Ancient Egypt was ancient before it was over


The longevity of Ancient Egyptian civilisation is astonishing. More time passed between the unification of Egypt under the first pharaohs around 3,000 BC and its capture by Alexander the Great in 332 BC than has passed since.

What is more much of the Ancient culture survived the Macedonian and Roman occupations and the early years of the Arab conquest. And as we shall see in later posts some of it still survives today.


5 thoughts on “Ancient Egypt was ancient before it was over

  1. It’s worth noting that ‘Egypt’ as a state and as culture had numerous big changes within that time. It also suffered major civil wars, invasion from foreign powers, notably the Hyksos. Egypt did however continue to present itself as the mother of civilisation in that area of the world, so much so that right up to the 19th century it was still a widely held belief, one that has been largely discredited taking into account the archaeological record of the Levant and Mesopotamia. By presenting itself as a mother, successive dynasties held onto this to legitimise themselves as successors, adopting culture and ritual in the process. This process itself can be seen among the city states of Mesopotamia, going back somewhat further* based on the archaeological record, and the Sumerian King List.

    *The Sumerian King List has to be taken with a pinch of salt, as it describes the antediluvian kings, such as Gilgamesh as reigning for thousands of years. While there has been some mathematical interpretation of the numbering system, we still have to take the SKL with some skepticism. Even so, it points to a long trans-successive group of city states taking dominance in Mesopotamia for several thousand years.

    Sorry Mark I couldn’t resist. When else am I going to get to use my archaeological training? 🙂

  2. Pingback: Forests in Ancient Egypt | lilianausvat

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