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University of Toronto St. George
Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
Zoe Mc Quinn

NMC343 September 13 2012 Office Hours Thursdays 1-4, Room 443, 4 Bancroft ave. [email protected] Assignment #1 - Critical thinking assignment - Choose from one of the two following options:  Topic ONE: Khufu the Tyrant o Write a short critical essay of 4-5 pages answering the question: Was Khufu a tyrant?  Topic TWO: Admonitions of Ipuwer o Write a short critical essay of 4-5 pages answering the question: Can we read the text known as the “Admonitions of Ipuwer” as an historical text describing conditions in Egypt during the First Intermediate Period?” Mid-Term Test - Will be held in class - Will include: o Multiple choice questions o Short answer questions o Identification questions o An essay question - - Hierakonpolis online - The Giza Archives, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston NMC343 September 13 2012 The Land and People of Egypt Geography - Where a society is set really affects the social, cultural, and historical elements of that people - Egypt is a contact point between three major continents - This close contact between Asia, Africa, and Europe allows affects Egypt’s history enormously - But while it’s close to these other cultures, it also has buffers against these places (Mediterranean Sea blocks it from Europe, Deserts from Africa, and the Red Sea from Asia) - That protection allows the Egyptian culture to flourish in security - It can contact other cultures, but that culture is filtered through these boundaries The Egyptian Universe - Egyptians felt their universe was in a bubble, surrounded by these elements: - Nun, the waters - Shu, the air or atmosphere - Nut, the sky - Geb, the earth - Duat, the underworld - Ra, the sun - Akhet, the horizon o Special because it is the contact point between the underworld and the real world, as Ra travels up or down Egyptian Geographical Terms - Egypt: - tA-mri, Ta-meri “the land of the hoe” - tAwi, Ta-wi “the Two Lands” - Kmt, Kemet “black land” (rich lands you can grow crops, near the Nile) - Deshret “red land” (desert) - tA-SmAw, ta-shemau Upper Egypt “land of the reeds” - tA-mhw, ta-mehu Lower Egypt “land of papyrus” - Duality between life and the dangers that exist outside of that safety zone near the Nile, see it as a balanced pair - Other Terms - Nubia: nbw, nebu “gold” - Mediterranean Ocean: wAD-wr, wadj-wer “Great Blue-Green” - The Nile: iTrw, itchru “the river” The Nile - Egypt is a Hydraulic Civilization o Much of its culture is based on that cycle of water too - Without the Nile, Egypt would not exist - It’s not just water to live off of NMC343 September 13 2012 - Because of how the Nile operates, it was security - Unlike in other countries where if it didn’t rain you wouldn’t have crops, that worry did not exist in Egypt… you didn’t have to wait for it to rain - Every year the Nile floods, bringing irrigation and minerals to the farms - When the flood was either too low or too high, it could destroy Egyptian culture - When there is a strong pharaoh who gathers taxes and keeps grain in storage for the bad times, Egypt can survive the fluctuations in the flood - When there is no strong leadership or planning, that is when Egypt is in peril and can’t feed itself (the dark ages or intermediate periods) The Egyptian Calendar - Egyptian Calendar is based on the Nile, divided the year into twelve months and three seasons: - Axt-Akhet (the inundation), mid-July to mid-November - Prt-Peret (literally “coming forth”, the growing season”, mid-November to mid-March - Smw-Shemu (harvest-time), mid-march to mid-July - Each season consisted of four months (month-Abd) of 30 days (day=sw) - Agricultural, solar, lunar, and reignal calendars, but this calendar is the most used Climate - 400,000 BC – Palaeolithic period in north-eastern Africa o It was very wet in north Africa, so there wasn’t as many people in Egypt because you could basically live anywhere - 25,000 BC – onset of a drier climate in the north o People are being forced into the Nile, meaning they are being forced into closer contact with more people, in a smaller area - 10,000 – 5,000 BC – Mesolithic period o People living closer together and no longer relying on hunting and gathering practices, but starting to domesticate animals and plants - 6,000 BC – a gradual moistening of the climate o Leads to a growth-spurt of Egyptian population Domestication of Animals and Plants - Fauna - Cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, variety of birds, dogs, cats, donkeys as well as gazelle, oryx, hyena, monkeys, and ibex - Middle Ki
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