Ancient Egypt: Old, Middle, And New Kingdom

2294 Words5 Pages
Outline I. Thesis: Ancient Egyptians were the basis for many western traditions. Their influences are notable in art, architecture, and religion. II. The Old Kingdom A. Zoser, the first pharaoh. 1. built the famed Step Pyramid 2. brought unity to Egypt B. Religion 1. creation 2. gods C. Art D. Downfall of the Old Kingdom III. The Middle Kingdom A. Pyramids B. Middle Kingdom religion 1. Myth of Osiris 2. Similarties between the myth of Osiris and Christian beliefs C. Middle Kingdom art D. Downfall of the Middle Kingdom IV. The New Kingdom A. Valley of the Kings B. Shift in religion 1. Aton 2. Akhenaton C. New art form, naturalistic D. Downfall of the New Kingdom V. Conclusion The ancient Egyptians are considered among many to be the civilization upon which much of the western world's views and attitudes are based. Everything from religion, to architecture, to art has been handed down, generation by generation, to us in the present day. Although many of the ancient Egyptians' traditions have been modified or altered, the majority of their core principles remains constant. Yet, despite the ancient Egyptians' conservative nature, there were some changes within the infrastructure of their society. Throughout the ages known as the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and New Kingdom, there has been alterations to their religion, art, and architecture. Internal forces, as well as outside influences, have molded ancient Egyptian civilization. This paper will attempt to determine these forces which changed the Egyptians. Modifications of Egyptian life were subtle, but noticeable and significant nonetheless. Art, architecture, and religion will be the focus of this paper. Let us begin at the beginning, with the Old Kingdom. The Old Kingdom began in the year 2700 B.C. and ended 2200 B.C. The pharaohs, or kings, of this time include the third through the sixth dynasty, beginning with Djoser and ending with Pepi II. Djoser, who ruled from 2700 B.C. to 2650 B.C., changed his name to the more commonly known Zoser. It was Zoser who made the famed Step Pyramid, the first pyramid to be constructed. Pyramids were erected for the pharaoh in the belief that it would serve as a stairway to the heavens, and allow the divine pharaoh to reach the Milky Way, or the Nile river in the sky. The pharaoh's afterlife was extremely dependent on a proper burial, as were the afterlives of those who served him; therefore, it was imperative that the pyramids be erected. These pyramids could not have been built through coercion or slavery, for such an architectural feat could only have been accomplished by a labor force of 70,000, and there is no possible way for a small group of rulers to force the people to labor day in and
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