HAA 0150 Lecture 2: Sept 3 - Ancient Egypt, An Overview

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Sept. 3: Ancient Egypt – an Overview
Geography of Egypt: importance of the Nile
Nile was basis for existence
Kemet (black – fertile soil) vs. Deshret (dry red desert)
Cycle of Nile: Flooding  Growing  Drought
Upper Egypt vs. Lower (Nile Delta)
-King embodies duality
Hieroglyph for unification
-Large windpipe with double lung at bottom
-Horus, papyrus for Lower
-Seth, lily for Upper
Causeways connect land of dead and living
-Built with mud from land of living to extend
fertile soil and life
Barques: divine boats for gods to visit each
other during festivals
Creation myth and cosmogony: Atum (sun god) emerges from watery soup (Nu) and
mixes with water to birth next gen of gods
Multiple gods representing certain phenomena and representing aspects of Egyptian life
Kingship has divine essence – lives on when king dies, king embodies principle
Temple become mini cosmos, strong fortress to keep out evil and chaos
-Vegetal columns – natural world turned into stone, signifies abundance of water
environment
Ma’at = personification of division in Egypt, feather used to weigh heart of dead, often
shown with pharaoh because it’s their job to maintain cosmic order
-Cultural continuity because change is dangerous to Ma’at (especially seen in
temples from different millennia)
CHRONOLOGY: know big picture
Dynasties Eras
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