The Rise of Civilization in Egypt Global History and Geography I name

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The Rise of Civilization in Egypt

Global History and Geography I Name: ____________________

E. Napp Date: ____________________
Egypt is located in North Africa. Although most of Egypt is occupied by desert, the world’s longest river, the Nile runs through it. Historians call Egypt “the gift of the Nile” because the Nile River provides water for farming. Every spring, snows melt in the mountains of eastern Africa. Rain falls and the Nile floods. The Nile’s floodwaters allow farmers to irrigate their fields. When the floodwaters recede, a rich layer of silt is left behind. Because of this, the Egyptians can harvest two, and sometimes three, crops a year.

The ancient Egyptians thought of Egypt as being divided into two types of land, the 'black land' and the 'red land'.

The 'black land' was the fertile land on the banks of the Nile. The ancient Egyptians used this land for growing their crops. This was the only land in ancient Egypt that could be farmed because a layer of rich, black silt was deposited there every year after the Nile flooded. The ‘red land’ was the barren desert that protected Egypt on two sides. These deserts separated ancient Egypt from neighboring countries and invading armies.

The Nile River Valley:

The Egyptian Desert:


  1. ________________________

  2. ________________________

  3. ________________________


  1. ___________________________

  2. ___________________________

  3. ___________________________

Effects of this Geographic Feature:

  1. ________________________

  2. ________________________

Effects of this Geographic Feature:

  1. _____________________________

  2. _____________________________

  1. Why do historians call Egypt “the gift of the Nile”?


  1. While most people consider floods a disaster, the ancient Egyptians considered flooding beneficial or good. Why?


Egyptian civilization lasted from 3200 B.C. to 500 B.C. Egypt was governed by an absolute ruler known as a pharaoh, who commanded the army and controlled the supply of grain. The pharaoh was a divine ruler. The Egyptians believed that the pharaoh was a god. They also believed in many gods as well as in life after death. When the pharaoh died, his body was placed in a tomb called a pyramid. In the pyramid, the pharaoh was surrounded with precious objects for use in the afterlife.

Nile River Facts

The Nile River is about 6,695 km (4,160 miles) in length and is the longest river in Africa and in the world. The river begins in the mountains of Africa and flows north to the Mediterranean Sea.

It was by the banks that one of the oldest civilizations in the world began. The ancient Egyptians lived and farmed along the Nile, using the soil to produce food for themselves and their animals.

Nile River Facts:





The religion of Ancient Egypt was a polytheistic (many gods) religion with one short period of monotheism (one god). Their religion hosted about 700 different gods and goddesses. The ancient Egyptians believed that when things were going well, the priest and pharaoh were doing their jobs well; when things in the civilization were not going well, the people believed the pharaoh and the priests were to blame.

One of the more famous aspects of the ancient Egyptians’ religious beliefs was their ideas of the afterlife. They believed the physical body had to be preserved to allow a place for the spirit to dwell in the afterlife. Because of this, mummification was performed to preserve the body. In addition, large pyramids were constructed as tombs for the pharaohs in the Old Kingdom. Later, rock cut tombs were used to bury the pharaohs.


Define polytheism and monotheism.


How did the ancient Egyptians determine whether the pharaoh was a good ruler?


What was mummification and why did the ancient Egyptians practice mummification?


Mummification was a long and expensive process. A person would need to have a tomb built, gather necessary objects to place in the tomb, and a son or a priest would have to be appointed to bring offerings for the diseased on a daily basis. Eventually, the Egyptians came to believe that the afterlife extended to all people. However, the expense still limited full procedure to those who were financially well off in the society.

The dead body was stripped and placed on a board. The brain was extracted though the nose. The empty brain cavity would be filled with resin or a combination of linen and resin. The chest would be cut open and the main organs would be removed with exception of the heart. The organs, after being removed, would be stored in Canopic jars with a drying agent.

Describe the preparation involved in burial of the ancient Egyptian dead:


1. How did the introduction of agriculture affect early peoples?
(1) Societies became nomadic.

(2) Food production declined.

(3) Civilizations developed.

(4) Birthrates decreased rapidly.

2. Which statement most accurately describes how geography affected the growth of the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia?
(1) River valleys provided rich soil to grow plentiful crops.

(2) Large deserts provided many mineral deposits.

(3) Access to the Atlantic Ocean provided trade routes.

(4) Large savanna areas provided protection from invaders.
3. The early civilizations of the Nile River Valley, Mesopotamia, and the Yellow River Valley were similar because they were

  1. industrialized societies

  2. monotheistic

  3. dependent on fertile land

  4. dependent on each other for trade

4. The ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt were similar in that both cultures

  1. developed along rivers

  2. used the ziggurat form for their temples

  3. established trade routes to China

  4. used a hieroglyphic writing system

5. What is the main reason the Neolithic Revolution is considered a turning point in world history?
(1) Fire was used as a source of energy for the first time.

(2) Spoken language was used to improve communication.

(3) Domestication of animals and cultivation of crops led to settled communities.

(4) Stone tools and weapons were first developed.
6. During which period did the domestication of animals and growing of crops first occur?

(1) Iron Age

(2) Old Stone Age

(3) Neolithic Revolution

(4) Scientific Revolution

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