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CLASS 310 (11)
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Chapter 1

CLASS 310 Chapter 1: Ch. 1 - Narmer
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Department
Classics
Course
CLASS 310
Professor
B.Robbins
Semester
Fall

Description
Background on Egypt ● Egypt = “gift of nile” ● Herodotus was the first to introduce Egypt to the western world ● Centrality of the Nile = life ○ creates opposites ● Centrality of the desert = death ○ binary thinking ■ Nile/desert ■ sky/earth ■ up/down ● Egypt was a theocracy ○ religion & gov were identical — no “separation of church & state” ○ polytheism — belief in many gods ● Archaeology ○ pyramids — tomb for pharaohs after they die & are mummified ■ largest ancient structures ■ reveal preoccupation with the afterlife - a place for “eternity” ■ to enter the afterlife, pharaohs needed to be buried properly ■ possessions needed for afterlife - most prized possessions ■ sacrifices - slaves, helpers, etc. were sacrificed for the pharaoh & buried with him ● Old Kingdom (2600’s BC) — King Djoser @Saqquara ○ builds first large stone monument in the world ● Pyramids of Giza ○ one of the 7 wonders of the world ○ for each pyramid ■ made up of limestone ■ each stone weighed 2.5 tons ■ 2.5 million blocks ○ limestone was transported & cut by slaves ○ built for pay by citizens who were “drafted” for the purpose ■ aka citizens who had the stature or practicalities to build such a large structure ● Literature ○ pyramid texts ○ coffin texts ○ “the book of the dead” ■ written on papyrus scrolls & were put into coffins ○ literature originated/copied in egypt
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