Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Middle Kingdom

The Middle Kingdom is the kingdom that follows the First Intermediate Period. One hundred years after the Old kingdom fell the Middle Kingdom arose. During the Middle Kingdom they had 2 different dynasties. Also during the Middle Kingdom, kings accomplished many things including the repairing of irrigation projects and the writing of texts.(Romer 216)

The Middle Kingdom began with the 11th dynasty, when Mentuhotep Nebhepetre II reunited upper and lower Egypt. The great monument of this time was Mentuhotep's mortuary complex. It was built against the mountains of Thebes, the capital of the time. Mentuhotep's mortuary was centered on a terraced temple with pillared porticoes. Mentuhotep ruled for 51 years. During this time he made Egypt a very strong country again but do to some family problems their dynasty fell and a new dynasty began.

During the time of the Middle Kingdom trade picked up by a dramatic incline. Mines that produce gold, and quarries, were now dug up for projects. Another change was the fact that now pyramids were being built like they were during the Old Kingdom. They built them for burial purposes. Many projects were constructed during the Middle Kingdom. Amenemhet built the Wall of the Princes. Senusret I built a 13 fortresses from the Second Cataract up along the Nile to protect them against invaders. (Lassieur 50)

The 12th Dynasty started with Amenemhet I's rule. Amenemhet moved the capital from Thebes to a new city called Itj-tawi. The Climax of the 12th Dynasty was when Sesostris III brought political, economical and cultural climax to the Country.

The Middle Kingdom was the first Kingdom after a very destructive Intermediate Period. It was a very accomplished Kingdom and many things were improved during this time. After the Middle Kingdom came the Second Intermediate Period.

Lassieur, Allison. The Ancient Egyptians. San Diego, Ca: Lucent Books, 2001.

Romer, John. People of the Nile. New York: Crown Publishers, 1982.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Old Kingdom

The Old Kingdom took place between 2650 and 2150 B.C. There were four dynasties that took place during the Old Kingdom. The biggest events during the Old Kingdom were the making of the Pyramids. The Old Kingdom was the time of the highest point of Egyptian civilization occurs. It is commonly reffered to as the Golden Age of Egypt.(Lassieur, 34)

In total there were four dynasties to exist during the Old Kingdom. The third dynasty was the first dynasty in the Old Kingdom. It took place from 2650-2575 B.C. The rulers of the third dynasty created the amazing step Pyramid at Saqqara. The fourth dynasty,2575-2465, had six rulers. They accomplished a strong centralized government and they also accomplished the pyramids at Giza and Dahshur. The five rulers of the fifth dynasty accomplished pyramids aswell. They also accomplished temples at Abu Sir and Saqqara during 2465-2325 B.C. The last dynasty,2325-2150, during the Old Kingdom was the sixth dynasty. It's four rulers accomplished pyramids at Saqqara.(Romer, 216)

"The Old Kingdom is known as the golden age of the Pyramids because this era saw the construction of the first pyramids ever built."(Lassieur 34) The Old Kingdom was full of the contrusction of many pyramids. Many well known pyramids were built during this time aswell. Some of them are the Great Pyramids at Giza, The Bent Pyramid, and Zosers Monument, which was the first stone pyramid.

"During this remarkable period of 300 years, the Egyptians learned by trial and error to create the massive structures that remaine to this day."
This quote explains how the Egyptians created the pyramids that still stand today.
The Pyramids during the Old Kingdom are the main events that took place during this period of time. The pyramids built during this time also include the pyramids at Saqqara, a pyramid at Abu Sir, and the Meidum Pyramid.

The Old Kingdom is full of architecture wonder. The pyramids are a wonderful way to remember the Old Kingdom by. The reason the Old Kingdom fell is because of drought but the Pyramids trully keep the Pyramids alive.

Lassieur, Allison. The Ancient Egyptians. San Diego, Ca: Lucent Books, 2001.

Romer, John. People of the Nile. New York: Crown Publishers, 1982.

Monday, September 10, 2007

King Khufu

Khufu was the second king of the fourth Dynasty of Egypt. He ruled during the Old Kingdom. His father was King Senefru, his mother was Queen Hetep-Heres 1. He was maried to Maritates, and Henutsen, and two unknown Queens. Khufu was the father of six sons and three daughters. He was also known and Cheops. (Clayton, 42) (Stalcup 118)

Khufu's father, King Senefru was remembered as a gentle and beneficient person and ruler. Khufu was seen to be more cruel and violent. He was said to like to listen to mystical stories and enjoyed magic. Khufu's father also built pyramids so Khufu had the joy and benefit of watching pyramids be built.

Khufu's greatest accomplishment was his Great Pyramid at Giza. It was built around 2560 B.C. There are two other pyramids at Giza, but of them his is the largest and the one with the greatest detail. His Pyramid is now one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This pyramid was said to have taken twenty years to build. When it was built it was 146 Meters tall, but now it is 137 Meters tall. It was covered with stones so it would be smooth. The base was 230.38 Meters in width. The only remaining Ancient Wonder that is still standing today is The Great Pyramid at Giza.

A large discovery was made in the pit of the base of the Great Pyramid. A large ancient wooden boat was found. The boat was found in pieces but since then they restored and now it is reassembled. Also found in the Pyramid was a nine centimeter statue of the great ruler, Khufu.

King Khufu was buried in his Great Pyramid when he died. Khufu was a cruel leader but he changed History in a big way with his pyramid. Many tales were told about Khufu and he was remembered throughout the history of Pharoahs, and will be remembered for his accomplishments.

Clayton, A. Peter. Chronicle of the Pharaohs. New York: Thames and Hudson, Inc., 1994.
Stalcup, Brenda. Ancient Egyptian Civilizations. San Diego, California: Greenhaven Press, 2001.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Code of Hammurabi

The Code of Hammurabi was written in 1760 B.C. It was created by Hammurabi, the King of Babylon, to set a standard for a way of living. It is the earliest sets of laws, and one that is preserved the best, of ancient Babylon.

Hammurabi thought that he was chosen by the gods to bring standards to the people he ruled over. He says, in the code, that two gods came to him and told him to bring the law to his people. So, in return, he wrote the Code of Hammurabi. The reason Hammurabi created the laws was because he felt instructed to by the gods. That is the history of the creation of the Code of Hammurabi.

The code consists of 282 laws that cover all the areas of life of that time period. The areas it covered were divided into sections. "The Code of Hammurabi makes a legal distinction between people based on their status as free or not free."(Leick, 186) Also the punishment was given depending on the social class you were in. The Code is written in Semitic language. One of the sections was written on economic problems. It included trade, prices, commerce, and tariffs. Another section was written on the family. It included divorce and marriage. Criminal Law was another section. This included theft and assault. Civil law is the last section and it covers debt and slavery. The two classes that existed were the nobles and the commoners. The nobles were the upper class and the commoners were the lower class. It was also very obvious that men had more privileges than women. One thing that is also seen very common throughout the Code is the use of lex talionis.

Hammurabi wanted his set of laws to be used forever and for justice to be administered under his rules. He says, "To the end of days, forever, may the king who happens to be in the land observe the words of justice which i have inscribed on my stele."(Nemet-Nejat, 226) Hammurabi implicated that this is the way he felt the law should be set up. This is also how he believed wrong doers should be punished. He felt that the whole world should be run like this forever, as he says. These were the first set of written laws so it really did have an effect on the world. Some of the things he includes in the Code are still used in our society. The Code of Hammurabi had a very large effect on the world and History would have been entirely different if he had not written his code.

As one can see the Code of Hammurabi has a very interesting creation. As the first law code ever written down, it contains a great importance. Hammurabi wanted his law code to continue for ever and still today we use some of the concepts throughout the world. Without the Code of Hammurabi the history continuing after it could have changed the world. The Code of Hammurabi has had a great effect on our world.

Leick, Gwendolyn. Mesopotamia: The Invention of the City. England: Penguin Group, 2001.

Nemet-Nejat, Karen. Daily Life in Ancient Mesopotamia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing, 1998.