Egypt or the Land of Pharaohs (Part III)

abu simbel
The Egyptians did not have the pyramids as their only significant legacy. Because religion played an important role in their lives, there are a considerable number of Egyptian manuscripts devoted to religious issues, legends, and stories. Originally, the Egyptians wrote a letter composed of images-symbols we call hieroglyphics. In written language, they used images to represent the vocal feature of the subject being written. These symbols were intricate and took a long time to engrave or write. They then (for daily use) developed shorter, faster and easier hieroglyphics.

Initially, pottery was used to engrave hieroglyphics on tables and graves. Later they wrote on papyrus scrolls. Writing was aided by the invention of papyrus made from reeds that grew abundantly in the Nile Valley. The strips from the reed tree were stacked one by one in length. The other strips were placed over them at right angles. This double layer was dried and pressed to form a papyrus leaf. This kind of papyrus sheet could be written with reed pen and ink. The papyrus could have been any length. Rolls of papyrus from 7 to 10 meters in length represented what we today call a “book.” They even found manuscripts over 30 meters in length. Although Egypt was an agricultural state, its civilization continued to evolve. She has achieved greater success in the fields of architecture, art and science. The first Egyptian mathematicians invented a calendar that continues today (with minor modifications); So they put together a calendar related to these natural phenomena, which was very useful for all the residents at that time.
At the end of the reign of the XII dynasty (2000-1790 BC), Pharaoh Amenemet III led an army to Syria. He manages to conquer land from Gaza in the south to Ugarit. He becomes the ruler of Syria, which will have great consequences for Egypt later. This conquest puts Egypt in conflict with other states of the Middle East.
Amenemet’s military victory was short-lived. The invasion of the Semites (called by the Egyptians Hiksima-stewards of the shepherds) occurred in 1700 BC. Crossing the Nile Hixi Delta, they occupy Egyptian cities and shrines. In the eastern part of the Delta, the Hiksi build their capital Avaris and the solid ramparts around it.
The Hyksos had two advantages over the Egyptians. They had horse-drawn pine chariots and skillfully used bronze (a mixture of copper and tin) to make weapons. The Hyksos moved through the Nile Valley and gradually conquered all of Egypt. Iapk, the Hyksos taught the Egyptians many things (a new way of warfare). They invented the so-called “standing army” and taught the Egyptians to use two-wheelers.
Around 1567 BC, Ahmose I, the founder of the 18th Dynasty, gathers people eager for the old reign of Pharaoh. They attack the Hicks and manage to banish them. They used war chariots and weapons they learned from the old rulers. Ahmose drives the Hiksa as far as Palestine. His successors extend Egypt to Syria.
After defeating the Hicks, Ahmoze with the army undertakes a series of conquering wars and manages to expand the empire. The reign of Pharaoh XVIII dynasty is the most glorious period of Egyptian history. Then the empire reached its greatest reach: from present-day Sudan in the south across the western coast of the Red Sea, Palestine and Syria to the Euphrates River. Tutmos I (1530-1500 BC) defeats the Assyrians and Babylonians in Mesopotamia. In his honor on the wall of the great temple was an inscription (dedicated to the god Osiris in Abidos): “I magnified the achievements of the kings who ruled before me. I extended the borders of Egypt even to the sun and Egypt became bigger than any other country. ”
abu simbel 2
Tutmos II succeeds Tutmos I. He marries his half-sister Hatshepsut. Tutmos II is preparing new conquests. When he died (1490 BCE), he was succeeded by Queen Hatshepsut. Then there is a change in Egyptian rule. Hatshepsut was an excellent ruler. He is making great efforts to improve life in the country. He sends many prisoners to work on buildings – to build palaces, temples, houses and roads. The mildly won by the conquering wars, the queen invested in beautifying Egypt and building a large merchant fleet. Living conditions have been improved in all directions. The Queen’s policy was to reflect peaceful relations with her neighbors. Tombs are the most magnificent buildings preserved from this period of Queen Hatshepsut’s reign. They are carved in a rock near You as a memorial to her father. At the same time a tomb was made in which the queen would be.
Some of Queen Hatshepsut’s heirs also built their own tombs with secret entrances hoping the robbers wouldn’t find them. Tutmos III leaves Queen Hatshepsut’s peacetime policy after becoming Pharaoh. He ruled from 1480 to 1450 BC and was one of the most powerful pharaohs of the 18th dynasty. He had 17 conquests to Palestine and Syria.
It sets up permanent garrisons in conquered cities, empowering Egyptian rule. It opens local administrative offices but appoints Egyptians to governing positions. The next Pharaoh was Amenhotep IV. His rule was of particular importance to Egypt. Upon coming to power in 1375 BC, a rich and powerful kingdom inherited uninterrupted development (80 years).
Amenhotep was interested in religion and social reform. With all internal strife, the Egyptian empire is beginning to decline. Syria and Palestine, as semi-independent states, became the prey to the Hittites, which extended their territory north of the fertile belt. The Hittites soon conquered the entire territory. Amenhotep aimed at weakening the authority of clerks, especially the priest of the god Amon. He decides to make the object of worship Aton- a mild pastoral deity. He makes new rites for him. Aton became the new god whose symbol was the sun. To protect the new religion from the priest of the god Amon, he moves his court from Thebes to El Amarn. In El Amarna he builds a temple to this new god. Pharaoh issues an order that the population obey the leg of Athos. He changes his name to the new name “Akkenaton” (the one that made Aton happy). Akkenaton chooses a new circle of counselors in which he completely excludes priests. This reform was based on socio-economic causes.
Akkenaton is the first ruler to introduce civil service to Egypt. He appoints governors in various areas of Egypt, ordering the meetings to be recorded in writing.
Akkenaton was married beautifully to Queen Nefertiti, who is known for the bust in the picture that still exists. Under the rule of Akhenaton, the art of Egypt evolves and departs from the usual stylistic conventions of Egypt. For the first time, people were painting naturally or as they were.
Akkenaton dies in 1360 BC. His successor is his son-in-law Tutankhamun. He was a boy then. Priests of the old Ammon religion manage to regain the power and cult of the god Amon. Akenaton’s capital city Amarna is abandoned. Tutankhamun reigned for only a few years. He dies when he was only 17 or 18 years old. The most famous archaeological find of the last century was the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. In 1922, archaeologist Howard Carter discovers the tomb. In the lobby in front of the room where Pharaoh’s funeral was found, the most unusual treasure was neglected. The oldest chair in the world is one of the items found. The mummified and preserved body of Tutankhamun was found in the tomb. After Tutankhamun’s reign, Horemheb founder of the 19th dynasty came to the throne. Efforts to reclaim Egypt’s power over Syria and Palestine have made little progress. His successor Ramses I also had no success in the conquest campaigns. Ramses I was succeeded by his son Seti I. Seti I was a Pharaoh from 1304 to 1292 BC. Sethi was a strong and good military commander. Removes all bribes and appoints new ones. Introduces order into some state programs and advances the judiciary.
He waged wars in Palestine and Syria, conquered the princes of Lebanon, and conquered the Phoenician port of Tire. He is succeeded by his son Ramses II, who reigned from 1292 to 1225 BC. They call him “Ramses the Great.” His fame rests on a long epic poem in which he is praised excessively. Upon taking power, Ramsez II enters Palestine and confronts the Hittites there in the great battle of Kadesh. After fierce fighting that lasted day and night, the Hittites retreated what Ramsez II considered a victory. In all her glory, she returns to Egypt to celebrate the victory of her army. However, it soon turned out who won the war. The Hittites retreated to regroup their army and military troops, after which they went to battle and conquered Palestine all the way to Jerusalem. They retained the conquered states and forced Ramses to acknowledge their victory. Ramses had problems in Egypt where his subjects were on the verge of rebellion. They demanded a fairer collection of taxes, a division of justice, and a fairer management of all local affairs. Pharaoh devoted his time and effort to erecting his own monument. He ordered a huge cliff temple to be built in Abu-Simbel in the Nile Valley. Four of his statues, each 20 meters high, were carved on the cliffs. Last century, these statues were cut off from a cliff and raised 70 meters in height to complete the project of the Aswan Dam in contemporary Egypt.
(The Aswan New Dam was built between 1960 and 1970.550 workers were killed constructing the New Ausan Dam project, second in line to the British construction. It is located near the city of Aswan on the Nile River. Egypt was assisted by the USSR in this venture. The construction required more than 30,000 workers, of whom as many as 500 lost their lives. The project required the diversion of the Nile River, which had a serious impact on the environment and agricultural crops in the surrounding area.)
  As a result, as many as 100,000 people have been relocated to other areas and some valuable archaeological sites have been lost forever. The dam is 3 830 m long, of which 520 m is between the banks of the river, its height is 111 m. The Lake Nasero is almost 600 km long, with an average width of 10 km, a maximum width of 50 km, an area greater than 6 200 square kilometers and a maximum depth of 182 m.

Another Ramses memorial is located in the lobby of the temple in Karnak. In architecture, this monument is considered a masterpiece. It was built by many pharaohs in stages. The main prize is a huge one hundred meter long hall. The roof is over 23 meters high. During the long reign of Ramses II, nothing was done to solve Egypt’s internal problems, and so the great Egyptian civilization began to collapse. At the end of the 12th century, Egypt was occupied by the Libyans and Indo-Europeans, who also accelerated the demise of the Hittites, Mycenaeans, and early Indian civilization. Egypt is losing its influence as a once great and powerful empire. Iapk, Egyptian culture continues to influence Assyrian, Greek and all other cultures around the world. We can still feel its influence in the modern world today. We are eternally grateful to Egypt for this.


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