By: Ali Abu-Dashish
CAIRO, Jan. 14 (SEE)- A century ago, ancient Egypt’s history was a mystery as no one was able to resolve the secrets engraved on the monuments. It was the writings of historians and travelers, as Herodotus and Deodoro, that offered a mere knowledge about the civilization, region and customs of the pharaohs.
All the evolved information was based on the recounts that historians heard from local citizens, as no one at the time was comprehending the age old hieroglyphics.
Despite being interesting, yet their writings did not present a factual image of ancient Egypt, to them pharaohs were a pious community that was attentive to holy rituals that prevailed from life. The gigantic temples and necropolises portrayed the nation as head over heels preparing themselves for the hereafter.
This idea prevailed during the Christian era, and thus filled people’s minds with fear and awe of ancient Egypt, envisaging it as a secret to all mankind.
Then, reality was revolted due to the arduous research by various scholars besides studies of English Archaeologist Thomas Yang related to Ptolemy carved on the ‘Rachid’ stone that was unearthed in San Julian Palace in Rachid city.
In 1822, Champollion published “Lettre a M. Dacier,” a book that explained and deciphered hieroglyphics. Such knowledge aided archaeologists to perform regular excavations and from that day on museums of the world were jammed with ancient Egyptians treasures that amazes the minds.
The first spark of pharaonic amazement was through a collection of antiquities related to fourth family namely; the pyramids of Giza and the statue of the Sphinx and the surrounding tombs.
It was thought that the progress of Egyptians and the development of civilization was from the third to the fourth family was a sudden development. But, the discoveries surrounding the pyramid of Djoser in Sakkara proved that the arts and architecture progress in the era of the third family was immense.
Hence, the pyramids and its surrounding monuments can be considered as a coherent physical symbol of the greatness of this period of Egyptian civilization as they determine the peak of pharaonic civilization. One could envision the captivating scenery of the pyramids igniting crimson as if they are in a sea of gold at sunset. Also, at night, can contemplate the edifice with a sparkling silver glow
Here we find that the old kingdom was characterized with development and growth. Internally, the country enjoyed a stable government and externally the relations with neighbors were brotherly.
Egypt used to send regular missions to Pont, Sinai and Palestine. Since the third family era, the woods were imported from Syria and used for constructing ships, yet amidst the sixth family’s time weakness extended to the central power and the reigning pharaoh was unable to rule wrapping up their time in mess and shaking.
One hundred years later, and after vicious conflicts with the rulers of ‘Herakliopolis,’ a city in middle Egypt, the throne was restored by the ‘Armant’ emirs. They established the 11th family and from this new royal house, the second glory of Egypt evolved again and reached its peak in the time of the 12th Family, yet the deduced power always threatened the throne, up until the monarch weakened and doomed.
Subsequently, King Senusret III, who was renowned by his spirit of war, arose to the revolution of the black tribes in Sudan and to send a mission against Palestine. He was then succeeded by King Amenemehat III and the Middle Kingdom witnessed glory in his era. His main achievement was to settling Morris lake in Al-Fayoum besides saving agricultural land through building a dam. After his death, north Egypt began to collapse in 1700 BC to the annexation of the Hyksos nicknamed as ‘Kings of the Shepards.’
To be continued…