrick lined pits or holes dug at specific points under temples or tombs, which were filled with ceremonial objects amulets, food, or ritual miniature tools, were supposed to prevent the building from falling into ruin. Builders' rites Cornerstone Cyrus Cylinder