File Name: modern egypt and thebes .zip
Its ruins lie within the modern Egyptian city of Luxor. Thebes was the main city of the fourth Upper Egyptian nome Sceptre nome and was the capital of Egypt for long periods during the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom eras.
It was close to Nubia and the Eastern Desert , with its valuable mineral resources and trade routes. It was a cult center and the most venerated city during many periods of ancient Egyptian history.
The site of Thebes includes areas on both the eastern bank of the Nile, where the temples of Karnak and Luxor stand and where the city proper was situated; and the western bank, where a necropolis of large private and royal cemeteries and funerary complexes can be found.
However, since Homer refers to the metropolis by this name, and since Demotic script did not appear until a later date, the etymology is doubtful.
In the interpretatio graeca , Amun was rendered as Zeus Ammon. The name was therefore translated into Greek as Diospolis, "City of Zeus". The Greek names came into wider use after the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great , when the country came to be ruled by the Macedonian Ptolemaic dynasty.
It was built largely on the alluvial plains of the Nile Valley which follows a great bend of the Nile. As a natural consequence, the city was laid in a northeast-southwest axis parallel to the contemporary river channel. In the east lies the mountainous Eastern Desert with its wadis draining into the valley. Significant among these wadis is Wadi Hammamat near Thebes.
It was used as an overland trade route going to the Red Sea coast. According to George Modelski , Thebes had about 40, inhabitants in BC compared to 60, in Memphis , the largest city in the world at the time. By BC, the population of Memphis was down to about 30,, making Thebes the largest city in Egypt at the time. The archaeological remains of Thebes offer a striking testimony to Egyptian civilization at its height.
More than sixty annual festivals were celebrated in Thebes. Another popular festivity was the halloween-like Beautiful Festival of the Valley. Thebes was inhabited from around BC. At this time it was still a small trading post, while Memphis served as the royal residence of the Old Kingdom pharaohs. Although no buildings survive in Thebes older than portions of the Karnak temple complex that may date from the Middle Kingdom , the lower part of a statue of Pharaoh Nyuserre of the 5th Dynasty has been found in Karnak.
Another statue which was dedicated by the 12th Dynasty king Senusret may have been usurped and re-used, since the statue bears a cartouche of Nyuserre on its belt. Since seven rulers of the 4th to 6th Dynasties appear on the Karnak king list, perhaps at the least there was a temple in the Theban area which dated to the Old Kingdom.
The Theban rulers were apparently descendants of the prince of Thebes, Intef the Elder. His probable grandson Intef I was the first of the family to claim in life a partial pharaonic titulary , though his power did not extend much further than the general Theban region. Finally by c. Mentuhotep II ruled for 51 years and built the first mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri , which most likely served as the inspiration for the later and larger temple built next to it by Hatshepsut in the 18th Dynasty.
After these events, the 11th Dynasty was short-lived, as less than twenty years had elapsed between the death of Mentuhotep II and that of Mentuhotep IV , in mysterious circumstances. Thebes continued to thrive as a religious center as the local god Amun was becoming increasingly prominent throughout Egypt.
The oldest remains of a temple dedicated to Amun date to the reign of Senusret I. Excavations around the Karnak temple show that the Middle Kingdom town had a layout with a grid pattern. The city was at least one kilometre long and 50 hectares in area.
Remains of two palatial buildings were also detected. Starting in the later part of the 12th Dynasty, a group of Canaanite people began settling in the eastern Nile Delta. They eventually founded the 14th Dynasty at Avaris in c. By doing so, the Asiatics established hegemony over the majority of the Delta region, subtracting these territories from the influence of the 13th Dynasty that had meanwhile succeeded the 12th.
A second wave of Asiatics called Hyksos from Heqa-khasut , "rulers of foreign lands" as Egyptians called their leaders immigrated into Egypt and overran the Canaanite center of power at Avaris, starting the 15th Dynasty there.
Theban princes now known as the 16th Dynasty stood firmly over their immediate region as the Hyksos advanced from the Delta southwards to Middle Egypt.
The Thebans resisted the Hyksos' further advance by making an agreement for a peaceful concurrent rule between them. The Hyksos were able to sail upstream past Thebes to trade with the Nubians and the Thebans brought their herds to the Delta without adversaries.
Soon the armies of Thebes marched on the Hyksos-ruled lands. Tao died in battle and his son Kamose took charge of the campaign. Ahmose I drove the Hyksos out of Egypt and the Levant and reclaimed the lands formerly ruled by them. Ahmose I founded a new age for a unified Egypt with Thebes as its capital. The city remained as capital during most of the 18th Dynasty New Kingdom. It also became the center for a newly established professional civil service , where there was a greater demand for scribes and the literate as the royal archives began to fill with accounts and reports.
With Egypt stabilized again, religion and religious centers flourished and none more so than Thebes. For instance, Amenhotep III poured much of his vast wealth from foreign tribute into the temples of Amun. After this, colossal enlargements of the temple became the norm throughout the New Kingdom. Her successor Thutmose III brought to Thebes a great deal of his war booty that originated from as far away as Mittani.
Aside from embellishing the temples of Amun, Amenhotep increased construction in Thebes to unprecedented levels. On the west bank, he built the enormous mortuary temple and the equally massive Malkata palace-city which fronted a hectare artificial lake.
In the city proper he built the Luxor temple and the Avenue of the Sphinxes leading to Karnak. For a brief period in the reign of Amenhotep III's son Akhenaten — BC , Thebes fell on hard times; the city was abandoned by the court, and the worship of Amun was proscribed. The capital was moved to the new city of Akhetaten Amarna in modern Egypt , midway between Thebes and Memphis. After his death, his son Tutankhamun returned the capital to Memphis,  but renewed building projects at Thebes produced even more glorious temples and shrines.
With the 19th Dynasty the seat of government moved to the Delta. The constructions were bankrolled by the large granaries built around the Ramesseum which concentrated the taxes collected from Upper Egypt;  and by the gold from expeditions  to Nubia and the Eastern Desert. During Ramesses' long year reign, Egypt and Thebes reached an overwhelming state of prosperity which equaled or even surpassed the earlier peak under Amenhotep III.
The city continued to be well kept in the early 20th Dynasty. However, the whole of Egypt was experiencing financial problems, exemplified in the events at Thebes' village of Deir el-Medina. In the 25th year of his reign, workers in Deir el-Medina began striking for pay and there arose a general unrest of all social classes.
Subsequently, an unsuccessful Harem conspiracy led to the executions of many conspirators, including Theban officials and women. Under the later Ramessids, Thebes began to decline as the government fell into grave economic difficulties. During the reign of Ramesses IX — BC , about BC, a series of investigations into the plundering of royal tombs in the necropolis of western Thebes uncovered proof of corruption in high places, following an accusation made by the mayor of the east bank against his colleague on the west.
The plundered royal mummies were moved from place to place and at last deposited by the priests of Amun in a tomb-shaft in Deir el-Bahri and in the tomb of Amenhotep II.
The finding of these two hiding places in and , respectively, was one of the great events of modern archaeological discovery. Such maladministration in Thebes led to unrest. Control of local affairs tended to come more and more into the hands of the High Priests of Amun , so that during the Third Intermediate Period , the High Priest of Amun exerted absolute power over the South, a counterbalance to the 21st and 22nd Dynasty kings who ruled from the Delta.
Theban political influence receded only in the Late Period. His reign saw a significant amount of building work undertaken throughout Egypt, especially at the city of Thebes, which he made the capital of his kingdom. In Karnak he erected a pink granite statue of himself wearing the Pschent the double crown of Egypt. Taharqa accomplished many notable projects at Thebes i. After his death three years later his nephew or cousin Tantamani seized Thebes, invaded Lower Egypt and laid siege to Memphis, but abandoned his attempts to conquer the country in BC and retreated southwards.
This city, the whole of it, I conquered it with the help of Ashur and Ishtar. Silver, gold, precious stones, all the wealth of the palace, rich cloth, precious linen, great horses, supervising men and women, two obelisks of splendid electrum, weighing 2, talents, the doors of temples I tore from their bases and carried them off to Assyria.
With this weighty booty I left Thebes. Against Egypt and Kush I have lifted my spear and shown my power. With full hands I have returned to Nineveh, in good health. Thebes never regained its former political significance, but it remained an important religious centre.
The good relationship of the Thebans with the central power in the North ended when the native Egyptian pharaohs were finally replaced by Greeks, led by Alexander the Great. He visited Thebes during a celebration of the Opet Festival. In spite of his welcoming visit, Thebes became a center for dissent. This revolt was supported by the Theban priesthood. After the suppression of the revolt in BC, Ptolemy V , in need of the support of the priesthood, pardoned them.
Half a century later the Thebans rose again, elevating a certain Harsiesi to the throne in BC. Harsiesi, having helped himself to the funds of the royal bank at Thebes, fled the following year. In 91 BC, another revolt broke out. In the following years, Thebes was subdued, and the city turned into rubble.
Thebes became part of the Roman province of Thebais , which later split into Thebais Superior , centered at the city, and Thebais Inferior , centered at Ptolemais Hermiou.
A Roman legion was headquartered in Luxor temple at the time of Roman campaigns in Nubia. In the first century AD, Strabo described Thebes as having been relegated to a mere village.
The two great temples — Luxor Temple and Karnak —and the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens are among the great achievements of ancient Egypt. From 25 October to 27 January , the Museum of Grenoble organized with the support of the Louvre and the British Museum , a three-month exhibition on the city of Thebes and the role of women in the city at that time. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Ancient Egyptian city. Akademie Verlag, Berlin Harry Reginald , 22 December
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Ancient Thebes covered an area of some 36 square miles 93 square km. The nome province of Wase, the fourth of Upper Egypt , is known to have existed from the 4th dynasty onward. The earliest monuments that have survived at Thebes proper date from the 11th dynasty — bce , when the local nomarchs governors united Egypt under their rule. During the 12th dynasty — , the royal residence was moved to the area of Memphis , but the kings of Egypt continued to honour Amon , their family god, and hence built temples at Thebes. After their invasion of Egypt and seizure of dynastic power about , the Hyksos had little or no control over Thebes, and it was the lords of that city who finally drove the Hyksos out of Egypt c. Then began the era of greatest prosperity for Thebes. The 18th-dynasty pharaohs rebuilt it and made it their capital, embellishing its temples with the spoils of Asia and the tribute of Nubia.
Akhetaten means " Horizon of the Aten ". Amarna, on the east side, includes several modern villages, chief of which are el-Till in the north and el-Hagg Qandil in the south. The region flourished from the Amarna Period up to the later Roman era. The name Amarna comes from the Beni Amran tribe that lived in the region and founded a few settlements. The ancient Egyptian name was Akhetaten.
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Cambridge Core - Egyptology - Modern Egypt and Thebes. Being a Description of Egypt, Including the Information Required for Access. PDF; Export citation.
On the west bank of the Nile, across from the town of Luxor and the Great Temple of the god Amun at Karnak, lies the Theban Necropolis, stretching up from the cultivated fields into the desert cliffs which define the narrow river valley. One of the cemeteries in this huge necropolis is known modernly by the Arabic name Dra Abu el-Naga. Located on the road between the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri and the Valley of the Kings, this site first attracted the attention of an expedition from the University Museum during the two seasons Financed by the Eckley B. Coxe, Jr. Fund, and under the directorship of Clarence S. Amenhotep and his mother Ahmose-Nefertari were deified after their deaths, and he became the patron saint of the workers who constructed the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings.
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