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2006 Egypt

Diary: 16 December 2006 through 13 January 2007

Exchange rate: R1 = 81 piastres ie 0.81 Egyptian Pounds (written LE). Our daily budget was LE500 (620 South African Rand).
Note: Unless otherwise stated all prices are for both ie total.
Note: Several of the “fact” sections are taken virtually verbatim from the internet.

ANCIENT HISTORY IN BRIEF

  • Predynastic, 5500-3000 BC
  • Climatic change about 7,000 years ago turns most of Egypt – except for along the Nile – to desert. Farming begins and communities form along the river, with important population centres at Buto, Naqada, and Hierakonpolis. Egypt remains divided into Upper and Lower (southern and northern) Egypt.
  • Early Dynastic, (Dynasties 1-3), 2950-2575 BC
  • Consolidation of Upper and Lower Egypt and founding of Memphis, the first capital. Calendar and hieroglyphic writing created. Royal necropolis located at Abydos; vast cemeteries at Saqqara and other sites.
  • Old Kingdom, (Dynasties 4-8), 2575-2150 BC
  • Age of pyramids reaches zenith at Giza; cult of the sun god Re centred at Heliopolis. Cultural flowering; trade with Mediterranean region and brief occupation of Lower Nubia.
  • First Intermediate Period, (Dynasties 9-11), 2125-1975 BC
  • Political chaos as Egypt splits into two regions with separate dynasties.
  • Middle Kingdom, (Dynasties 11-14), 1975-1640 BC
  • Reunification by Theban kings. Dynasty XII kings win control of Lower Nubia; royal burials shift north to near Memphis. Major irrigation projects. Classical literary period.
  • Second Intermediate Period, (Dynasties 15-17), 1630-1520 BC
  • Asiatic Hyksos settlers rule the north, introducing the horse and chariot; Thebans rule the south.
  • New Kingdom, (Dynasties 18-20), 1539-1075 BC
  • Thebans expel the Hyksos and reunite Egypt. In this “age of empire,” warrior kings conquer parts of Syria, Palestine, and Lower Nubia.
  • Third Intermediate Period, (Dynasties 21-24), 1075-715 BC
  • Egypt is once again divided. The high priests of Amun control Thebes; ethnic Libyans rule elsewhere.
  • Late Period, (Dynasties 25-30), 715-332 BC
  • Nubians from Kush conquer Egypt; Egypt reunited under Saite dynasty. Persia rules in fifth century BC. Egypt independent from 404 to 343 BC.
  • Greco-Roman Period, 332 BC-AD 395
  • Ptolemies rule after the death of Alexander the Great in 332 BC. Dramatic growth of population and agricultural output. Roman emperors build many temples, depicting themselves in the Egyptian style.

HISTORY OVERVIEW

Pharaonic 3100-332 BC (3000 years). Began when Narmer united Upper and Lower Egypt.
    Ups and downs: foreign rule (Libyan, Nubian, Persian)
Alexander & Ptolemaic (Greek) 332-30BC (300 years)
    Ended with Cleopatra
Roman 30BC-638 (650 years)
    Arab conquest 640-1517 (900 years)
Ottoman Turkish rule 1517-1882 (370 years)
    Ended in 1952 with last king of Egypt, Farouk, whose father spoke no Arabic
British occupation 1882-1952 (70 years)
    (ruled with Egyptian kings)
Independent modern Egypt 1952 to present (Nasser, Sadat, Mubarak)

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