Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Egyptian overview: from the Pharaonic period to the Arabic era

Egyptian Idols
Originally uploaded by hiddentravel
1. Who were the outsiders who trekked deeply into North and West Africa - about the year 1000 AD - to trade and leave behind their cultural influences?
a) Arabs b) Romans c) Greeks d) Hindus
The desert-wise Arabs!
2. These intrepid traders crossed the Sahara to trade with the peoples of West Africa. The motivation for such a trek was (choose 3):
a) slaves b) gold c) ivory d) fabrics e) masks f) music & dance.
Slaves, gold & ivory - today the world loves the fabrics, masks and music & dance of the African continent.
3. The Romans conquered the lands on the rim of North Africa about the time of Christ. They established trade with and built cities in 5 African-Mediterranean nations: __, __, __, __, & __. Please see your atlas.
4. East Africa's trading neighbors would be the Arabs and others from the nations that lie closest to the border. These 4 nations would be __, __, __ & __. See yr atlas , please.
5. Which location offers evidence that the Arabs sailed down the east coast of Africa to establish trading centers? a) Mogadishu b) Mombasa c) Dar es Salaam.
Dar es salaam means the"haven of peace" in Arabic.
6. Did the Pharaonic era Egyptians have serious trouble from Midddle Eastern tribal nations? Yes / No.
Yes. In fact, peoples from Palestine/Lebanon, the Hyksos, conquered and ruled Egypt for a time during the age of the Pharaohs.
7. The "look" of a modern Egyptian: does he look a bit like the ancient Pharaohs and a bit like a blend of the ethnic groups who've invaded Egypt over the centuries? Do Egyptians look like a "crossroads" people? Yes / No .
Yes. This is my opinion, but I spent 6 weeks studying Egypt and Egyptians on a Fulbright Fellowship, so ...
8. What is the area of Egypt? __ million sq. miles. Is it about the same as that of Nigeria? __ million sq. miles.
9. What is the population of Egypt? __ million The population of Nigeria? __ million
10. How do you explain the differences between the Egyptian and Nigerian statistics? _____________

Which came first, the Great Pyramids or the Valley of the Kings?
The pyramids came from the Old Kingdom, the Valley of the Kings from the Middle Kingdom.

* Egypt was part of the Roman Empire. Supplied wheat to Rome and the rest of the empire. Was a source of wild animals used in the coliseums' gladiatorial extravaganzas.

* The reading of hieroglyphic messages fell into disuse after the invasion of Alexander the Great (which preceded the Roman era). He brought the Greek language and culture to Egypt and the Middle East. With the extinction of the priest class and the old-style pharaohs, Hieroglyphics were replaced by Greek and Demotic script.

* Rosetta Stone: in 1799 Napoleon's soldiers dug up a basalt announcement stone with 3 scripts: Greek, Demotic and Hieroglyphics. Written about 200 BC, it was the key to translating the hieroglyphics. Credit for translation goes to Frenchman Jean Francois Chompollion.

Today the Rosetta Stone is in the British Museum, London.

* The white limestone blocks that clad the Great Pyramids in a smooth "skin" were also lost in antiquity. They were taken from the Pyramids to be used as building stone for palaces and businesses. Subsequently the dark, 2-ton blocks which make the body of the pyramids are bare.

* Another lost technology: how to make glass of the type found in the blue bands of King Tut's golden burial mask.

Cairo, Time Life Books.
World History Encyclopedia, DP.
The Arab World, Time/Life.