By Kathleen Kuiper

Domestic to a few of the main impressive feats of engineering in addition to awe-inspiring ordinary vistas, historical Egypt used to be a land of significant promise fulfilled. Its pyramids, writing platforms, and artwork all predate the Islamic conquest and are symbols of the civilizations power. This quantity invitations readers to bask in the splendors of historic Egyptian tradition and detect the traditions that experience fired imaginations world wide for generations. a close appendix profiles vital websites all through Egypt, lots of which nonetheless include remnants and artifacts that ably illustrate the import of this remarkable civilization.

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Extra resources for Ancient Egypt: From Prehistory to the Islamic Conquest (The Britannica Guide to Ancient Civilizations)

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This shift from Abydos is the culmination of 36 | Ancient Egypt: From Prehistory to the Islamic Conquest intensified settlement in the crucial area between the Nile River valley and the delta, but Memphis did not yet overcome the traditional pull of its predecessor. The large tombs at S·aqqārah appear to belong to high officials, while the kings were buried at Abydos in tombs whose walled complexes have long since disappeared. Their mortuary cults may have been conducted in designated areas nearer the cultivation.

Except among the immediate entourage of the kings, the freedom of expression of officials was greatly restricted. Most of the highest officials were members of the large royal family, so that power was concentrated by kinship as well as by other means. This did not prevent factional strife: the complex of Redjedef was deliberately and thoroughly destroyed, probably at the instigation of his successor, Khafre. The Palermo Stone records a campaign to Lower Nubia in the reign of Snefru that may be associated with graffiti in the area itself.

Ultimately, Abydos became preeminent; its late predynastic cemetery of Umm al-Qa‘āb was extended to form the burial place of the kings of the 1st dynasty. In the latest predynastic period, objects bearing written symbols of royalty were deposited throughout the country, and primitive writing also appeared in marks on pottery. Because the basic symbol for the king, a falcon on a decorated palace facade, hardly varies, these objects are thought to have belonged to a single line of kings or a single state, not to a set of small states.

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