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Flashcards in Egyptian Art for Dummies Deck (22)
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Uses for Mummies

  • Middle Ages - people believed mummies had healing powers. 
  • Twelfth- century doctors prescribed mummy dust (made from pulverized corpses) for wounds and bruises
  • Until around 1500 people ingested mummy powder to relieve upset stomachs. 
  • Even in the 17th century, witches used mummies to help them forecast the future.


When was King Tut's tomb discovered and what was the signifigance of the discovery?

  • 1922
  • Spawned an Egyptian fashion craze


Who is responsible for the modern fasination of Egypt and when?

  • Napoleon
  • 1798 when he led the first major scientific expedition there, while trying to conquer Egypt and Syria. 


What is a dynasty? Who catalouged them and when?

  • A dynasty is continuous rule by members of the same family.
  • Egyptian priest named Manetho cataloged Egypt’s ancient rulers into 31 dynasties.  
  • 3rd century B.C.


What milestone starts the first dynasty and when?

What milestone ends the last dynasty 

  • Start, 3100 B.C. with the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt
  • Ends with Alexander the Great’s conquest of Egypt in 332 B.C.


What were the three kingdoms ?

  •  4th through 20th dynasties are refered to as:
    • Old Kingdom
    • Middle Kingdom
    • New Kingdom 
  • Each kingdom had its own distinct features, as well as two intermediate periods bracketing the Middle Kingdom.
  • Anything between the New Stone Age and the first dynasty is called Predynastic


List the Dynasties

  • Predynastic                
  • Early Dynastic              
  • Old Kingdom                
  • First Intermediate       
  • Middle Kingdom         
  • Second Intermediate  .
  • New Kingdom
  • Third Intermediate Period
  • Late Period
  • Graeco-Roman Period             



4,500 B.C.–3,100 B.C.


Early Dynastic                

1st–3rd    3,100 B.C.–2613 B.C.


Old Kingdom              

 4th–6th    2,613 B.C.–2,181 B.C.


First Intermediate        

7th–10th    2,181 B.C.–2,040 B.C.


Middle Kingdom          

11th–14th    2,133 B.C.–1,603 B.C.


Second Intermediate 

15th–17th    1,720 B.C.–1,567 B.C.


New Kingdom              

18th–20th    1,567 B.C.–1,085 B.C.


What was the signifigance of the Nile River?

  • The Nile River was the lifeline of Ancient Egypt.
  • The Nile’s annual summer floods fertilize the land around it, which otherwise would be desert.
  • The ancient Egyptians believed the Nile’s life-giving floods, which occur during the hottest and driest part of summer, were the gods’ gift because they didn’t appear to be caused by the weather.
  • The rain that swells the Nile actually falls hundreds of miles away in Ethiopia in the tributary called the Blue Nile 


Egypt Unification

During the Predynastic period, the tribes of Lower and Upper Egypt gradually formed into two separate nations, which were united at the dawn of history in about 3100 B.C., possibly by Narmer, the first pharaoh of the first dynasty


  • The Palette of Narmer
  • Chronicles victory of Narmer over his enemies
  • Side 1: Narmer wears the white, bowling-pin crown of Upper Egypt
  • Side 2: Narmer wears the red, hatchet-shaped crown of Lower Egypt
  • Narmer at least two times bigger than the people around him to show his superiority and divine status. Pharaohs were considered gods in Ancient Egypt. 
  • Discovered in Hierakonpolis, the ancient capital of Upper Egypt

  • Palette of Narmer is perhaps the world’s oldest historical document

    • Around 3100 B.C.

  • It resembles the small palettes on which Egyptians ground the pigments for their eye makeup, but seems far too big to have actually been used for that purpose. The reliefs on both sides of the green siltstone (25 inches high) tell the story of the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt in horizontal bands, kind of like a comic strip. There’s even some helpful text (comic-book text bubbles) in hieroglyphics, the picture language of Ancient Egypt. We can’t read every part of the palette, but we can interpret a lot of it.


Symbols of Upper and Lower Egypt

  • Post-unification pharaohs usually wore a double crown, combining symbols of Upper and Lower 
  • Upper Egypt -
    • White crown
    • lotus
    • Vulture
  • Lower Egypt
    • Red crown
    • Papyrus, which grows abundantly in the Nile Delta
    • Cobra.


Geography of Upper and Lower Egypt

Upper Egypt is lower on the map than Lower Egypt — that is, as the Nile flows from south to north, which is a downhill trek from its source at Lake Victoria in Central Africa to the Mediterranean Sea



Egyptians believed the ka (soul) reunited with the body in the tomb, the body had to be painstakingly preserved through mummification. Mummification consists of three basic steps:

1.    Remove the body’s organs, preserving the important ones in jars.

2.    Dry the corpse (because moisture causes decay).

3.    Wrap the body with layers of linen bandages.

Embalming priests extracted the organs through a slit in the stomach, dried the body for 70 days with natron (baking soda and salt), and then bandaged it up.

Incense, jewels, and herbs were often laid between the layers of bandages or mummy clothes.”


Third Intermediate Period

21st through 26th - 1069 BC to 656 BC


Late Period

26th - 31st - 664 BC - 332 BC