Egyptian Culture

Egyptian culture, the art of the Egyptians from around the 4th millennium to the 1st century BC. Chr.

Since the houses and palaces built from mud bricks are hardly preserved, as witnesses of Egyptian architecture v. a. the stone temples and graves with their additions survived.

Clay and stone vessels, figures and rock paintings have been preserved from the early days. Towards the end of the early period, large burial chambers were laid out, the walls of which were painted with scenes of fighting, hunting and dancing and whose design was already subject to the rules that remained typical of Egyptian art (e.g. that the size of the figures depends on their meaning and not measured according to their natural size). Visit for culture and beaches in exotic Egypt.

In the Old Kingdom (around 2660-2160 BC), the royal tombs were built as pyramids, such as those of the kings Cheops (around 2585-2550 BC) and Chephren (around 2540-2505 BC). In the burial chambers one found statues that were supposed to serve the continued life of humans in the afterlife.

From the Middle Kingdom (around 2040–1785 BC), realistic portrait statues of kings and officials have been preserved, which have now also been placed in temples. In the New Kingdom (around 1552–1070 BC) large temples were built (including Luxor, Karnak, Abu Simbel); Rock graves for kings and officials were made in Thebes. The tomb of the is famous Tutankhamun with his treasures.

World Heritage Sites in Egypt

World Heritage Sites (K) and World Natural Heritage (N)

  • Thebes and its city of the dead (K; 1979)
  • Islamic city center of Cairo (K; 1979)
  • Necropolis and Pyramids of Memphis (K; 1979)
  • The Nubian monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae (K; 1979)
  • Early Christian ruins of Abu Mena (K; 1979)
  • Catherine’s Monastery on the Sinai (K; 2002)
  • Wadi al-Hitan (“Valley of the Whales”; N; 2005)

The Nile is Egypt – Egypt is the Nile

“Egypt is a gift from the Nile,” wrote the Greek historian Herodotus. He described the importance of the river for the economic and political development of the country. Due to its annual floods, the Nile ensures the fertility of the soil and thus the nutrition of its residents. If you fly over the Nile Valley by plane, you will see how the river oasis stands out clearly from the desert landscape on both sides of the river. Agriculture and arable farming are only possible in the Nile Valley with the Faijum depression.

Harvest yields depend on the amount of annual floods that fertile Nile mud spreads on the fields. The ancient Egyptians called the Nile Valley “kemi”, “black land” because of the black mud that the Nile brought in from its upper reaches. The deserts that border the valley, on the other hand, were called “daschre”, “red land”. In this part of Egypt almost no rain falls. In Cairo, the average rainfall is 29 mm per year, in Aswan it hardly rains at all. Egypt’s agriculture is dependent on the annual flooding of the Nile.

Heavy rains fall on the Ethiopian highlands from June to September; they make the Blue Nile swell rapidly. From mid-June the water begins to rise near Aswan, 14 days later it reaches Cairo and the delta at the beginning of July. The flood reaches its peak in September, from October the water falls again and sinks to its lowest level in April. At this point in time the ancient Egyptians started their fields and practiced their agriculture; everywhere they plowed and sown at the same time. In order to prevent flooding, canals were dug to distribute the water further. At the same time, the canals served as drainage for the swamps, dams kept the floods away from the settlements. With the help of Nil level meters, such as. B. on the island of Elephantine near Aswan, one tried to estimate the harvest yields and thus the tax burden. The river was glorified as a source of wealth.

The construction of the high dam near Aswan made this careful exploitation of the annual floods difficult. Now the water in the lower reaches of the Nile does not rise as much during the flood period and thus gives security to the settlements on both sides of the river valley, but the dam also holds back the fertile Nile mud, which leads to silting up. In addition, evaporation has increased significantly due to the large water surface of the reservoir. The result is that the soil loses its quality and the crop yields are no longer that high. The water required for agriculture has to be brought to the fields via specially built canals, the soil threatens to become too salty. The abundance of fish in the Nile has also fallen sharply because of the lack of nutrient-rich floods.

Natural resources

Oil and gas are the country’s most important raw materials. Most of the oil fields are on and in the Gulf of Suez. The production of natural gas has more than doubled after the discovery of new fields (2000: 21 billion m 3; 2015: 45.6 billion m 3). In addition to crude oil and natural gas, phosphate, iron ore, hard coal, non-ferrous metals, manganese ore and sea salt are extracted. The deposits of asbestos, kaolin, titanium ore, sulfur, talc and uranium ore are largely unused.

Egyptian Culture