Egypt Pyrmids Research Papers Economic Research Center Discussion Paper

This is particularly true of ancient Egypt, which has exerted a powerful influence on both popular and scholarly imaginations to the point that it has been incorporated into the standard view of Western civilization.Other epochs in Egyptian history were also of great importance, however, and not only to Egypt but also to the history of the world.2613–1640 BCE), Egypt functioned largely as a cultural oasis, separated from the rest of the world by deserts, restricted land approaches, and lack of a natural seaport.The ancient Egyptians probably felt little need for external contact, but cultural self-sufficiency can lead to complacency and technological backwardness, as was made apparent by the invasion and domination of Egypt by the foreign Hyksos during the Second Intermediate Period (c. That humiliating episode prompted the Egyptians to import innovations such as the horse-drawn chariot, the curved sword, the compound bow, and body armor, as well as improved looms and potters’ wheels, and superior strains of plants and animals. 1550–1069 BCE), whose monumental remains are so abundant at ancient Thebes (present-day Luxor), Egypt developed closer outside ties as it acquired imperial possessions in Syria through the campaigns of monarchs such as Thuthmose III and Ramses II.Through its monuments, art, and literature, ancient Egypt communicated a compelling impression of itself to succeeding ages.

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Diplomacy became even more important during the Third Intermediate and Late Periods (c.This was the matrix from which one of the world’s first hydraulic civilizations emerged. 5300–2950 BCE) increasingly complex social and political organizations developed to manage and maximize the river’s gift through construction of canals, dikes, and artificial pools, and through water-raising devices.Control of the resulting agricultural surpluses enabled an exploitative elite to establish a redistributive economy with increasing social stratification and differentiation of labor.The immense, ever-renewed resources of Egypt enabled the Ptolemies not only to maintain their military power but also to sustain magnificent achievements in material culture and intellectual life.Alexandria became by far the greatest city of the eastern Mediterranean.Even as a part of other empires in other eras, Egypt became an icon of Western civilization, with a distinctive artistic canon recognizable today by the general public.Egypt has long been accorded a paramount place in world history.A series of kingdoms developed along the Nile, growing ever larger and inevitably coming into conflict with each other and consolidating into still larger kingdoms.Little is known about the process apart from what can be interpreted from enigmatic artistic representations on items such as ceremonial palettes and maces, although it is fairly clear that the unifying impulse came from the south.Besides providing almost all of Egypt’s water, the Nile annually inundated the fertile land along its banks, leaving behind pools, depositing new soil, and washing away excess minerals, thereby avoiding the salinization that was the bane of other hydraulic civilizations such as ancient Mesopotamia.The river was continuously navigable throughout Egypt, from the broad delta in the north to the first cataract at Aswan, 900 kilometers (559 miles) to the south, providing ready communication and the means to convey heavy loads over long distances.

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