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Ancient Civilizations

Origin and Collapse of Indus Valley Civilization

There are several different theories about the origin of Indus Valley Civilization but none of them has been fully confirmed including the so-called Dravidian theory. The scholars mostly agree that Indus Civilization developed from agricultural society which used the Mesopotamian model of irrigation.

Like origin, collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization remains unknown but it was certainly not caused by a single factor. Mohenjo-daro has been devastated by floods for several times and it seems that the city was in decline already for some time before it finally ceased to exist. The decline of Indus Valley Civilization might be also a result of climate changes, exhausted soil, a disease and invasions by foreign peoples. There has been a lot of speculations whether the Indo-Aryans were responsible for the final blow to the Indus Valley Civilization. Archaeological excavations in Mohenjo-daro revealed unburied human remains on the streets of the city but there is no firm evidence that walled cities and citadels which were according to the books of Rigveda attacked by the Indo-Aryans were actually referring to the cities of the Indus Valley Civilization. Even more, the archaeological evidences imply that Indus Valley Civilization collapsed before the arrival of the Indo-Aryans, while the remote cities south from Gudjarat seem to survive the fall of both largest cities of the Indus Valley Civilization.

 

Introduction to Indus Valley Civilization and Vedic Period

Indus Valley Civilization

Now’s knowledge regarding the Civilization virtually solely based on archeological finds. Regrettably, a lot remains unknown involving both collapse and origin of the Indus Valley Civilization. It’s unsure whether Indus Valley Civilization consisted of many independent city-states also it was a centralized state. Indus Valley Civilization composing system consisting of 250 to 500 characters hasn’t been fully deciphered yet.

The occurrence of Indus Valley Civilization among the first world’s civilizations has been verified from the 20th century but the ruins of Harappa were described in the 19th century. Since the earliest and most significant finds, for example, both cities – Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were found close to the Indus River the culture had been named following the Indus River although afterwards archaeological excavations revealed it really spread much beyond the Indus Valley.

The northwestern and northern Indian subcontinent went through a significant shift in the center of the 2nd century BC. Indus Valley Civilization eventually collapsed and the area was settled from the Indo-Arians. The group of sacred texts called the Veda comprising four groups: Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda is your principal resource for the background of this northern Indian subcontinent between 1500 and 550 BC. Because of this, the interval between 1500 and 550 BC is often called the Vedic period through that have been created by various kingdoms. The caste system that’s nonetheless identifying for Indian subcontinent has also its source in the Vedic Period.

Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Development of this writing system in early Egypt was distinct than in Mesopotamia. The first instance of early Egyptian hieroglyphics script goes from around 3100 BC but scholars believe that ancient Egyptians began to write much sooner. However, in contrary to some Sumerian cuneiform script that developed from pictographs (image drawing) there isn’t any evidence that similar procedure happened in Egypt too. It’s also quite unlikely that the Egyptian hieroglyphs have been affected by the cuneiform script since both scripts foundation on various writing systems. Hence the source of this ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs stays unknown except Thoth (god of the moon and of intellect, writing and knowledge normally referred to as the ibis-headed person ) is credited with the introduction of writing.

Hieroglyphs, Papyrus of Ani

Hieroglyphs (in the Greek word for sacred carvings) includes 3 types of glyphs: logographs (signals representing the significance of this image and the emblem of a solid ), phonetic glyphs (characters that represent the noises ) and determinatives (signals which help disambiguate the meaning of logographs and word branch ). The reader can quickly figure out how to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs by way of individual faces and creatures. By way of instance, should they seem to abandon the text has to be read from left to right?

According to Mesopotamian scribes who mostly composed on clay tablets, early Egyptians mainly used papyrus scrolls that were in the time extremely pricey. Ancient Egyptian scribes were writing with a reed stylus with chopped sharp or metallic stage. The text was written with black ink made from soot, water along with a gummy material, whereas the names and initials were generally written with red ink produced from red hematite (red iron oxide) and vermilion (red mercuric oxide).

Contrary to cuneiform script reading and writing of that remained restricted to the societal elites, the hieroglyphs finally became employed by the broader population. But as hieroglyph writing on papyrus took a Great Deal of precision and patience finally developed simplified type of hieroglyphic writing called the demotic (popular) script used by broader people, while the priests composed in hieratic (in the Greek word for priestly) script, a cursive writing system that allowed quicker writing but was utilized only for religious texts

Mathematics, Astronomy and Medicine in Ancient Egypt

Condition organization and central management also heavily influenced the advancement of science and engineering in ancient Egypt. Nearly all the early Egyptian population was weak and illiterate but the rich minority that consisted of nobility and priesthood was heavily interested in the events and happenings in their surroundings. Observing, describing and analyzing natural events caused the growth of early Egyptian science that predicated on principles of usability and simplicity. Ancient Egyptian engineers, constructors, architects, medical professionals, educators and astronomers weren’t especially interested in the causes of particular events that were commonly attributed to the supernatural forces. Ancient Egyptians were mostly practical and less theoretical.

Ancient Egyptians heavily depended upon annual Nile flooding so they needed to assess the arable land, place the boundaries between landowners annually to stop conflicts. Structure of temples and palaces additionally required precise plans in addition to some mathematical understanding. Besides quantifying ancient Egyptians also needed to utilize additional fundamental mathematical areas like calculation and counting for economic purposes. If they desired to exchange they needed to learn how to burden, while measuring, calculating and counting were crucial for collecting taxes. Ancient Egyptians understood geometric bodies to figure out the surface and volume of a few of them what certainly shows the magnificent precision in pyramid construction.

Annual Nile inundation also significantly influenced both instances astronomy and measuring in ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptian calendar had 365 days and 12 weeks with 30 days, while 5 additional days at the end of those years have been inserted as birthdays of main gods. The foundation for the ancient Egyptian calendar (that is pretty much exactly the same than our modern calendar) was yearly Nile flooding – that the time from you to another Nile flood was equal to a single year. So ancient Egyptian celebrated a brand new year at the middle of September when flood attained its height. Aside from the new year’s day that’s based on the most broadly dispersed Gregorian calendar on January 1, ancient Egyptian calendar also distinguished itself in the modern calendar for having just 3 seasons: akhet (Flooding), component (Growth-Winter) and also shemu (Harvest-Sumer). The priest detected celestial bodies and distinguished 36 celebrities along with five planets. Ancient Egyptians used sundials throughout the day, and sand or water clocks in the nighttime time for measuring of time.

Statue of Imhotep

Ancient Egyptians discovered the fundamentals of the body, inner organs and their functions and of causes of several diseases through a practice of mummification. Diseases, diseases, injuries and other health issues were treated with treatments that centred on therapeutic properties of various vitamins and herbs and were created based on written prescriptions. Imhotep has been the most well-known ancient Egyptian doctor and has been increased to divine status following his departure due to his accomplishments in medicine and worshiped as the god of healing and medicine.

Ancient Egyptian doctors treated joint dislocations, bone fractures and performed surgeries on a lot of distinct regions of the body such as the skull and have been also called great gynecologists. But, ancient Egyptian medicine was greatly influenced by faith and magical. Various magical items and amulets, ceremonies and rituals have been conducted on an ailing person to expel evil spirits and demons that were responsible for pain and illness. Treatment of medical issues and planning of remedies from ancient Egypt was solely in the domain of priests.

Burial Practices in Ancient Egypt

          Tutankhamun’s
           funerary mask

Ancient Egyptians believed in an afterlife and a person consisted of their human body and of the spirit – akh (occasionally called ka). The belief based on the certainty that the akh will go back to the body following passing which explains the early Egyptian burial practices that are noteworthy for embalming and mummification of the bodies of their deceased. Embalming and mummification were originally booked just for pharaohs but finally, they became available to all social classes.The practice of mummification in ancient Egypt was quite complexed and heavily depended upon the social standing of the deceased individual. The greater the social status the greater the mummification. The practice of mummification began with the elimination of internal organs through a slit cut in the gut, whereas the brains have been removed via the nose. All eliminated organs except for heart that was abandoned in the entire body were mummified individually and put into so-called canopic jars. The body was subsequently full of resin and assorted herbs and set in a combination of salts known as natron (soda alternative ) for approximately 40 days to wash the body. The mummy was wrapped into linen strips and put into a wooden coffin or stone sarcophagus where it had been buried.Priests conducted religious rituals and ceremonies

 

Canopic jars

were conducted through the process of mummification in addition to through the burial procedure to correctly prepare the deceased for the afterlife. Ancient Egyptians thought that the dead person must pass certain tests that were performed from the gods one of which was the very crucial the weighing of the heart against the feather of truth before attaining the afterlife presence. According to the early Egyptian certainty, the most significant part of

 

   Weighing of the heart scene

the soul was that the center – Ib which included records of deeds in the duration of the deceased. The center after departure was weighed against the god of the deceased Anubis. If the heart didn’t weight over the feather of fact the dead person was permitted to the underground kingdom of Osiris but when the center was heavier than the feather it was eaten by the Ammit, the fearsome eater of these hearts. Ancient Egyptians added several magical amulets and also the Book of the Dead that comprised a group of spells and directions for the dead person to assist the deceased to maneuver the weighing of the heart service along with other perils on the trip in the afterlife.

Ancient Egyptians also believed that the deceased desire range of daily items including food in order to”reside” from the afterlife. The kind and volume of burial products greatly varied in the social status of the deceased and from period to period. Wealthy Egyptians were buried with increased number items of higher value such as jewelry and even furniture, even although the ushabti, little statues to do labour for the deceased in the afterlife were inserted in a subsequent period.

  Howard Carter and the mummy of                       Tutankhamun

Such as the standard of embalmment and mummification, value and amount of additional burial products which greatly diverse from social status and interval, the burial sites greatly diverse as well. Social elite and pharaohs through the Early Dynastic Period were buried at the mastabas, flat-roofed rectangular structures with burial chambers deep inside, although the phases of Old and Middle Kingdom were characterized by pyramid construction which attained its height using the Giza Pyramid Complex. However, the construction of pyramids as tombs for pharaohs Started to fall shortly after the building of the Fantastic Pyramid of Giza and the pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom selected the Valley of the Kings as their burial Website. The majority of entrance doorways of the tombs of pharaohs had composed curses warning against going into the tomb.

Ancient Egyptian Religion and Gods

Like in other early cultures, faith played an extremely significant part in ancient Egypt too. Religion and spiritual beliefs in ancient Egypt were heavily influenced by agriculture that was relied upon annual Nile flooding and by sunlight. The Nile played a significant part in the myth of production, while the sunlight became regarded as the origin of existence on earth and worshiped in the kind of Atum-Ra, sunlight creation-god. According to the Egyptian myth of production, the world at the start was stuffed with all the primeval waters of chaos, the god Nun (or Nu) from which the god of sunlight created the ground.

Pharaoh Akhenaten worshiping Aton

The early Egyptians were highly spiritual men and women. Originally every town had its own god eventually, certain gods have been worshiped throughout Egypt. Ancient Egyptian faith was also greatly affected by the ruling dynasties and changes in capital cities. Atum was originally the god of production but following the transfer of funds to Memphis Atum was substituted by Ptah. Together with the institution of Heliopolis as a capital town, the sunlight creation-god became Atum-Ra who had been substituted by Amon-Ra when Thebes became capital of Egypt. Pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV) attempted to set monotheism from the worship of one sun-god Aton typically portrayed as sunlight disc but his successor Tutankhamun revived the old god of Amon-Ra.

              Osiris

The cult of Osiris was among the most well-known cults in ancient Egypt. His sister and spouse, Isis searched and discovered his body. She brought him back to life and they conceived a boy – Horus. Osiris afterwards died for the second time, while Place discovered that his body, cut it into pieces and scattered them throughout Egypt. Isis gathered all sections of Osiris’ body and bandaged them collectively. Osiris resurrected and became the god of the underworld, although their son Horus defeated Establish and became the ruler of Egypt. The Legend of Osiris and Isis greatly influenced spiritual beliefs and spiritual life in ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptians thought that pharaohs were the reincarnated god Horus, although early Egyptian burial habit – mummification was likewise inspired by the Legend of Osiris and Isis. The legend claims that Isis accumulated all sections of Osiris’ body and bandaged them for burial (which can be by some scholars believed the very first album of mummification) and Osiris resurrected as the god of the underworld.

Other most significant ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses were:

  • Anubis, god of the dead and embalming; normally referred to as a dog-headed or jackal-headed guy
  • Khepri, dawning sun deity; introduced as a scarab-headed guy
  • Khnum, god of fertility that created individuals from clay; introduced as the bull-headed guy
  • Khonsu, god of light in the nighttime; introduced as a falcon-headed guy with moon-disk on his mind
  • Maat of Ma’at, goddess of law, justice and greed; introduced as a girl (sitting or standing) and holding sceptre in 1 hand and an ankh from another
  • Meskhenet, goddess of childbirth; introduced as the girl with cow’s uterus in her mind
  • Min, god of fertility; introduced as a guy with black skin and erected penis
  • Neith, patron goddess of this town of Sais; introduced as a girl with two crossed arrows onto the protect
  • Sekhmet, warrior goddess; introduced as a lion-headed lady
  • Seth, a god of the desert, disease and chaos; introduced as a monster with the puppy body, curved snout, squared ears along with a tailor for a guy with a”Seth-animal” mind
  • Thoth, god of the moon and of intellect, Wisdom and composing; introduced as an ibis-headed guy

        Luxor Temple

There was also an assortment of different gods and goddesses who commanded a particular element of character and were largely benevolent but compulsory worship, spiritual rituals and ceremonies, gifs and sometimes animal sacrifices. Fantastic temples and temple complexes have been constructed to worship and honour the goddess and gods.

                   Anubis

Ancient Egyptian faith also shows traces of zoomorphism – creature worship that was probably the earliest type of religious worship in Egypt. All 42 nomes had its animal totem-like cat, cow, bull, crocodile, jackal, ibis, etc. which finally became embodied in a number of which were introduced in a body using an animal mind.

Daily Life in Ancient Egypt

The vast majority of early Egyptians was weak and attached to the property. They lived in small and simple homes made from mud-brick, although the minority of wealthy Egyptians lived in magnificent palaces based on the prosperity of a specific royal family. Palaces of all pharaohs had two entry doors that were the sign of the dual kingdom.

Ancient Egyptian clothing was easy linen sheets of various lengths. Men originally wore just brief linen skirt, whereas women wore long dresses that occasionally covered the breasts just with straps. Clothing shifted through time a good deal although stayed a standing symbol though clothes of pharaohs differentiated itself out of the clothes of other societal groups just because of being interwoven with gold ribbon and adorned with precious stones. In later stage become popular false beards that were worn with female pharaohs also.

Ancient Egyptians paid a great deal of focus on washing and hygiene. The wealthy Egyptians had their own bathrooms and flush toilets, although the great majority of individuals was washing at the Nile River generally in the daytime and in the day. Men shaved their whole bodies. Popular was also different perfumes and lotions.

Food of early Egyptians according to beer and bread, while some other most well-known foods were beef, fish, various veggies, fruits and fowls one of which they favoured roasted goose.

Women were married in 13 and boys in 15 decades old. Men occasionally had more wives, although pharaohs might have experienced a few hundred wives. The bulk of early Egyptians was weak and attached to the property. They lived in small and simple homes made from mud-brick, although the minority of wealthy Egyptians lived in magnificent palaces based on the prosperity of a specific royal household. Palaces of all pharaohs had two entry doors that were the sign of the dual kingdom.

Ancient Egyptian clothing was easy linen sheets of various lengths. Men originally wore just brief linen skirt, while women wore long dresses that occasionally covered the breasts just with straps. Clothing shifted through time a good deal although stayed a standing symbol though clothes of pharaohs differentiated itself out of the clothes of other societal groups just because of being interwoven with gold thread and adorned with precious stones. In later stage become popular false beards that were worn with female pharaohs too.

Ancient Egyptians paid a great deal of focus on washing and hygiene. The wealthy Egyptians had their own bathrooms and flush toilets, although the great majority of individuals was washing at the Nile River generally in the daytime and in the day. Men shaved their whole bodies. Very popular were various perfumes and lotions.

Food of early Egyptians according to beer and bread, while some other most well-known foods were beef, fish, various veggies, fruits and fowls one of which they favoured roasted goose.

Women were married in 13 and boys in 15 decades old. Men occasionally had more wives, although pharaohs might have experienced a few hundred wives.

 

Society and Social Hierarchy in Ancient Egypt

Society in early Egypt was organized hierarchically. Pharaoh was at the peak of the hierarchical pyramid and a complete political, jurisdictional, military, spiritual and administrative power and has been considered divine. Egyptian pharaohs ruled alone without consulting nobility or individuals and so were typical despots, although the kind of government was despotism. The name was hereditary but Egyptian judgment homes and dynasties were frequently overthrown by army commanders, high priests and equal lines which created new ruling dynasties. Pharaohs were seen as celestial or semi-divine and were worshiped such as gods. Occasionally they married their wives to defend the purity of imperial blood.

Vizier Neferkare Iymeru

Pharaoh’s orders were completed from the hierarchically organized administration in addition to that were the viziers. Viziers were frequently pharaohs’ toddlers or members of their royal households who gave immediate orders to the mind of imperial offices for the military, structure, navigation, commerce, medicine, foreign connections, frontiers, tax gathering, harvest distribution, livestock, and areas. Under the minds of imperial offices would be that the nomarchs, mayors of towns, heads of imperial lands and livestock, and imperial scribes who recorded and accumulated taxes. Administrative officials had jurisdictional competences but frequent folks comprising farmers, artists, retailers, artists and slaves may attract the high court or to the pharaoh himself.

They conducted religious rituals to acquire the goodwill of the gods but they additionally administered large estates given by the pharaohs. The place of a priest had been hereditary but priests were named by pharaohs generally as a reward for particular achievements or favours. Priests in ancient Egypt had several statements and were free of taxation and military support.

The army has been responsible for order and peace within the country and army operations beyond the boundaries and has been arranged strictly hierarchically, such as the government and culture of ancient Egypt.

Ancient Egyptian peasants were attached to the property but couldn’t be marketed. They needed to pay taxes and so were free of military support but they had been not able to take part in public works like building functions. But, there were also several independent tiny landowners that were only obliged to pay taxes. Slaves were around the very base of early Egyptian culture and were mostly prisoners of war. They were private possession of the owners but they had been permitted to wed and have a family. Some slaves became pharaohs’ retinues and so are quite powerful.

The middle course included craftsmen, retailers, reduced officials and officials that were not able to pay taxes and to perform army service.

Art in Ancient Egypt

 

Pharaoh Menkaura and goddesses Hathor and Bat

Ancient Egyptian artworks chiefly include wall paintings, reliefs, rock carvings, figurines, figurines, statuettes and funerary artifacts seen in temples and tombs. They portray scenes from everyday life like work on the areas and composing scribes, special occasions like notable battles and religious topics – gods and afterlife and would be the very valuable resource for the history of ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptian sculptures and paintings such as colours remained well maintained due to exceptionally dry climate and supply a valuable insight into everyday life, social hierarchy, political association, religious beliefs and other facets of life in ancient Egypt.

Wall painting, the tomb of                        Nakht

Ancient Egyptian paintings are distinguished by rigorous principles and rules that remained almost unchanged for centuries. Ancient Egyptian artists had a terrific sense of arrangement and equilibrium although ancient Egyptian artworks seem unnatural and surreal due to rigorous criteria. Numbers were depicted with easy lines on the horizontal background with no spatial thickness. The head and feet are always depicted in profile, while the eyes and bodies look straightforward. Ancient Egyptian artwork mostly served for religious and political intentions but it was also used as propaganda from the pharaohs. Besides for rigorous principles, ancient Egyptian artwork is also noteworthy for the use of symbolism. Various colours represent different meanings, while animals and animal kinds represent unique powers and traits of a specific creature.

               The Fantastic Sphinx

Ancient Egyptian sculptures nearly exclusively include gods and pharaohs. They don’t represent the true physical qualities of gods and rulers but their mightiness and electricity. Much like sculpture, painting in ancient Egypt followed rigorous criteria and principles so that the early Egyptian sculptures are rigid, unnatural and formal. Pharaohs were reflected in sitting posture with palms placed on the knees, scribes at a sitting posture with crossed legs and papyrus in palms, along with the slaves at kneeling position. Much like in painting, the size in palaces represents the societal standing – the bigger the sculpture the greater the societal standing. Reliefs and rock carvings were also a remarkably common kind of figurines in ancient Egypt, although the most famous is most likely the fantastic Sphinx in Giza. Sphinx – the sculpture using a human body and face of a lion stands like a protector over the pyramids of Giza and will be the oldest known monumental sculpture dating from the 3rd century BC.

Development of hieroglyphic script has been followed with the introduction of literary works which mostly include hymns to the gods and pharaohs, funerary and mythical texts, biographies and functions describing noteworthy events, etc. one of which will be best known the Novel of the Death.

Historical Egyptian dancers

Small understand about songs in early Egypt. Artworks depict instruments, dancers and singers who played vocal and instrumental songs.

Architecture in Ancient Egypt

Sun-dried mud-brick has been the exact basic structure material in early Egypt, while pyramids, temples and tombs were constructed of rock – largely limestone, granite and sandstone. Thus we could still respect the well maintained architectural accomplishments of early Egypt although they have been assembled thousands of years back.

                                 Giza Pyramid Sophisticated

The pyramids constructed at the span of the Old and Middle Kingdoms would be the most well-known architectural monuments of ancient Egypt and probably also of the primeval world. Pharaohs ordered the building of pyramids soon after ascending into a throne to finish it within the course of their life. Pyramids were built as tombs for pharaohs and for this reason it was critical they had been completed before their departure.

                  Djoser Pyramid

The earliest Egyptian pyramid is the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara. It was constructed between 2630 BC and also 2611 BC by notable Egyptian architect Imhotep. The pyramid construction reached its height using the fantastic Pyramid of Giza, also known as the Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu). The excellent Pyramid of Giza designated among the Seven Wonders of the World has been constructed for approximately 20 decades and has been finished at 2560 BC. Initially, about 147 meters (482 ft ) high pyramid was constructed of over 2,3 million limestone blocks each of which weighs from two to 15 tons.

Just how the Egyptian pyramids were assembled still remains unidentified and there are a number of theories regarding Egyptian pyramid building methods. All the very plausible theories indicate that the constructors used some sort of a ramp to drag the giant up cubes. Some Egyptologists think that one, a mile-long frontal ramp was used and has been ruined after the conclusion of this pyramid, while others believe more likely a spiral ramp around the pyramid. But, all specialists of early Egypt agree that building of pyramids required an enormous human workforce that didn’t consist of slaves such as it had been believed for quite a while. The archeological finds found close to the Giza Pyramid Sophisticated suggest that the pyramids were constructed by tens of thousands of trained employees who worked for a salary or as a sort of tax payment.

Pharaohs stopped to create pyramids because of their burial sites in the span of the New Kingdom. Rather, they’d chosen to be buried in the Valley of the Kings on the west shore of the Nile near the Thebes. The royal tombs were cut deep into the stone but regrettably, the vast majority of all 62 tombs and chambers had been robbed. But, English archeologist Howard Carter found the whole tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in 1922. Tutankhamun’s mummy and treasures discovered in his grave are now on display in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

          Great Temple at Abu Simbel

Beautiful temples and temple complexes are among the most glorious ancient Egyptian monuments and draw tens of thousands of tourists to Egypt from all around the world every year. The most well-known and notable would be the Temple Complex of Karnak situated near Luxor and committed to god Amon-Ra along with the two massive stone temples Abu Simbel carved from the mountainside through the reign of Ramses II.

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