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What are the approximate dates of the ancient Egyptian civilization?

3000 BC -332 BC


How did the Nile river shape Egyptian world view?

-good climate, navigable
flooded fields in the summer at the right time
-basin irrigation
-lots of surplus with little work
-free time= built stuff


How did the Egyptians view the afterlife?

-buried with useful things used in regular bc the afterlife was seen as a continuation of life


What are the 3 broad categories or periods within the ancient Egyptian civilization?

-2649 -2152 BC = Old Kingdom
-pyramids of giza, sun king Ra, rich but 2250 BC= droughts→ pharaohs started fighting

-2040-1640 BC= Middle Kingdom
- outside rulers from Nubia
-Amenra (new gods)
- conquered/got conquered
-superior military tech (bronze, compound bows)

-1550-1070 BC= New Kingdom
- no more geographical isolation--> go conquer
- Hatshepsut


How were the pharaohs regarded?

considered a god/close to a god, acted like a God→ act like the Niles (calm, benevolent)


During which period were pyramids primarily built? What was their function?

-Pyramids= political/social control over population
-people make a tomb for another person
-2475-2465 BC= most famous pyramids made
-Sphinx built for Kefren
-Great Pyramid built for Khufu
-built by peasants who were required to work for gov for a certain number of months per year and slaves


Who was Ra? What purpose did the gods serve?

-sun god, god of creation, started off as a regional god, became central
-if humans did their jobs, the pantheon of god would keep cosmic order
-bc pharaohs became god when they died, it made sense to please them during their life


What types of writing systems did the Egyptians use?

-hieroglyphics for sacred writings
-demotic wiring for contracts….agreements


What was special about the pharaoh Hatshepsut?

-woman, ruled Egypt for 22 yrs
-expanded Egypt through trade, not military conquest


How did the pharaoh Tutankhamen come to power? What makes him so important to Egyptology today?

-his tomb was found by 20th century British people, it wasn’t robbed by ancient people


What are some of the functions of Egyptian art? How were they used and in what context?

-not meant to be seen
-to honor a divine person or a dead person
-statues =designed to be facing straight forward to face a ritual
-placed in niches/architectural settings
-make frontality look natural /correct


What are some of the functions of Egyptian statuary?

-allowed the spirit to interact with the real world
-cult statues were part of a daily ritual of clothing, anointing, and perfuming with incense
-served as intermediaries between the ppl and the gods (chapels with statue of dead forefather= family temple)


What are some of the modes of representation in 2-dimensional art?

-provide representative aspects of each element in scenes rather than attempting to copy the real world
-each object rendered from a most recognizable angle
-not just one viewpoint



-parallel lines in which scenes are ordered in
-without it= unusual, used to portray chaos (battles, hunting)
-used to convey info about scenes (the higher up the scene the higher the status)


hierarchy of scale

-shows the importance of a person/status in size (the bigger the image, the more important it is)


How did text function in conjunction with art?

-text is accompanied in a majority of images
-hieroglyphics are like pieces of art
-the name of an artwork/figure would have an identification at the end (ex. verbs of motion are followed by a pair of walking legs..)


canon of proportions

-each body part is proportional to a different part of the body
-it was thought that using this system would portray the ideal human body and its beauty
-it would make the image easier to recognize (shoulders and eye are frontal, arms and legs are profile)


Palette of Narmer

-Narmer (pharaoh)--> not very popular but still made a huge impact
-shows important moment in Egyptian politics→ the unification of upper and lower Egypt
-one side shows Narmer (lean, muscular, god-like qualities) is wearing the bowling pin crown of upper egypt and the other shows him wearing the red cobra crown of lower egypt (hieroglyphics let us know that the 2 pharaohs are the same person)
-single king rules Egypt
-hierarchy of scale→ Narmer is much bigger than all the other ppl depicted in the piece


purpose of the Pyramids of Giza

-mortuary complex
-tombs of pharaohs, temple at the base, stone causeway
-place of regeneration for a dead ruler


In what ways did the pyramid reference the sun?

-made to look like a solidified version of the sun’s rays
-the sun’s rays were believed to the the way a pharaoh climb to the sky


Menkaure and Khamerernebty statue

-stance of Menkaure= assertive, powerful, ideal many beauty; stiff
-wife= more realistic posing kinda→ subordinate?, hair/wig is symbol of maturity


How did Hatshepsut come to power?

-assumed authority before and during the time her son could rule
-most women rulers only ruled in the time until a man was old enough to assume power


What kind of mythology did Hatshepsut create about herself?

-described her divine birth
-an oracle predicted she would be king


How did art and architecture serve Hatshepsut's interests?

-interested in the power of art to convey royal authority
-adopted the forms of previous statues of pharaohs to show herself as king
-looked like a male (no breasts, broad shoulders, beard, headdress)
-there was no word for queen at the time


What happened to Hatshepsut's art?

-20 yrs after she died, the pharaoh her co-ruled (her son)with had all art related to Hatshepsut destroyed (images of her), not just sculptures but also art written on walls
-but granite is very hard and not easy to destroy; and she commissioned hundreds of sculptures of herself


What parallels might you draw between the destruction of the temple in Palmyra and the destruction of Hatshepsut's temple after her death?

-Hatshepsut's temple was destroyed by the order of the next pharaoh after her in an attempt erase all memory of her and make way for the new pharaoh.
-The destruction of Palmyra is similar because ISIS wants to forget the past and get ready for what they think will be a new caliphate with them in control.


​What are some of the hallmarks of Akentaten's reign?
What are some of the theories that might explain his strange appearance in artistic representations?

-made Aten the only god
- new capital of Akhentateen
-granted his chief wife, Nefertiti, with power (co-regent?)
-might have had a disability that created a physical deformity
-maybe the deformity in statues/art was just symbolic