regions in pre-dynastic Egypt (nomes) were ruled by nomarchs
Egyptians called their king the pharaoh (literally = "he who lives in the great house" - the word applies to Egyptian kings only
The pharaoh's assistant; he had much responsibility such as organizing the collection of taxes, overseeing irrigation, supervising construction projects etc.
an adult who serves as temporary monarch when the successor is a child. This word is not specific to Egypt.
the name given to the group of people who worked for the government administration. This would have included tax collectors, scribes, engineers and priests.
the new land formed by a river discharging sediment into the sea; its flow is reduced causing the river to deposit silt at the river mouth. Eventually this silt forms new land.
The Egyptian term for the season of flood
Literally this means "city of the dead". In Egypt it describes the Valley of the Kings and Queens, areas devoted to burial.
Mastabas were the precursors of pyramids and were box-shaped tombs built above the ground. Eventually Old Kingdom pharaohs built layers on top and the idea of a pyramid was born.
the plant from which the Egyptians made paper among other things
literally "sacred writings", the word given to Egyptian writing. Before it was translated, scholars found this writing on tombs and temples and falsely assumed that it must relate only to religious matters.
An oval shape inside which a pharaoh's name was inscribed in hieroglyphics. These are often seen on tomb walls. Now people can buy cartouche jewelry with their names in hieroglyphics.
the mathematics of measurement learned by the ancient Egyptians as they re-surveyed their property lines each year after the flood. Their mastery of this is seen in its application to pyramid construction.
the stone that inspired the translation of hieroglyphics by Jean Francois Champollion. Sometimes the term is used metaphorically for the key to breaking any code. The original is in the British Museum.
This term represents both a goddess and a concept. It defies literal translation but it roughly means justice/order/ truthfulness. It was an ethical concept.
Egyptian names for after-death concepts. Ba was the physical embodiment of the dead person and was depicted on tombs as a bird with a human head. Ka was roughly equivalent to "soul" and was depicted as two bent arms pointing upward.
Small tomb figures; supposed to be servants to the deceased in the afterlife.
small ornamental jars each on with a god's head on the lid. These were used to enclose the organs taken from the dead body. They were placed in the tomb with the body and everything else.
an elaborate coffin constructed on wood and decorated with symbols and hieroglyphics
a temple dedicated to a dead person and not to a god. Usually only pharaohs had these. Many started their construction during their lifetime.
the process of preserving the body. The technique used is described by the Greek historian Herodotus who lived in the fifth century BCE.
Book of the Dead
a compilation of prayers, chants etc. from which the Egyptian would choose sections to be inscribed on the tomb wall of the deceased.
a cross-like symbol carried by many of the gods. It symbolized eternity
a beetle shaped ornament. The beetle was sacred to the Egyptians. It represented rebirth.
a tall monument (like the Washington Monument) favored by New Kingdom rulers. These were often decorated with hieroglyphics (eg. Cleopatra's Needle in London)
a soldier who hires himself to any state or government for a fee (as opposed to one who fights for his own country)
a mechanical device that consists of a long pole balanced on a crossbeam. It has a rope and bucket on one end and a weighted balance on the other. It is used fro transferring water from the river to the fields.
the eye of Horus. It symbolizes healing and protection
a belief in one god. In Egypt's case, the New Kingdom Pharaoh introduced belief in the sun god Aton to the exclusion of all other gods. This was not popular with the populace.
the people who invaded Egypt thus beginning the second Intermediate period during which the Hyksos ( a word meaning "foreigner) ruled as pharaohs in Lower Egypt and exacted tribute from the royal families in Thebes.
Jackal god of mummification
vegetation god who is the god of rebirth
wife to Osiris - the mother goddess of Egypt
son of Osiris and Isis, this falcon-headed god represented the seasons of drought and rebirth. All pharaohs identified with Horus, and took his name as part of theirs.
depicted as an ibis or baboon was the god of wisdom and the patron god of scribes
cow's head; goddess of love and childbirth