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Chapter 4

Crossroads & Culture:Chapter 4.doc

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Carol Chin

Sept 1719 HIS102Y1 Chapter 4 Pages 105136Chapter Four Creation of Empire North Africa and Southwest AsiaEmpire A large political unit that imposes its rule over diverse regions peoples and cultures empires can take many different formsImperial Egypt and Nubia 1550 BCE350 CENorthwest Africa the kingdoms of Egypt and Nubia dominated the Nile Valley 3000 bce1550660 bce first Egypt then Nubia formed the core of the first empires in part of the world Egypt thrived for more than 400 years because of a sequence of strong pharaohsCenturies later Nubia became the dominant power ruling over Egypt for 70 yearsEgyptian culture continued to have a powerful influence in Nubia Egyptians ignored Nubian culture Nubians promoted Egyptian culture in both the conquered Egyptian state and Nubian homeland Nubian culture assimilated producing a unique mix of local and foreign influences that categorized the region for many centuries after Nubias empire had faded awayAssimilation The process by which one group absorbs the cultural traditions of another groupThe Imperial Might of New Kingdom Egypt 15501070 bceEgyptians started a sustained period of expansionfirst they expelled the Hyksosforeign rulers who had occupied the Nile Delta for some 150 yearsand marched into the area now occupied by Syria and Palestinelarge armies King Thutmose III r 14791425 bce was an aggressive empire builder driving his troops into Syria seventeen times to force local rulers into submission Two hundred years later King Ramesses II r 12791213 bce had to fight massive battles against the Hittites to maintain control over part of the region Egypt expanded south into Nubia occupying some seven hundred miles along the Nile River Conquest brought many riches to Egyptallowed pharaohs to build massive templestombsQueen Hatshepsut was famous for her monumentsshe seized power in 1473 bce when the heir Thutmose III was still a young boy and ruled Egypt until 1458 bce To honour her after death she ordered that a temple be constructed on west Nile bank of the capital Thebesships sailed down to obtain materials needed to construct the templeYears after her death people turned against her and defaced her relicsWomen seemed to possess more influencelegal autonomy than anywhere in the ancient worldMost notable episode in Egypts religious history was reign of King Amenhotep IV r 13521336 bce who early in his rule adopted the name Akhenaten meaning servant of Aten King abandoned all traditional deities focusing all attention on the god of the sun disk AtenBuilt an entire city in his honour and made it his capitalDepicted himself and his family as only humans who could communicate with AtenDid not forbid his people from worshipping other deitiesAfter his death Amun the highest god and his priesthood regained their prominence in Egypt He failed to impose longterm cultural change not because he lacked power while he lived but because the changes he sought challenged the status of another powerful group in his stateNew Kingdom Egyptunequal society in terms of wealth and status1
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