2012/08/28

Predynastic Period

Pre Dynastic Egyptian Period (5,500 - 3,100 BC)

Scholars mark the beginning of the predynastic period somewhere between 6500 and 5000 BC when farmers first moved into the Nile valley from Western Asia, and the ending at approximately 3050 BC, when the dynastic rule of Egypt began. The period of Ancient Egypt history, which includes the period of Predynastic Egypt, stretches over 3000 years and encompasses hundreds of Pharaohs.




The Predynastic Period is divided into four separate phases: the Early Predynastic which ranges from the 6th to 5th millennium BCE (approximately 5500 - 4000 BCE), the Old Predynastic which ranges form 4500 to 3500 BCE (the time overlap is due to diversity along the length of the Nile), the Middle Predynastic which roughly goes form 3500 - 3200 BCE, and the Late Predynastic which takes us up to the First Dynasty at around 3100 BCE.

The Chalcolithic period, also called the "Primitive" Predynastic, marks the beginning of the true Predynastic cultures both in the north and in the south. The southern cultures, particularly that of the Badarian, were almost completely agrarian (farmers), but their northern counterparts, such as the Faiyum who were oasis dwellers, still relied on hunting and fishing for the majority of their diet. Predictably, the various craftworks developed along further lines at a rapid pace. Stoneworking, particularly that involved in the making of blades and points, reached a level almost that of the Old Kingdom industries that would follow.

Another important event that took place during this period was the discovery of a "Scorpion" tomb at Abydos. King Scorpion was believed to have ruled Upper Egypt and lived just before or during the rule of Narmer at Thinis

During the Predynastic Period Egyptians developed a written language and also came up with an institutionalised religion. They developed a settled, agricultural civilization along the fertile, dark soils (kemet or black lands) of the Nile (which involved the revolutionary use of the plough) during a period in which Northern Africa was becoming more arid and the edges of the Western and Saharan desert spread.

The known names of the Pharaohs who ruled during these dynasties of the Predynastic period are

1. Horus 'Scorpion' Pharoah
2. Horus Zekhen
3. Horus Ro
4. Horus Narmer "Catfish

During this era, hunting was no longer a major support for existence now that the Egyptian diet was made up of domesticated cattle, sheep, pigs and goats, as well as cereal grains such as wheat and barley. Artifacts of stone were supplemented by those of metal, and the crafts of basketry, pottery, weaving, and the tanning of animal hides became part of the daily life. The transition from primitive nomadic tribes to traditional civilization was nearly complete.

Ancient Egyptian Middle Kingdom

Running from the end of the first intermediate period to the start of the second, the Middle Kingdom lasted from about 2055-1650 B.C. The Middle Kingdom began with the reunification of the country under Mentuhotep I who ousted the kings of Herakleopolis

The rulers of Upper Egypt won, and they reunified the country about 2000 BC, with the capital first at Thebes in the south, and then at a new city just south of Memphis. The Pharaohs of this period are not as powerful as before. They show themselves as taking care of their people, instead of as god-kings as in the Old Kingdom.


 Ancient Egyptian Middle Kingdom


Ancient Egyptian Middle Kingdom


Ancient Egyptian Middle Kingdom


During the time period of the new kingdom, pharaohs were all powerful, and pharaohs were all buried in the same geographic area called the Valley of the Kings.

It was during this period that the written language was regularised in its classical form of Middle Egyptian. The first body of literary texts was composed in this form, although several are ascribed to Old Kingdom authors. The most important of these is the "Instruction for Merikare," a discourse on kingship and moral responsibility.

Trade flourished, arts and literature flourished. Egypt built strong armies to defend herself against her neighbors. During the time period of the middle kingdom, pharaohs were expected to be good kings and wise rulers. This period is marked by immense industrial development, building, literary masterpieces, and general prosperity in the country. Recognizing that the succession of the pharaoh was important to the continued stability of the country, this dynasty began a long series of co-regencies to facilitate the succession to the throne.

Several new fortifications were built under Senusret III (about 1872-1853 BC) to secure a slightly more southerly border at Semna in the Second Cataract; the king headed several campaigns against Nubia. Egypt's immediate interest in Nubia would have been its wealth in raw materials, such as gold and copper. Other materials desired by the Egyptians, such as hard wood and ivory, were traded through the region.

Mentuhotep II made military campaigns in Nubia, which Egypt had lost by the 1st Intermediate Period. So did Senusret I under whom Buhen became Egypt's southern border. Mentuhotep III was the first Middle Kingdom ruler to send an expedition to Punt for incense. He also built fortifications at Egypt's northeastern border. Senusret instituted the practice of building of monuments at every cult site and paid attention to the cult of Osiris.

First Intermediate Period

The era of Ancient Egypt history, which includes the time span of First Intermediate Period, stretches over 3000 years and encompasses hundreds of Pharaohs. It was a period after the Old Kingdom when Egypt was not ruled by a single government. It lasted between 110 and 200 years depending on which sources one trusts. The Old Kingdom appears to have ended towards the end of the 6th Dynasty, and the Middle Kingdom was founded when Upper and Lower Egypt were reunited during the 11th Dynasty: I will restrict the discussions to this period.



When Pepi II died, the authority of the central government broke down and the unity of Upper and Lower Egypt crumbled. Manetho claims that the Seventh Dynasty was composed of seventy Kings who ruled for seventy days. There is no evidence to support this unlikely situation, and it is generally thought that the statistic was not exact but instead used to express the chaotic nature of the period.

The 1st Intermediate Period is often characterized as chaotic and miserable, with degraded art -- a dark age. Barbara Bell hypothesized that the 1st Intermediate period was brought about by a prolonged failure of the annual Nile floods, leading to famine and collapse of the monarchy.

The 1st Intermediate Period also marks a wider spread of the Pharaonic culture throughout the country. During the Early Dynastic Period and the Old Kingdom, the typical Pharaonic culture had been limited to the royal court and the elite surrounding it. The 6th Dynasty policy of using local governors to increase the hold of the central government on the entire country started a process that would establish the Pharaonic culture beyond the royal court.

During the 1st Intermediate Period, cartonnage was developed. Cartonnage is the word for the gypsum and linen colored mask that covered the face of a mummy. Earlier, only the elite had been buried with specialized funerary goods. During the 1st Intermediate Period, more people were buried with such specialized products. This indicates that the provincial areas could afford non-functional craftsmen, something that only the pharaonic capital had done before.

However no more pyramids were built. Literary sources describe a time of anarchy, with noblemen and noblewomen working in the fields, men killing their parents, brothers fighting, and tombs being destroyed. Some people, like Brian Fagan, think this may have been brought on by a major climate change which brought drought conditions to Egypt.

Tomb inscriptions stress the independence of the individual, sometimes referring to local conflict. The use of funerary symbols and concepts previously reserved for the king shows that members of the élite could hope to reach the afterlife.

Late Period

Late Egyptian Period (ca. 672–332 B.C.)

The first king of Dynasty 30, Nectanebo I (380–362 B.C.), managed to repel a Persian attack shortly after he ascended the throne. The remaining years of his reign were fairly peaceful and were marked by an ambitious program of temple construction, which was continued on an even grander scale by Nectanebo II (360–343 B.C.). The latter king managed to hold off another Persian attack in 351 B.C., but in 343 B.C. a third attack succeeded, and Egypt fell once again to the Persians, who were defeated in turn by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.



Earlier historians saw it as period of decline, but it was in fact very mixed. During the Late Period, Egypt alternated between native rule and domination by Persia. Psammetichus I (Twenty-sixth Dynasty) used Greek mercenaries to seize power in the vacuum left by the withdrawal of both Assyria and the Kushite kings from Egypt.

Throughout the Late Period, Egypt made a largely successful effort to maintain an effectively centralized state, which, except for the two periods of Persian occupation (Twenty-seventh and Thirty-first dynasties), was based on earlier indigenous models. Late Period Egypt, however, displayed certain destabilizing features, such as the emergence of regionally based power centers.

Tombs were laid out like temples and decoration borrowed Old Kingdom themes and conventions. Although some aspects of statuary were archaising, new ideas were also introduced, such as a more naturalistic depiction of the individual.

After the fall of Assyria in 612 B.C., the major foreign threat to Egypt came from the Babylonians. Although Babylonia had invaded Egypt in 568 B.C. during a brief civil war, both countries formed a mutual alliance in 547 B.C. against the rising threat of a third power, the Persian empire—but to no avail. The Persians conquered Babylonia in 539 B.C. and Egypt in 525 B.C., bringing an end to the Saite dynasty and native control of Egypt.

Cambyses established himself as pharaoh and appears to have made some attempts to identify his regime with the Egyptian religious hierarchy. Egypt became a Persian province serving chiefly as a source of revenue for the far-flung Persian (Achaemenid) Empire.

Nectanebo II was the last native Pharaoh of Egypt and the Persians again took control with Artaxerxes III 343 - 338 B.C. who established the 31st dynasty which ended when the country was surrendered to Alexander the Great who set up the Ptolemaic dynasty in the Greco-Roman Period of Egyptian history

Early Dynastic Period of Egypt

The time period covering Early Dynastic Egypt is 3050 BC - 2686 BC.

It is generally taken to include the First and Second Dynasties, lasting from the Protodynastic Period of Egypt until 2686 BC, or the beginning of the Old Kingdom. With the First Dynasty, the capital moved from Abydos to Memphis where an Egyptian god-king ruled a now unified polity that extended from the Nile Delta to the first cataract at Aswan.




The Early Predynastic is otherwise known as the Badrian Phase -- named for the el-Badari region, and the Hammamia site in particular, of Upper Egypt. The equivalent Lower Egypt sites are found at Fayum (the Fayum A encampments) which are considered to be the first agricultural settlements in Egypt, and at Merimda Beni Salama. During this phase pottery was being made, often with quite sophisticated designs ( a fine polished red wear with blackened tops), and tombs were constructed from mud brick. Corpses were merely wrapped in animal hides.

King Menes aka Hor-Aha, is considered to be the founder of the first Dynasty who united Upper and Lower Egypt. It was during this period that the divine kingship became well established as Egypt's form of government, and with it, an entire culture that would remain virtually unchanged for the next 3000 or more years. Writing evolved from a few simple signs mainly used to denote quantities of substances and their provenance, to a complex system of several hundreds of signs with both phonetic and ideographic values.

A very important change that marks the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period is the rise of urbanism. Inhabitants of small settlements throughout the country abandoned their homes and moved to larger communities and cities. Several key factors, that could vary from region to region, have influenced this process of urbanization.

Evidence of temples or shrines from Predynastic and early Dynastic times are scant, except for some material from Abydos and Hierakonpolis. Shrines seems to have consisted of a matting of woven reeds attached to a wooden framework. Naturally these things have perished through time, but hieroglyphic texts, cylinder seals and ebony and ivory tablets from the Archaic Period show representations of early shrines.

According to the historian Manetho, the first king was Menes (likely reign circa 3100–3050 BC). However, the earliest recorded king of the First Dynasty was Hor-Aha (reign c. 3050–3049 BC), and the first king to claim to have united the two lands was Narmer (the final king of the Protodynastic Period). Funeral practices for the peasants would have been the same as in Predynastic times, but the rich demanded something more. Thus, the Egyptians began construction of the mastabas which became models for the later Old Kingdom constructions such as the Step pyramid.

Ancient Egyptian Swords

Throughout history, the sword plays an important role in the loss or loss of combat range. This weapon was introduced at the beginning of the New Kingdom in Egypt. Egyptian swords were inferior to other swords invented in other places. According to archaeological data, the Egyptians did not actually use swords much at all - at least not for military purposes (but quite long daggers / short swords were fairly common in civil and political life).


After the collapse of the central government in Egypt because of internal rebellion, the people of Palestine Hyksos took this instability and invaded Egypt around 1640BC. They ruled Egypt for over 200 years and brought with them tremendous progress in making weapons, particularly the use of metal in the manufacture of swords and knives. There is no stone predecessors of this type of weapon. Axes, arrows and spears have a long wooden handle or shaft, and a small cutting or drilling head that was shaped during Neolithic flint. Unlike other weapons used by the ancient Egyptians, the swords were a direct consequence of the introduction of metal.


Swords had short sleeves made of wood or ivory and long cutting edges, which could only be obtained with a harder metal than copper. Bronze, easier to cast than copper and much more difficult, was first used to make swords. Bronze, easier to cast than copper and much more difficult, was first used to make swords. His natural temperament could be further increased by repeated heating and cooling and hammering. Sickle-shaped swords (originally inherited from the Sumerians) were gradually replaced by swords with a slightly curved blade.


"Peoples of the sea", the invaders of the Aegean and Asia Minor who first attacked Egypt during the reign of Merenptah (1213-1202BC), also introduced straight, two-edged sharp blades points stab. The New Empire infantry carried spears, battle axes, sickles and words daggers. A guy at the beginning of the sword was khepesh Khopesh or a word sickles introduced in Egypt during the early New Kingdom Levant, when the Egyptians came into contact with the Canaanites. He was short, had a curved blade, and was used for slashing. He went out of fashion during the 19th dynasty.


Khopesh - Sword cruelly curved sickle adopted Canaanites, which was used to execute their enemies en masse, as an infantry weapon and as a symbol of the authority of their masters.
The Ancient Egyptian sword could be used to cut / slice or with a knife. Cutting blades on a sword was bent wider. Swords stabbing were both sharp and light.Ancient Egyptian SwordsAll these swords have a strap to keep cestuses. While the situation has passed, the Egyptians began to use iron, therefore, could be thinner swords lighter and stronger. This has created a better opportunity to be palm supremacy of close of sophistication. Quotas have been issued with one of these two types of sword and used accordingly.


Ancient Egypt Monotheism

The Egyptian Book of the Dead demonstrates that the Egyptian people originally believed in one great God and not many.

Maspero admitted that the Egyptians applied the epithets, "one God" and "only God" to several gods, even when the god was associated with a goddess and a son, but he adds "ce dieu Un n'etait jamais DIEU tout court"; the "only god" is the only god Amen, or the only god Ptah, or the only god Osiris, that is to say, a being determinate possessing a personality, name, attributes, apparel, members, a family, a man infinitely more perfect than men.

Ancient Egypt Monotheism



Akhenaten showed no interest in promulgating his faith -- not until it became to his political advantage to do so. Akhenaten raised Aten to the position of sole god, bringing monotheism to Egypt. He and his family are frequently shown worshipping Aten by reaching out to him.

The time leading up to Akhenaten showed "a progressive increase" in the regard for the sun god, and a view of Re as a universal god. The 18th dynasty saw a rise of "Heliopolitan" cults and a "solarization" of the principal gods of Egypt.

Akhenaten's monotheism, in line with this view, was neither evangelical nor exclusive.

The Ancient Egyptian definition of Ra is the perfect representation of the Unity that comprises the putting together of the many diverse entities, i.e. The One Who is the All. The Litany of Ra describes the aspects of the creative principle: being recognized as the neteru (gods) whose actions and interactions in turn created the universe.

Certain animals were chosen as symbols for that particular aspect of divinity. When a total animal is depicted in Ancient Egypt, it represents a particular function/attribute in its purest form. When an animal-headed figure is depicted, it conveys that particular function/attribute in the human being.

egyptian scarab beetle

Egypt has never been a country with a large population of wild herbivores grazing or many other animals. Therefore if the number of dung beetles were much lower, but this humble insect attracted the attention of Egyptians.

The dung beetle (also known as the Beetle) was famous for his habit of rolling balls of dung on the ground and place them in their burrows. The female lays her eggs in the ball of dung. When they hatch, the larvae would use the ball for food. When manure was consumed beetles leavers hole.

When manure was consumed beetles leavers hole.Beetles are associated with the Egyptian god Khepri.The scarab was also a symbol of rebirth after death. The heart scarab, which were hieroglyphic inscriptions on the back, was often buried with the dead to ensure the rebirth of the deceased in the afterlife. When the Egyptians mummified body they removed his heart and put a stone carved like the beetle in its place.



The antenna radiation as the head of the insect and its practice of dung-rolling caused the beetle also carry solar symbolism. Representation of a scarab was used in the manufacture of shaped jewelry pendants, bracelets, rings and necklaces and believed to hold strong religious and magical properties. The owner's name was inscribed on their flat bases to ensure that the powers of protection would be given to the user. Dung beetles come in a variety of colors, matte black and shiny metallic green and red.


Below the beetles were inscribed with hieroglyphics, names, symbols, mottos, and more. The image below shows a soapstone registered against (steatite) beetle. Scarabs were made of various minerals. Scarab pendants, bracelets, rings and necklaces were often made of precious or semi-precious stones such as carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise.


Old Kingdom

Ancient Egypt Old Kingdom 2686-2181 BC

In the Old Kingdom Egypt established a culture which was to endure for 2,500 years. They created an artistic style, a religion, and a system of government and trade network which made Egypt a powerful civilization.

Ancient Egypt Old Kingdom


Architects and masons mastered the techniques required to build monumental structures in stone. Sculptors created the earliest portraits of individuals and the first life-size statues of wood, copper and stone. Egyptians are also surrounded by beautiful objects to improve their lives in this world, producing elegant jewelry, finely carved and inlaid furniture, and cosmetic vessels and implements a wide variety of materials.


It seems that the Pharaohs organized the first systematic irrigation of the Nile River, which allowed people to live more in Egypt without hunger. The pyramids were built during this period, great tombs of pharaohs. The most notable change is the transition from pyramids "true" pyramids with smooth surfaces.  


This transition is not only the result of increased technical skills, but more religious convictions which are spent under stellar solar energy. The pyramid symbolizes a stairway to the stars. The 'true' pyramid, on the other hand was considered a solar symbol and as a representation of the primitive hill where all life had sprung. The pyramid of Pepi II south of Saqqara is the last major monument of the Old Kingdom. None of the names of the kings of the dynasty known ephemeral seventh and eighth dynasty shows signs of disintegration and political.

During this period, when a new family went to royal power, it was customary to wear the local god they had worshiped national recognition. These local deities were countless and the beginning of the Old Kingdom, the situation was so confused that an outright attempt was made by the priesthood to some order in it.


In Egyptian culture, women have played an important role. She was owner of the land, which was adopted by her to her daughter. Royalty also requires women. The sovereign became King when he married the daughter of the previous king. Custom royal intermarriage (brother and sister, for example) developed because of it. Women were respected in Egyptian society.
It was during 2181 - 2125 BC Old Kingdom that the state has collapsed.


 Egypt simultaneously suffered political failure and environmental disaster. There was famine, civil unrest and increased mortality. With the climate of North Africa becomes dry, combined with low Nile floods and cemeteries fill up quickly, it was not the right time for the Egyptians.

Ancient Egypt Capital

 Ancient Egypt Capital City

The ancient Egyptian empire moved as much as more than a dozen capitals in its history, most notably Memphis, Thebes, Amarna and Alexandria.
2-3000 to pre-dynastic years, until the unification of Egypt, the capital of Upper and Lower Egypt moved between no less than eleven cities - including higher capital Thinis, Nennusu, Khmun, Abydos and Thebes, while as Lower Egypt were Avaris, Tanis, Sais, Bubastis, Heliopolis and Memphis among its prime locations.


Ancient kingdom during the reign of Menes or Narmer during this time, the capital was Memphis. The Third Dynasty (2686-2613 BC) is often called the beginning of the Old Kingdom.
First Intermediate Period: Memphis could not hold on to its title of capital, and went to Thebes as the capital when the Theban king Mentuhotep Nebhepetre won a civil war around 1650 BC and established his home town as its capital. During this time, Egypt was low. Hieracleopolis first, then Thebes became the capital.



New kingdom during this period, Queen Hatshepsut ruled. His images of the monuments were then removed, probably for political reasons. Akhenaten (originally called Amunhotep IV) abolished all the Egyptian gods except for Aten, the disc of the sun visible, and sets the capital to Akhetaten (Amarna).


During the period of Akhenaten, Amarna was Capial Egypt. its inception has been an alarming increase in the population of people flocked to the house of their king. Some estimate of the population of the city have been as much as fifty thousand, bringing immediately in line with other major cities.




Egypt went into decline during his reign. After the death of Akhenaten Tutankhamun restored the capital to Thebes, and destroys all mention of Akhenaten and the Aten. Egypt slowly returned to glory.

Third Intermediate Period: In this period (1069-525 B. C. E.), Tanis became the capital city. One famous king was Sheshonq I.

 Egypt Capital now :-













Egyptian Cartouche


" Cartouche " The word was first applied to the cartridge symbol by the French soldiers who were part of the 1798 military campaign led by Napoleon Bonaparte in Egypt. The Egyptian name of the cartridge shenu is derived from the same verb, "Sheni" (circle) as shen ring.
It was during the fourth dynasty Cartridge hieroglyphics were introduced into Egyptian society when they have been established by King Snerfu. The Egyptians did not refer to these as ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics but shenu cartridge. This name was given to the nameplate of the king by Napoleon's soldiers.

  Egyptian Cartouche

  Egyptian Cartouche

  Egyptian Cartouche

  Egyptian Cartouche


In the early days of ancient Egypt, a cartridge was attached to the coffins of kings and queens.
The cartridge was clearly solar symbology. It originally represented all that was surrounded by the sun - the kingdom of the king. Sign shen circular or ring evokes the concept of eternity in shape, having neither beginning nor end, and solar aspect is symbolized by the solar disk often depicted in the center of the circle. It was also a symbol of protection, and as a hieroglyphic symbol in Egyptian art, it can mean both "eternity" and "protection".



The cartridge was also a symbol of protection for the king. In the Eighteenth Dynasty royal tombs were built in the shape of the cartridge. Over time, many people hired an artist to create a cartridge for their own coffins. One of the most famous discoveries cartridge containing hieroglyphics is the Rosetta Stone, which was discovered in 1799. The Rosetta Stone is dedicated to Ptolemy V and also contains the king's cartouche.


In the tomb of Pharaoh Thutmose III in the Valley of the Kings, the burial chamber complete, and the sarcophagus was built in the form of a cartridge. The meaning of the symbol of protection cartridge was also used in ancient Egyptian jewelry creation.


Duamutef

Duamutef was portrayed as a jackal who was guarded by Neith. He was one of the four sons of Horus whose names are Imsety (imsti), Hapy (hpy, not to be confused with the Nile river god, Hapi), Duamutef and Kebehsenuef. The four sons of Horus are actually a part of the seven divine beings, where the three are hardly spoken about. Duamutef was a funerary god.

The Ancient Egyptians firmly believed that the deceased required his or her organs in order to be reborn in the Afterlife. For use in the afterlife they would be bandaged and vital organs placed individually in Canopic Jars. Canopic Jars were widely used for the preservation of the Internal Organs. The design went through various phases, starting with four human headed jars.





The Ancient Egyptian canopic heads therefore were depicted with the man-headed Imsety, the baboon-headed Hapi, the jackal-headed Duamutef and the falcon-headed Qebehsenuef.

Duamutef's role was to protect the stomach and upper intestines of the deceased and was the guardian of the East. The stomach was kept in a canopic jar after mummification. He collaborated with Anubis in the mummification of Anubis’s body and became patrons of the canopy vases.

Imsety, Hapy, Duamutef and Kebehsenuef were linked with the liver, lungs, stomach and intestines respectively, though sometimes the associations of Hapy and Duamutef are found switched about. They were also associated with other body parts. For example Hapy and Duamutef were linked to the hands, while Imsety and Kebehsenuef were linked with the feet.

Book of the Dead Spells

The ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead is not exactly a book. It can be said to be just a different name for a bunch of different magic spells written in different ways by the ancient Egyptians.
The earliest known date versions of the 16th century BC during the 18th Dynasty (about 1580 BC-1350). It boasts of partial incorporation of two previous collections of Egyptian religious literature, known as the Coffin Texts (ca. 2000 BC) and the Pyramid Texts (about 2600 BC-2300 BC), both of which eventually replaced by the book of the dead.

Book of the Dead Spells

Book of the Dead Spells
 Safely to reach beyond was something all Egyptians wanted. It was believed that the afterlife was a real place, and they believed magical spells help to achieve this.
Spells or enchantments vary in distinctive ways between the texts of different "mummies" or sarcophagi, depending on the importance and factors other classes of the deceased.
Books of the Dead constituted as a collection of spells, charms, passwords, numbers and magical formulas for the use of the deceased in the afterlife. This describes many of the basic principles of Egyptian mythology. He also incorporated Magic Spells Safety of the heart and soul of the deceased and also included a spell to open the tomb of the soul and leave a return of man to see his house on earth
Spells in the book has been written to guide the dead through the various trials beyond what they have to cross before reaching the underworld. It is essential to have knowledge of the appropriate spells achieving happiness after death.
The magic 156 Book of the Dead refers to the power of the goddess Isis and was recited on a node red jasper amulet that was placed on the heart of the deceased for protection against the wickedness, sometimes called the Amulet of Isis.

Ancient Egypt Axe

In ancient Egypt, as a practical weapon, it was the battle axe that eventually replaced the mace as one of the Egyptian military's primary close combat weapons.

Ancient Egypt Axe

The cutting axe is a blade fastened to a sizable handle, the idea being to keep as far as possible from harm's way. As relatively little power was exerted the affixing of the blade to the handle was not very critical. The head was generally inserted into a hole or groove in the wooden handle and tied fast.


Ancient Egypt Axe


In reality, the cutting blade was used throughout Egyptian Dynastic history, while the piercing blade did not appear until the Middle Kingdom. Overall, we can distinguish between about five different subtypes of battle axes. Battle Axes had a crescent-shaped blade and used as a close contact weapon but could also be hurled as a missile

During the Middle Kingdom, between 2030 BC – 1640 BC, the Pharaoh’s struggled to hold on to Egyptian power. They needed to protect their trade routes and resources now more than ever. Bronze bladed axes began to appear in the infantry at this time.



Ancient Egypt Axe


Ancient Egypt Axe



They were constructed with blade affixed into grooves on long handles. This was a weaker connection then the axes made by their contemporaries that feathered a hole through the axe head that the handle fit through, but it served their purpose of slashing unarmored troops and hacking through hide covered, wood framed shields.

Ancient Egypt Axe

Infantry armed with battle axes was typically deployed after the enemy had been weakened by archers. The axe was more effective in cutting wounded or fleeing enemies to pieces than it was of use in breaching an intact battle line.

The Hyksos, Asiatics themselves, are credited with having introduced scale body armor into Egypt and brought about changes in the form of the battle axe there by the middle of the 2nd millennium.

Bast or Bastet

Bast (also known as "Bastet") was one of the most popular goddesses of ancient Egypt. It is generally considered a cat goddess. Bastet was a daughter of the sun god, Ra.

The goddess Bastet was usually represented as a woman with the head of a domestic cat. However, until 1000 BC she was portrayed as a lioness.

According to Herodotus, Bast was a happy and benign deity who brought good fortune, music, dance and joy to all. The statues of cats are generally pass for facsimiles of Bast, but this is incorrect.

Bast or Bastet
Bast or Bastet
Bast or Bastet
Bast or Bastet

The cat was indeed her sacred animal and the people of the time tended to see the Goddess in every cat that passed, but its original description was like a royal queen or a priestess with a cat's head.

Bastet seemed to have two sides to her personality, docile and aggressive. His docile and gentle side was displayed in her duties as a protector of the home and pregnant women. His aggressive and vicious nature was exposed in the accounts of battles in which the pharaoh was supposed to have killed the enemy as Bastet slaughtered her victims.

Cats were sacred to Bast, and injury was considered a crime against her and if really unlucky. His priests kept sacred cats in his temple, which were regarded as incarnations of the goddess. When they died, they were mummified and could be presented as an offering to the goddess.

His cult was widespread, and his cult apparently had a lot of power. Bubastis was even the capital of Egypt for a time during the late period, and some Pharaohs took its name from the names of kings. A large temple was built in his honor at Bubastis in the Delta.

Apis Bull

The bull was the incarnation of a god, but unlike other animal totems (which provided a link to the god) Apis was designed to accommodate the god himself.
The Apis was regarded as a manifestation of the Memphite Ptah God's creation, it was "the soul (Ba) Ptah" and "herald (WHM) of Ptah". The bull was a kind of servant, who was himself God.
However, Apis was associated with Osiris quickly when Ptah and Osiris merged and so Plutarch describes Apis as "fair and beautiful picture of the soul of Osiris".

 Apis Bull

 Apis Bull

 Apis Bull


The Apis is usually depicted as a black bull between its horns, a sun disk and uraeus snake. An example can be found on the tomb of the Apis died in September 524, which shows Cambyses, the Persian king who had conquered Egypt, but Pharaoh behaved like a normal, worshiping the bull.
At the end of last year, the Apis bull was slaughtered and its flesh eaten by the Pharaoh. It was believed that the pharaoh would then inherit the great power of Apis.
When an Apis bull died, the body was embalmed and buried with all the honors of royalty dignified manner. The animal was carefully embalmed and mummified before being buried in the "Serapeum" in a stone sarcophagus which could weigh over 60 tons.
Apis calf could be identified by some distinct brands: the black calf had a white diamond on his forehead, an image of an eagle on the back, double the number of hairs on his tail, and a scarab mark under the tongue . Since the Apis was so sacred, it goes without saying that his mother (hereinafter the "Isis cow") was worshiped as well.
Egyptians celebrated the Feast of the Apis Bull, which lasted seven days. A crowd of people gathered to watch Memphis priests lead the sacred bull in a sacred procession through crowds welcoming.

Apophis


Apep (Aapep, Apepi or Apophis) was the ancient Egyptian spirit of evil, darkness and destruction that threatens to destroy the sun god Ra when he went though the underworld (or the sky) during the night. Set the origin and Mehen (snake head man) were responsible for the defense of Ra and his solar bark.
Apep was evidenced during the Middle Kingdom, but the texts of the New Kingdom provide the myths and legends of the devil. In Roman times, the name Apep was thought to mean "one who spat". He was believed to have been created when Nit spat into the waters of Nun, the spittle turning into giant water snake. This was thought to occur at the beginning of time, and he lived in the primordial waters.


Apophis


Apophis


Also, it has been described as a huge snake (or crocodile) who lived in the waters of Nun or the celestial Nile. It was a huge serpent often with tightly packed coils to focus its enormous size. In funerary texts, it is usually stated in the process of being dismembered in various ways.
In a detailed representation of the tomb of Ramses VI twelve heads are painted above the head of the serpent representing the souls he has swallowed, which are briefly released when his is destroyed, to be imprisoned again the next night.
In some myths, Apep was soon scrapped and the sun-god himself. This helps to explain the strength of the serpent and his resentment of the daily walk of the sun.
Apep commanded an army of demons that plagued mankind. It is only by faith in the gods of light could be overcome demons. Each year, a ritual called the "banishment of Apep" would be held by the priests of Ra.
Apep was never loved, but the ancient Egyptians protected themselves against him - he was a threat not only against the people and the gods, but against Maat and the creation itself.
Like a demon of unknown and frightening events related to such as unexplained darkness (solar eclipses have been interpreted as a victory over Apep Ra as he swallowed the solar bark), rituals were followed to ensure it could not hurt.