Sphinx and pyramid
in Giza, Egypt
Ancient Egypt
c. 3100 B.C.
c. 2540 B.C.
Pyramid at
Giza built
c. 1500 B.C.
728 B.C.
Piye of Kush
B.C. 2500 B.C. 1500 B.C. 500 B.C.
B.C. 2500 B.C. 1500 B.C. 500 B.C.
34–35 Brian Lawrence/Image State
034-037 Ch2 CO-824133 3/9/04 4:37 PM Page 34
Chapter Preview
While the people of Mesopotamia fought wars, people
along Africa’s Nile River formed rich and powerful civiliza-
tions. Read this chapter to learn how the people of Egypt
and Kush built large monuments that still stand today.
View the Chapter 2 video in the World History:
Journey Across Time Video Program.
The Nile Valley
The fertile land along the great Nile River supported the
Egyptian civilization.
Egypt’s Old Kingdom
During the Old Kingdom period, Egyptians built cities, great
pyramids, and a strong kingdom.
The Egyptian Empire
Many changes occurred during Egypt’s Middle and New
Kingdoms. It expanded into a great empire as art, literature,
and architecture blossomed.
The Civilization of Kush
South of Egypt a new civilization arose called Kush. Kushites
adopted Egyptian ways and eventually conquered Egypt itself.
Chapter Overview Visit
jat.glencoe.com for a preview
of Chapter 2.
Organizing Information Make this foldable to help you organize the key events
and ideas from ancient Egypt and Kush.
Reading and Writing
As you read the chapter,
take notes under the
appropriate tabs.Write
main ideas and key terms
under the “what” tab.
Step 1 Stack
two sheets of
paper so that
the front sheet
is one inch
higher than the
back sheet.
Step 2 Fold down the top edges of the paper to
form four tabs. Align the edges so that all of the
layers or tabs are the same distance apart.
Step 3 Crease the paper to hold the tabs in
place, then staple them together. Cut the top
three thicknesses to create a layered book.
Step 4 Label the booklet as
shown and take notes on the
This makes all
the tabs the
same size.
together along
the fold.
CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt 35
034-037 Ch2 CO-824133 7/14/04 6:50 PM Page 35
What Do You Predict?
A prediction is a guess based on what you already know.
Making predictions before you read can help you understand
and remember what you read.
How do you make predictions? Read the Main Ideas below.
They were taken from the opening page of Section 2 on page
47. Use these main ideas to make predictions about what you
will read in this chapter.
Predict what
the term
Egypt was ruled by all-powerful
The Egyptians believed in many
gods and goddesses and in life
after death for the pharaohs.
The Egyptians of the Old Kingdom
built huge stone pyramids as tombs
for their pharaohs.
—from page 47
Can you
predict what
tools the
used to build
the pyramids?
What does
“life after
death” mean?
As you read, check your
predictions to see if
they were correct.
034-037 Ch2 CO-824133 7/14/04 6:51 PM Page 36
Read to Write
Making Predictions
Read the Main Ideas below from Section 1 of
this chapter.
Select one blue sub-
head in this chapter.
Without reading the text
under that subhead,
write a paragraph that
you think might appear
there. Check the facts in
your paragraph to see if
they are correct.
Make at least one prediction about
each of the main ideas. Write down
each prediction. Then, as you read this
section, decide if your predictions
were correct.
The Egyptian civilization began in the
fertile Nile River valley, where natural
barriers discouraged invasions.
The Egyptians depended on the
Nile’s floods to grow their crops.
Around 3100
B.C., Egypt’s two major
kingdoms, Upper Egypt and Lower
Egypt, were combined into one.
Egyptian society was divided into
social groups based on wealth and
from page 38
Before you read the chapter, skim
the questions on pages 74–75 in the
Chapter Assessment and Activities.
Choose three questions and predict
what the answers will be.
Egyptian National Museum, Cairo/SuperStock
034-037 Ch2 CO-824133 3/9/04 1:25 AM Page 37
What’s the Connection?
In Chapter 1, you learned about
the early civilization in Mesopotamia.
At about the same time, another
civilization was forming near the Nile
River. We call this civilization ancient
Focusing on the
The Egyptian civilization began in
the fertile Nile River valley, where
natural barriers discouraged
(page 39)
The Egyptians depended on the Nile’s
floods to grow their crops.
(page 41)
Around 3100 B.C., Egypt’s two major
kingdoms, Upper Egypt and Lower
Egypt, were combined into one.
(page 43)
Egyptian society was divided into
social groups based on wealth and
(page 45)
Locating Places
Egypt (EEjihpt)
Nile River (NYL)
Sahara (suhHARuh)
Meeting People
Narmer (NARmuhr)
Building Your Vocabulary
cataract (KAtuhRAKT)
delta (DEHLtuh)
papyrus (puhPYruhs)
hieroglyphics (HY ruhGLIHfihks)
dynasty (DYnuhstee)
Reading Strategy
Organizing Information Create
a diagram to describe Egyptians’
irrigation systems.
c. 5000 B.C.
begins along
Nile River
c. 4000 B.C.
Egypt is made
up of two
c. 3100 B.C.
5000 B.C. 4000 B.C. 3000 B.C.
5000 B.C. 4000 B.C. 3000 B.C.
38 CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt
038-046 Ch2 S1-824133 3/9/04 1:42 AM Page 38
Settling the Nile
The Egyptian civilization began in the
fertile Nile River valley, where natural barriers dis-
couraged invasions.
Reading Focus Did you know that the Nile River is
longer than the Amazon, the Mississippi, and every
other river in the world? Read on to find out when
ancient peoples first moved to its fertile banks.
Between 6000 B.C. and 5000 B.C., hunters
and food gatherers moved into the green
Nile River valley from less fertile areas of
Africa and southwest Asia. They settled
down, farmed the land, and created several
dozen villages along the riverbanks. These
people became the earliest Egyptians.
A Mighty River Although Egypt (EEjihpt)
was warm and sunny, the land received little
rainfall. For water, the Egyptians had to rely
on the Nile River (NYL). They drank from it,
bathed in it, and used it for farming, cook-
ing, and cleaning. The river provided fish
and supported plants and animals. To the
Egyptians, then, the Nile was a precious gift.
They praised it in a song: “Hail O Nile, who
comes from the earth, who comes to give life
to the people of Egypt.”
Even today, the Nile inspires awe. It is
the world’s longest river, flowing north from
the heart of Africa to the Mediterranean Sea.
This is a distance of some 4,000 miles (6,437
km). Traveling the length of the Nile would
be like going from Atlanta, Georgia, to San
Francisco, California, and then back again.
The Nile begins as two separate
rivers. One river, the Blue Nile, has its
source in the mountains of eastern
Africa. The other, the White Nile,
starts in marshes in central Africa.
The two rivers meet and form the
Nile just south of Egypt. There, nar-
row cliffs and boulders in the Nile
form wild rapids called cataracts
RAKTS). Because of the cataracts, large ships
can use the Nile only for its last 650 miles
(1,046 km), where it flows through Egypt.
A Sheltered Land In Egypt, the Nile runs
through a narrow, green valley. Look at the
map below. You can see that the Nile looks
like the long stem of a flower. Shortly before
the Nile reaches the Mediterranean Sea, it
divides into different branches that look
like the flower’s blossom. These branches
fan out over an area of fertile soil called a
delta (DEHLtuh).
100 km
Azimuthal Equidistant projection
100 mi.
Mediterranean Sea
Red Sea
Great Pyramid
and Sphinx
First Cataract
Second Cataract
Ancient Egypt c. 3100 B.C.
Egyptian civilization developed in the narrow
strip of fertile land along the Nile River.
1. What physical features border the Nile River
to the east and west?
2. About how far is it from the first cataract
to the second cataract?
Find NGS online map resources @
Nile Valley
038-046 Ch2 S1-875047 9/12/06 3:40 PM Page 39
On both sides of the Nile Valley and its
delta, deserts unfold as far as the eye can
see. To the west is a vast desert that forms
part of the Sahara (suhHARuh), the largest
desert in the world. To the east, stretching to
the Red Sea, is the Eastern Desert. In some
places, the change from green land to bar-
ren sand is so abrupt that a person can
stand with one foot in each.
The ancient Egyptians called the deserts
“the Red Land” because of their burning
heat. Although these vast expanses could
not support farming or human life, they
did serve a useful purpose: they kept out-
side armies away from Egypt’s territory.
Other geographic features also pro-
tected the Egyptians. To the far south, the
Nile’s dangerous cataracts blocked enemy
boats from reaching Egypt. In the north, the
delta marshes offered no harbors for
invaders approaching from the sea. In this
regard, the Egyptians were luckier than the
people of Mesopotamia. In that region, few
natural barriers protected the cities. The
Mesopotamians constantly had to fight off
attackers, but Egypt rarely faced threats. As
a result, Egyptian civilization was able to
grow and prosper.
Despite their isolation, the Egyptians
were not completely closed to the outside
world. The Mediterranean Sea bordered
Egypt to the north, and the Red Sea lay
beyond the desert to the east. These bodies
of water gave the Egyptians a way to trade
with people outside Egypt.
Within Egypt, people used the Nile for
trade and transportation. Winds from the
north pushed sailboats south. The flow of
the Nile carried them north. Egyptian vil-
lages thus had frequent, friendly contact
with one another, unlike the hostile relations
between the Mesopotamian city-states.
What was
Egypt’s physical setting like?
40 CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt
Today, the Nile River valley makes up only about 3 percent of Egypt’s
land, yet most Egyptians live and work in the area. How did the deserts
surrounding the Nile Valley help protect Egypt?
John Lawrence/Getty Images
038-046 Ch2 S1-824133 3/9/04 1:53 AM Page 40
The River People
The Egyptians depended on the Niles
floods to grow their crops.
Reading Focus When you hear about floods, do you
picture terrible damage and loss of life? Read on to
learn why the Egyptians welcomed, rather than feared,
the flooding of the Nile.
In Chapter 1, you learned that the peo-
ple of Mesopotamia had to tame the floods
of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in order
to farm. They learned to do so, but the
unpredictable rivers loomed as a constant
Regular Flooding Like the Mesopotamians,
the Egyptians also had to cope with river
floods. However, the Nile floods were
much more dependable and gentle than
those of the Tigris and the Euphrates. As a
result, the Egyptians were able to farm and
live securely. They did not worry that sud-
den, heavy overflows would destroy their
homes and crops, or that too little flooding
would leave their fields parched.
Every spring, heavy rains from central
Africa and melting snows from the high-
lands of east Africa added to the waters of
the Nile as it flowed north. From July to
October, the Nile spilled over its banks.
When the waters went down, they left
behind a layer of dark, fertile mud.
Because of these deposits, the Egyptians
called their land Kemet (KEH meht), “the
Black Land.”
How Did the Egyptians Use the Nile? The
Egyptians took advantage of the Nile’s
floods to become successful farmers. They
planted wheat, barley, and flax seeds in the
wet, rich soil. Over time, they grew more
than enough food to feed themselves and
the animals they raised.
One reason for their success was the
wise use of irrigation. Egyptian farmers
first dug basins, or bowl-shaped holes, in
the earth to trap the floodwaters. The farm-
ers then dug canals to carry water from the
basins to fields beyond the river’s reach.
The Egyptians also built dikes, or earthen
banks, to strengthen the basin walls.
In time, Egyptian farmers developed
other technology to help them in their work.
For example, they used a shadoof
DOOF), a bucket attached to a long pole, to
lift water from the Nile to the basins. Many
Egyptian farmers still use this device today.
Hymn to
the Nile
This passage is part of a hymn written around
B.C. It shows how important the Nile
River was to the people of ancient Egypt.
“You create the grain, you bring forth the barley,
assuring perpetuity [survival] to the temples. If
you cease your toil and your work, then all that
exists is in anguish.
—author unknown, “Hymn to the Nile”
How does this hymn show that the ancient
Egyptians thought of the Nile as a god?
A shadoof
CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt 41
Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY
038-046 Ch2 S1-824133 3/9/04 1:56 AM Page 41
Early Egyptians also developed geome-
try to survey, or measure, land. When
floods washed away boundary markers
dividing one field from the next, the
Egyptians surveyed the fields again to see
where one began and the other ended.
Egyptians used Papyrus (puhPYruhs), a
reed plant that grew along the Nile, to make
baskets, sandals, and river rafts. Later, they
used papyrus for papermaking. They did
this by cutting strips from the stalks of the
plant. Then they soaked them in water,
pounded them flat, dried them, and then
joined them together to make paper.
What Were Hieroglyphics? The Egyptians
used their papyrus rolls as writing paper.
Like the people of Mesopotamia, the
Egyptians developed their own system of
writing. Originally, it was made up of thou-
sands of picture symbols. Some symbols
stood for objects and ideas. To communicate
the idea of a boat, for example, a scribe
would draw a boat. Later, Egyptians created
symbols that stood for sounds, just as the
letters of our alphabet do. Combining both
picture symbols and sound symbols created
a complex writing system that was later
called hieroglyphics
(HY ruhGLIHfihks).
In ancient Egypt, few people could read
and write. Some Egyptian men, however,
went to special schools located at Egyptian
temples to study reading and writing and
learn to become scribes. Scribes kept
records and worked for the rulers, priests,
and traders. Scribes also painstakingly
carved hieroglyphics onto stone walls and
monuments. For everyday purposes,
scribes invented a simpler script and wrote
or painted on papyrus.
What crops did
the ancient Egyptians grow?
From Farming to Food Harvesting wheat and
turning it into bread was vital to the ancient
Egyptians. Some people were full-time farmers,
but many others were drafted by the government
Tomb painting showing wheat
being harvested
Tomb painting showing Egyptian man
and woman plowing and planting
wooden sickles and women gathered it into bundles.
Animals trampled the wheat to separate the kernels from
the husks. The grain was then thrown into the air so the
wind would carry away the lightweight seed coverings.
Finally, the grain was stored in silos for later use.
to help during busy
The process began as
men cut the wheat with
(bl)Giraudon/Art Resource, NY, (r)Gianni Dagli Orti/CORBIS
038-046 Ch2 S1-875047 9/7/06 8:34 PM Page 42
A United Egypt
Around 3100
., Egypt’s two major
kingdoms, Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt, were com-
bined into one.
Reading Focus What types of services does your
local government provide? Read on to find out about
the government in ancient Egypt.
In Egypt, as in Mesopotamia, skillful
farming led to surpluses—extra amounts—
of food. This freed some people to work as
artisans instead of farmers. They wove
cloth, made pottery, carved statues, or
shaped copper into weapons and tools.
As more goods became available,
Egyptians traded with each other. Before
long, Egyptian traders were carrying goods
beyond Egypt’s borders to Mesopotamia.
There they may have picked up ideas about
writing and government.
The Rise of Government The advances in
farming, crafts, and trade created a need for
government in Egypt. Irrigation systems
had to be built and maintained, and surplus
grain had to be stored and passed out in
times of need. In addition, disputes over
land ownership had to be settled. Gradually,
government emerged to plan and to direct
such activities.
The earliest rulers were village chiefs.
Over time, a few strong chiefs united
groups of villages into small kingdoms. The
strongest of these kingdoms eventually
overpowered the weaker ones. By 4000 B.C.,
Egypt was made up of two large kingdoms.
In the Nile delta was Lower Egypt. To the
south, upriver, lay Upper Egypt.
Egypt’s Ruling Families About 3100 B.C., the
two kingdoms became one. Credit for this
goes to Narmer (NAR muhr), also known
Connecting to the Past
1. How did the government ensure that enough people were
available to harvest the wheat?
2. Why do you think seeds, fruit, and other additives were
reserved for the wealthy?
Turning grain into bread was a long process. Women
ground the grain into flour, then men pounded it until
it became very fine. For the wealthy, seeds, honey, fruit,
nuts, and herbs were added to the dough for flavor.
Unfortunately, it was almost impossible to keep small
stones and sand out of the flour. As a result, many
Egyptians developed tooth decay as these particles
wore down their tooth enamel.
A replica of an ancient
Egyptian bakery
Wheat being
harvested today
Baking bread in pots
(l)Caroline Penn/CORBIS, (others)Kenneth Garrett
038-046 Ch2 S1-824133 3/9/04 1:59 AM Page 43
44 CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt
as Menes (MEE neez). As king of Upper
Egypt, he led his armies north and took con-
trol of Lower Egypt.
Narmer ruled from Memphis, a city he
built on the border between the two king-
doms. To symbolize the kingdom’s unity,
Narmer wore a double crown: the helmet-
like white crown represented Upper Egypt,
and the open red crown represented Lower
Natural Defenses
Flat mud plains; few
natural defenses
Unpredictable, and a constant
threat to the people
Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
Farming and trade
Many defenses: Nile delta,
Sahara, Eastern Desert,
and cataracts
Dependable and regular;
not feared
Nile River
Farming and trade
City-state led by kings and priests;
eventually empires formed
Villages led by chiefs, then united
into kingdoms; kingdoms later
united and ruled by pharaohs
Work of Artisans
Metal products, pottery, cloth Metal products, pottery, cloth
Cuneiform writing
Number system based on 60
12-month calendar
Wagon wheel, plow, sailboat
Hieroglyphic writing
365-day calendar
Number system based on 10,
and fractions
Medicine and first medical books
Mesopotamia Egypt
Comparing Mesopotamia to Egypt
Comparing Mesopotamia to Egypt
Narmer’s united kingdom held together
long after his death. Members of his family
passed the ruling power from father to son
to grandson. Such a line of rulers from one
family is called a dynasty (DY nuh stee).
When one dynasty died out, another took
its place.
Over time, ancient Egypt would be
ruled by 31 dynasties, which together lasted
about 2,800 years. Historians group Egypt’s
dynasties into three main time periods
called kingdoms. The earliest period, the
Old Kingdom, was followed by the Middle
Kingdom and then the New Kingdom. Each
marked a long period of strong leadership
and stability.
What is a dynasty?
The civilizations of both Mesopotamia and
Egypt depended on rivers for fertile lands and
1. Which civilization had greater natural
defenses? Explain.
2. Compare Use the chart to compare the
governments of the two civilizations.
038-046 Ch2 S1-824133 6/30/05 5:46 PM Page 44
Early Egyptian Life
Egyptian society was divided into
social groups based on wealth and power.
Reading Focus Did you play with dolls or balls
when you were young? Egyptian children did too.
Keep reading for more details about the Egyptians’
daily life.
If you made a diagram of the different
social groups in ancient Egypt, you would
find that they make a pyramid shape. At the
top was the king and his family. Beneath
that level was a small upper class of priests,
army commanders, and nobles. Next came
a larger base of skilled middle-class people,
such as traders, artisans, and shopkeepers.
At the bottom was the largest group—
unskilled workers and farmers.
Egypt’s Social Classes Egypt’s upper class
was made up of nobles, priests, and other
wealthy Egyptians who worked as the
government officials. They lived in cities and
on large estates along the Nile River. They
had elegant homes made of wood and mud
bricks, with beautiful gardens and pools
filled with fish and water lilies. Wealthy fam-
ilies had servants to wait on them and to per-
form household tasks. The men and women
dressed in white linen clothes and wore
heavy eye makeup and jewelry.
Egypt’s middle class included people
who ran businesses or produced goods.
They lived in much smaller homes and
dressed more simply. Artisans formed an
important group within the middle class.
They produced linen cloth, jewelry, pottery,
and metal goods.
CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt 45
Farmers and
Priests and
Traders, artisans,
shopkeepers, and
Ancient Egyptian society was
highly structured. At the top
was the pharaoh and his family.
At the bottom was the group
with the least wealth—unskilled
What group was just
below the pharaoh in Egyptian
038-046 Ch2 S1-824133 3/9/04 2:02 AM Page 45
1. What is papyrus and how did
the Egyptians use it?
2. What rights did women have in
ancient Egypt?
Critical Thinking
Cause and Effect
Draw a
diagram to show three things
that led to the growth of gov-
ernment in ancient Egypt.
Geography Skills How did
the geography of the Nile River
valley lead to the growth of a
civilization there?
Describe Describe the
Egyptian writing system.
Analyze What was the signif-
icance of Narmer’s double
Predicting Use
what you have learned in this
section to write a paragraph
predicting what life might have
been like on an ancient
Egyptian farm.
Growth of
Government in
Ancient Egypt
What Did You Learn?
Study Central™ Need help with the
material in this section? Visit jat.glencoe.com
46 CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt46 CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt46 CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt
Farmers made up the largest group of
early Egyptians. Some rented their land from
their ruler, paying him with a hefty portion
of their crops. Most, however, worked the
land of wealthy nobles. They lived in vil-
lages along the Nile, in one-room huts with
roofs made of palm leaves. They had a sim-
ple diet of bread, beer, vegetables, and fruit.
Many of Egypt’s city dwellers were
unskilled workers who did physical labor.
Some unloaded cargo from boats and car-
ried it to markets. Others made and stacked
mud bricks for buildings. Workers lived in
crowded city neighborhoods. They had
small mud-brick homes with hard-packed
dirt floors and a courtyard for the family’s
animals. On the flat rooftops, families
talked, played games, and slept. Women
worked on the rooftops, drying fruit, mak-
ing bread, and weaving cloth.
Family Life In ancient Egypt, the father
headed the family. However, Egyptian
women had more rights than females in
most other early civilizations. In Egypt,
women could own and pass on property.
They could buy and sell goods, make wills,
and obtain divorces. Upper-class women
were in charge of temples and could per-
form religious ceremonies.
Few Egyptians sent their children to
school. Mothers taught their daughters to
sew, cook, and run a household. Boys
learned farming or skilled trades from
their fathers. Egyptian children had time
for fun, as well. They played with board
games, dolls, spinning tops, and stuffed
leather balls.
Who made up the
largest group in Egyptian society?
Reading Summary
Review the
The deserts on either side of the
Nile Valley, along with the Nile
cataracts and delta marshes, pro-
tected Egypt from invaders.
The Egyptians became successful
farmers using the Nile River’s
floods and irrigation.
About 3100 B.C., Narmer united
Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt.
Egypt’s society was divided into
upper-class priests and nobles,
middle-class artisans and mer-
chants, and lower-class workers
and farmers.
038-046 Ch2 S1-824133 3/17/05 11:24 AM Page 46
What’s the Connection?
In Section 1, you learned that
Egyptian dynasties are divided into
the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom,
and New Kingdom. In Section 2,
you will learn about the Egyptians’
leaders, religion, and way of life in
the Old Kingdom.
Focusing on the
Egypt was ruled by all-powerful
(page 48)
The Egyptians believed in many gods
and goddesses and in life after death
for the pharaohs.
(page 49)
The Egyptians of the Old Kingdom
built huge stone pyramids as tombs
for their pharaohs.
(page 50)
Locating Places
Giza (GEEzuh)
Meeting People
King Khufu (KOOfoo)
Building Your Vocabulary
pharaoh (FEHR oh)
deity (DEEuhtee)
embalming (ihmBAHMihng)
mummy (MUHmee)
pyramid (PIHRuh MIHD)
Reading Strategy
Organizing Information Use a
graphic organizer like the one below
to identify the different beliefs in
Egypt’s religion.
c. 2600 B.C.
Old Kingdom
period begins
c. 2540 B.C.
Great Pyramid
at Giza built
c. 2300 B.C.
Old Kingdom
2600 B.C. 2400 B.C. 2200 B.C.
2600 B.C. 2400 B.C. 2200 B.C.
CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt 47
Egyptian beliefs
047-052 Ch2 S2-824133 3/9/04 2:43 AM Page 47
Old Kingdom Rulers
Egypt was ruled by all-powerful
Reading Focus Would you want your student body
president or your sports team captain to have unlimited
authority? Think what it would be like to have such a
leader as you read about the rulers of ancient Egypt.
Around 2600 B.C., the period known as
the Old Kingdom began in Egypt. The Old
Kingdom lasted until about 2300 B.C. During
those years, Egypt grew and prospered. The
Egyptians built cities and expanded trade,
and their kings set up a strong government.
The Egyptian kings, or pharaohs (FEHR
ohs) as they were called, lived with their fami-
lies in grand palaces. In fact, the word pharaoh
originally meant “great house.” The pharaoh
was an all-powerful ruler who guided Egypt’s
every activity. His word was law, and it had to
be obeyed without question.
Pharaohs appointed many officials to
carry out their wishes. These officials saw to
it that irrigation canals and grain store-
houses were built and repaired. They made
sure that crops were planted as the pharaoh
directed. They also controlled trade and col-
lected tax payments of grain from farmers.
Why did Egyptians willingly serve the
pharaoh? One reason was that they believed
the unity of the kingdom depended on a
strong leader. Another was that they consid-
ered the pharaoh to be the son of Re
(RAY), the
Egyptian sun god. As a result, his subjects
paid him the greatest respect. Whenever he
appeared in public, people played music on
flutes and cymbals. Bystanders along the
road had to bow down and “smell the earth,”
or touch their heads to the ground.
The Egyptians thought their pharaoh
was a god on earth who controlled Egypt’s
welfare. He carried out certain rituals that
were thought to benefit the kingdom. For
example, he drove a sacred bull around
Memphis, the capital city. The Egyptians
believed this ceremony would keep the soil
rich and ensure good crops. The pharaoh
was also the first to cut ripe grain. Egyptians
believed this would bring a good harvest.
Why did the
pharaohs hold so much power?
The Great Sphinx, a huge statue with the head of a man
(perhaps a pharaoh) and the body of a lion, stands guard
outside the tomb of a pharaoh.
What did the word
pharaoh mean, and why was it used for Egypt’s rulers?
Sylvain Grandadam/Getty Images
047-052 Ch2 S2-824133 3/9/04 2:46 AM Page 48
Egypt’s Religion
The Egyptians believed in many gods
and goddesses and in life after death for the
Reading Focus Have you seen mummies in horror
movies? Maybe you’ve even wrapped yourself in strips
of cloth to be a mummy for a costume party. Keep read-
ing to find out how the ancient Egyptians made mum-
mies, and why.
Religion was deeply woven into
Egyptian culture. Like the people of
Mesopotamia, the ancient Egyptians wor-
shiped many deities (DEEuh teez), or gods
and goddesses. The Egyptians believed
these deities controlled the forces of nature
and human activities.
The main Egyptian god was the sun god
Re. This was probably because of Egypt’s
hot, sunny climate and the importance of
the sun for good harvests. Another major
god was Hapi (HAH pee), who ruled the
Nile River. The most important goddess was
Isis (EYE suhs). She represented the loyal
wife and mother, and she ruled over the
dead with her husband Osiris (ohSY ruhs).
Life After Death Unlike the Mesopota-
mians, who imagined a gloomy life after
death, the Egyptians took a hopeful view.
They believed that life in the next world
would be even better than life on Earth.
Following a long journey, the dead would
reach a place of peace and plenty.
One of the most important manuscripts
written in ancient Egypt was the Book of the
Dead. This was a collection of spells and
prayers that Egyptians studied to obtain life
after death. They believed that the god Osiris
would meet newcomers at the entrance to the
next world. If they had led good lives and
knew the magic spells, Osiris would grant
them life after death.
For centuries, Egyptians believed that
only the pharaohs and an elite few could
enjoy the afterlife. They also believed that
the pharaoh’s spirit needed a body to make
the journey to the afterlife. If the pharaoh’s
body decayed after death, his spirit would
be forced to wander forever. It was vital
that a pharaoh’s spirit reach the next world.
There, the pharaoh would continue to care
for Egypt.
To protect the pharaoh’s body, the
Egyptians developed a process called
(ihmBAHM ihng). First, priests
removed the body’s organs. A special salt,
natron, was then applied to the body, and it
was stored for a number of days to dry. After
this, the body was filled with spices and per-
fumes, then stitched closed. Next, it was
cleaned with oils and tightly wrapped with
CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt 49
During the embalming process, the pharaoh’s
body was placed on a special table. The chief
embalmer was dressed as Anubis, the god of
mummification. Why did the Egyptians
embalm the pharaoh’s body?
047-052 Ch2 S2-875047 9/7/06 8:37 PM Page 49
Egypt’s Religion
Egypt’s Religion
long strips of linen. The wrapped body was
known as a mummy (MUHmee). It was put
in several wooden coffins, one fitting inside
the other. The pharaoh was then ready for
burial in a tomb.
Egyptian Medicine In the course of
embalming the dead, the Egyptians learned
much about the human body. Egyptian doc-
tors used herbs and drugs to treat many dif-
ferent illnesses. They grew skilled at sewing
up cuts and setting broken bones.
Some doctors focused on treating par-
ticular parts of the body, becoming the
first specialists in medicine. Egyptians
also wrote the world’s first medical books
on scrolls of papyrus.
Identify Who were some
of the Egyptians’ main gods and goddesses?
The Pyramids
The Egyptians of the Old Kingdom built
huge stone pyramids as tombs for their pharaohs.
Reading Focus Do you think the Statue of Liberty or
the White House will still be here in 4,000 years? The
giant pyramids of Egypt have stood for about that long.
Read to find out how and why they were built.
No ordinary tomb would do for a
pharaoh of Egypt. Instead, the Egyptians
built mountainlike pyramids (PIHR uh
MIHDS) entirely of stone. These gigantic struc-
tures, the size of several city blocks, protected
the bodies of dead pharaohs from floods,
wild animals, and grave robbers. The pyra-
mids also held supplies that the pharaoh
might need in the spirit world, including
clothing, furniture, jewelry, and food.
In this painting, the god Osiris (seated at right) watches
as other animal-headed gods weigh a dead man’s soul
and record the results. The scales have balanced, so the
dead man may enter the underworld.
What was the
Book of the Dead?
50 CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt
(t)The British Museum, (b)Musee du Louvre, Paris/Explorer/SuperStock
047-052 Ch2 S2-824133 3/9/04 2:48 AM Page 50
How Was a Pyramid Built? It took thou-
sands of people and years of backbreaking
labor to build a pyramid. Most of the work
was done by farmers during the Nile floods,
when they could not tend their fields. In
addition, surveyors, engineers, carpenters,
and stonecutters lent their skills.
Each pyramid sat on a square base, with
the entrance facing north. To determine
true north, the Egyptians studied the heav-
ens and developed principles of astron-
omy. With this knowledge, they invented a
365-day calendar with 12 months grouped
into 3 seasons. This calendar became the
basis for our modern calendar.
To determine the amount of stone needed
for a pyramid, as well as the angles necessary
for the walls, the Egyptians made advances
in mathematics. They invented a system of
written numbers based on 10. They also cre-
ated fractions, using them with whole num-
bers to add, subtract, and divide.
After the pyramid site was chosen,
workers went wherever they could find
stone—sometimes hundreds of miles away.
Skilled artisans used copper tools to cut the
stone into huge blocks. Other workers tied
the blocks to wooden sleds and pulled
them to the Nile over a path “paved” with
logs. Next, they loaded the stones onto
barges that were floated to the building
site. There, workers unloaded the blocks
and dragged or pushed them up ramps to
be set in place.
Ancient Egyptians buried their kings within
large stone buildings called pyramids.
Air Shaft
King's Burial Chamber The king's mummified
body was placed in a room at the pyramid's center.
Grand Gallery This tall, sloping hall held large
granite blocks that sealed the tomb.
Queen's Burial Chamber This chamber held a
statue of the king, not the queen's body.
Underground Burial Chamber Sometimes kings
were buried here instead.
Queen's Pyramids These smaller pyramids are
believed to be tombs for the king's wives.
Mastaba These tombs surrounding the pyramids
held royal family members and other nobles.
Valley Temple This temple may have been used
for rituals before the king was buried.
Inside a Pyramid
Inside a Pyramid
047-052 Ch2 S2-824133 3/9/04 2:49 AM Page 51
Reading Summary
Review the
The all-powerful rulers of Egypt,
called pharaohs, were believed to
be related to Egypt’s main god.
The Egyptians believed in many
gods and goddesses. They also
believed in life after death for the
pharaoh, whose body would be
mummified before burial.
The pyramids, built as huge stone
tombs for the pharaohs, required
many years and thousands of
workers to construct.
1. How was stone for a pyramid
transported to the building site?
2. What did Egyptians learn from
embalming bodies?
Critical Thinking
Organize Information
a diagram like the one below.
Fill in details about the
pharaohs of the Old Kingdom
and their duties.
Math/Science Link How did
the building of the pyramids
lead to advances in science and
Compare and Contrast
How did the Egyptians’ reli-
gious beliefs compare to those
of the Mesopotamians?
Persuasive Writing Suppose
you are an Egyptian pharaoh
who wants a pyramid built to
house your tomb. Write a letter
to the farmers and workers in
your kingdom explaining why it
is their duty to build the pyra-
mid for you.
What Did You Learn?
Study Central™ Need help with the
material in this section? Visit jat.glencoe.com
52 CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt
The Great Pyramid About 2540 B.C., the
Egyptians built the largest and grandest of
the pyramids known as the Great Pyramid.
It is located about 10 miles from the mod-
ern city of Cairo. This pyramid, built for
King Khufu (KOOfoo), is one of three still
standing in Giza on the west bank of the
Nile. It rises nearly 500 feet (153 m) above
the desert, covers an area about the size of
nine football fields, and contains more than
2 million stone blocks. Each block weighs an
average of 2.5 tons.
The Great Pyramid was the tallest struc-
ture in the world for more than 4,000 years.
It is equal to the size of a 48-story building
and is the largest of about 80 pyramids
found in Egypt. The Great Pyramid is truly
a marvel because the Egyptians built it
without using beasts of burden, special
tools, or even the wheel.
What was the pur-
pose of pyramids?
The pyramid shown above is that of King
Khafre, son of Khufu. Although smaller than the
Great Pyramid, Khafre’s pyramid was built on
higher ground so as to appear taller.
how tall is the Great Pyramid?
John Heaton/CORBIS
047-052 Ch2 S2-824133 3/17/05 11:38 AM Page 52
In this story, a prince must avoid
three types of animals because it
was predicted that one of them
would kill him. The people who
love him try to prevent him from
coming into contact with the
animals, but the prince does not
want to live in fear.
Before You Read
The Scene: This story takes place in ancient times in Egypt and in an area
that is now Iraq.
The Characters: The first characters introduced are the king of Egypt, his
son, and the seven Hathor goddesses, who predict the prince’s death. When
the prince travels, he meets Chief of Naharín and his daughter.
The Plot: For many years, the king of Egypt protects his son from the death
that was predicted for him. The prince convinces his father to let him travel.
He meets a princess, and together they try to prevent his fate.
Vocabulary Preview
destiny: an already-determined
course of events
ferried: carried by boat
enchant: to cast a spell
on something
fugitive: a person who runs
away or escapes
folly: a foolish action
vessel: a container
exalting: praising
Translated by Lise Manniche
053-058 CH2 WL-824133 3/13/04 2:28 AM Page 53
seven Hathor goddesses:
goddesses who visited newborn
children to discover their fates
As You Read
This is one of the world’s oldest known fairy tales. It was written in
hieroglyphics more than 3,000 years ago. The places in the tale are real,
and the prince and princess may have been based on real people, as well.
The ancient Egyptians often made important people the main characters
in their stories.
There once was a king of Egypt who had no sons at all. So the king
asked the gods of his time for a son and they decided that he should
have one....
The seven Hathor goddesses
came to decide the boy’s fate and
they declared, “He is destined to be killed by a crocodile or a snake
or a dog.”
The people who were at the boy’s side heard this. They reported
it to the king and his heart grew sad.
The king had a house of stone built for the boy at the edge of the
desert, supplied with servants and with all sorts of good things from
the palace, for the child was not to go outside. There the boy grew up.
One day he climbed up to the roof of the house and saw a dog
following a man, who was walking along the road.
“What is that?” he asked his servant.
053-058 CH2 WL-824133 3/13/04 2:29 AM Page 54
“It’s a dog,” the servant replied.
“Let me have a dog like that,” the boy
The servant reported this to the king
and the king said, “His heart is sad. Let
him have a bounding little puppy.”
So they gave the boy a dog.
In time, the young prince grew
restless and he sent a message to his
father, saying, “Why should I stay here
doing nothing? After all, my destiny has
been determined. Allow me to do as I
wish until I meet my fate.”
The king replied saying “Let a
be prepared for him, equipped
with all sorts of weapons, and assign a
servant to accompany him.
So they did as the king commanded
and gave him all that he needed. Then they
ferried him across the Nile to the east bank
and said to him, “Now go as you wish.
And the dog was with him.
The prince traveled as he pleased
northwards across the desert, living on
the best of all desert game.
Thus he came to the realm of the
Chief of Naharín,
who had no children—
except one daughter. He had built a house
for her with a window seventy cubits
from the ground.
The Chief of Naharín then sent for
all the sons of all the chiefs of Kharu,
saying, “He who can jump up to the
window of my daughter shall have her for
his wife.
The sons of all the chiefs had been
trying to reach the window each day for
many days when the prince passed by
They took the prince to their house,
and they bathed him, they rubbed him
with oil, and they bandaged his feet. They
gave fodder
to his horses and food to his
servant. They did everything for the
young man.
And to start a conversation, they said,
“Where do you come from, you
handsome youth?”
“I am the son of a chariot officer from
Egypt. My mother died and my father
took another wife. My stepmother grew
to hate me and I have fled her.
They welcomed him and kissed him.
chariot: a two-wheeled, horse-drawn car
Naharín: an area east of the Euphrates
River in present-day Iraq
cubits: units of length based on the length
of the arm from the elbow to the fingertips
Kharu: an area in present-day Syria
fodder: food for cattle, horses, and sheep
053-058 CH2 WL-824133 7/26/04 2:55 PM Page 55
Several days later the prince asked the
youths, “What are you doing here in
“The past three months we have
spent each day jumping, for the Chief of
Naharín will give his daughter to the one
who reaches her window,” they said.
“Oh, if only I could enchant my feet, I
would jump with you,” said the prince.
The youths went off to jump, as it was
their daily custom, while the prince stood
at a distance, watching.
From her window the daughter of the
Chief of Naharín gazed at him.
At last, when many days had passed,
the prince joined the sons of the chiefs.
He jumped and he reached the window
of the daughter of the Chief of Naharín.
She embraced him and she kissed him.
A messenger went to inform her father.
“One of the young men has reached
the window of your daughter,” the
messenger said.
“Whose son is it?” the Chief of
Naharín inquired.
“He is the son of a chariot officer from
Egypt. He has fled from his stepmother.
The Chief of Naharín grew very
angry. “Am I to give my daughter to a
fugitive from Egypt? Send him home!”
“You must go back where you came
from,” the messenger said to the prince.
But the princess clung to the prince,
and she swore, “As Re lives, if they take
him from me, I will not eat, I will not
drink, I will die within the hour!”
When the messenger had reported
everything she had said to her father, her
father sent men to kill the prince then and
Again the princess swore, “As Re lives,
if they kill him, I shall die before sunset. I
will not live an hour more than he!”
They repeated this to her father, and
the Chief of Naharín had the prince and
his daughter brought before him.
The young man impressed the Chief,
who welcomed him and kissed him and
said, “Now you are like my own son. Tell
me about yourself.
“I am the child of a chariot officer from
Egypt,” said the young man, “My mother
died and father took another wife. She
grew to hate me, and I have fled from her.”
The Chief of Naharín gave his
daughter to the prince, and he gave him a
house and fields and herds and
everything they needed.
053-058 CH2 WL-824133 3/13/04 2:32 AM Page 56
When they had lived together for
some time, the young man told his wife,
“I know my fate. I shall be killed by one
of three: a crocodile or a snake or a dog.
“Then,” she said, “the dog that follows
you everywhere must be killed.
“That would be folly,” he replied. “I
will not have the dog killed for I have had
it ever since it was a puppy.”
So his wife began to watch over him
closely, and she did not allow him to go
out alone.
It so happened that on the very day
the prince had arrived in Naharín, the
crocodile, his fate, began to follow him. It
caught up with him in the town where the
prince lived with his wife.
But there in the lake was a giant who
would not let the crocodile out, and so
the crocodile refused to let the giant out.
For three whole months they had been
fighting all day long, beginning each day
at sunrise.
The prince spent many pleasant days
in his house, and in the evenings when
the breeze died down, he went to bed.
One evening when sleep had overcome
him, his wife filled a vessel with wine and
another with beer. Then she sat down
beside him, but she did not sleep.
A snake came out of its hole
intending to bite the prince, but the
vessels tempted it and the snake drank
from them, got drunk and rolled over on
its back to sleep.
His wife chopped the snake in three
pieces with her axe. Then she roused her
husband and said to him, “See, your god
has placed one of your fates in your
hands. He is protecting you.
The prince made offerings to his god
Re, adoring him and exalting his power
each day that passed.
After some time, the prince went for a
stroll around his estate. His wife stayed at
home, but his dog followed him.
Suddenly the dog turned on him and
the prince fled from it.
He ran to the edge of the lake and
jumped into water to escape the dog, but
there the crocodile seized him and
dragged him off to find the giant.
053-058 CH2 WL-824133 7/26/04 3:01 PM Page 57
“I am pursuing you, for I am your fate,” said the crocodile.
“Listen, for three whole months I have been fighting with the giant.
I will let you go now if you will take my side and kill the giant
when he returns to fight.”
So the prince waited by the water all that night, and when
dawn broke and a second day began, the giant returned.
The giant began to fight the crocodile at once, but the
prince stepped forward with his scimitar
in his hand.
He cut out the heart of the giant and the giant died.
At that very moment the dog sneaked up
behind the prince. It attacked him and tore
him to bits and spread the pieces all about.
When the prince failed to return, his wife set
out to look for him. After seven days and seven
nights in search for him, she came upon his remains.
She collected all the pieces of her husband’s body
and put them back together again—except for his heart.
That she placed in a lotus flower which was blooming on the water.
Lo and behold, the prince reappeared as he had been before.
From that day on the prince and princess lived together happily
until they crossed over to the fields of the blessed.
1. How did the prince’s father and wife try to protect him?
2. How would this story be different if it were told from the
point of view of the prince?
3. Evaluating Information Do you think the prince paid
enough attention to the goddesses’ warning? Why or why
not? Support your opinion with examples.
4. Drawing Conclusions Why do you think the prince lied to
the Chief of Naharín about his parents?
5. Read to Write Suppose you are the prince,
captive in the stone house, or the princess, captive in the
tower. Write three diary entries about your daily life, your
feelings about being kept away from society, and your hopes
for the future.
Responding to the Reading
scimitar (SIH muh tuhr): a long sword with a curved blade
053-058 CH2 WL-824133 3/13/04 2:35 AM Page 58
c. 2050 B.C.
Middle Kingdom
c. 1500 B.C.
Queen Hatshepsut
c. 1279 B.C.
Ramses II takes
the throne
2400 B.C. 1600 B.C. 800 B.C.
2400 B.C. 1600 B.C. 800 B.C.
CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt 59
What’s the Connection?
During the Old Kingdom,
Egyptians established their civilization.
During the Middle Kingdom and the
New Kingdom, Egypt’s powerful
pharaohs expanded the empire by
conquering other lands.
Focusing on the
The Middle Kingdom was a golden age
of peace, prosperity, and advances in
the arts and architecture.
(page 60)
During the New Kingdom, Egypt
acquired new territory and reached
the height of its power.
(page 61)
Akhenaton tried to change Egypt’s
religion, while Tutankhamen is
famous for the treasures found in his
(page 64)
Under Ramses II, Egypt regained
territory and built great temples, but
the empire fell by 1150
B.C. (page 65)
Locating Places
Thebes (THEEBZ)
Meeting People
Ahmose (AHMOHS)
Hatshepsut (hatSHEHPsoot)
Thutmose III (thootMOHsuh)
Akhenaton (AHK NAHtuhn)
Building Your Vocabulary
tribute (TRIHbyoot)
incense (IHNSEHNS)
Reading Strategy
Categorizing Information Create
a diagram to show the major
accomplishments of Ramses II.
059-067 Ch2 S3-824133 10/14/04 5:17 PM Page 59
The Middle Kingdom
The Middle Kingdom was a golden age
of peace, prosperity, and advances in the arts and
Reading Focus Have you heard older people talk
about enjoying their “golden years”? Countries can also
experience such happy, productive times. In the fol-
lowing paragraphs, you’ll learn why the Middle
Kingdom was a golden age for Egypt.
About 2300 B.C., the pharaohs lost con-
trol of Egypt as nobles battled one another
for power. Almost 200 years of confusion
followed. Finally, a new dynasty of
pharaohs came to power. They moved their
capital south from Memphis to a city called
Thebes (THEEBZ). There they restored order
and stability, ushering in a new period
called the Middle Kingdom.
The Middle Kingdom lasted from about
2050 B.C. to 1670 B.C. During this time,
Egyptians enjoyed a golden age of stability,
prosperity, and achievement.
The Drive for More Land During the
Middle Kingdom, Egypt took control of
new lands. Soldiers captured Nubia to the
south and attacked what is now Syria. The
conquered peoples sent tribute (TRIH
byoot), or forced payments, to the Egyptian
pharaoh, enriching the kingdom. Within
Egypt, the pharaohs added more waterways
and dams. They increased the amount of
land being farmed and built a canal between
the Nile River and the Red Sea.
The Arts Blossom During the Middle
Kingdom, arts, literature, and architecture
thrived. Painters covered the walls of tombs
and temples with colorful scenes of the
deities and daily life. Sculptors created large
wall carvings and statues of the pharaohs,
showing them as ordinary people rather
than godlike figures. Poets wrote love
songs and tributes to the pharaohs.
A new form of architecture was also
created. Instead of building pyramids,
pharaohs had their tombs cut into cliffs
west of the Nile River. This area became
known as the Valley of the Kings.
Who Were the Hyksos? The Middle
Kingdom came to an end in 1670 B.C.
Nobles were again plotting to take power
from the pharaohs. This time, however,
Egypt also faced a serious threat from out-
side. A people known as the Hyksos (HIHK
SAHS), from western Asia, attacked Egypt.
60 CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt
This artwork with gold inlay from the Middle
Kingdom period shows a funeral boat. How did
architecture change during the Middle Kingdom?
Web Activity Visit jat.glencoe.com
and click on Chapter 2Student Web Activity to
learn more about ancient Egypt.
Gianni Dagli Orti/CORBIS
059-067 Ch2 S3-824133 3/9/04 3:18 AM Page 60
Today, millions of people use
computer icons as symbols for words
and even emotions in e-mails and
other electronic communication.These
icons are pictures—such as flags or paper
clips—that represent other things. In what way
are hieroglyphs and computer icons similar?
Hieroglyphs and Computer Icons
The ancient Egyptian system of writing was
made up of hundreds of different characters called
hieroglyphs. Each hieroglyph was a picture that
represented a word. For example, a large circle
with a smaller circle drawn in its center
meant “sun.” Egyptian scribes carved
hieroglyphic symbols on monuments and
used them for everyday communication.
Computer icons
CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt 61
The Hyksos were mighty warriors. They
crossed the desert in horse-drawn chariots
and used weapons made of bronze and
iron. Egyptians had always fought on foot
with copper and stone weapons. They were
no match for the invaders.
The Hyksos ruled Egypt for about 120
years. Then, around 1550 B.C., an Egyptian
prince named Ahmose (AHM OHS) led an
uprising that drove the Hyksos out of
Who were the
The New Kingdom
During the New Kingdom, Egypt acquired
new territory and reached the height of its power.
Reading Focus Do you know the names of any
women who hold political office? In ancient civiliza-
tions, women rarely held positions of power. Read to
learn how a woman became ruler of Egypt.
Ahmose’s reign in Egypt began a period
known as the New Kingdom. During this
time, from about 1550 B.C. to 1080 B.C., Egypt
reached the height of its ancient glory.
(l)Smithsonian Institution, (r)file photo
059-067 Ch2 S3-875047 9/7/06 8:42 PM Page 61
A Woman Ruler About 1473 B.C., a queen
named Hatshepsut (hatSHEHP soot) came
to power in Egypt. She ruled first with her
husband and then, after his death, on behalf
of her young nephew. Finally she made
herself pharaoh. Hatshepsut became one of
the few women to rule Egypt.
Hatshepsut was more interested in
trade than conquest. During her reign,
Egyptian traders sailed along the east coast
of Africa. They exchanged beads, metal
tools, and weapons for gold, ivory, ebony,
and incense
(IHNSEHNS), a material burned
for its pleasant smell.
Another product Egyptians wanted was
wood. The Nile Valley had few trees, and the
Egyptians needed wood for boats and other
items. The search for wood took Egyptian
traders to the eastern Mediterranean, where
Lebanon is located today. The region had
many trees, and its people, called the
Phoenicians, were famous for their wooden
Trading brought great wealth to Egypt.
Hatshepsut used some of this wealth to
build monuments. One of her greatest proj-
ects was a huge temple and tomb in the
limestone cliffs of the Valley of the Kings.
Expanding the Empire When Hatshepsut
died, her nephew, Thutmose III (thoot
MOH suh), became pharaoh. Thutmose’s
armies expanded Egypt’s borders north to
the Euphrates River in Mesopotamia. His
troops also moved south and regained
control of Nubia, which had broken free
from Egypt earlier.
Thutmose’s empire grew rich from
trade and tribute. In addition to claiming
gold, copper, ivory, and other valuable
goods from conquered peoples,
Egypt enslaved many prisoners of
war. These unfortunate captives
were put to work rebuilding
Thebes. They filled the city with
beautiful palaces, temples, and
Slavery had not been widespread in
Egypt before. During the New Kingdom,
however, it became common. Enslaved peo-
ple did have some rights. They could own
land, marry, and eventually be granted
their freedom.
Egyptian trade during the rule of Hatshepsut.
62 CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt
300 km
300 mi.0
Lambert Azimuthal
Equal-Area projection
Mediterrranean Sea
Egyptian Kingdoms
During the Middle Kingdom, the capital of
Egypt moved from Memphis to Thebes.
1. Which kingdom included lands across the
Mediterranean Sea?
2. What physical feature makes up much of the
eastern border of the Middle Kingdom?
Old Kingdom
Land added during Middle Kingdom
Land added during New Kingdom
059-067 Ch2 S3-875047 9/12/06 4:30 PM Page 62
Reigned 1473–1458
Hatshepsut was the daughter of King Thutmose I
and Queen Aahmes. Even as a young princess, she
was confident, describing herself as “exceedingly
good to look upon ...a beautiful maiden” who
was “serene [peaceful] of nature.” During her
marriage to King Thutmose II, Hatshepsut
influenced her husband’s decisions and hoped
to someday have more power. She saw an
opportunity when Thutmose died and
declared herself pharaoh.
Because the position of pharaoh was
usually passed from father to son,
Hatshepsut had to prove that she was a
good leader. She often wore men’s clothing
to convince the people that she could
handle what had always been a man’s job.
Unlike other pharaohs, Hatshepsut avoided
military conquests. She focused her attention
instead on expanding Egypt’s economy. She restored
Egypt’s wealth through trade with Africa and Asia.
Returning home from trading expeditions, cargo ships were loaded
with ebony, gold, ivory, incense, and myrrh. During her reign, Hatshepsut also
rebuilt many of Egypt’s great temples, including the temple at Karnak. In her
temple at Deir el Bahri, the reliefs on the walls recorded the major events of
Hatshepsut’s reign.
Hatshepsut’s 21-year reign was peaceful, but her stepson, Thutmose III, was
plotting against her. He overthrew Hatshepsut and her government.
It is unknown how Hatshepsut died, but
after her death, Thutmose III ordered
that the reliefs and statues in
Hatshepsut’s temple be destroyed.
A dictator excellent
of plans”
—Egyptian scribe quoted in
Barbarian Tides
Make a list of Hatshepsut’s strengths as a
leader. Then choose a present-day female
leader and list her leadership strengths. Write a
paragraph comparing their similarities and
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift,1929 (29.3.3)
059-067 Ch2 S3-824133 3/17/05 11:40 AM Page 63
Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY
Cats in Ancient Egypt In ancient
Egypt, cats were loved and even
worshiped. Egyptians valued the ability
of wild cats to protect villages’ grain
supplies from mice and rats. Over
several hundred years, cats became
tame, and their role developed from
valued hunter to adored
family pet to goddess.
In ancient Egyptian
tombs, archaeologists
have found many wall
paintings, carvings, and
statues of cats. Often the
statues were adorned with
beautiful jewelry, such as
silver or gold earrings, nose
rings, and collars. When an
Egyptian family’s cat
died, its owners
shaved their
eyebrows to show
their grief and had the
cat’s body mummified.
Egyptians worshiped
cats because they
associated them with the
goddess Bastet. She represented
motherhood, grace, and beauty, and
often appears in paintings and statues
as a woman with the head of a cat.
The Legacies of Two Pharaohs
Akhenaton tried to change Egypt’s
religion, while Tutankhamen is famous for the
treasures found in his tomb.
Reading Focus If you ask people to name an
Egyptian pharaoh, the answer you’re likely to get is
“King Tut.” Read on to find out more about him and his
About 1370 B.C., Amenhotep IV (AH
muhnHOHTEHP) came to the throne. With
the help of his wife, Nefertiti (NEHF uhr
TEETee), Amenhotep tried to lead Egypt in
a new direction.
A Religious Reformer Amenhotep real-
ized that Egypt’s priests were gaining
power at the expense of the pharaohs. In
an attempt to maintain his own power,
Amenhotep introduced a new religion
that swept away the old gods and god-
desses. Instead, only one god, called Aton
(AH tuhn), was to be worshiped. When
Egypt’s priests resisted these changes,
Amenhotep removed many from their
positions, seized their lands, and closed
temples. He then changed his name to
Akhenaton (AHK NAHtuhn), which means
“Spirit of Aton.” He began ruling Egypt from
a new city.
To most Egyptians, Akhenaton’s attacks
on the gods seemed to be an attack on
Egypt itself. They refused to accept Aton as
the only god. Meanwhile, Akhenaton
became so devoted to his new religion that
he neglected his duties as pharaoh. The
administrators he appointed were not as
experienced as the priests they replaced,
and Akhenaton took no action when ene-
mies from what is now Turkey, the Hittites,
attacked Egypt. As a result, Egypt lost most
of its lands in western Asia, greatly shrink-
ing the empire.
as a cat
Connecting to the Past
1. Why did ancient Egyptians first value cats?
2. With what goddess did the ancient
Egyptians associate cats?
059-067 Ch2 S3-824133 3/9/04 3:26 AM Page 64
The Boy King When Akhenaton died, his
son-in-law inherited the throne. The new
pharaoh, Tutankhamen (TOO TANG KAH
muhn), was a boy about 10 years old. He
relied on help from palace officials and
priests, who convinced him to restore the
old religion. After ruling for only nine
years, Tutankhamen died unexpectedly. He
may have suffered a fall or been murdered;
no one is sure.
What is certain is that “King Tut,” as he is
nicknamed, played only a small role in
Egypt’s history. Why, then, is he the most
famous of all pharaohs? The boy king cap-
tured people’s imaginations after a British
archaeologist, Howard Carter, found his
tomb in A.D. 1922.
The tomb contained the king’s mummy
and incredible treasures, including a brilliant
gold mask of the young pharaoh’s face.
Carter’s find was a thrilling discovery,
because most royal tombs in Egypt were
looted by robbers long ago.
Why is
Tutankhamen so famous today?
The End of the New Kingdom
Under Ramses II, Egypt regained terri-
tory and built great temples, but the empire fell by
Reading Focus Egypt remained mighty for thou-
sands of years, but it finally fell to outsiders. Read to
learn about Egypt’s last great pharaoh and the empires
During the 1200s B.C., pharaohs
worked to make Egypt great again. The
most effective of these pharaohs was
Ramses II (RAM SEEZ). He reigned for a
remarkable 66 years, from 1279 B.C. to 1213
B.C. During this time, Egyptian armies
regained lands in western Asia and rebuilt
the empire. Ramses also launched an
ambitious building program, constructing
several major new temples.
gold mask
Temple of Karnak
CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt 65
(t)Egyptian National Museum, Cairo/SuperStock, (b)Gavin Hellier/Getty Images
059-067 Ch2 S3-824133 7/15/04 12:46 AM Page 65
Reigned 1279–1213
Ramses II began his military training at a very young
age. Ramses’ father, Seti I, allowed his 10-year-old son to
serve as a captain in his army. Seti also made his son
coruler of Egypt. By the time Ramses was crowned pharaoh
of Egypt, he was a great warrior and experienced leader.
Nine kings who ruled after Ramses II named themselves in
his honor. Many centuries later, archaeologists nicknamed
the pharaoh “Ramses the Great” because of his fame on the
battlefield, his construction and restoration of buildings and
monuments, and his popularity among the Egyptian people. His
subjects fondly called him “Sese,” an abbreviation of Ramses.
Ramses continued in his father’s footsteps by trying to
restore Egyptian power in Asia. In the early years of his reign,
he defeated forces in southern Syria and continuously battled
Egypt’s longtime enemy, the Hittites. Details about one costly
battle with the Hittites were carved on temple walls, showing
the Egyptians succeeding against great odds.
During his 66-year reign, Ramses II undertook a large-scale
building program. He could afford such an expensive plan because
Egypt was very prosperous during his reign. He restored the
Sphinx, completed the Temple of Karnak, and built himself a city
with four temples as well as beautiful gardens and orchards. He
is famous for the temple built at Abu Simbel. It was carved out
of a solid rock cliff and featured four huge statues of Ramses II,
two on each side of the doorway.
Ramses’ first wife, Queen Nefertari, died early in his reign.
Like other pharaohs, Ramses had many wives. Ramses II was
proud of his large family, which included more than 100
Statue of Ramses II
holding an offering
Coffin of Ramses II
“They all came bowing
down to him, to his
palace of life and
—hieroglyphic translation
by James B. Pritchard,
Ancient Near Eastern Texts
Use the Internet and your local library to learn
about Mount Rushmore, a monument in South
Dakota. Describe Mount Rushmore, and then
compare it to Ramses’ temple at Abu Simbel.
(t)Michael Holford, (b)O. Louis Mazzatenta/National Geographic Society Image Collection
059-067 Ch2 S3-824133 3/20/04 9:16 AM Page 66
Reading Summary
Review the
During the Middle Kingdom, Egypt
expanded its borders, and the arts
Under New Kingdom rulers,
Egypt built a strong empire and
expanded trade.
Akhenaton failed in his attempt
to create a new religion.
Tutankhamen ruled briefly but
gained fame because of treasures
found buried with him.
Ramses II was Egypt’s last great
pharaoh. In the 900s
B.C., Egypt
lost power to outside invaders.
1. What improvements did the
Middle Kingdom rulers make?
2. What purposes did temples
serve in Egypt?
Critical Thinking
3. Organizing Information
Create a chart like the one
below. Fill in details about
Egypt’s Middle Kingdom and
New Kingdom.
Evaluate What was unusual
about the reign of Hatshepsut?
Analyze How did Akhenaton
upset the traditional order?
Compare and Contrast
Describe the similarities and
differences between the rule of
Hatshepsut and Ramses II.
Expository Writing Which
of the rulers discussed in this
section do you think had the
greatest effect upon Egyptian
history? Write a short essay to
explain your answer.
What Did You Learn?
Study Central™ Need help with the
material in this section? Visit jat.glencoe.com
CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt 67
Why Were Temples Built? Under Ramses
II and other New Kingdom rulers, scores of
new temples rose throughout Egypt. Many
were built by enslaved people captured in
war. The most magnificent was Karnak at
Thebes. Its huge columned hall decorated
with colorful paintings still impresses visi-
tors today.
Unlike modern churches, temples, and
mosques, Egyptian temples did not hold
regular services. Instead, most Egyptians
prayed at home. They considered the tem-
ples as houses for the gods and goddesses.
Priests and priestesses, however, performed
daily temple rituals, washing statues of the
deities and bringing them food.
The temples also served as banks.
Egyptians used them to store valuable
items, such as gold jewelry, sweet-smelling
oils, and finely woven cloth.
Egypt’s Decline and Fall After Ramses II,
Egypt’s power began to fade. Later pharaohs
had trouble keeping neighboring countries
under Egyptian control. Groups from the
eastern Mediterranean attacked Egypt by sea,
using strong iron weapons. The Egyptians
had similar arms, but they paid dearly for
them because Egypt lacked iron ore.
By 1150 B.C., the Egyptians had lost their
empire and controlled only the Nile delta.
Beginning in the 900s B.C., Egypt came
under the rule of one outside group after
another. The first conquerors were the
Libyans from the west. Then in 760 B.C., the
people of Kush, a land to the south, seized
power and ruled Egypt for the next 70
years. Finally, in 670 B.C., Egypt was taken
over by the Assyrians.
What groups con-
quered Egypt starting in the 900s
Middle Kingdom New Kingdom
059-067 Ch2 S3-824133 3/17/05 11:42 AM Page 67
c. 750 B.C.
Kashta of
Kush conquers
part of Egypt
800 B.C. 700 B.C. 600 B.C. 500 B.C.
800 B.C. 700 B.C. 600 B.C. 500 B.C.
68 CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt
What’s the Connection?
In Sections 1, 2, and 3, you
learned about the rise and fall of
civilizations in ancient Egypt.
Another civilization in early Africa
was Kush. It was located near Egypt
and was very similar.
Focusing on the
To the south of Egypt, the Nubians
settled in farming villages and
became strong warriors.
(page 69)
The people of Kush devoted
themselves to ironworking and grew
wealthy from trade.
(page 70)
Locating Places
Nubia (NOObeeuh)
Kush (KUHSH)
Kerma (KARmuh)
Napata (NApuhtuh)
Mer (MEHRohee)
Meeting People
Kashta (KAHSHtuh)
Piye (PY)
Building Your Vocabulary
savanna (suhVA nuh)
Reading Strategy
Compare and Contrast Use a Venn
diagram like the one below to show
the similarities and differences
between Napata and Meroë.
728 B.C.
Piye of Kush
defeats Egyptians
c. 540 B.C.
Kush moves
capital to Meroë
068-072 Ch2 S4-824133 3/9/04 4:53 AM Page 68
CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt 69
In this wall painting, four Nubian princes offer rings and gold to an Egyptian ruler.
What kingdom was formed when more powerful Nubian villages took over weaker ones?
To the south of Egypt, the Nubians set-
tled in farming villages and became strong warriors.
Reading Focus Are you on good terms with your neigh-
bors? It’s not always easy—for individuals or countries.
Read on to find out about the Egyptians’ neighbors to the
south and the ways the two civilizations mixed.
The Egyptians were not alone in settling
along the Nile River. Farther south, in
present-day Sudan, another strong civiliza-
tion arose. This was in a region called
Nubia (NOObeeuh), later known as Kush
Historians do not know exactly when
people arrived in Nubia. Evidence suggests
that cattle herders arrived in about 2000 B.C.
They grazed their herds on the savannas
(suhVA nuhs), or grassy plains, that stretch
across Africa south of the Sahara. Later, peo-
ple settled in farming villages in Nubia. They
grew crops, but they were also excellent
hunters, skilled at using the bow and arrow.
Soon the Nubians began forming armies
known for their fighting skills.
The Kingdom of Kerma The more pow-
erful Nubian villages gradually took over
the weaker ones and created the kingdom
of Kerma (KAR muh). Kerma developed
close ties with Egypt to the north. The
Egyptians were happy to trade for Kerma’s
cattle, gold, ivory, and enslaved people.
They also admired Nubian skills in warfare
and hired Nubian warriors to fight in their
Kerma became a wealthy kingdom. Its
artisans made fine pottery, jewelry, and metal
goods. Like Egyptian pharaohs, the kings of
Kerma were buried in tombs that held pre-
cious stones, gold, jewelry, and pottery. These
items were as splendid as those found in
Egypt during the same period.
Egyptian Expedition of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Rogers Fund, 1930 (30.4.21)/The Metropolitan Museum of Art
068-072 Ch2 S4-824133 3/9/04 4:54 AM Page 69
Why Did Egypt Invade Nubia? As you
learned earlier, the Egyptian pharaoh
Thutmose III sent his armies into Nubia in
the 1400s B.C. After a 50-year war, the king-
dom of Kerma collapsed, and the Egyptians
took control of much of Nubia. They ruled
the Nubians for the next 700 years.
During this time, the people of Nubia
adopted many Egyptian ways. They began
to worship Egyptian gods and goddesses
along with their own. They learned how
to work copper and bronze and changed
Egyptian hieroglyphs to fit their own lan-
guage. As people and goods continued to
pass between Nubia and Egypt, the two
cultures mixed.
Where was Kush
The Rise of Kush
The people of Kush devoted them-
selves to ironworking and grew wealthy from trade.
Reading Focus Do you and your friends ever trade
video games or CDs? Trading may be a casual activity
for you, but it was very important to ancient peoples.
Read to find how Kush took advantage of its location
along an important trade route.
As Egypt declined at the end of the New
Kingdom, Nubians saw their chance to
break away. By 850 B.C., a Nubian group
had formed the independent kingdom of
Kush. For the next few centuries, powerful
Kushite kings ruled from the city of Napata
(NApuh tuh).
Napata was in a favorable location. It
stood along the upper Nile where trade
caravans crossed the river. Caravans soon
carried gold, ivory, valuable woods, and
other goods from Kush to Egypt.
70 CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt
300 km
300 mi.0
Lambert Azimuthal
Equal-Area projection
Mediterranean Sea
These Kushite pyramids
were much smaller and
had more steeply sloped
sides than Egyptian
pyramids. How else was
Meroë rebuilt to look
like an Egyptian city?
Kush Kingdom c. 250 B.C.
Kush developed along the Nile River to the
south of Egypt.
1. Which of Kush’s capital cities was closest to
2. Based on its location, where might trade that
passed through Kush have come from?
Timothy Kendall/Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
068-072 Ch2 S4-824133 3/9/04 4:56 AM Page 70
In time, Kush became rich enough and
strong enough to take control of Egypt.
About 750 B.C., a Kushite king named
Kashta (KAHSHtuh) headed north with a
powerful army. His soldiers began the
conquest of Egypt that his son Piye (PY)
completed in 728 B.C. Piye founded a
dynasty that ruled both Egypt and Kush
from Napata.
The kings of Kush greatly admired
Egyptian culture. In Napata they built
white sandstone temples and monuments
similar to those of the Egyptians. The
Kushites also built small pyramids in which
to bury their kings. The ruins of these pyra-
mids can still be seen today.
The Importance of Iron Kush’s rule in
Egypt did not last long. During the 600s B.C.,
the Assyrians invaded Egypt. Armed with
iron weapons, they drove the Kushites back
to their homeland in the south.
Despite their losses, the Kushites gained
something from the Assyrians—the secret
of making iron. The Kushites became the
first Africans to devote themselves to iron-
working. Soon, farmers in Kush were using
iron for their hoes and plows instead of
copper or stone. With these superior tools,
they were able to grow large amounts of
grain and other crops.
Kush’s warriors also began using iron
spears and swords, increasing their military
power. Meanwhile, traders from Kush car-
ried iron products and enslaved people as
far away as Arabia, India, and China. In
return, they brought back cotton, textiles,
and other goods.
A New Capital About 540 B.C., Kush’s rulers
left Napata and moved farther south to be
out of the Assyrians’ reach. In the city of
Meroë (MEHR oh ee), they set up a royal
court. Like Napata, the new capital had
access to the Nile River for trade and trans-
portation. The rocky desert east of Meroë,
however, contained rich deposits of iron
ore. As a result, Meroë became not only a
trading city but also a center for making
With their growing wealth, Kush’s
kings rebuilt Meroë to look like an
Egyptian city. Small pyramids stood in the
royal graveyard. A huge temple sat at the
end of a grand avenue lined with sculp-
tures of rams. Sandstone palaces and red-
brick houses had walls decorated with
paintings or blue and yellow tiles.
CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt 71
Selecting a
New King
When their king died, the Kushites asked
the god Amon-Re to appoint a new leader.
“[The Kushite officials said] ‘We have come to
you, O Amon-Re . . . that you might give to us
a lord. . . . That beneficent office [helpful task]
is in your hands—may
you give it to your son
whom you love!’
Then they offered the
king’s brothers before
this god, but he did not
take one of them. For a
second time there was
offered the king’s
brother . . . Aspalta . . .
[Amon-Re said] ‘He is
your king.’”
—author unknown,
c. 600
“The Selection of Aspalta
as King of Kush”
Do you think Aspalta was qualified to be
king? Why or why not?
Lion statue
in honor of
King Aspalta
Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York/Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund/Bridgeman Art Library
068-072 Ch2 S4-824133 3/9/04 4:58 AM Page 71
Reading Summary
Review the
In the Nile Valley to the south of
Egypt, the Nubians founded the
kingdom of Kerma and traded
with the Egyptians.
The Kushites set up a capital at
Meroë that became a center for
ironmaking and the base of a
huge trading network.
1. Who were the Nubians?
2. What were the Kushites’ most
important economic activities?
Critical Thinking
3. Sequencing Draw a diagram
to show events that led up to
the Kushite conquest of Egypt.
Geography Skills Why
was Napata’s location
Analyze How did the Kushite
kings demonstrate their admi-
ration for Egyptian culture?
Compare Describe the simi-
larities between Kush and
Persuasive Writing Create
an advertisement that could
have been used in ancient
Egypt and Kush to promote the
many uses of iron.
What Did You Learn?
Study Central™ Need help with the
material in this section? Visit jat.glencoe.com
72 CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt
Building a Profitable Trade Meroë became
the center of a huge trading network that
stretched north to Egypt’s border and south
into central Africa. Kush’s traders received
leopard skins and valuable woods from the
interior of Africa. They traded these goods,
along with enslaved workers and their own
iron products, to people throughout the
Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean area.
Kush remained a great trading power
for some 600 years. By the A.D. 200s, though,
the kingdom began to weaken. As Kush
declined, another kingdom rose to take its
place. The kingdom is called Axum and
was located in what is today the country of
Ethiopia. Around A.D. 350, the armies of
Axum burned Meroë to the ground. You
will read more about the kingdom of Axum
when you study Africa.
How did Kush
become a wealthy kingdom?
Kush Conquest
of Egypt
The Kushite king Taharqa
was one of the most
powerful leaders in
Nubian history. During
his reign, the kingdom
grew and prospered.
He built many large
temples in and
around Egypt
and Kush. What
kingdom replaced
Kushite King
Kushite King
Kushite king
068-072 Ch2 S4-824133 3/17/05 11:43 AM Page 72
The Egyptian Empire
The Civilization of Kush
The Nile Valley
Focusing on the
The Egyptian civilization began in the fertile Nile River valley, where natu-
ral barriers discouraged invasions.
(page 39)
The Egyptians depended on the Nile’s floods to grow their crops. (page 41)
Around 3100 B.C., Egypt’s two major kingdoms, Upper Egypt and Lower
Egypt, were combined into one.
(page 43)
Egyptian society was divided into social groups based on wealth and
(page 45)
Focusing on the
Egypt was ruled by all-powerful pharaohs. (page 48)
The Egyptians believed in many gods and goddesses
and in life after death for the pharaohs.
(page 49)
The Egyptians of the Old Kingdom built huge stone
pyramids as tombs for their pharaohs.
(page 50)
Focusing on the
The Middle Kingdom was a golden age of peace, prosperity,
and advances in the arts and architecture.
(page 60)
During the New Kingdom, Egypt acquired new territory
and reached the height of its power.
(page 61)
Akhenaton tried to change Egypt’s religion, while Tutankhamen
is famous for the treasures found in his tomb.
(page 64)
Under Ramses II, Egypt regained territory and built great
temples, but the empire fell by 1150
B.C. (page 65)
Focusing on the
To the south of Egypt, the Nubians settled in farming villages and became
strong warriors.
(page 69)
The people of Kush devoted themselves to ironworking and grew wealthy
from trade.
(page 70)
Egypt’s Old Kingdom
gold mask
Study anywhere, anytime!
Download quizzes and flash cards
to your PDA from glencoe.com
073-075 CH2 CRA-875047 9/7/06 9:03 PM Page 73
What Do You Predict?
Read these sentences from page 72.
As Kush declined, another kingdom rose to
take its place. The kingdom is called Axum
and was located in what is today the country
of Ethiopia. Around
A.D. 350, the armies of
Axum burned Meroë to the ground. You will
read more about the kingdom of Axum when
you study Africa.
20. Based on what you know about the loca-
tion of Ethiopia and the culture of Kush
and Egypt, predict what the kingdom of
Axum might be like. Check your predic-
tions when you read about medieval
To review this skill,see pages 36–37.
Section 2 • Egypt’s Old Kingdom
10. What were the Egyptians’ religious beliefs?
11. Where did Egyptians of the Old Kingdom
bury their pharaohs?
Section 3 • The Egyptian Empire
12. Why was the Middle Kingdom called a
golden age?
13. Why are Akhenaton and Tutankhamen
Section 4 • The Civilization of Kush
14. Where did the Nubians live?
15. What made the Kushites wealthy?
Critical Thinking
16. Describe Identify the four social groups
in ancient Egypt, and explain who
belonged to each group.
Synthesize How do you think religious
leaders reacted to Akhenaton’s changes?
Analyze Do you agree that Egyptian civi-
lization can be called “the Gift of the
Nile”? Explain.
Compare In what ways did Meroë look
like an Egyptian city?
Review Vocabulary
Match the definitions in the second column to
the terms in the first column. Write the letter of
each definition.
1. savanna a. area of fertile soil at
the end of a river
2. tribute b. reed plant used to
make baskets, rafts,
and paper
3. cataract c. grassy plain
4. delta d. rapids
5. hieroglyphics e. Egyptian writing
6. pharaoh f. forced payments
7. papyrus g. title for Egyptian
Review Main Ideas
Section 1 • The Nile Valley
8. What natural barriers protected Egypt
from invasion?
9. What factors divided Egyptians into social
74 CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt
073-075 CH2 CRA-824133 3/22/04 8:55 AM Page 74
100 km
Azimuthal Equidistant projection
100 mi.
Mediterranean Sea
Red Sea
Great Pyramid
and Sphinx
CHAPTER 2 Ancient Egypt 75
Ancient Egypt
The Greek historian Herodotus noticed
that the Nile was different from other
“The Nile, when it floods, spreads over not
only the Delta but parts of what are called
Libya and Arabia for two days’ journey in
either direction, more or less....This that I
have mentioned was the subject of my
persistent asking why, and also why it is
that it is the only river that has no breezes
blowing from it.”
—Herodotus, The History, 2.19
28. According to Herodotus, how much
land does the Nile cover when it
29. What two questions does Herodotus
ask about the Nile?
Geography Skills
Study the map below and answer the following
Location The Nile River delta empties
into what body of water?
Movement Why would ancient Egyptians
find it easier to travel north and south than
to travel east and west?
Human/Environment Interaction Why
is most farming in ancient Egypt and in
present-day Egypt done along the Nile?
Read to Write
24. Descriptive Writing Imagine you are an
ancient Egyptian pharaoh. You are making
plans that your followers will carry out
after your death. Describe the types of
items you want buried with you in your
pyramid. Then explain what people from
later centuries will know about you if they
find those items.
Using Your Use your foldable to
describe one of the civilizations from the
chapter, including such things as religious
life, family life, and contributions. A class-
mate should identify which civilization you
are describing. Then your classmate will
describe a civilization, and you will identify
it. When you are finished, discuss similari-
ties and differences among the civilizations.
Using Technology
26. Developing Multimedia Presentations
Use the Internet and your local library to
find out more about the reign of one of the
Egyptian pharaohs. Create a computer
slide show presentation that includes
details about the pharaoh’s reign and life.
Include an illustrated time line of significant
Linking Past and Present
27. Organizing Information Use the Internet
and atlases to locate present-day countries
that rely heavily on a major river. Make a
chart listing the country, the river, the
river’s length and average depth, and how
the people of that country use the river.
Self-Check Quiz To help prepare for the
Chapter Test, visit jat.glencoe.com
Nile Valley
073-075 CH2 CRA-824133 3/9/04 5:12 AM Page 75