Early Egyptian Civilization

Essay by ctannahillCollege, UndergraduateA, May 2008

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Out of the five early civilizations, the Egyptians were one of the more peaceful and secure civilizations. One reason for this is the fact that Egypt's geography protected them from invasions and outside influence. This had an impact on their social, political, and economic structure.

Egyptian social structure was also influenced by the Nile River and the climate of the region. It was used to bring the upper and lower regions together. This unification made the kingdom stronger. The Nile also fertilized the land for successful crops. They learned to irrigate the land and their crops flourished.

The Egyptian society also revolved around religion. They had many gods and they took on many forms. The Kings or Pharaohs as they were later known as were considered gods themselves and the people worshipped them. They also had elaborate customs for burying their dead. They believed in an afterlife and would decorate and prepare the tombs for the afterlife.

According to Graham, Kagan, Ozment, and Turner (2005) the three great pyramids are an example of the extent of royal power and the demonstration of great technical skill.

Another aspect of their social structure is their literature, which consisted of songs, myths, and tales. The Egyptians developed a unique style of writing called hieroglyphics. This form of writing means "sacred carvings" in Greek and was a combination of pictures and sound signs (Graham et al, p.9). This enabled them to leave a record of their society.

The Egyptian political structure revolved around the king, whose power was absolute. He governed through family and elected officials. The king owned the land and the people served him. There were no laws due to the fact that the king was the source of law and justice. As Egypt became more influential the local nobility's influence increased...