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Chapter 3 Ancient Egypt

Section 1 The Geography of Ancient Egypt

Vocabulary p. 65

1. Silt – Bits of black soil, san, and clay laid down by flowing water.

2. Delta – A triangle – shaped area of marshy land made by deposits of silt, sand and small stones at the mouth of a river.

3. Economy – The use of workers and resources to produce goods and services.

4. Irrigation – The watering of dry land by means of streams, canals, or pipes in order to grow more crops.

5. Nile River Valley – The fertile region watered by the Nile River. The Nile River Valley was the source of Egyptian civilization, which grew up along the river’s banks.

6. Upper Egypt – The southern part of ancient Egypt.

7. Lower Egypt – The northern part of the kingdom of Egypt.

Questions and Answers (1 - 4) p. 69

1. Where is the Nile River Valley?

In North Africa

2. Why did the Nile River have a delta at its mouth?

Silt flowing downriver built up the delta at the river mouth.

3. How did the Nile’s overflow affect Egypt’s soil?

It watered the soil and enriched it with fertile silt.

4. Use the diagram on page 69 to describe farming in Egypt.

Possible Answers include: Farmers grew vegetables, fruits, and grains on irrigated land near rivers. People worked together in the fields, using animals and tools.

Section 2 How Early People Lived

Vocabulary p. 70

1. Pharaoh – The supreme ruler of Ancient Egypt.

2. Pyramid – A huge stone structure built by the ancient Egyptians as a royal tomb, having a square base and four triangular sides.

3. Empire – A group of lands and people under one government.

4. Menes – Ruler who united Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt.

5. Khufu – Egyptian pharaoh who built the Great Pyramid.

6. Hatshepsut – A pharaoh who led the Egyptian Empire; the first woman ruler known to history.

7. Howard Carter – An archaeologist famous for discovering the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen.

8. Tutankhamen – he was 9 years old; died at 19 in 1352.

9. Memphis – Capital city of United Egypt under Menes.

10. Thebes – An ancient city on the Nile River; Became the capital of the Egyptian Empire after the Hyksos period.

11. Kush – An ancient kingdom in Northeastern Africa, which flourished from about 751 B.C. to A.D. 400.

12. Valley of the Kings – An ancient burial place near the Nile River. Many ancient Egyptian rulers are buried at this site.

Questions and Answers (1 - 4) p. 76

1. Did ancient Egypt have a strong or a weak government? Explain your answer.

It had a strong, well organized government over which the pharaohs had supreme command.

2. Describe the role of the pharaohs.

The pharaohs were god – kings who ruled through governors and who owned all of Egypt’s land.

3. How were Lower and Upper Egypt united?

A king of Upper Egypt – Menes – united Egypt under his rule.

4. Compare and contrast a pharaoh with a king.

Both pharaohs and kings were rulers with absolute powers. Pharoahs, unlike kings, were worshipped as gods.

Section 3 Egyptian Civilization

Vocabulary p. 77

1. Civilization – A society that has achieved a high level of culture including the development of government, religion, and the growth of large cities.

2. Hieroglyphics – A system of writing in ancient Egypt that used pictures and signs to stand for objects, sounds, and ideas.

3. Papyrus – A type of paper made from reeds and used by the ancient Egyptians for writing and keeping records.

4. Scribe – A person whose profession was writing down or copying letters, contracts, and other documents.

5. Rosetta Stone – A large inscribed stone discovered in Rosetta, Egypt, in 1799. Because it contained carvings in three languages – hieroglyphics, late Egyptian, and Greek – the Rosetta Stone enabled scholars to learn the meaning of hieroglyphics.

6. Slave – A person who is the property of another person.

Questions and Answers (1 - 4) p. 76

1. What system of writing started in ancient Egypt?


2. What were some religious beliefs of the early Egyptians?

Certain animals merited worship; many gods controlled natural forces; life continued after death.

3. How was ancient Egyptian society organized?

Like a pyramid, with the pharaoh on top and slaves at the bottom.

4. What items may ancient Egyptians have wanted to take with them to the afterlife? Classify the items into groups.

Possible groups: Food, Furniture, Clothing, Personal Items

Building Skills Time Skills

Vocabulary p. 82

1. Historical Map – A map showing historical information, such as a series of battles or the stages in the growth of an empire.

2. Boundary – An imaginary line dividing one country from another.

3. Cataract – A waterfall or churning rapids in a river.

Questions and Answers (1 - 8) p. 83

1. What is a historical map?

A map that shows something about how the world was

2. In what directions did Egypt expand after the Old Kingdom?

West, Northeast, South

3. What bodies of water limited the growth of Egypt to the North and East?

The Mediterranean and the Red Seas

4. During what period did the Sinai Peninsula become part of Egypt?

The Middle and New Kingdoms

5. What city served as a capital of Egypt during both the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom?


6. What regions named on the map became part of Egypt during the New Kingdom?

West to the Libyan Desert, South to Kush, North to parts of Palestine and Syria

7. During what period did ancient Egypt reach its maximum size?

The New Kingdom

8. Do you think historical maps are a good way to show past events? Why or why not?

Answers will vary, but could include that it is sometimes easier to have a visual display of information.

Summary and Review

Ideas to Remember p. 84

• The people of the Nile River Valley prospered in their environment. The development of irrigation enabled them to build an economy that was based on farming.

• The ancient Egyptians were led by a strong government. Their rulers were called pharaohs. Under their leadership, great pyramids were built and one of the world’s first empires was established.

• Ancient Egypt was one of the world’s first civilizations. The growth of hieroglyphics, religion, and cities caused it to become a remarkable place.

Reviewing Facts p. 85

1. In what region of Egypt does Upper Egypt lie? Lower Egypt?

The South ; The North

2. What was the main economic activity of ancient Egypt?


3. Why was the flooding of the Nile important to ancient Egypt’s economy?

Flood waters deposited silt, making soil rich for farming.

4. What powerful group of nomads conquered Egypt around 1800B.C.?


5. What three languages appear on the Rosetta Stone? How did this help scholars discover the meaning of the Egyptian hieroglyphics?

Hieroglyphics, late Egyptian, and Greek; people who knew Greek translated hieroglyphics


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