The Greek historian Herodotus called Egypt, “The Gift of the Nile,” and along that life-giving river, the ancient Egyptians built their amazing civilization, one they ruled for three millennia.
The history of Egypt is divided into : Prehistoric, Ancient, Greco-Roman, Medieval, and Modern.
Prehistoric Egypt spans the period of earliest human settlement – 3100 BC, or the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period.
Ancient Egypt begins with the early predynastic settlements of the Nile Valley, and continues on until the Roman conquest in 30 BC.
Compared to their Greek predecessors, the Romans displayed a more hostile attitude towards the Egyptians. Christianity took root in Egypt around the mid-1st century, and as it spread through the country over the next couple hundred years temples were closed and pagan rites banned. Anti-pagan riots sparked during the 3rd century AD, and many public and private religious imagery were destroyed.
Upon their settlement, the Arabs introduced Islam and Arabic, and subsequently dominated Egypt for many centuries. The Ottoman Turks gained control of Egypt in 1517, and aside from a brief French incursion (1798-1806), the Ottomans remained until the mid-19th century.
Egypt became a British protectorate in 1914, then achieved partial independence in 1922, and full sovereignty in 1945.
The Egyptian Republic was officially declared on June 18, 1953, and General Muhammad Naguib was appointed the first president. Gamal Abdel Nasser, the leader of the 1952 Egyptian Revolution, forced the resignation of Naguib in 1954, and assumed power in 1956.
Following are some amazing Archaeological Discoveries of Nile Valley:
The tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings is perhaps the most famous archaeological discovery ever made. Unearthed in 1922 by a team led by Howard Carter, the tomb was filled with fantastic treasures, including Tutankhamun’s death mask, which today is practically an icon.
Dating to 196 B.C., the Rosetta Stone holds a decree written by a council of priests that affirms the right of pharaoh Ptolemy V (who was 13 years old at the time) to rule Egypt.
Between 1896 and 1907, archaeologists Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt discovered over 500,000 papyri fragments, dating back around 1,800 years. The investigators found the fragments in the ruins of Oxyrhynchus, a sizable ancient town in southern Egypt that flourished at a time when the Roman Empire controlled Egypt. The town’s arid conditions meant that the papyri used by residents survived nearly 2 millennia.
Pyramid town at Giza
Since 1988, a team of archaeologists from AERA (Ancient Egypt Research Associates) has been excavating a town near the Pyramid of Menkaure, on the Giza Plateau. The pyramid for the pharaoh Menkaure (who reigned from roughly 2490–2472 B.C.) was the last pyramid constructed at Giza, and the people who lived at Giza would have been involved in building the structure.
In 1995, excavations at KV5 revealed that the little-studied tomb was actually the largest ever constructed in the Valley of the Kings. Excavations are ongoing and at last report, archaeologists had found 121 corridors and chambers in the tomb; the researchers said they think more than 150 will eventually be found.
The Silver King
In 1939, archaeologist Pierre Montet discovered the tomb of Psusennes I, a pharaoh who ruled Egypt around 3,000 years ago. His burial chamber was located in Tanis, a city on the Nile Delta. The pharaoh was buried in a coffin made of silver and was laid to rest wearing a spectacular gold burial mask, Montet found. (Psusennes I is sometimes called the “Silver King” because of his silver coffin.)
In 2013, a team of archaeologists led by Pierre Tallet and Gregory Marouard announced the discovery of a port built along the Red Sea about 4,500 years ago, during the reign of the pharaoh Khufu. Among the finds are papyri that discuss the building of the Great Pyramid at Giza, the largest pyramid ever constructed.
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