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Tuesday, August 4, 2015
7. Ancient Egypt
One of the first great civilizations of mankind Egyptian civilization has left a lasting legacy to the world with a rich culture and great monuments. Began around 5,500 BC with small tribes that have developed in the fertile valley of the Nile with a firm control of agriculture and animal husbandry. This civilization was divided into two kingdoms called Upper and Lower Egypt were to be gradually merging and forming a centralized government in the hands of a single ruler known as pharaoh.
The timeline of the pharaohs was divided into 30 dynasties and began with the legendary pharaoh Menes who allegedly united the two kingdoms of Egypt around 3,150 BC and starting Early Dynastic Period, and before this milestone is considered as pre-dynastic period.
The next part is called the Old Kingdom when a breakthrough occurs in architecture, art and technology and there was a trend for building pyramids as funerary monuments to the pharaohs. This period of almost 5 centuries apogee is interrupted with a gradual decrease in the power of the pharaoh and a period of 140 years of famine and strife known as the First Intermediate period. This cycle occurs twice more with the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom succeeded by an interim period until the conquest of Egypt by the Persians around 525 BC This first period of Persian rule over Egypt is also known as Dynasty XXVII.
In 332 BC Egypt would be delivered by the Persians without a fight to Alexander the Great, who was welcomed by the Egyptians as a deliverer. And then I Ptolemy, one of Alexander's generals, became king of Egypt and initiating the Ptolemaic Dynasty. This period is interrupted when Egypt turns province of the Roman Empire in 30 BC, after the defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII.
One of the main achievements of the civilization of ancient Egypt was in the field of architecture with the construction of the pyramids, especially the Great Pyramid of Giza (Great Pyramid of Giza) which is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and the only extant today. It was built around 2,550 BC and has 147 feet tall. This pyramid was the largest man-made construction for over four thousand years, only surpassed in 1889 with the construction of the Eiffel Tower.