The Ancient Egyptians


Adam Ashcroft

Situated in the north east of Africa, the Nile is the blood, life and backbone of Egyptian existence and culture, for without it, Egypt would just be a wasteless continuation of the Sahara Desert. In this essay, I will explain the environmental and geographical factors as well as some of their influences upon the political and social structure of the Ancient Egyptians. My references come from a wide range of different books and internet websites.

With its natural borders - the vast Sahara Desert and it's few scattered oases to the west, the mountainous Eastern Desert and the Red Sea to the east, the narrow coastline of the Meditteranean Sea edging the marshy Delta to the north and the black and red granite rocks of the Cataracts to the south, ancient Egyptians were reasonably free from aggressors. This gave Egypt time to develop its unique culture, religion, and political state.

The land was divided by the ancient Egyptian state into two parts. Upper Egypt - the narrow valley area of the Nile south of Memphis down to Abu on the First Cataract was called ta-shema. The king of the Upper Egypt wore the White conical crown [hedjet] which ended in a bulb and was protected by the goddess Nekhbet. A flowering sedge plant represented the south. Lower Egypt or the Delta area was called ta-mehu and its representation was the papyrus plant. The king of Lower Egypt wore the chair shaped Red Crown [deshret] which had a coil or plume protruding from it and was protected by the goddess Wadjet. When the pharaoh is seen as the 'King of the Two Lands', he is shown wearing the combined crown called the 'The Two Mighty Ones' [pschent], which can be best described as the White Crown inserted into the top of the Red Crown.


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- Adam Ashcroft

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The River Nile