Egyptian Civilization: Overview Of Achievements
There have been many great and thriving civilizations through out history. What makes them even greater is the impact they have on the future generations of the world and how they have impacted other civilizations. Egypt has had many successes in technology, architecture, communication and economy.
The Egyptians, when creating a written language decided to make use of hieroglyphics which is a type of writing that uses hand drawn pictures in the forms of words to get their message across. During the Middle Kingdom, Egyptians began to write literature. Some writing was preserved on rock walls or hardened clay and some was preserved on papyrus which is a paper type product made from the fibers of reeds. Papyrus is very weak, but due to Egypt being am arid, hot and dry climate a few papyrus documents have been preserved until today. Marcia Wendorff has a document on papyrus stating “The earliest evidence of papyrus was unearthed in 2012 at Wadi al-Jarf, an ancient Egyptian harbor located on the Red Sea coast, and dates to 2560 – 2550 BC. The papyrus rolls found there describe the last years of the building of the Great Pyramid of Giza”. Hieroglyphic writing also became a successful tool for historians studying ancient Egypt once it was translated in the early 1800s. Martin Hoise states in his findings that” Hieroglyphics involved a series symbols, or hieroglyphs, which are ‘pictures’ of the words or sounds. With around 1000 ancient Egyptian symbols in the hieroglyphic alphabet representing actual words and thousands of other used for individual sounds, it was a very complicated and labor-intensive system to use” which makes this language very complex and influenced different civilizations such as early Mayan and Incan tribes. From the articles I have read on ancient Egyptian language they all argue that the complexity of the language so early on has sparked influence amongst many cultures and other language.
As far back as 3000 B.C discoveries have had many findings of metal working, architecture and current versions of technology can be found among the Egyptian culture. The metal work that has been found isn’t something that can be don easily, these works of art are very intricate and full of detail and small design that must be done with techniques that is found is some modern-day metal working and metal art. When it comes to the technology that has been found it wasn’t hard for the scientists and archeologists to make the connection to what would be the modern-day plow and sickle, in some of the research I have conducted it is argued when and who discovered the sickle but due to the earliest findings in Egypt dating back to 4000 B.C it is safe to say that it was the Egyptians who creating this tool. The sickle and plow have found their way in to every part of the world and are in almost every culture and civilization that favors farming and agriculture in their every day life. Johnathan Atterberry said it best in his document “The plow revolutionized farming in ancient Egypt and, combined with the steady rhythm of the Nile River, made farming easier for the Egyptians than perhaps any other society of the time.” The vast amount of accomplishment that Egyptians have completed is astounding but one of the most important and impressive tasks the Egyptians had done is easily to be said to be the construction of the great pyramids. These giant monuments have confused scientist and architects for many years. No one really knows how they were able to move the ginormous rocks, the main arguments among scholars is a mixture of was it a certain technique? Did they use a bunch of people? Was it aliens? We have a good idea on how it was done but the questions will always arise. An author at Britanica.com makes a very good point when talking about the influence of these pyramids in different culture, “Among American pyramids the best known include the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon at Teotihuacán in central Mexico, the Castillo at Chichén Itzá, and various Inca and Chimú structures in Andean settlements.”
Egypt is really the jack of all trades when it comes to what they can do. After all the accomplishments they’ve completed there is still room to show how the use of their economy and trade has influenced and rubbed off onto other civilizations. Egypt was on a very rich land filled with many natural resources, so it is argued on if they were some of the first people who started trading and barter. Joshua Mark made the conclusion “Trade began in the Predynastic Period in Egypt (c. 6000 – c. 3150 BCE) and continued through Roman Egypt (30 BCE-646 CE). For most of its history, ancient Egypt’s economy operated on a barter system without cash. It was not until the Persian Invasion of 525 BCE that a cash economy was instituted in the country. Prior to this time, trade flourished through an exchange of goods and services based on a standard of value both parties considered fair.” Trade has always been a thing of life as long as man has been alive but to capitalize on it and make it a main source of economic income was done by the Egyptians. Some researchers will say that the Persian invasion really changed this for the Egyptians but that’s just misinformation conducted by poor research.
After trying to find many arguments on weather or not the Egyptians were an influential in certain ways I kept running into very similar arguments and kept finding myself on the same handful of websites trying to decipher if these arguments had a for sure answer. Personally, after reading what the Egyptians had done, I am going to make my opinion side with the scholars who said that they were and influence and what they had done did indeed help other civilizations. Their architecture, forms of written communication, technology and economy have proved to me to very influential
- Atteberry, Jonathan, and Patrick J. Kiger. “10 Amazing Ancient Egyptian Inventions.” HowStuffWorks Science, HowStuffWorks, 7 Aug. 2019, www.science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/inventions/5-amazing-ancient-egyptian-inventions5.htm.
- The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Pyramid.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 26 Sept. 2019, www.britannica.com/technology/pyramid-architecture.
- Hosie, Martin. “Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs: Egypt Uncovered Blog.” Welcome to Egyptuncovered – Gateway to the Pharaohs, 17 Feb. 2012, www.egypt-uncovered.com/blog/2012/02/17/ancient-egyptian-hieroglyphs/.
- Mark, Joshua J. “Trade in Ancient Egypt.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 3 Dec. 2019, www.ancient.eu/article/1079/trade-in-ancient-egypt/.
- “Ancient Egyptian Civilization.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy, www.khanacademy.org/humanities/world-history/world-history-beginnings/ancient-egypt-hittites/a/egypt-article.
- Wendorf, Marcia. “Ancient Egyptian Technology and Inventions.” Interesting Engineering, Interesting Engineering, 8 Aug. 2019, www.interestingengineering.com/ancient-egyptian-technology-and-inventions.