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Egyptian society is considered to be one of the most technically and socially complex of all of the ancient civilizations. In particular, this paper discusses how its geographical location, by the Nile, gave it a clear advantage in terms of enabling its people to survive under difficult conditions. It examines how the inundation schedule of the Nile produced a ready source of laborers willing to work, a complex measuring system and a complex culture. The paper also looks at how the military security provided by the desert, the relative bounty of the Nile's fertility, and the constant fear of famine can be traced back to the Nile. Although the Egyptians later achieved greater control over the Nile, its cultural influences persisted until the demise of this great civilization.
From the Paper:"The Egyptians were acutely aware of their dependence upon the Nile, and regarded it with reverence: "During the Eleventh Dynasty a sanctuary was built on the island specifically to celebrate Inundations" (Seawright 2009). Eventually, the Egyptians began to use their technological knowledge to gain greater mastery over the Nile in the form of the Aswan High Dam. Until the construction of the Dam, Egypt received only a yearly inundation from the Nile. Their early agricultural history influenced a system of belief that placed a strong emphasis on the capriciousness of their gods, and cycles of death and rebirth, such as the death and rebirth of the sun god that paralleled the coming into being and death of the fertility of the soil. Being able to preserve provisions when food was lacking was critical, and also may have influenced the rituals of the preservation of the dead.
"The availability of food on a regular basis enabled a more complex 'culture' to take hold within the land. Amongst peoples who were constantly struggling for food, it was difficult to develop a relatively healthy art, religious, and political life. Cultural development was further facilitated by the fact that Egyptian topography rather schizophrenic. On one hand, there was a relatively small amount of land that provided sustenance. On the other hand, there was the red land of the barren stretch of desert...."
Sample of Sources Used:
- "Geography." Ancient Egypt: The British Museum. October 26, 2009 http://www.ancientegypt.co.uk/geography/home.html
- "Geography of Ancient Egypt." Egypt: emuseum. October 26, 2009 http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/egypt/dailylife/geography.html
- Seawright. Caroline. "Inundations." Tour Egypt. October 26, 2009 http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/nile.htm
- "The Old Kingdom. Pyramid Construction." Tour Egypt. Fordham University. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/asbook04.html#The%20Old%20Kingdom
- Winston, Alan. "The labors of pyramid building." Tour Egypt. October 26, 2009 http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/pyramidworkforce.htm
Cite this Term Paper:
Ancient Egyptian Culture and the Nile (2012, May 21) Retrieved September 25, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/ancient-egyptian-culture-and-the-nile-151088/
"Ancient Egyptian Culture and the Nile" 21 May 2012. Web. 25 September. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/ancient-egyptian-culture-and-the-nile-151088/>