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Ancient Egypt A Glorious Time
By Terry Kubiak
Egypt is one of the most fertile areas of Africa, and one of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Because it is so fertile, people came to live in Egypt earlier than in most places, probably around 40,000 years ago. At first, there were not many people, but gradually Egypt became more crowded, so there was more need for a unified government. Around 3000 BC, Egypt was first unified under one ruler, who was called the Pharaoh.

From that time until around 525 BC, when Egypt was conquered by the Persians, Egypt's history is divided into six different time periods. These are called the Old Kingdom, the First Intermediate Period, the Middle Kingdom, the Second Intermediate Period, the New Kingdom and the Third Intermediate Period.


Old Kingdom: 2686 2160 BC. First Intermediate Period: 2160 2040 BC. Middle Kingdom: 2040 1633 BC. Second Intermediate Period: 1786 1558 BC. New Kingdom 1558 1085 BC. Third Intermediate Period: 1085 525 BC. Persian Rule: 525 BC 332 BC.

Man's

first gods were the forces of nature. Terrifying and unpredictable, they were feared rather than revered by our ancestors. Yet while much of the world was in darkness, worshiping cruel incarnations of natural forces, a river valley in Africa held a people who followed a different path. They worshipped gods that were beautiful to behold, luminous beings that walked the earth, guiding the human race to Paradise. They had human forms but were much more powerful, yet like humans, they got angry, despaired, fought with one another, had children and fell in love. They lived lives very much like the people who worshipped them, the ancient Egyptians.

They were gods to be feared yes, as all gods are, but they were also gods to be loved. What's more the Egyptians enjoyed talking about the gods. Like the gods of the Greeks and the Romans, the Egyptian gods seemed to be made for storytelling. There were tales to educate, tales to entertain, tales with morals, and in those stories, the gods did not seem so unreachable. It was comforting to hear that the gods also wept for those they had lost, to hear about the gods laughing, to learn that the gods faced many of the same problems that the people did, albeit on a grander scale. In learning about the gods on such an intimate level, the Egyptians could better relate to the universe around them.

The ancient Egyptian practiced a belief system that was part totemism, part polytheism, and part ancestor worship. There were numerous gods, but rather than living on an isolated mountain or in an unreachable heaven, many of them lived invisibly in the mortal world, acting through sacred sites, animals or even chosen people. Furthermore, the spirits of the deceased, if remembered and honored, could aid and guide the living from the Afterlife.
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