2013/04/24

Egyptian Eye of Ra

 Ancient Egyptian Eye of Ra

The eye of Ra-Atum is the mythological symbol for the sun. At one point, Shu and Tefnut twin children of Ra-Atum, were separated from him. He sent his eye to find them. While the eye was searching, Ra-Atum replaced the eye with another.

 
Egyptian Eye of Ra


When the eye returned with Shu and Tefnut, Ra-Atum wept with joy, and the tears created humankind.However, the eye was enraged at having been replaced.

Egyptian Eye of Ra

Egyptian Eye of Ra


Ra-Atum placed the eye on his forehead so that the eye could rule the world; thus becoming associated with the sun. The second eye is associated with the moon.

2013/04/22

Ancient Egyptian Cosmetics

 Ancient Egyptians Passionate about nature and her beauty was exaggerated in the passion for flowers and plants, and did not Aahqoha for its beauty only; but in the belief that the many advantages and symbolic, for example, waving Balogassan indicates happiness, evidenced by the scene in one of the temples of Thebes shows a group of women appear to them the joy They walk around Tambourines Milohat acacia branches tribute to the king.

Has played bouquets roses and flowers play a major role in the offerings to the goddess, and the crowns of flowers used in concerts funeral, and because the flowers her short was prefer wreaths industry in the form of flowers, was found on the collars vase on the mummies, or clothe the statues, and the coffin of Tutankhamun a local group of ornamental plants when buried 1338 years BC.

The flowers are used for many purposes including decorating the body, like pieces of jewelry, hair and beauty (especially the lotus flower), and the Tldm in the form of contracts to decorate Spell or chest, was a jewelry designer inspired forms of flowers and Alloanha in the design of jewelry.

Ancient Egyptian Cosmetics
Ancient Egyptian Cosmetics

The plants and flowers many benefits other than her money's role in the decking, was used to get rid of some household insects, also came out of her perfumes and frankincense (gum), and the making of kitchenware from the baskets and sieves and manufacture of colors and clothing, and other.In about a year (1400 BC). Buried 3 women of the court of Thutmose III in equipment ownership of luxury, including cosmetics, containing two rooms each on the paint (ointment) antiseptic made of oil and lime liquidator, and there Papyrus medical out recipes to make ointments are useful for Body Massage (calcite powder, red Ntron, Lower salt, honey, mashing the mixture and knead well and then rub its body), and recipes that acknowledged their effectiveness in the treatment of facial wrinkles (chewing gum, wax, oil, left).

Have been found in graves on the paint used for the hair are made of beeswax and resin is similar to what is used in the present time, and they had a paint used for the treatment of diseases of the hair, such as baldness and gray hair, and types of paints that were used for the treatment of gray hair the blood of bulls or calves black boiled in oil, They also used centuries-Ghazal, where he was made of ointment mixed with oil to prevent white hair from appearing, and the most effective way in this regard ointment made from the fruit of the juniper and two plants other (unidentified so far for us), where the mixture is milled and add the oil and stir until it becomes Kajeena.
Ancient Egyptian Cosmetics
Ancient Egyptian Cosmetics

Has been interest in the appearance hair beyond description, and wore both men and women a sense of false made of human hair in their celebrations, and although this did not ignore their feelings Tababah and care their cleanliness and appearance and health, has used some plants to color hair, used dyes extracted from the peel Romans and safflower to dye hair color yellow, pink and even green (featured by the wig one of the princesses of the modern state), while the brown color near the color of the hair-Masri has Astkhrjoh from the plant mimosa, also known to install colors using materials derived from trees, acacia powder, likeness, has used the plant juniper because of its properties prove superior to the colors, it also alerts the scalp to stimulate hair growth.

And Ahtamo lengthening women's hair Fastamilo so castor oil (and in the Papyrus of Isis Recipe No. 251 in the Egyptian Museum), and reported other capacity to prolong the hair in the same papyrus, recipe No. 465 (fat seven, painted sea horse, fat crocodile, fat snake, fat ibex, blends together and applied to the head bald), and in the papyrus and other capacity (No. 472) to grow hair (Pinus love dear, lettuce, trait, oil, honey and applied to a head, the combs of the most important tools decking, and there was some sort of combs used in the fight against insect head, and also used mirrors necessity of supplies during the women's cosmetics, and were made of gold or silver.

The eyes of Egyptian almond shape, was the outline Atzgej under the eyelids black congregation, or by adding a black frame around the eyes to make them seem broad, the kohl made from Galina galena a severe metal-based Kipritor lead, extracted from the areas near Aswan in Upper Egypt, or make of a substance Almlakhitt green malachite brought from the desert areas Bsina, was kept kohl in blocks packed in bags of linen or leather, and crush thoroughly until the powder, then transported in pottery tubular shape, Tschrj of material when using it using courted wood, and was placed in the eyes using the same Alemraod, and the Egyptians discovered that Kohl strengthens also be considered; This may explain the large number of canons that have been found in Egyptian tombs, and the multiplicity of types, and the variability of materials made from them Kahadjr, wood, ceramics, not only the use of kohl to women only, but men as well.

They used some types of ointments for the prevention of resistance to the eye or eye diseases, invented the recipes for the treatment of many cilia growth, was treating the eyes Balqtrh used in the manufacture of a metal salt, used as powder, celery seed and flax in the preparation of the eye lotion. However, ancient Egyptians believed that any medication to the eye can not be compared to falling in love, Love is the one who alerts the eyes and Ancthma Faisbha bright, In the poem Ghazlah to Ahadday poets of ancient Egypt in which she says: "My love is like eyeliner eyes .

 When I see you, the eyes Thaa luster ".The nail polish is also known to the ancient Egyptians, and were using the henna, and was painted red lips made from grease or some kinds of plants. Have been used to paint the lips brush, was keen beauty experts recently on how to use these; because of their significant impact to amend the form of lips and show her beauty.Also used red color to color the cheeks, and the Red consists of denuded red and cream with a little gum resin, and this recipe from the old recipes dating back to 4 thousand years BC. M, has used a type of iron salts for coloring the cheeks in red, was found many of the residues on the Alluah in cemeteries.


Also found several recipes to remove facial wrinkles, and Olazalh spots of the skin, face, or to give soft texture on the face. In a recipe in 714 (Isis Papyrus) to improve the skin: Honey, Ntron red, sea salt, Asahn together and applied to the body, preparations were used for the face and body essences, some of them still maintained the smell so far. Discovered Egyptian women the secrets and the beauty and the secrets of beauty before you know daughters of Eve around the world, more than beauty experts in the world with all the findings of the modern science, has discovered manufacture powder of stone, talc, and I learned how to Tsahnh gathered atoms volatile to get the most delicate of atoms talc, there is no The result is different from his state of the art modern technology, and stained tablets and pastes blocks of talc powder after mixing painted the ostrich and honey bees, has discovered the royal jelly, and was used by Queen Hatshepsut in the beautification products.

And Egypt was famous in the ancient world as perfume, scents was Egypt's climate is suitable for industry, and when no alcohol has been discovered yet, (it was known in the fourth century BC) brought out the fragrance of plants or flowers, or the veins of wood Alobeiria and immersed in oil, thus extracted oils aromatic and Mzjoha other customized oils, and raw materials were placed in a piece of cloth to squeeze to extract the full pm Obeirha, then boil Alobeiria materials in the oil and water alternately, and then disposing of the oil.

Famous city (Mendes) a city in Delta quality fragrances, which were issued to Rome, and was the most important Matnottagh city is extracted from the oils Alhlij, bitter, resin, was added essential oils for perfumes is in the sequence of strict so that it is the most powerful perfume is the latest in the addendum, the act of, for example to add a pound of bitter girl to a bushel pint (1/8 gallon) oil and one third ounces of cinnamon in a late stage of the smell of cinnamon make it prevail.

The secret to the quality perfumes of Egypt, is the skill to choose and determine the moment of addition of all of its components and temperature appropriate for that, and the perfumes Mendes high quality as reserves Balloanha natural, and if the fat skin of its impact will last for a long time, and suitable for storage for a long time, but by increases quality.The perfumes, which continue to influence intensive long are your favorite women, and aromatic ointments which had a very famous at that time ointment perfume lilies, this was moderated ointment and Medfia perfumes and women's and arduous preparation.

Egyptian woman fell in love perfume but who went to use to the degree of mixing water bathing and washing after eating, even drinking water in Taterha mastered, (and this tradition still exists now known with rose water or orange blossom water).The Egyptian people, a people happy, I love life as never loved the people of the peoples of the earth, I love beauty and all that is beautiful, to pay that love to cling to life and try to resume until after the exit, Vhmlha with him to the afterlife in the form of inscription on the tombs and temples, and enjoy the beauty while and quality of life.

The keenness of senior officials and dignitaries all over Egypt to simulate the royal palaces in building their own homes, in terms of Fajamtha and provision of well-being, and they are building houses spacious, fundamentally Sora spacious high door to his stone leads to a room of the house, with small doors leading to gardens home and used by the general public, the door of the main entrance built of large stone decorated with the form of Zaf palm, and the gardens of houses were divided into squares and rectangles planted with trees and shade chrome, flowers and ornamental plants that were looking after sell it special attention, and was home owners are keen to eat their food from these gardens, and all the garden often contain a pool of water square or rectangular building with stones and float on the surface of some plants and swimming in it, a group of ducks and geese, and lead degrees of peace to this pond where prepared a boat for a picnic home owners in that pond.

The homes of the middle class usually consists of several floors, allocated a room on the second floor the Lord, the house, and they were keen not to be detached homes; so they can plant some trees in the courtyard of the house.Did not prejudice the furniture from the touch of beauty which insisted the ancient Egyptian to put in everything in his life, consists of furniture in the reception hall in the royal palaces and houses the rich are often of different forms of the seats, some simple in-built, and some are very luxurious, especially those of the kings , chairs were made of beaten gold studded with precious stones in the inscriptions in the form of punishment or the Sphinx protected by cobra snake.The floors carpeted halls Balhasir, sealed with a lot of pillows, placed horizontally behind the appearance of sitting on the seats and under their feet, and the dining room separate from the reception area.

Was found in the houses of the Egyptians on the bathrooms, the Egyptian did not bathe in the tub filled with water as he did the Greeks or the Romans, but the water is poured over the top of the head, as was the bathroom at the bottom inhabitants and provide the flow of water used for bathing.Meant the ancient Egyptians careful attention to hygiene, were interested in clean bodies, and their clothes and their homes, they wash several times a day in the morning when Alastaiqat, and before meals, basic or after finishing it, Tools wash consists of a basin and pot with a spout is usually placed under the table, and the water rinsing was sterilized with a kind of paste, salt contains a dry cleaning and degreasing ashes or clay, and were interested in their mouths chewing Ptattiyr Alkndr and star anise.

And were extremely care of their looks and good Hendamanm not Iktsrr pay attention to hygiene to wash several times a day, but imposed on them shaved head and beard to ward off insects and parasites from their bodies, and used to remove the smell of sweat from the body by rubbing the body granulated carob Madchoc or put some grains of frankincense and Alashehad at the confluence of parties. Adlkon their bodies or perfume made of oil, oil and incense mixed with the beans and aromatic substance.Take care and also work to protect homes from insects or mice or reptiles toxic, and contains Isis Papyrus some medical prescriptions beneficial in this regard, and the smell of incense, which they were keen on their presence was useful in purifying the air chambers.

Also entitled careful attention to clothing, Bmcn Note that the form of clothing change from one age to another of the Egyptian Antiquities in the Old Kingdom was the dress long which is similar to the coat, and the dress is too narrow a fee are rare, and sometimes wears suspenders, as they used women to wear a coat above the normal white robe that wraps around the body made of transparent linen, then there has been a significant change in the Middle Ages and modern times, and they observe that the appropriate hair and cover head with a garment, this overview is taken into account by designers.


The men's clothes, which showed most of the scenes and statues of naked men, chest and legs, Ertddon linen robes may be short stretches from below the navel to the middle of the thigh above the knee, and was wealthy Bakula├║d wear their vests with the petition and finishes and multiple rows of long and napkins.The discovery of some types of gloves since the time of the Eighteenth Dynasty, and found a lot of written long gloves sweetened with blue stripes, in the tomb of Tutankhamun was found on a lot of these gloves is shown now in the Egyptian Museum.The Egyptian slippers on several forms, Vanaal women from upper class was scheduled crooked front end made of palm leaves or stalks of papyrus or leather belts.


Egyptian 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.

Egyptian Duamutef

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.


Egyptian Duamutef

Egyptian Duamutef

Egyptian Duamutef

Egyptian Duamutef

Egyptian Duamutef




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.

Egyptian Duat

 Duat : A place of darkness and home of terrifying demons, the Duat was a mythological location  between the world of the living and the world of the  dead. The Amduat, “The Book of That Which is in  the Netherworld,” says the Duat is located deep in a valley that separates Earth from the Netherworld.

Egyptian Duat


When Re the sun god sinks below the horizon at the  end of each day to begin the 12-hour journey he is  accompanied by souls of the deceased. Only those  souls found to be pure after the Weighing of the  Heart Ceremony are allowed to accompany the sun  god on this perilous journey.

At the end of the twelfth  hour, after successfully battling and overpowering evil  demons that menace the sun god at every hour, Re  and the souls emerge safely into the welcoming realm  of the sky goddess, Nut. Re appears on the horizon to  begin a new day, and the souls prepare for resurrection in the Netherworld.

2013/04/16

Egyptian Deities

Ancient Egyptian society was deeply rooted on religious rituals and traditions. Ways of life were based mostly on religion. They believed in a large number of gods and goddesses. Worship of deities constitutes the essence of their religious belief.The gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt were a complex group of beings and ideas. Egyptian Gods tend to stroll around with animal heads, without the matching body. One god can have enormous number of names, which can be often confusing. The list of gods and goddesses will run to enormous number of pages. Therefore, only a few are mentioned below.
Egyptian Deities


 Egyptian Deities



Amon

Amen, also known as Amon was considered as the universal creator. He was sometimes pictured with the head of a ram; sometimes as a man with a crown with two tall straight plumes. Amen, the great god of Thebis was the "hidden god". His temples were situated at Karnak and Luxor. He was the god of fertility, agriculture, reproduction and generation.


Anubis

He was the god of embalming and tombs, protector of the dead, judge of the dead and god of the Underworld. His cult was very ancient. He was a jackal or dog-headed god. He was the god of wisdom, intelligence, death, embalming truth, justice, surgery, medicine, journeys, protection, boats, diplomacy etc.


Bast

Cats were worshipped as deities in Egypt. They were considered sacred and even embalmed when they died. Bast was the cat-headed goddess and the mother of all cats. She was also the goddess of sex and fertility. Bast carried a basket in her left hand.She was generally draped is green. She was often portrayed as lioness, but sometimes with kittens beside her as she was the fertility god. She was the god of fire, moon, childbirth, pleasure, sexual rites, marriage, dance, music etc.

Egyptian Deities
Bes

Bes was a guardian god and was pictured as a leopard skin-clad dwarf with a huge heaf, prominent eyes and cheeks, a curly beard, and an open mouth with protruding tongue. He was known as the protector of the dead and the protector of people from danger. He was the god of childbirth, dance, music, marriage and good luck.


Geb

Geb, a fertility deity was the god of earth. Plants grow within his body, the dead are imprisoned inside him, and earthquakes are his laughter. He is more than a god of the surface of the earth in fact, he is a god of everything contained within the earth.


Hapi

Hapi was pictured as a very fat man with pendulous breasts, dressed like a boatman with a narrow belt around his great belly. Egyptians believed that Hapi lived near the First Cataract on the Isle of Bigeh in a cavern. In June they made offerings to him accompanied by poetic hymns. Hapi was considered as the god of the Nile, crops, fertility, water, prosperity.


Hathor

Hathor was a predynastic goddess who was called "Queen of the west" and "House of the face". Hathor's appearance could be as a cow-headed goddess or a human-headed woman with horns and cow's ears. She embodied love, feminity and the joy of motherhood.


Isis

Isis was the supreme Egyptian goddess. She was pictured with dark hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. She was the divine mother of Egyptian pharaohs and Egypt as well.She was the goddess of marriage and domestic life, the Moon, motherhood, fertility, magic, purification, initiation, reincarnation, success, womanhood, healing, spinning, weaving, advice, divination, civilization, agriculture, the arts, protection and advice. She was also the patroness of priestesses.


Ma'at

Ma'at or Mayet was the goddess of truth and balance and was called "Lady of the judgment hall". She was married to Thoth. She was often pictured wearing an ostrich feather on her head while standing or sitting on her heels. Her law governed the three worlds.

Egyptian Deities
Osiris

Osiris was the universal god or the god of nature. He is known as the god who taught mankind the secrets of civilisation. He was pictured with a tanned complexion and fair hair. He was shown sometimes standing, sometimes seated on his throne, tightly wrapped in mummy cloth.


Seth

He was the god of the unclean, the terrible desert, the murderer and cruelty, evil, war, and the Underworld. He was known to the Greeks as Typhon. The animal associated with this god had long pointed ears and looked rather like a dog, but the exact animal is not known. Set was the god of revenge, death, cursing, suffering, destruction and evil.

Ancient Egyptian Axe

In ancient Egypt, as a practical weapon, it was the hatchet which eventually replaced the mass as one of the main Egyptian army battle ax fitting weapons.The is a blade attached to a handle size, the idea being to keep as much as possible danger. As relatively little power was exercised affixing the blade to the handle was not very critical. The head is usually inserted into a hole or groove in the wooden handle and attached fast.In reality, the blade has been used throughout Egyptian dynastic history, while the piercing blade does not seem the Middle Kingdom.

Ancient Egyptian Axe

Ancient Egyptian Axe










 In general, we can distinguish about five subtypes battle axes. Battle axes had a crescent-shaped blade and used as a weapon close contact but can also be run as missile.During the Middle Kingdom, between 2030 BC - 1640 BC, Pharaoh has struggled to maintain the Egyptian government. They need to protect their trade routes and resources more than ever. Bronze axes White began to appear in the infantry that time.They were built with a blade fixed in the grooves of the long handles.




It was a weak connection and axes made by their contemporaries as feathers a hole in the head of the ax handle to pass through, but it has served its purpose to cut troops without armor and piracy through skin covered wood framed shields.Infantry armed with battle axes was generally deployed after the enemy had been weakened by archers. The ax was more effective in reducing injuries or fleeing enemies to pieces that it was customary to infringe Hyksos intact line.The battle, Asians themselves, are credited with having introduced armor scale in Egypt and resulted in changes to the shape of the battle ax there by the middle of the second millennium.

Ancient Egyptian Cooking

Ancient Egyptian Cooking and Cuisine

The climate dictated the kind of food that formed a part of ancient Egyptian cuisine. Bread was a major part of this cuisine. This bread was exclusively prepared from emmer wheat. At times, barley was also used. An interesting fact remains to be that bread was available in 30 different shapes. From the round bread called as pita, there was also bread that was baked in the shapes of animals or birds. At times, this bread also included some healthy fillings.

Ancient Egyptian Cooking and Cuisine
Ancient Egyptian Cooking and Cuisine


This can be named to be the first signs of sandwich seen out here! Bread was often eaten along with vegetables. This included celery, lettuce, cucumber, scallions etc.Garlic was also used predominantly. Ancient Egyptian food also included pulses, chickpeas, cabbages, turnips, lentils and beans. Sometimes, vegetables such as celery were eaten raw. Fruits also formed an important part of ancient Egyptian cuisine. Grapes were the most popular amongst all.

Ancient Egyptian Cooking and Cuisine

The ancient Egyptians also ate figs and dates. Beef, honey, coconuts, antelope, gazelle meat, fancy cakes, peaches and apples were also enjoyed by the rich of Egypt.Brewing beer and baking bread were two closely related processes in ancient Egypt (as in many other cultures). The mash from the beer provided the starter for the rising of the bread -- and leftover bread could go into beer along with ground barley. It is speculated that the Egyptians were the first to discover leavened bread.Beer was the national drink, made from the crops of barley. To improve the taste the Egyptians would add spices and it was usually stored in labelled clay jars.

Ancient Egyptian Cooking and Cuisine

 Wine for the upper classes was made from local vineyards. After the harvest was gathered, the workers would tread the grapes, and the juice collected . Other wines were made from pomegranates or plums.Cooking was mainly done over an open fire along with cooking in clay ovens. Egyptians cooked their food by baking, boiling, roasting and even frying their food. Of course, some of their fruits and vegetables were eaten raw. The ancient Egyptians also used clay ovens for cooking.

Ancient Egyptian Cooking and Cuisine


 Sugar was something that was not really known to the ancient Egyptians. Honey was used as a sweetener where as the poor used dates as a way to sweeten food.Kitchen utensils and equipment included items such as storage jars,bowls, pots, pans, ladles, sieves, and whisks. Most people used clay dishes, while the wealthy used dishes made of bronze, silver, and gold. All ate with their fingers. Sesame seeds, honey, fruit, butter, and herbs were commonly added to the dough to add flavour.

2013/04/15

Ancient Egyptian Art

"Everyone knows that Egypt is the land of the pyramids, those mountains of stone which stand like weathered landmarks on the distant horizon of history. However remote and mysterious they seem, they tell us much of their own story. They tell us of a land which was so thoroughly organized that it was possible to pile up these gigantic mounds in the lifetime of a single king, and they tell us of kings who were so rich and powerful that they could force thousands and thousands of workers or slaves to toil for them year in, year out, to quarry the stones, to drag them to the building site, and to shift them with the most primitive means until the tomb was ready to receive the king.

Ancient Egyptian Art
Ancient Egyptian Art

 No king, and no people would have gone to such expense, and taken so much trouble, for the creation of a mere monument. In fact, we know that the pyramids had their practical importance in the eyes of the kings and their subjects. The king was considered a divine being who held sway over them, and on his departure from this earth he would again ascend to the gods whence he had come. The pyramids soaring up to the sky would probably help him to make his ascent. In any case they would preserve his sacred body from decay.

 For the Egyptians believed that the body must be preserved if the soul is to live on in the beyond. That is why they prevented the corpse from decaying by an elaborate method of embalming it, and binding it up with strips of cloth. It was for the mummy of the king that the pyramid had been piled up, and his body was laid right in the centre of the huge mountain of stone in a stone coffin. Everywhere round the burial chamber, spells and incantations were written to help him on his journey to the other world.

Ancient Egyptian Art

"But it is not only these oldest relics of human architecture which tell of the role played by age-old beliefs in the story of art. The Egyptians held the belief that the preservation of the body was not enough. If the likeness of the king was also preserved, it was doubly sure that he would continue to exist forever. So they ordered sculptors to chisel the king's head out of hard, imperishable granite, and put it in the tomb where no one saw it, there to work its spell and to help his Soul to keep alive in and through the image. One Egyptian word for sculptor was actually 'He-who-keeps-alive'.
"At first these rites were reserved for kings, but soon the nobles of the royal household had their minor tombs grouped in neat rows round the king's mound; and gradually every self-respecting person had to make provision for his after-life by ordering a costly grave which would house his mummy and his likeness, and where his soul could dwell and receive the offerings of food and drink which were given to the dead. Some of these early portraits from the pyramid age, the fourth dynasty of the Old Kingdom, are among the most beautiful works of Egyptian art. There is a solemnity and simplicity about them which one does not easily forget. One sees that the sculptor was not trying to flatter his sitter, or to preserve a fleeting expression. He was concerned only with essentials. Every lesser detail he left out.

 Perhaps it is just because of this strict concentration on the basic forms of the human head that these portraits remain so impressive. For, despite their almost geometrical rigidity, they are not primitive as are the native masks [discussed earlier]. Nor are they as lifelike as the naturalistic portraits of the artists of Nigeria... The observation of nature, and the regularity of the whole, are so evenly balanced that they impress us as being lifelike and yet remote and enduring.

Ancient Egyptian Art

"This combination of geometric regularity and keen observation of nature is characteristic of all Egyptian art. We can study it best in the reliefs and paintings that adorned the walls of the tombs. The word 'adorned', it is true, may hardly fit an art which was meant to be seen by no one but the dead man's soul. In fact, these works were not intended to be enjoyed. They, too, were meant to 'keep alive'. Once, in a grim distant past, it had been the custom when a powerful man died to let his servants and slaves accompany him into the grave. They were sacrificed so that he should arrive in the beyond with a suitable train. Later, these horrors were considered either too cruel or too costly, and art came to the rescue. Instead of real servants, the great ones of this earth were given images as substitutes.

The pictures and models found in Egyptian tombs were connected with the idea of providing the soul with helpmates in the other world, a belief that is found in many early cultures. To us these reliefs and wall-paintings provide in extraordinarily vivid picture of life as it was lived in Egypt thousands of years ago. And yet, looking at them for the first time, one may find them rather bewildering. The reason is that the Egyptian painters had a very different way from ours of representing real life. Perhaps this is connected with the different purpose their paintings had to serve. What mattered most was not prettiness but completeness. It was the artists' task to preserve everything as clearly and permanently as possible. So they did not set out to sketch nature as it appeared to them from any fortuitous angle. They drew from memory, according to strict rules which ensured that everything that had to go into the picture would stand out in perfect clarity...

Ancient Egyptian Art

"A similar method is often used by children. But the Egyptians were more consistent in their application of these methods than children ever are. Everything had to be represented from its most characteristic angle. [Consider] the effect which this idea had on the representation of the human body. The head was most easily seen in profile so they drew it sideways. But if we think of the human eye we think of it as seen from the front.

 Accordingly, a full-face eye was planted into the side view of the face. The top half of the body, the shoulders and chest, are best seen from the front, for then we see how the arms are hinged to the body. But arms and legs in movement are much more clearly seen sideways. That is the reason why Egyptians in these pictures look so strangely...contorted. Moreover, the Egyptian artists found it hard to visualize either foot seen from the outside.

Ancient Egyptian Art
Ancient Egyptian Art

They preferred the clear outline from the big toe upwards. So both feet are seen from the inside, and the man on [a] relief looks as if he had two left feet. It must not be supposed that Egyptian artists thought that human beings looked like that. They merely followed a rule which allowed them to include everything in the human form that they considered important. Perhaps this strict adherence to the rule had something to do with their magic purpose. For how could a man with his arm 'foreshortened' or 'cut off' bring or receive the required offerings to the dead?

"It is one of the greatest things in Egyptian art that all the statues, paintings and -architectural forms seem to fall into place as if they obeyed one law. We call such a law, which all creations of a people seem to obey, a 'style'. It is very difficult to explain in words what makes a style, but it is far less difficult to see. The rules which govern all Egyptian art give every individual work the effect of poise and austere harmony.

"The Egyptian style comprised a set of very strict laws, which every artist had to learn from his earliest youth. Seated statues had to have their hands on their knees; men had to be painted with darker skin than women; the appearance of every Egyptian god was strictly laid down: Horus, the skygod, had to be shown as a falcon or with a falcon's head; Anubis, the god of funeral rites, as a jackal or with a jackal's head.

Every artist also had to learn the art of beautiful script. He had to cut the images and symbols of the hieroglyphs clearly and accurately in stone. But once he had mastered all these rules he had finished his apprenticeship. No one wanted anything different, no one asked him to be 'original'. On the contrary, he was probably considered the best artist who could make his statues most like the admired monuments of the past. So it happened that in the course of three thousand years or more Egyptian art changed very little.

"Everything that was considered good and beautiful in the age of the pyramids was held to be just as excellent a thousand years later. True, new fashions appeared, and new subjects were demanded of the artists, but their mode of representing man and nature remained essentially the same."

Ancient Egypt Money

The Egyptian currency is the Egyptian Pound (Geneih) usually written as L.E. has a long history before it was introduced. In a society where most of the population made a living from agriculture and surpluses were small, trade was limited.The needs of the farming population were basic: grain for baking bread and brewing beer, dried fish, vegetables, some linen for a simple loincloth and mud bricks for a hut. Food and flax they could grow themselves. Mud was found at the nearby river bank. And sometimes there was a surplus which could be exchanged for little luxuries.Trade was done by barter, a reasonably efficient method when mostly basic necessities were exchanged.

Ancient Egypt Money

 Even after coined money was introduced in the second half of the first millennium BCE, barter continued to be widespread among the farming population for centuries.Grain and oil often served as a kind of coinage. This use of basic storable food stuffs had both advantages and drawbacks. If all one earned was expended on food anyway and there was practically no choice about the kind of food one could get, then eating one's wages was a system less cumbersome than being remunerated in specie and having to acquire the food afterwards.During famines which were quite frequent, one did not starve if one had savings; and many a peasant rose on the social ladder by exchanging hoarded corn for land during times of dearth.

Ancient Egypt Money

Then, as today, business went smoothly as long as there was goodwill and both parties were honest.However as trade increased and economy grew complex barter system proved to be insufficient and monetary system was introduced. Since the beginning of the circulation of silver and gold coins in Egypt and until 1834, no specified monetary unit existed to serve as a basis for the monetary system in Egypt. Only a few of the coins were minted locally.In 1834, a Decree was promulgated providing for issuing an Egyptian currency based on a bimetallic base. By virtue of this Decree the minting of coins in the form of gold and silver riyals was monopolized by the government. In 1836 the Egyptian pound was minted and put into circulation.

Because Egyptian mints were insufficient to satisfy the requirements of large transactions as well as foreign trade and because of the use of foreign coins for this purpose, legal exchange rates were fixed by force of law for important foreign currencies which became acceptable in the settlement of internal transactions.Fluctuations in the value of silver in addition to the adoption of the gold standard by most of the countries trading with Egypt, particularly the United Kingdom, led to the application of the gold standard, on a de facto basis, after almost thirty years of a bimetallic standard.Following the financial crisis resulting from the accumulation of Egypt's external debt, the Monetary Reform Law was issued in 1885. By virtue of this Law, the gold standard became the basis for the Egyptian monetary system, and the country had a unified currency, the Egyptian gold pound.


Ancient Egypt Money


 Thus, the bimetallic standard was officially abandoned.Owing to the insufficiency of minted new gold pounds, it was permitted to use some foreign gold coins, particularly the Sterling pound, at fixed legal rates. While the Egyptian gold pound was still deemed a legal tender, the Sterling gold pound, which was valued at more than its gold content compared to other foreign gold coins, remained the main medium of exchange, and the monetary system was no longer based on the ordinary gold standard but on the Sterling gold standard.

2013/04/14

Ancient Egypt Currency

In any society in the world, people are co-dependent upon one another for survival and sustenance. This takes form of services, agriculture, business, trade, and commerce. What was the basis of exchange of goods and services in Ancient Egypt? As is the case with most civilizations, the system of currency began with the simple barter method. More information on:Later grain was used as currency. Finally, gold, silver and copper began to be used as currency, although not used in day to day trade and business, but mostly with traders from outside the kingdom.The barter system, being the most efficient and simple came to be employed in Ancient Egypt.

 Ancient Egypt Currency


 It must be noted, that barter means exchange, or something in return for another. No standard form of currency or coin or paper money was in use at the time. In Egypt, the barter method worked like this.In case a merchant wanted a carpet that would normally cost 20 pieces of silver. But he does not have any silver in order to buy the carpet. He would then exchange a camel in lieu of silver and give it to the other person and obtain the carpet. Therefore, it as highly personalised and depended on whatever a person possessed in order to barter that object for another.Another method of payment was giving one's daughter's hand in marriage. In 500 BC, coin, as a method of payment was established.

Ancient Egypt Currency

Ancient Egypt Currency




 Initially, the gold and silver that was brought into the country from outside, was considered as precious metals with standard weights and not as proper formal currency.However, during the second half of 400 BC, merchants from the Mediterranean's started depending upon these standard weight coins as a method of barter and payment. Traders from Greece, who, up till then, were satisfied with pieces of land in exchange of any service, began to ask for money, as in the 'Specie', an Egyptian coin that was akin to the Greek Tetra drachmas.When Ptolemy began his rule, coins were minted with the faces of Hellenic kings. Silver and gold were accepted modes of payment, but bronze was much more commonly used to buy daily products.

Ancient Egypt Currency


This was based upon the same standardisation of copper.However, all this shift in the mode of payment and currency system had minimal effect upon local commerce till Roman era. This was so because the European concept of loans, interest on loans and amassing of riches began to be practiced in Ancient Egypt.In an organised economy and centrally administrated state, taxes have to be levied. Since the major occupation was farming, grain was given as tax payment. It was used as currency, so much so that grain banks sprouted up. The copper currency of Ancient Egypt was called a deben .

Ancient Egypt City

Cities are the natural result of any civilisation where political organisation is well-established. Ancient Egypt was no exception. The cities were related to the various dynasties that shaped the course of civilisation.  Political, economic and importantly security reasons were behind these establishments. Some have vanished due to many reasons including the flooding of the Nile, but some remain maintaining their history and heritage.  Niwt was the term used for Egyptian city during the New Kingdom.

 Ancient Egypt City
 Ancient Egypt City

As early as the 5th Dynasty, the term for a "town" or large village was dmi. Whyt was the term for village.  Cities were built on the floodplain, as the proximity to the river Nile helped transportation, travel and irrigation. Prior to 5000 BC, the inhabitants of the Nile Valley were mostly foragers who practiced fishing, fowling, hunting and collecting wild plants.  The first known farming community then occupied a site at the edge of the floodplain of the Nile Delta at Merimda Beni Salama, about twenty-five kilometres to the northwest of Cairo.

 Ancient Egypt City
 Ancient Egypt City

This was a large village, consisting of about 180,000 square meters and it remained populated for about 1,000 years.  Around 3500 BC, the village of Maadi was established about fifteen kilometres south of present day Cairo, probably as a trade centre. Trade items like copper and bitumen were unearthed from this location. It is believed that Maadi was at the end of an overland trade route to Palestine.  The site shows evidence of huts, storage magazines, silos and cellars. The two towns of Hierakonpolis and Naqada were important. The former had around 2000 inhabitants.

 Ancient Egypt City
 Ancient Egypt City

The latter was probably an administrative centre.  From around 3500 to 3300 BC, the place was characterised by a decline in the Nile floods and flourishing of trade which led to the emergence of many more cities. Abydos, north of Naqada and Hierakonpolis was a significant religious establishment.  It existed as a locus of proto-national power that even controlled parts of the Delta some two centuries before the emergence of the 1st Dynasty.  Establishment of the city Memphis was a result of the unification of all the administrative districts at around 3000 BC. Unfortunately, we know only a very little about this city.
 
 Ancient Egypt City

 Ancient Egypt City



 Ancient Egypt City



 Ancient Egypt City




It shifted eastward due to invasion of sand dunes and a shift in the course of the Nile. Tell el-Dab'a was a residential town.  During the period of New and Middle kingdoms, Thebes, the city of Amon was the capital of Egypt for almost one thousand years. It was situated in the north eastern part of modern Cairo. The city became prominent as a royal residence and a seat of god Amon. It is a striking testimony to Egyptian culture.  Today, Luxor covers the site where Thebes was situated. As the locus of power shifted to the Nile delta, Thebes went into decline. Tanis became an important royal city during the Third Intermediate Period. It remained the Egypt's capital till the Arab invasion.

 Ancient Egypt City

 Apart from the main cities, there were also specialised cities for trade. As Egyptian civilization progressed, there appears to have been some seventeen cities and twenty-four towns in an administrative network that linked them to the national capital. The cities, no doubt helped the community to assume the role of a great power in the ancient world.


2013/04/10

Ancient Egyptian Canals

There was always plenty of water, so salts never built up in the soil; and the flow in the canals and ditches was strong enough to avoid silting. Ditches and canals were short, and the typical irrigation scheme was very local.The ancient Egyptians dug a long canal called Bahr Yousuf to bring water from the Nile to the Faiyum Depression for irrigation.


Ancient Egyptian Canals
Ancient Egyptian Canals


Egyptians developed a system of "Nilometers" at various points along the valley.This was helpful in comparing past and present water levels. Water storage was not attempted by the Egyptians. Water was transported in jugs as illustrated in many places.The people were at advantage because of the natural restoration of fertility every year and irrigation did not occur to them as a difficulty.

Ancient Egyptian Canals

The shaduf was the water lifting device used by the farming population appeared after 1500 BC. It consists of a container made of animal skins or clay attached to a lever counterbalanced by stones.The container is dipped into the river, when full it is lifted out and dumped into a canal. The shaduf by the museum can hold 20 litres of water. The fortunate people of Egypt made use of the timely flooding of the Nile, which indeed remains, for many number of decades, as a blessing to the valley.

2013/04/08

Ancient Egyptian Creation

There are several creation myths which developed in various locations in Egypt. The myths all had at the center of their story a primordial mound know as the "Island of Creation." It was the goal of religion to recreate this time which caused the Egyptians to be very traditional in their beliefs. Each of the major creation myths claimed that the temple of their local god/s was the physical location of the island. Three major stories which developed in the Old Kingdom were the Heliopolitan Myth, the Memphite Myth, and the Hermopolitan Myth.

Ancient Egyptian Creation

 Each was named after the city where the myth developed respectively . The Heliopolitan Myth developed in Heliopolis and centered around Re-Atum as the key god figure . According to the myth, Re-Atum willed himself into existence. The Memphite Myth originated in Memphis. According to this myth it was Ptah who was the supreme creator god . The Hermopolitan Myth was developed at Hermopolis . Here the god Thoth, god of wisdom, was the main player . According to Egyptian mythology, Khnum created the living creatures on his potter's wheel. He modelled the animals, plants and people of the earth.





Ancient Egyptian Creation


A detailed description of how he created humans is found at Esna Temple. It describes how he orders the bloodstream to cover the bones, and makes the skin enclose the body. He then makes the respiratory system and the food digestion . The principal creator god in Ancient Egyptian religion is the sun-god; in the Egyptian language, the word for sun is Ra, and this was one name for the sun-god, but he was also regularly called Atum, from the word tm 'complete'.

Ancient Egyptian Creation


The name Atum seems intended to evoke all matter as concentrated in the creator, before creation emerged. Creation is a process of unfurling, with the undivided All gradually fissioning into separable entities . In accordance with the polytheistic beliefs of ancient Egyptians Shu and Tefnut gave birth to the sky- goddess Nut and the earth god Geb, and so the physical universe was created. Ra seems to rest while his sons and daughters are completing the task of creation.

Ancient Egyptian Creation


In one Egyptian creation myth, the sun god Ra takes the form of Khepri, the scarab god who was usually credited as the great creative force of the universe. Khepri tells us that in the beginning there is nothing. He made the watery abyss known as Nu, from which he later draws the materials needed for the creation of everything. By the use of magic Khepri creates land with its foundation in Maat (law, order, and stability). At this point in time Khepri is alone. Khepri wept profusely, and from his tears sprang men and women.