Akhenaten’s Religious Revolution

Akhenaten’s Religious Revolution

It should not come as a surprise that the Egyptians were a polytheistic culture, believing in several gods for different reasons. This tradition occurred throughout each Kingdom where the pharaoh was looked to as the representation of the gods. Some actually viewed the pharaoh as a god and since Egypt belonged to the gods, the pharaoh had control over it entirely.  But when Akhenaten took the throne, all of Egypt’s beliefs would soon twist under new rule. He soon tried to spin a new custom throughout Egypt- the idea of monotheism. Akhenaten wanted his people to believe in only one god, the sun disk acknowledged as Aten. Akhenaten’s dynasty not only altered religious views, but brought about a change in art and politics as well. This new style in art was called naturalistic as well as expressionistic. Egyptians have always been known to portray pharaohs in the utmost appealing way such as flawless physiques, although with their diet of wine and bread and lack of exercise they were far from the sculptures portraying their features. Now, it seems the Egyptians were trying to capture the realness of the people as well as Akhenaten, some say it turned into caricatures. Of course, he would have to approve of these depictions which no other pharaoh before would have ever done. Thus leading to Akhenaten requesting the name Wa-en-Re, which meant “The Unique One of Re” ultimately showing he was unlike any other pharaoh before. There were many images of worship of Aten from the pharaoh as well as his wife Nefertiti and always made sure to accent the beautifully rare nature...

Was Egypt the first civilization to grant equal rights?

We’ve come a long way fighting for women’s rights, but what paved the way for this beautiful balance? Equality is still a troubled subject spread throughout the world today, but in Ancient Egypt women were treated as the magnificent beings they truly are. Women in Ancient Egypt had several rights equal to men. They were responsible for their own actions and could develop their own opinions and decisions without consulting their husbands. They were allowed to own and sell property solely, without going through a man, something that some women didn’t have the privilege of until not too long ago. Egyptian men and women were equal in the ability to buy and sell property as well as write contracts in their names. Many held the concept of joint property, which meant if they shared a home and the husband decided to sell it, he was legally authorized to provide an equal share of the earnings to his wife. They were also allowed to go to court for issues and sue, however this meant they could also be taken to court and sued. (We can’t have everything, right?) Being able to participate in the court systems was another right women had such as being a part of the jury, or a witness in a case.  Egyptian women were treated relatively well and those in high power were idolized by all citizens. It is known that even in divorce the women would have gotten a benefit rather than the men. Supposedly, if a man were to divorce a women, they would have to return her dowry and pay her, but until...

Want to know the true story behind the most beautiful and powerful woman in history?

With her fine, elegant features and swan-like neck, there’s little surprise that she has become one of the most famous faces in art, rivaling the Mona Lisa, even her name translates to “the beautiful one has come”. Yes, I am talking about the one and only Queen Nefertiti. Nefertiti has earned herself the status of an iconic image of ancient Egypt. Many societies around the world have adopted the queen as a symbol of true beauty. Some historians have even proclaimed her the most beautiful woman in the world. Whatever people have said about her, one thing holds true—she remains renowned for her beauty after her death and during her life as a queen.   The beauty of Nefertiti is so mesmerizing, that only her bust captivated the public with her dazzling beauty for about 100 years. One of the German Archaeologists who revealed the bust wrote in his diary: “It is one of an alive Egyptian artwork. It cannot be portrayed in words. You must see it.”   Queen Nefertiti, (ca. 1370 BC – ca. 1330 BC) was the Great Royal Wife (chief consort) of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten. Though Akhenaten had several wives, Queen Nefertiti was his chief wife. Nefertiti and Akhenaten were said to be deep in love and inseparable. King Akhenaten’s love was well-known for his wife and as a couple they were often seen riding in chariots together, even kissing in public and with her sitting on his knee, a dynamic not generally seen in depictions of ancient pharaohs. Nefertiti and her husband were known for a religious revolution in which they worshiped only...

Everything you need to know about ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs

The earliest writing systems evolved independently yet roughly at the same time in Egypt as well as Mesopotamia. However, current scholars suggest that Mesopotamia’s writing appeared first. That writing system, invented by the Sumerians, emerged in Mesopotamia around 3500 BCE and the Egyptian Hieroglyphs system was developed around 3200BC.   The word Hieroglyph means God’s words, which is why ancient Egyptians carved Hieroglyphs on sacred places such as temples, tombs and holy books.   Hieroglyphs is a system of writing using a series of pictures to convey concepts or ideas. It can be read in any direction, unlike normal Arabic writing which is read from right to left. The direction in which the text is meant to be read is indicated by the direction the human or animal figure is facing. There are no punctuations nor vowels in it, can you imagine trying to interpret it?   Most Hieroglyphs symbols came from nature or daily life. At first, ancient Egyptians used 700 signs and they reached 2000 signs by 300BC. Hieroglyphs could represent the sound of an object or they could represent an idea associated with the object.   Only Elite Egyptians, like royals, priests, nobles and scribes (3% of Egyptians) could read Hieroglyphs.    After the Greeks conquered Egypt in 30AC, the knowledge of Hieroglyphs began to fade out, till it completely disappeared.   It was not until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone by Napoleon troupes in 1799 when researchers started to decipher the Hieroglyphs language.   Jean-Francois Champollion, a French historian, and linguist was the first modern man to read Hieroglyphs. The first names to be...
9 Facts you probably did not know about Papyrus Paper:

9 Facts you probably did not know about Papyrus Paper:

Long before there were textbooks, newspapers or email, the Egyptians came up with a way to record history. They designed their own paper, beautifully handcrafted from reeds and called Papyrus. Here below are 9 interesting facts about this great invention: 1.    The ancient Egyptians started making paper from the papyrus plant over five thousand years ago and became one of Egypt’s major exports.  2.    Papyrus is made from the Cyperus papyrus plant which grows well in the Nile’s fresh water.  Papyrus is made from the stem of this plant. 3.    The word paper comes from ‘Papyrus’, an Egyptian word that originally meant “that which belongs to the house”. Papyrus was very helpful to the ancient Egyptians and revolutionized their ways of communication.  4.    The first use of papyrus paper is believed to have been in 4000 BC during the 1st dynasty. It was continued to be used until about the 11th century AD 5.    At first, papyrus was only used in Egypt, but by about 1000 BC people all over West Asia began buying papyrus from Egypt and using it since it was much more convenient than clay tablets (less breakable, and not as heavy!). People made papyrus in small sheets and then glued the sheets together to make the big magnificent pieces you see today. 6.    If papyrus has writing on it, we call it papyri. Few papyri that were made outside Egypt survived. The climate of Egypt and certain parts of Mesopotamia preserved papyri in the ruins of ancient towns and cemeteries. 7.    As widely believed, Papyrus was not only used as a writing instrument, It was...
The Father’s of the Gods in Ancient Egypt

The Father’s of the Gods in Ancient Egypt

The ancient Egyptians believed in many different gods and goddesses. Each one with their own unique role to play in maintaining peace and harmony across the land. Ra, known as the sun god, was often described as the Father of the Gods in Ancient Egypt. He was considered to be the King of the Gods and thus the patron of the pharaoh as well as one of the central gods of the Egyptian pantheon. He was well known as the creator of everything. It is sometimes proposed that the pyramids represent the rays of light extending from the sun and thus these great monuments connected the king with Ra. The Egyptians also built solar temples in hono322w4w3q2    1Ar ??? of Ra. Unlike the standard type of Egyptian temple, these temples were open to the sunlight and did not feature a statue of the god because he was represented by the sunlight itself. Ra was usually depicted in human form with a falcon head, crowned with the sun disk encircled by the Uraeus, the sacred cobra. The sun itself was taken to be either his body or his eye. Ra was believed to traverse the sky each day in a solar barque (not sure what this is) and pass through the realms of the underworld each night in order to reappear in the east every morning. The first references to Ra date from the Second Dynasty of the Old Kingdom (2686 BC – 2181 BC). Ra became so important that the Pharaohs took to calling themselves the “sons of Ra”. His worship had increased massively in the fifth dynasty, the...
The Coca-Cola Pharaoh – RAMSES II – 1279–1213 BC

The Coca-Cola Pharaoh – RAMSES II – 1279–1213 BC

Ramses II, also referred to as Ramses the Great, is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire. He was also called, “The Coca-Cola Pharaoh” because of his penchant for putting his name and face on everything. Ramses II ruled during the 19th dynasty when their international affairs were successful, the economy and administration were thriving, and a blooming of Egypt occurred. This was an extremely prosperous period in Egyptian history.   At age fourteen, Ramses was appointed Prince Regent by his father Seti I and is known to have ruled Egypt for a total of 67 years, the second longest reign of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs. Ramses had about 200 wives, 100 sons, and 60 daughters.   The early part of his reign was focused on building cities, temples, and monuments. He established the city of Pi-Ramesses in the Nile Delta as his new capital and main base for his campaigns in Syria. Early in his life, Ramses II embarked on numerous campaigns to return previously held territories back from Nubian and Hittite’s hands and to secure Egypt’s borders. Ramses decided to conclude an agreement with the new Hittite king at Kadesh, Hattusili III, to end the conflict. The ensuing document is the earliest known peace treaty in world history.   Ramses built extensively throughout Egypt and Nubia, and his cartouches are prominently displayed even in buildings that he did not actually construct. He covered the land from the Delta to Nubia with buildings in a way no king before him had done. When he constructed something, he built it on...

Isis & Osiris – The Greatest Love Story of all time

The Myth of Isis and Osiris is one of the greatest love stories of all time. They would have been the perfect Valentines. Their story is a strong attest that love can conquer anything. Osiris was an Egyptian God and Isis was his sister and beloved wife. The Egyptian People adored them. This made their brother Set extremely jealous and avenged to overthrow him in  secret. To pull this off he devised a plan behind Osiris‘ back.  Osiris and Isis had a banquet for their court that despite Isis’ protests, Osiris had invited his brother Set to, unaware of his true intentions which Isis had always been suspecting of. During the banquet Set bragged about a magnificent sarcophagus made of the finest wood and hand panted. Osiris was intrigued as the afterlife and burring rituals were very important to the ancient Egyptians. He requested Set to show the court the sarcophagus, which was exactly what Set was hoping for. As the Sarcophagus was brought in by Set’s men, everyone was in Awe. Set told the crowd that whomever could fit in it could keep it as a gift. Many men tried to win the coffin but none fit.  Then, Set suggested Osiris get in to see if he could be the one to keep it. Osiris obliged but little did he know, this was Set’s plan all along. He had measured Osiris earlier in his sleep and had sarcophagus made just for him. As soon as Osiris laid down, Set’s men held the court back and nailed the coffin shut with the unsuspecting king inside and threw it into the Nile’s current. Isis hysterically scoured the Nile in search...

Ramses the Second and Nefertari – A Great Love Story

Simply calling it a day for love would be an understatement because of all the devotion, passion, and thoughtfulness composed together to show that special someone just how much they mean to you. On Valentine’s Day, lovers don’t limit their appreciation to roses and candy, but they express the love they share in a unique and creative way using nothing other than…billboards. Strange when you stop to think about it, but over 3000 years ago, Ramses II expressed his love to his beloved wife Nerfertari with drawings on temple walls and in statuaries throughout his reign. Try asking your husband for that as a Valentine’s Day gift and let me know what he says! Ramses II, also known as the Great, is the third king of the 19th dynasty (1292–1190 bce) of ancient Egypt, whose reign (1279–13 bce) was the second longest in Egyptian history. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire. Rameses II had 200 wives and concubines, 96 sons and 60 daughters, however, his first wife Nefertari was his most favorite. She was the true love of his life. Although we really do not know a lot about the intimate relationships of the Egyptian pharaohs and their wives, Nefertari was clearly an important part of his life. For an Egyptian Queen like Nefertari to be featured so prominently on her husband’s monuments and temples and for him to write love poetry on the walls of her burial chambers was very unusual and points to a real and enduring bond of affection between them. Nefertari, her name meaning “beautiful companion”,...

Thanksgiving at the Time of the Pharaohs

Thanksgiving is mainly celebrated in the US and Canada, it is a harvest-type festival. Similar festivals were celebrated through history and around the world. In many respects, Thanksgiving is a major world holiday, and has been since ancient times, although the date may vary according to different harvesting seasons. The traditional Horn of Plenty is a classic harvest icon, and the celebration of a good harvest means plenty of good food for all. Throughout history, people have given thanks to a god or gods for their valuable harvest. A good harvest was always a source of pride for any pharaoh who would take credit for it, in Egypt a good harvest meant the gods were pleased with his deeds. Crop failure often resulted in famine which was one of the main reasons why the government collapse between strong dynasties. These devastating times showed that the gods were displeased with the Pharaoh which also resulted in crumbling dynasties. Egypt became famous as a “bread basket”, and the fertility of the Nile Valley was a big honor for the ancient Egyptians. While Egypt may be well known to us for its huge and glorious monuments, it was almost certainly the easy agricultural economy that allowed such sophistication. Over its 3,000-year-old pharaonic history, harvest rites changed. Harvest celebrations could also vary depending on the location. They might be considerably different for those in the Nile Valley as opposed to those at a desert oasis. However, the best known harvest festival was dedicated to the god, Min, who was also a fertility god. He took interest in both the land, as well as...