Ancient Egypt has stood out even among the impressive remains of other ancient civilizations for three main reasons: the pyramids are enormous, the cultural style and imagery remained consistent for ages, and it is really, really old.
One of the biggest questions surrounding ancient Egypt then is “where did it come from?” Last week at the Dialogue of Civilizations in Guatemala, National Geographic grantee Renee Friedman of the British Museum, and Ramadan Hussein, recent recipient of a Humboldt Research Fellowship at the University of Tuebingen, set out to answer that question.
Friedman began by showing the “Narmer Palette,” which dates from 3100 BC, and features a ruler, triumphant over his enemies, seen with the crowns of both Upper and Lower Egypt. According to Friedman, the iconography of forceful leadership and control over chaos illustrate that already at this early date, the role of kingship in Egypt fit a pattern that would continue for the next 3,000 years. Renee Friedman leads excavations at the oldest known city in Egypt, Hierakonpolis (“city of the falcons”) where the Narmer Palette was found.
Remarkably even the earliest stages of Hierakonpolis give clues to significant developments beforehand; it was clearly a planned settlement “from the outset” and it was the center of a cult dedicated to a falcon, either a predecessor to or the earliest example of the god Horus, shown for the subsequent millennia as a falcon himself, or a falcon-headed man. Hierakonpolis contains many interesting sites and burials, but Friedman mentioned two in particular which shed light on what was capable and what was important at this earliest stage in Egypt’s history. One purpose it may have had was to support the feeding of and ceremonial activity around Hierakonpolis’ most unexpected occupants: dozens of wild animals. The wild animal bones at Hierakonpolis are buried individually almost the same as the humans at the same site.
Many of these animals were thought of as “agents of chaos” said Friedman, “that rulers and rituals were meant to control.” With one in six annual Nile floods being either too low or too high, you can understand the people’s hope for salvation from such chaos. Numerous holes at the site indicate where posts would have been erected, to create rooms and temples from wood, cloth, and plaster, in this era a thousand years before the great pyramids, and two thousand before the Rameses’ famous stone temples and monuments. Finely chipped animal effigies were found buried in the corners of the temple at Hierakonpolis. In the corners of these temples, the team found delicately worked stone effigies of the same species of animals buried throughout the site. While the spectacle of these animals in life and death would have been quite a powerful illustration of the power of the leader, the associated costs may have been unsustainable.
Images from a painted tomb illustrate the shift from live animals to painted ones to indicate a ruler’s power. Eventually Hierakonpolis would lose out to Abydos as the bigger city in the region, but Friedman says it would have its monuments restored, and the temple would hold artifacts of kingship which may even have been on view as a kind of ancient museum display. Young Egyptian egyptologist Ramadan Hussein then presented on how he searches for the origins of Egyptian civilization not so just in buildings and bones, but in the extensive written record left by this early and highly literate civilization.
According to the ancient Greeks, he said, the ancient Egyptians said that Osiris, god of the dead, taught people the art of civilization and agriculture. The most important of these early urban centers in Upper Egypt were Hierakonpolis in the south, Naqqada at the noticeable bend in the Nile, and Abydos just a bit further north than that. An overlay of GCI posts fill the holes at the site and more clearly reveal the outlines of ancient structures.
The dynamics that led to these cities ultimately becoming part of one great Egyptian whole, as seen in the Narmer Palette, are what Ramadan Hussein was particularly interested in during this presentation. In Hierakonpolis not only was the Narmer Pallete found, but so was the tomb of a man identified through hieroglyphic inscriptions as “King Scorpion.” In nearby rock art, he’s shown conquering another man, whose symbol appears to be that of Lower Egypt.
All this points to the idea that before Narmer unified Egypt’s two kingdoms politically, Scorpion conquered the cities of Upper Egypt to create one of those kingdoms in the first place (watch a full NatGeo Channel documentary on “The Scorpion King” featring Renee Friedman). Given this presence of the name of Scorpion throughout the entire region, Ramadan Hussein thinks this early king, even before Narmer, may have had a hand in the union of the kingdoms. In conclusion for the presentations on ancient Egypt, Ramadan Hussein and Renee Friedman took the stage to answer a few questions from the audience.
Asked about the mysteriously sudden inspiration and ability to construct the pyramids, Hussein gave a solid and practical answer. Renee Friedman then fielded a question about how well does the archaeological record correspond with details from Egypt’s extensive written records.
I believe, going by the physical features depicted on the ancient Egyptian art, the ancient Egyptians constituted a separate race by themselves and can not be identified with either African blacks or European whites.
Despite it all, we should just admire the accomplishments of one of the great cradles of civilization as a human accomplishment and not as some sort of proof of one race being superior over another.
Also The Sudan pyramids were built almost 1000 years AFTER the last pyramid in egypt , the Nubians copied some of the egyptians clothing and small pyramids later on that were no where near as sophisticated as the real ones. About seven years ago I wrote a blog post on the origin of Egyptian civilisaton and its Sumerian source. The title of this article is extremely misleading, given the content of the article itself.
I can recall reading old books where the so-called authorites on Ancient Egypt would state that the egyptians were a dark skin group of white people with negroid features, then others would state that they were a special race of red-skinned people. ABOUT OUR PROGRAMS PASSPORT DC EMBASSY CHEF CHALLENGE PRESS AND NEWS GET INVOLVED 2016. National Geographic, Sept 1922, "A Longitudinal Journey Through Chile" by Harriet Chalmers Adams. September 11, 2007—The mummy of an ancient Inca girl sits literally frozen in sleep at a museum in Argentina. The mummy, called La Doncella or The Maiden, is that of a teenage girl who died more than 500 years ago in a ritual sacrifice in the Andes Mountains. The girl and two other children were left on a mountaintop to succumb to the cold as offerings to the gods, according to the archaeologists who found the mummified remains in Argentina in 1999. The High Country Archaeological Museum in Salta, Argentina, unveiled La Doncella, the oldest of the three victims, for its first public viewing on September 6. The museum is displaying the mummy in a refrigerated, low-oxygen environment to reproduce the high-altitude conditions that allowed for its remarkable, natural preservation. The mummies of the other two children remain in storage for further study, museum officials said.


Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. Seeing the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is an obligatory stop for tourists in London.
London's Kew Gardens, formally called the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, began as a private garden at a royal estate in the 16th century. World renowned for its focus on archaeology, London's British Museum started in 1753 from three private collections. England's famed Lake District, in the northwestern county of Cumbria, boasts breathtaking scenery that has inspired some of the country's most famous poets and novelists.
Until recently, there was little reason to venture to London's Southwark neighborhood, a bleak urban jungle of warehouses and wharves. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in Bankside, London, represents a well-studied best guess at what William Shakespeare's original 1599 Globe playhouse might have looked like. The cathedral-like Central Hall of London's Natural History Museum boasts a towering arched ceiling ribbed with exposed iron beams and adorned with hundreds of hand-painted tiles depicting plants and animals. Among the most famous spans in the world, London's Tower Bridge is named not for its massive support structures but for its proximity to the Tower of London.
Fashionable Mayfair in London's West End arose in 1677 as a posh residential area for wealthy landowners. The White Cliffs of Dover on England's east coast are the towering remains of a calcite land bridge that once connected England with mainland Europe. The first tower of Windsor Castle, the sprawling royal residence and fortress in Berkshire, England, was completed nearly a thousand years ago. You can still be a part of the conversation, commenting on this post or tweeting using #5Civilizations.
In fact, the pyramids were roughly as old to ancient tourists from classical Greece as the ruins of Athens and Delphi are to us today. While earlier generations thought there must have been an external spark from Mesopotamia or elsewhere that triggered the rise of civilization in Egypt, she’s uncovering a very different tale.
There is also a portrait in flint of a human of unusual but recognizable proportions: a dwarf. The amount of food required to feed these animals (including an elephant and a hippo, remember) was immense.
No longer housing and dispatching entire menageries to convey their command over chaos, they “switch back to imagery.” In painted tombs, the same symbolism continues in a much more manageable way for thousands of years. This looking back to the past was a key element of ancient Egyptian culture, and it may be what kept the expression of that culture so relatively consistent for more than three millennia. The modern story follows the archaeological record, and in it, Hussein says, we see that there are early cities in Upper and Lower Egypt that were all in the process of developing into states.
Those dynamics function on many levels, including the personal: there is one man who may have been the key to the bringing them all together. While the south saw military conquest, Hussein says in the north change came through a cultural movement. The Narmer Palette, he suggests, could just as easily represent a king putting down a rebellion as conquering a separate kingdom. Harking back to her translation of “hieroglyph” as “writing of the gods,” she said, “There is remarkably good correspondence. They did not have ringged hair and big lips like the former and nor were they well built like the latter. They did not have ringged hair and big lips like the former and nor were they well built like the former. So, they being of Caucusoid origin seems pure fiction inspired by the depictipn of Egypt in Hollywood movies. It is nothing but astonishing that people seem to believe that at a time before planes trains and automobiles at place close to the equator in Africa was somehow white? DNA studies indicate that people are indeed diverse with origins from various places and at different times. Absurdity, up to the point of even claiming extra- terrestrial contact for origin of this high level of civilization.
The Museum's exhibitions and the scientific fieldwork and expeditions on which they are based are supported by National Geographic's Mission Programs, which receives generous funding by corporations, foundations, and individuals.
Though weathered and broken, its ruins are a window on a prehistoric world, guarding secrets after more than 4,500 years.
122, Hadrian's Wall stretches 73 miles (117 kilometers) across northern England from coast to coast. The ceremony takes place daily from March 31 to July 31 and on alternate days the rest of the year.
In 1759, after several ownership changes, Princess Augusta began to build the garden's exotic plant collection. This view from above shows the recently completed glass-and-steel canopy over the Great Court.
Blanketed by rolling mountains, the isolated region is home to an abundance of wildlife, some found only here and nowhere else. But a successful effort to transform the borough has shifted London's center of gravity south.
Finished in 1997, the Globe was constructed near the site of the original theater using techniques and materials common in the 1500s, including a reed-thatch roof. Designed in the 1860s in the German Romanesque style by architect Alfred Waterhouse, the building first opened its doors in 1881.
Completed in 1894 after eight years of construction, it was the largest and most sophisticated bascule bridge (drawbridge) of its time.


Three centuries later, the district, which takes its name from the annual May Fair once held there, is no less exclusive, home to ritzy restaurants, hotels, shops, and clubs. Thousands of years of tidal erosion carved out what is now the English Channel, leaving sheer cliffs up to 300 feet (90 meters) high on the English and French coasts. It is currently the oldest continually occupied castle in the world, and the largest, spreading over 13 acres (5 hectares) of land.
Located just blocks from the White House, the museum highlights the work of the National Geographic explorers, scientists and photographers through exhibitions that appeal to all ages. The toilet is my life.I had been working in the field of sanitation at the time, more than three decades.
With activity at the site as early as 3700 BC, “there was momentum long before Narmer,” she says. While the vast quantities of beer production there are what catch most people’s attention, she said in truth, it was a site of much broader significance, processing any number of grain based foods.
This was a home for culturally significant wild animals many of whom appear to have been sacrificed at once, perhaps with humans as well, as part of a ritual display of power, or perhaps to accompany their owner, employer, or master to the afterlife when he met his own demise. In graffiti near Naqqada, a king labeled “Scorpion” is seen defeating a bull-headed man, a symbol of the king of Naqqada. Once completely different in terms of houses, pottery, and more, throughout the region of Maadi and Buto, there suddenly appears pottery mentioning King Scorpion. They mostly look lean in varied shades of brown complexion like the people of Eastern India. Even Jews were probably not white before moving to Europe because their Indian counterparts are not white right now. Here, lights from the nearby town of Amesbury lend a lavender glow to the sky above the enigmatic monument.
Its purpose: to deter the barbarians in what is now Scotland from their raids on Roman Britain.
The Queen's Guard's iconic fuzzy hats, called "bearskins," can be up to 80 years old and are handed down from generation to generation.
It now holds about 33,000 types of living plants, millions of dried specimens, and a voluminous research library.
In the middle is the famed circular Reading Room, where such literary luminaries as Karl Marx and Virginia Woolf once went to study and write. Now, upscale restaurants and clubs, pricey real estate, and edgy architecture attract London's bon vivants across the Thames. In 2008, work began on a three-year, $6.6 million restoration project, including a new coat of paint for the bridge's flashy blue suspension chain.
This vantage shows a portion of the Queen's Jubilee Garden, built in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's 50 years on the throne. Children 5 and under receive free admission, while children 5 to 12 are $7 and adults are $11 (members are $9). So I thought, "Why not start a museum of toilets?"And this toilet, the oldest in civilization, 5,500 years old. It remains unclear whether its products were used regularly by average people, or ceremonially among early Egyptian elites.
And the bones aren’t scattered in one heap of food remains, each animal was buried intact, the same as the many humans interred in the same area. As climate and possible over use push elephants further away from the city, they disappear from the iconography, and the giant wild bovine known as the aurochs becomes the ultimate symbol of the ruler’s strength. Back in King Scorpion’s tomb in Hierakonpolis, there was found a vase with similar bull symbolism.
It is questionable anytime ethnic groups of people claim to be the chosen ones or constantly claim ownership of a heritage which is not theirs. Seth, being the god of confusion and evil, grew jealous and killed his brother (again, according to the Greeks). The process of mummification can not in any was bleach hair platinum or all mummies would be that way.
You couldn’t walk to media and Nubia was a black place and didn’t the black pharaohs of Nubia unite upper and lower Egypt ? And this is a toilet used by Mahatma Gandhi.I joined a society to celebrate the birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi.
And there my general secretary asked me to restore the human rights and dignity of Untouchables.This class of society, the Untouchables, they can touch dogs, but they can't touch human beings.
My father-in-law was very angry with me, and he used to say a€?I dona€™t want to see your face.a€?I grew up in Peer, near Bharatpur. They go to the council of the gods and Horus is given the position to rule Egypt, and Osiris goes on to be god of the dead.
I was desperate so I had to do that work.I used to want to play with the children of the other castes. It is a concept, a thought process of solving the problems of society.Sulabh Public School was started with a purpose that Untouchables' children should also be taught so that they can come into the mainstream of society. The unique feature of this school is 60% of the students are from the Untouchables community, and 40% from other communities. And that is helping to remove the differences among the upper castes and the lower castes in India.



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