Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient Northeast Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100BC (according to conventional Egyptian chronology) with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes (often identified with Narmer). The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power during the New Kingdom, ruling much of Nubia and a sizable portion of the Levant, after which it entered a period of slow decline. During the course of its history, Egypt was invaded or conquered by a number of foreign powers, including the Hyksos, the Nubians, the Assyrians, the Achaemenid Persians, and the Macedonians under Alexander the Great. The Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom, formed in the aftermath of Alexander's death, ruled Egypt until 30BC, when, under Cleopatra, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province.

The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came partly from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense population, and social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, and a military intended to assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, and administrators under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs.

The many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the quarrying, surveying, and construction techniques that supported the building of monumental pyramids, temples, and obelisks; a system of mathematics, a practical and effective system of medicine, irrigation systems, and agricultural production techniques, the first known planked boats, Egyptian faience and glass technology, new forms of literature, and the earliest known peace treaty, made with the Hittites. Ancient Egypt has left a lasting legacy. Its art and architecture were widely copied, and its antiquities were carried off to far corners of the world. Its monumental ruins have inspired the imaginations of travelers and writers for millennia. A newfound respect for antiquities and excavations in the early modern period by Europeans and Egyptians has led to the scientific investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater appreciation of its cultural legacy.

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Mummy returns: Voice of 3,000-year-old Egyptian priest brought to life

Scientists have fulfilled a mummified Egyptian priest's wish for life after death - by replicating his voice with artificial vocal cords. Nesyamun's voice has been reproduced as a vowel-like sound that is reminiscent of a sheep's bleat.

Egypt archaeology: Gold-covered mummy among latest discoveries

Archaeologists say they have found a gold leaf-covered mummy sealed inside a sarcophagus that has been unopened for 4,300 years. The mummy, the remains of a man named Hekashepes, is thought to be one of the oldest and most complete non-royal corpses ever found in Egypt.

Egypt archaeology: Dig unearths smiling mini-sphinx which may represent Claudius

Archaeologists have unearthed a sphinx-like statue and the remains of a shrine in an ancient temple in southern Egypt, the antiquities ministry says. The artefacts were found near the Hathor Temple, one of Egypt's best-preserved ancient sites.

'Big void' identified in Khufu's Great Pyramid at Giza

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.The mysteries of the pyramids have deepened with the discovery of what appears to be a giant void within the Khufu, or Cheops, monument in Egypt.

Egypt: Hidden corridor in Great Pyramid of Giza seen for first time

Egyptian antiquities officials say they have confirmed the existence of a hidden internal corridor above the main entrance of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Video from an endoscope showed the inside of the corridor, which is 9m (30ft) long and 2.1m (7ft) wide.

The Rosetta Stone: The real ancient codebreakers

Jean-François Champollion had been struggling over the hieroglyphs on the Rosetta Stone for years when, one September afternoon in 1822, he believed he had finally cracked it.

The discovery of Egypt's lost city

Uncovered in 2020, this ancient Egyptian settlement, known as Aten, has left experts amazed at the preservation of buildings and artefacts. Egyptologists hope further investigation will answer important questions about life during the reign of one of Egypt's most powerful pharaohs, Amenhotep III.

Egypt cat mummies discovered in ancient tombs

Image source, AFPImage caption, Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a collection of mummified cats and scarab beetles in a series of ancient tombs.Image source, ReutersImage caption, The finds, dating back more than 4,000 years, were made at Saqqara, south of Cairo.

Egyptian pharaoh's mummy digitally unwrapped for first time

The mummified body of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh has been studied for the first time in millennia after being digitally "unwrapped". The mummy of Amenhotep I, who ruled from 1525 to 1504 BC, was found at a site in Deir el-Bahari 140 years ago.

How Were the Pyramids Built?

Key aspects of pyramid construction from quarry to completion. Check out Audible: Live show in Alabama: The most common misconception about the pyramids is that they were built by slaves. Recent archeological evidence suggests they were instead construct

'Lost golden city' found in Egypt reveals lives of ancient pharaohs

The discovery of a 3,000-year-old city that was lost to the sands of Egypt has been hailed as one of the most important archaeological finds since Tutankhamun's tomb. Famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced the discovery of the "lost golden city" near Luxor on Thursday.

Abydos beer factory: Ancient large-scale brewery discovered in Egypt

Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed what could be the world's oldest known beer factory, dating back about 5,000 years. They found a number of units containing about 40 pots used to heat a mixture of grain and water to make beer.

Ancient mummies with golden tongues unearthed in Egypt

Archaeologists have unearthed 2,000-year-old mummies with golden tongues placed inside their mouths in northern Egypt, the antiquities ministry says.

Rome obelisk prepares for journey home

Italy has begun dismantling an ancient obelisk in preparation for its return to Ethiopia, following a 60-year dispute. The Axum obelisk, which stands in central Rome, was named after the northern Ethiopian city from where it was looted by invading Italian troops in 1937.

Ancient Egyptian mummification 'recipe' revealed

Examination of a mummy has revealed the original ancient Egyptian embalming recipe - first used to preserve bodies. The Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy, is now home to the mummy in question.

Ancient Egypt: Cheese discovered in 3,200-year-old tomb

image copyrightUniversity of Catania and Cairo UniversityA substance found by archaeologists working in an Ancient Egyptian tomb has proved to be one of the oldest cheeses ever discovered.Several years ago, the team discovered broken jars in the tomb of Ptahmes, a high-ranking Egyptian official.

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