Ancient Egyptian Civilization and Cultural History

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:History

Document 1

Prehistoric Egypt was a civilization of prehistoric northeastern Africa, clustered alongside the lower banks of river Nile in what is currently known as the nation of Egypt (Zumerchik and Danver 14). Literature indicates the Egyptian empire flourished for about three thousand years, longer than any other culture known to human (Zumerchik and Danver 14). Also, ancient Egyptians were astounding innovators because their pyramids still stand as the proof of their architecture sophistication. Apart from the architectures, their sarcophagi and mummies pepper the contemporary museums. These people are responsible for the vast and astonishing array of inventions that are still applicable in the current settings. From the innovation on the method of writing, art, literature, science, to the earliest use of perfume and makeup, this civilization compelled people in other regions to raise their eyebrows. However, the question about the role ancient cultures played in shaping every aspect of the modern-day living styles is a duo concept since some historian cites Egyptians while others disregard this civilization. In such perspective, it is the rationale of this paper to provide a well-supported argument that supports the stance that the ancient Egyptian shaped the modern-day culture with keen interest to the political, social and economic organizations. Political Organizations Countless elements of current governments are associated with ancient Egypt. Political systems such as the government officials and monarchy, legal codes, the financial provision such as taxation, goods trading, property ownership and other aspects of control owe their roots to initiatives implemented during the rule of the ancient Egyptian empire.

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This efficient governance was recognized worldwide. It is no coincidence that majority of the dominant states are ruled by the composition adopted during the early civilizations of the Egyptians. To illustrate, the United States government comprise of the legislature, judiciary, and the executive. The executive includes ministers commonly known as secretaries and other royal officers from the ruling party. Also, the court system operates alike as the prehistoric Egyptian judiciary as demonstrated in the following section. Violating these laws will result in the trial in the countries courts where there are judges, prosecutors, complainants and the accused. Just like the ancient Egyptian proceedings, the modern-day judges make verdicts after evaluating evidence from both parties (the complainant and the accused) otherwise the decision will be unjust or unethical (Neubauer and Fradella 519). Therefore, the contemporary criminal justice process owes its roots to the classical Egyptian civilization.

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The taxation system (the primary source of revenues to the governments) originated from the ancient Egyptians. Literature indicates that prehistoric Egypt had an organized tax system (Ezzamel 61). Starting from milliseconds to minutes, hours to weeks, years to centuries, time separates established economies and developing civilizations. The Egyptians initially crafted this crucial aspect of life during the prehistoric periods. These Egyptians were good astronomers of their time because they prepared the calendar by observing the movement of the stars and planets. According to Bard, “an older calendar based on the cycles of the moon had three seasons of four months each (of 29-30 days)” (Bard 40). They divided one year into 12 months and 360 days implying that every month consisted of 30 days. Additionally, the Egyptian pyramids remain unsurpassed as witnessed in prominent Washington monument which was inspired by these free-standing obelisks despite the recent mastery of materials such as the glue, concrete, steel, and power.

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Furthermore, they built temples to please their gods and goddesses. These temples acted as references for the many structures built by the Romans, Greeks and other subsequent civilizations. Besides, the original Egyptian pyramids stimulated Greek mathematicians such as Pythagoras, to perfect their ideologies. In the context of daily life, many activities undertaken in the current periods are influenced by the prehistoric Egyptians. Thus the modern-day methods of cleaning teeth are based on the ideology of the early Egyptians. In addition to the medicine, the current generations owe the ancient Egyptians the ideology of morgue and corpse preservation. The Egyptians preserved the dead bodies especially the corpses of pharaohs by applying chemicals before covering them with clothes. The mummy (the preserved body) was kept inside a coffin which was held inside a stone box called Sarcophagus (Bard 308).

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The box contained small holes. These Egyptians developed a writing system to express their mind and feelings. At first, they used images to express their thoughts specifically more than 200 pictographic signs were used to write (Kuiper 144). These signs were later reduced to 700. Subsequently, they designed the alphabets. In the later periods, the Egyptians created paper from the papyrus plant which grew in the banks of river Nile. This new alphabet spread to the near east and Greek via trading (Holme 40). Thus, the Egyptian alphabets acted as the foundation for the alphabets in the world. Additionally, this civilization influenced the current mathematics and geometry. The Egyptian communities exhibited their talent in the calculation and geometric fields because they were very efficient in subtraction, additions, division and multiplication (Kemp 383). They acquired knowledge of the square, quadrangle, rectangle, and triangle to measure lands and design pyramids.

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The instances imply that the Israelites borrowed this culture from their masters while serving slavery in Egypt. Furthermore, Moses was an Egyptian nobleman influenced by the norms of Aten because the name Moses was frequently used in pharaohs’ names meaning “son” (Hoffmeier 123). Moreover, it is believed that Judaism is influenced by Heretic, an Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaton whose efforts to establish the monotheistic system in the region did not bear fruits in 1353 BC as demonstrated by Hoffmeier (Hoffmeier 136). According to Hoffmeier, “Akhenaten’s religious-intellectual primigimage went from polytheism to henotheism or monolatry and later to monotheism” (Hoffmeier 136). This argument implies that the ancient Egyptians religious believes involved polytheism (belief in many gods), henotheism (belief of one god but not disregarding other gods) and monotheism (believing in one god and ignoring the existence of other gods).

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Print. Ezzamel, Mahmoud. “ACCOUNTING AND REDISTRIBUTION: THE PALACE AND MORTUARY CULT IN THE MIDDLE KINGDOM, ANCIENT EGYPT. ” The Accounting Historians Journal, vol. no.  Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism. Print. Holme, Audun.  Geometry: Our Cultural Heritage. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2002. New York: Britannica Educational Pub. in association with Rosen Educational Services, 2011. Print. Moreno, Garcia J. C. C: McFarland & Co, 2010. Print. Shupak, Nili. A New Source for the Study of the Judiciary and Law of Ancient Egypt:" The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant".  Journal of Near Eastern Studies 51. Print.

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