Egypt (River Valley Civilization)

Split of Kingdoms:
Old – 2700-2200 B.C.E.
Middle – 2050-1652 B.C.E.
New – 1567-1085 B.C.E.
Decline: By 1100, Egypt fell into decline; the Assyrian and Persian conquered them and later the Greeks occupied the land. Finally the Romans completely absorbed Egypt into their own empire.

  • Social Structures
Their economy was government directed. The women in this society were secondary to men in status and power but had different privileges including managing finances, education of their children, could divorce and receive alimony. Women could own property, some managed businesses, and they could become priestesses or even pharaoh. Queen Hatshepsut brought women more rights; they could buy and sell property and chose what to do with it; right to dissolve marriages.The pharaoh possessed immense power over their people. Their social structure in ancient Egypt: pharaoh > priests > nobles > merchants; skilled artisans; physicians > peasants; slaves
  • Culture
Art was lively, cheerful and colorful. They decorated tombs as well as palaces and furnishings. Egyptian math produced the idea of a day divided into 24 hour, and the 365 day calendar. They developed written script (hieroglyphics) and invented paper making using papyrus. The lanuage spoke was Coptic. In their culture beating one’s family or slave, stealing, and damming the Nile river (withholds life giving water) are evil things to do and are punished behaviors
  • Religion
The pharaoh was considered a living incarnation of the sun god Re (sun god and chief deity). They had an elaborate religion; worshipped many gods/goddesses. Where souls went after death and how to have a happy after life were big parts of their religion (mummification process and massive tombs for pharaohs)
  • Interactions
Everyone was very dependent on trade because they had a consistent need for timber and stones; Trade brought interactions with other civilizations.
Their were no real invaders to their powerful kingdom, so they had no real eniemes. Eygyp came up with hieroglyphic writing (the language used for official and religious documents) and the Greeks compared and transalted them to make it their own. In the 14th century B.C.E. Alexander the Great would bring Egypt into the Hellenistic world, which later would bring Egypt to become part of the Roman empire
  • Politics
They had Centralized society, with Monarchies and a small caste of priests. They had a less urban society but they still made many societies.
  • Technology
They had many skilled engineers and archiatects, which help them advanced trade systems along the Nile. They buil irrigation systems with the Nile river, to help with trade and interactions. They devised the 365-day calendar and with only minor modifications this calendar is still used today.
  • Economics
Their econemy was government directed and agricultural. They built up sizable economic network during the Middle and New kingdom.
  • Demography
The soil was very rich which made many agricultural opportunities came from this. Many people lived around the Nile River’s banks because opportunities. The Niles floods were predictable and there was a stable agricultural cycle which caused food surpluses. This was the perfect combination for a successful and thriving agricultural economy. With all this knowledge they learned to irrigate the Nile.


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Silverman, David P. Ancient Egypt. New York: Oxford UP, 1997. Print.
Stearns, Peter N. World Civilizations: The Global Experience. 3rd ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2000. Print.