Achievements of Ancient Egypt
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Published: Fri, 29 Sep 2017
Achievement of Ancient Egypt:
The achievements of ancient Egypt can be traced back to the period between 3000 BC to 31 BC. From advances in mathematics, literature to symbolized achievements in medicine art and science, Egypt has made tremendous advances in shaping the world civilization (Winckelmann and Alex, 54). It was a leading Middle Eastern power in the period of 612 onwards. The emperor of Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great desired to be crowned pharaoh that indicated that civilization made strides even for longer periods (Smith and Roger, 33).
Alexander the Great’s general named Ptolemy became an independent ruler in 305BC after being crowned pharaoh, and his line of rule lasted to the famous queen, Cleopatra. She passed on in 31B.C.After this period of time, the Roman Empire were able to capture the Nile Valley, and it was ruled by foreigners for over a period of a thousand years (Smith and Roger, 16). These meant that the Egyptian culture had to change to states of unrecognizable features. Within this paper, there would be a detailed analysis of these achievements ranging from agriculture, art to science to technology.
Life in Egypt was centered on the river Nile. Farmers developed long irrigation methods which controlled the flow of water so as to ensure that crop yields were maintained throughout seasons whether dry or rainy. They divided the year into 12 months,30 days each month and five days of celebration (Smith and Roger, 21). They also made the solar calendar. The rich fertile valleys made it possible for projects such as Pyramids through the surpluses of crops. These surpluses were used to fund the refined lifestyle for the elite to help in diplomatic and trade relations and to enable wars of conquest were paid for (Winckelmann and Alex, 57).
Writing and literature:
The earliest hieroglyphic writing dated back to 3000 BC. Hieroglyphs represented a word, sound or a silent determinative and the symbol could serve different purposes in reference to a specific context (Wilkinson, 42). Though the majorities were written from right to left, the Egyptian ideograms were made up of hundreds of symbols that could be recited in rows or columns or either direction (Smith and Roger, 27). These ideograms were exclusively used in tombs and on stone monuments in Egypt.
Another form of writing that existed and which was highly accepted by the scribes was the one called hieratic. It uses a cursive script or in other words a joined up writing. It was easy and quicker to use, in comparison to hieroglyphic (Shaw, 32). Towards the end of Ancient Egyptian civilization that is around 500 BC a new form of writing emerged called the Demotic. It was phonetic, semi-alphabetic script.
Most of the Egyptian hieroglyphic texts are theological or commemorative. Their literature is notably evident in public monuments, and walls of temples. Love poetry, proverbs, curses, myths and legends are all found in hieratic and later modified into demotic scripts (Shaw, 22).
Stories have been discovered dating back to the middle Kingdom. One of the famous stories, is the story of sinuhe. Another tale is that of Wenamum; that offers an insight into Egypt’s declining phase (Wilkinson, 37). These stories were said to have style and impact which was based on stories from Reminiscent Arabian nights. The Egyptian stories proved that a lively literary tradition even in the sense of humour existed in Ancient Egypt. They may also be used to illustrate the theme of secular versus esoteric literature (Smith and Roger, 41).
Religion was an important element of Egyptian literature. Hymns and prayers were written for purposes of praising gods. The Egyptians regarded the Pharaoh as a god, and their supreme god was called the Ra. He was the god of the light, and guardian of Egyptian lives.
Egyptian art was a true reflection of their way of life. This was greatly proved in temple drawings, and tombs of prominent people. The intention of these drawings was to provide information which the deceased could use while transiting to another level of life (Shaw, 31). It provided instructions to these people, on how they ought to conduct themselves in the other life. Talk of mysteries. Furthermore, pictures of servants, slaves, and food were used to denote that the deceased would need them, just as they are needed in the physical life (Smith and Roger, 45). In addition, artists used paints (blue, red, orange and white) made from naturally occurring minerals. By the time of Ramses, the second, artists gained the capability of shading colors for purposes of achieving a layered effect. Sculptors were also important in ancient Egypt (Wilkinson, 41). Furthermore, Egyptians made statutes of animals, gods, kings, queens etc, for purposes of praise and worship. Pottery glazed with minerals was always used to make amulets, pendants, beads, jewelry.
Architectural achievements in ancient Egypt were built of stone. This stones came from quarries that were notable of supplying granite, limestone, sandstone which were used in building the temples and tombs. This architect did plan how to build, and they did it without mortar so that the stones could fit precisely on one another (Smith and Roger, 47). On the other hand, pillars were used to offer short stone support. Ramps were used to give workers an enabling support to carry stones to the top of structures and allow artists decorate the tops of walls and pillars (Wilkinson, 37). It is said that as pharaoh was named tomb construction began, and the construction proceeded throughout their lifetime thereby stopping at their time of demise.
Pyramids were tombs which were used to bury the pharaohs. Egyptians’ believed that the souls of departed kings enabled kingdoms to remain in prosperity and peace and full of blessings (Wilkinson, 33). They mummified the Kings bodies to ensure that during such difficult times like during suppressions the gods could intervene on their behalf so that they defeat the enemy for peace to prevail (Magd, 39).
Egypt had some mathematical achievements which made it possible for their education to increase tremendously. By the year 2700 BC, the Egyptians had developed the base of 10 enumerations (Shaw, 27). By the year 1300 BC, Egyptians managed to develop two algebraic equations. The innovation in mathematics gave them a cutting edge from the rest of the world. In the year 1650 BC, geometry, cotangent analogue and algebraic equations, arithmetic series and geometrics series were developed (Magd, 27).
Medicine and science
Edwin Smith Papyrus, a medical tradition that traces as far as 3000BC was initiated in 1600 BC. Later ancient Egypt saw Ebers Medical Papyrus, traditional empiricism; and the World’s earliest tumors being documented in 1500 BC (Wilkinson, 33). Also, ancient Egyptian doctors gained the skills and capability of stitching wounds, repairing broken bones, and amputating infected limbs. They managed to bandage body cuts by the use of raw meat, and linen, which were soaked in honey (Magd, 31). In science, the world looks at Egyptian astrology as the origin of all astronomical knowledge. Ancient civilization of Egypt devoted much time and energy to study the heavens (Winckelmann and Alex, 59). The information was put to practical use in agriculture, geodesy and the system of weights and measures and also to study correspondences between events in the heavens and event on earth.
Although open problems have emerged over the sophistication of Egyptian technology and its adoption of various advances, it cannot go without mentioning that Egypt shaped the World’s civilization. This is from the Napoleonic conquests, to the modern Egyptology. The world looks at Egypt as the mother of all civilization. Currently, the country is enjoying better tourism business because of this ancient works. From artistic drawings to mummifications in pyramids to literature and medicine, Egypt has attained recognition from the world all over.
Smith, Miranda, and Roger Stuart. Ancient Egypt. London: Kingfisher, 2010. Print.
Wilkinson, Toby A. H. The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt. New York: Random House, 2010. Print.
Shaw, Ian. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. Print.
Winckelmann, Johann Joachim, and Alex Potts. History of the Art of Antiquity. Los Angeles, Calif.: Getty Research Institute, 2006. Print.
Magd, Zeinab. Imagined Empires a History of Revolt in Egypt. Berkeley: U of California, 2013. Print.
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