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The Ancient Egypt Portal

All Gizah Pyramids.jpg

The culture of Ancient Egypt lived along the Nile river in Egypt from before the 5th millennium BC until the 4th Century AD. Ancient Egyptian society was based on farming the fertile Nile valley which flooded every year, enriching the soil with nutrients. The government of ancient Egypt, headed by the Pharaoh, was responsible for organizing farming efforts and collecting taxes for the state, which protected the country's borders and built grand monuments to the gods. The ancient Egyptian civilization effectively ended after the Roman domination, but the pyramids and colossal statues they left behind stand as testimony to the power of the pharaohs.

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The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now Cairo, Egypt in Africa, and is the only remaining member of the Seven Wonders of the World.

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Giza pyramid complex (map).svg

Map of the Giza pyramid complex, located 20 km (12.5 mi) southwest of Cairo, Egypt. This Ancient Egyptian necropolis consists of the Great Pyramid, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, along with a number of smaller satellite edifices, known as "queens" pyramids, causeways and valley pyramids, and most noticeably the Great Sphinx. The site has attracted visitors and tourists since classical antiquity, when these Old Kingdom monuments were already over 2,000 years old.

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Professor Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie

Professor Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie FRS (3 June 185328 July 1942), known as Flinders Petrie, was an English Egyptologist and a pioneer of systematic methodology in archaeology. He excavated at many of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt such as Abydos and Amarna.

Petrie was encouraged to pursue his interest in archaeology from an early age, and the accurate surveying techniques he learned from his father were put to use in his 1880 survey of the Great Pyramid at Giza, making him the first to investigate properly how they were constructed. On that visit he was appalled by the rate of destruction of monuments and he described Egypt as "a house on fire, so rapid was the destruction" and felt his duty to be that of a "salvage man, to get all I could, as quickly as possible and then, when I was 60, I would sit and write it all down."

Petrie took complete control over his excavations and removed the pressure on the workmen to find treasures quickly but sloppily. Though he was regarded as an amateur and dilettante by more established Egyptologists, his careful attention to detail and investigation of the seriation of pottery allowed him to accurately establish the chronologies of ancient sites. In 1923, Petrie was knighted for his services. Petrie's innovative and careful excavations cataloged in his 97 books revolutionized the study of ancient Egypt and cemented his legacy as the founder of modern Egyptology.


Ancient News

In November 2008, a new pyramid belonging to a 6th dynasty queen Seshseshet was discovered[1] at Saqqara. The pyramid's base is 22 meters square and stands 5 meters in height (originally 14 meters). Discoverer Zahi Hawass' stated that the discovery will enrich our understanding of 6th dynasty pyramids.

The remains of an unidentified Old Kingdom pyramid were rediscovered at Saqqara in June 2008, along with a section of an avenue of sphinxes dating to the Ptolemaic period.

In March 2008, the Temple of Hathor at Dendara reopened after a site-management program. Visitors are welcomed at a new visitor's center, and can see a replica of the famous zodiac ceiling now in the Louvre. The main temple dates from the time of Ptolemy XII in the 1st century BC.

In February 2008, an American archaeological mission from UCLA found an almost intact Neolithic settlement and the remnants of a Graeco-Roman village in the Faiyum. The discovery may change archaeologists' understanding of the dating and sequence of the Faiyum Neolithic period.

In January 2008, a Russian-American archaeological mission discovered a group of well-preserved Graeco-Roman mummies in the Faiyum. Also found were a gilded mask, jewelery, and textile fragments. A facial reconstruction of one female mummy is planned.

In May 2007 the intact tomb of the courtier Henu was discovered at Deir el-Bersha and dates from the late First Intermediate Period. The tomb was accidentally uncovered by a Belgian archaeological team from the Katholieke Leuven University. The tomb contained a collection of wooden models of daily life scenes, a coffin and painted statue of the deceased. The find shows that the necropolis at the site was in use after the end of the Old Kingdom.

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