Ancient Egypt: “Time has begun”

The action adventure game “Assassin’s Creed: Origin” released in 2017 has a good reputation. It turns out that the origins of the Templars and the Assassin Brotherhood are from Egypt. The player will play the Egyptian Guardian Bayek. In the process of revenge for his son, he is also involved in the “Cleopatra” and Caesar. Political vortex.

That episode occurred at the end of the Ptolemy dynasty. Some people think that after the Macedonian King Alexander occupied Egypt, the Ptolemy dynasty that his ministry would establish did not belong to “Ancient Egypt”. He even believed that “Ancient Egypt” was later invaded by Nubia, Assyria or Persia. Die. However, it is generally believed that the Ptolemy dynasty established in the 4th century BC, and even Egypt, which became the Roman empire in the 30th century BC, belonged to ancient Egypt in the form of civilization – because there was no fundamental change in cultural traditions and languages. Ancient Egypt’s own culture and religion declined, and it was not until the 3rd century AD that the Christian scriptures were copied in Coptic.

Indeed, after Google’s “repair of monuments”, the world in Assassin’s Creed: Origins is still ancient Egyptian: the clues of the players looking for puzzles in the temples, the eyes of Horus and the “Holy The beetle exudes a mysterious atmosphere. Some players have also questioned: Why is the surface of the Khufu Pyramid so smooth that the Assassin can slide down easily?

Including the largest existing pyramid in Egypt, the Pyramid of Khufu, most of the big pyramids were established during the Fourth Dynasty.

The patchwork of the Great Pyramid today is the result of man-made destruction and natural weathering. In the Ptolemy era, the smooth surface of the Pyramid of Khufu has not yet been peeled off, although it has been more than 2,000 years since it was built. Whether it is playing the “Assassin” to visit the Ptolemy dynasty, or walking today in Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, the ruins and ruins have drawn a fascinating ancient Egypt: the earliest establishment of a huge empire, the construction of a magnificent Magnificent architecture with complex, fascinating religious ceremonies and mummified techniques, as well as communication and integration brought about by the location of “extends in all directions”.

“Time has begun”
In the late Paleolithic period, the climate in North Africa became hot and dry, and people in this area began to gather in the Nile Valley. The Nile River is flooding regularly every year, bringing fertile soil and creating a material cornerstone for the Neolithic culture and the ancient Egyptian civilization.

It is generally believed that the ancient Egyptians were formed by the long-term integration and development of the tribal tribes of West Asia and the tribes of North Africa. Ancient Egyptian, including the Coptic language developed from it, belongs to the Flash language family (also known as the Asian-African language family). The more well-known language in this language is Arabic and Hebrew. From the perspective of race characteristics, the ancient Egyptians were neither white nor black, and the ancient Egyptians in the north and the south were different. In general, the ancient Egyptians were characterized by long skulls, oval faces, thin tall, and black wavy hair.

The specific time of the formation of ancient Egyptian civilization has a wide range of arguments, but it will not appear later than the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics on the “Nalmai palette” symbolizing Egyptian unity. According to legend, around 3100 BC, Minis unified Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt and became the first Pharaoh (ruler). His capital, Memphis (now 20 kilometers south of Cairo), is conducive to controlling the rich Nile Delta. This is probably the “time has begun” in ancient Egypt – the priest Manneto of the Ptolemy dynasty, divided the Pharaoh’s lineage since Minnes into 30 (or 31) dynasties. This staging method is generally adopted by future generations.

In the first dynasty and the second dynasty, the Pharaohs established a powerful royal power. In the period of the ancient kingdom (third to sixth dynasties), agriculture was developed, the economy was stable, and the state had the ability to build monumental projects. Including the largest existing pyramid in Egypt, the Khufu Pyramid, the majority of the large pyramids were established during the Fourth Dynasty.

After a “first intermediate period” of about 100 years, ancient Egypt was unified again. During the Middle Kingdom period (11th to 14th dynasties), art, literature and monumental projects began to recover and prosper again. In Itawi (the southwestern Memphis, the old capital) in Fayoum Oasis, the Central Kingdom began to implement the plan for abandonment and irrigation, and through the conquest of the southern Nubian region, stone and gold were obtained. Compared with the ancient kingdom period, which was highly praised by the gods, the beliefs of the Middle Kingdom began to become “democratized”—it is said that everyone can dominate a soul and accompany the gods after death.

In the “second intermediate period”, the Xixus established the fifteenth and sixteenth dynasties. “Hixos” means “foreign rulers”, they brought Western military technology, occupied and ruled ancient Egypt for more than 100 years. By the end of the seventeenth dynasty, the pharaohs who ruled the south-central part of Egypt (centered on Thebes) began to struggle with the Sixos in the north.

The last strong age
In the New Kingdom period (eighteenth to twentieth dynasties), the rule of power returned to the hands of the natives. The duration of the new kingdom is equivalent to the Shang Dynasty of China. Most of their pharaohs worship the sun god “Amon.”

Thutmose I of the Eighteenth Dynasty and his grandson Thutmose III expanded their forces to Syria and Nubia, laying the foundation for a dynasty that was the most prosperous in ancient Egypt. This dynasty also gave birth to the first female emperor (female pharaoh) in the history of the world, and the first recorded religious reform in the history of the world. Tutankhamun, who ended the “monotheism” reform, was 9 years old and died at the age of 19. His mausoleum was the only ancient Egyptian pharaoh tomb that had been discovered and destroyed. It was once rich and beautiful. The product is sensational.

The ancient Egyptians were formed by the long-term integration and development of the tribal tribes of West Asia and the tribes of North Africa.

The most famous figure in the New Kingdom period was Ramses II (Ramsis II), who was the pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty and was in the “last glory days” of ancient Egypt. Ramses II served in the military at the age of 10, and he was enthroned at the age of 24, and he was 66 years old and passed away at the age of 90. He built many temples in Abidos and Ramesses, adding to the Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple, and the magnificent Abu Simbel Temple. He also carried out a series of expeditions, fought against another powerful country, Hittite, and signed the world’s first famous international agreement, the Egyptian Hittite Peace Treaty.

In 1881, the mummies of Ramses the Great were discovered. In 1974, mummies breeding fungi. The Egyptian government quickly sent the mummies to France for repair, and also issued a passport to the mummies. The professional column reads: King (already). Egypt hosted a grand military ceremony as a “going abroad” ceremony. France did not dare to neglect, and was warmly welcomed at the Le Bourget Airport in Paris with the “treatment of the heads of state”.

In addition, the famous biblical story “Exodus” records that Moses was forced to separate the Red Sea and lead the Jews out of Egypt. Many archaeologists believe that Moses left because he had a hatred with Ramses II. In the game “Assassin’s Creed: Origins”, Ramses II appeared in the download package “Pharaoh’s Curse”. His undead was summoned to the world with several other famous pharaohs and killed in the streets of Thebes. Players must make them sleep again under the guidance of Ba (the head bird of the Egyptian mythology).

The last dynasty of the New Kingdom period – the population of the twentieth dynasty was only 3.6 million; and in the first dynasty – the eighteenth dynasty, the population was around 4.4 million. The next Egypt once again fell into turmoil and entered the “late” of decline. At this time, the influence of ancient Greece was rapidly expanding. The Persian Achaemenid Empire began its brutal rule over ancient Egypt and established the twenty-seventh dynasty (the third emperor of the Persian Empire, Gambisis, crowned himself Pharaoh); the later three short dynasties returned to the control of the natives; finally, the thirty-first dynasty that was established after the Persians conquered for the second time.

Many archaeologists believe that Moses left because he had a hatred with Ramses II.

The second-degree rule of the Persians was extremely unpopular. Alexander III of Macedonia (Alexander the Great) was “armed” by the ancient Egyptians into the city with almost no resistance. After his death, his local successor, Ptolemy I, became the Egyptian governor. Later he independently established the Ptolemy dynasty, set the capital of Alexandria, and used the traditions of ancient Egypt to portray himself as “Pharaoh.”

The specific time of the formation of ancient Egyptian civilization has a wide range of arguments, but it will not appear later than the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics on the “Nalmai palette” symbolizing Egyptian unification.

The Ptolemy dynasty lasted for 275 years, to some extent the Greek colonial power in ancient Egypt. It is the development of choice for commercial and revenue-generating industries, such as the manufacture of papyrus. In the early days of the Ptolemy dynasty, it also dreamed of re-unifying the Alexander Empire with Egypt as the “logistical base camp”. It was only after several unsuccessful “heirs wars” that it was satisfied with the partiality. Under the rule of Cleopatra, the Ptolemy dynasty fell into rebellion and family struggle. The loyalty of the largest proportion of mercenaries in the military is always limited. Therefore, with the victory of Octavian, Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire.

Oriental despotism?
The political system of ancient Egypt was once named “Orientalism.” German-American historian Wittoff believes that “Oriental authoritarianism” is similar to water-regulation authoritarianism, while ancient Egypt belongs to the “close-type” water-control society, which is naturally a typical example of “eastern authoritarianism.” However, this definition is often criticized by “Oriental” scholars – “authoritarianism” is acceptable, but the “Oriental” full of the Cold War ideology is counted.

For example, the water conservancy project in ancient Egypt has begun in the second phase of the Nevada culture. Although the top of the “King of the Scepter” portrayed the opening ceremony of the sect of the king, the ruler of the stipulations attached importance to the water conservancy project, but it was in the late Neolithic period, when Egypt was not considered an “authoritarian state.”

During the Pharaoh period, irrigation activities in Egypt were mainly organized by local governments. Irrigation is regional and the scale is quite limited. In addition to the needs of the garden, irrigation is mainly to increase the yield of winter crops and reduce the adverse effects of the flooding of the Nile. In ancient Egypt, there has never been a large-scale conflict for water sources, and if there is, it exists only in the local area. In addition, this long history has never left any literature on water control. Therefore, many scholars believe that there is no causal relationship between water management agriculture and the ancient Egyptian government.

Rather, the construction of the pyramid is closely related to authoritarianism. In order to complete the pyramid “national” project, a huge bureaucracy has been developed. This institution collects, organizes and manages human and material resources for the royal project, and also integrates and unifies the deployment. Officials known as “supervisors of all the king’s projects” are responsible for the design of each stage of the project, as well as the organization and supervision of labor.

In addition, there are a large number of books responsible for specific material statistics, recording work, and then a large number of estimates, such as carrying a certain amount of building materials, how many people to use? How much is paid? How much work does a single labor force per day?

As the oldest and only remaining building in the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World”, the Pyramid of Khufu is 146.59 meters high and the bottom side is 230.37 meters long, weighing about 5.9 million tons. Construction time lasted for about 20 years. According to the data estimate, it was built in 20 years and requires 800 tons of stone to be installed every day. 12 boulders are installed in place every hour, and the average gap between the stones and the stones is only 5 mm. In addition, the granite blocks weighing 25-80 tons in the tomb are transported from Aswan in the south, more than 800 kilometers from the pyramid.

The vast project led to an expanded bureaucracy. In the process of expansion, the bureaucracy gradually decentralized the power to organize and use resources to the local aristocracy. The superb skills that originally belonged to the royal family also spread to the localities, and the local aristocrats also gained more wealth and increased their power. This dual diffusion of technology and power ultimately increased the centrifugal force of the “autocratic” royal power.

Ramses II built the magnificent temple of Abu Simbel

Destroyed ancient civilization
Before being placed under the Eastern Roman Empire in 395 AD, the ancient civilizations of Egypt were dying.

At that time, Egypt popularized a branch of Christianity, Coptic, and Coptic used a writing system that was derived entirely from Greek letters (to express the language originally recorded by hieroglyphics), so that it could read ancient Egypt. There are fewer and fewer hieroglyphics. Not to mention that in the middle of the 7th century, Egypt was occupied by Arabs. After centuries, locals used Arabic and converted to Islam, and those who knew hieroglyphics were missing.

Of course, the Coptic, which preserves the ancient Egyptian phonetic features, is still used today in the Coptic Church in Egypt. In addition, in 1822, the French linguist Jean-François Champollion succeeded in interpreting ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs because he believed that hieroglyphics were also a sound language. Deliberately studied the last language spoken by the Egyptians in the hieroglyphic era – Coptic.

Therefore, when the Napoleonic Expeditionary Army discovered three paragraphs on the Rosetta Stone (ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, ancient Egyptian popular script, Greek), when the linguistic circles of various countries launched a deciphering competition, Shangboliang was able to take the lead and fully grasp The evolution of hieroglyphics, their monks and common bodies, so that people first learned the true content of a large number of ancient Egyptian literature, inspired a large number of scholars to study the interest of ancient Egyptian civilization.

For example, ancient Egyptians have different perceptions of the origin of the universe as time, place, and ethnic composition change. Like the main gods of the ancient kingdom, first the eagle god Horus, then the sun god “pull”; the middle kingdom period, mainly worship “Amon”; the new kingdom period, “pu” and “Amon” combined to form the main god “Amona.”

Moreover, there are many gods in ancient Egypt, and the scope is also very wide. Everything can be a god. On the wall of a tomb in the Valley of the Kings near Thebes, depicting 741 different gods. Although there are thousands of gods in ancient Greece, after all, the “late” period, in Herodotus’s view, “almost all the names of God were introduced to Greece from Egypt.”

The sun god “pull” is the most famous. Beginning with the fifth dynasty, “pull” became the most important god, and Pharaoh began to use the title of “the son of the god of love.” “Pull” usually appears as a sun-plated crown and an eagle-headed person surrounded by a holy snake. It is said that all life is created by the “pull” God, who evokes them by reading their real names.

The lofty status of the Scarab is also related to the worship of the sun. “Pu” God patrols the hemispherical sky every day, transforming life and death. The chafers push the food into a ball and hold it in their arms, which makes the ancient Egyptians feel strange and regards the chafer as a symbol of celestial sphere and rebirth. Wearing a “sacred beetle” is very popular. It is also common to wear “sacred beetles” for mummies during the New Kingdom period.

Horus is also the head of the eagle. Unlike the “pull”, his head is a double crown, symbolizing the unity of the upper and lower Egypt, so it is also called “Horus of the double horizon.” His eyes are one of the most prestigious symbols of ancient Egypt – the eye of Horus. His right eye symbolizes the intact sun, with the power to stay away from pain and overcome evil. His left eye symbolizes the missing moon, because he dedicated his left eye to Pluto Orris, the left eye has the effect of distinguishing between good and evil, bringing health and happiness, and even resurrecting the dead.

The eye of Horus can also be used for counting. The ancient Egyptians dismantled the eyes of Horus into six parts, each of which represents a fraction, forming a series of equals, which together add up to the eye of Horus—“1”.

In Herodotus’ view, “almost all the names of God were introduced to Greece from Egypt.”

The earliest “cat slave”
The ancient Egyptians also worshipped snakes. When the sun god travels in the underground world, it must fight the Apophis snake representing the dark forces every day, otherwise it will not pass. In the Valley of the Kings cemetery near the ancient city of Thebes, the female snake god of the tomb guard appears in the image of the coiled cobra. The Reinerute Snake is both a guardian of the Pharaoh and a good harvest of agriculture. Although there are “good snakes”, they are still mostly in the face of the enemy – this kind of slippery cold-blooded animal is difficult to deal with.

The purpose of raising cats has been to “catch the mouse” since ancient times. The ancient Egyptians thought so, but they soon discovered that cats can also fight snakes, and such combat power is worthy of being sealed. Moreover, in addition to worship, the ancient Egyptians slowly began to “suck the cat” – almost the same as drug abuse, stroking the cat actually gained a great satisfaction. Today, there are still many cat mummies in the museum.

Bronze cat in an Egyptian museum

The mummy is for people or animals to enter the “eternal world.” Life and death, the present and the afterlife, are just a sequence of sequential positions. The ancient Egyptians believed that when a person dies, he will be resurrected, and the resurrected soul needs the original body, so the body must be preserved for the “dead” to come. This practice of preserving corpses with anti-corrosion technology was implemented at least around 3700 BC.

To make a mummy, first dig the internal organs of the body and take out the bone marrow; then immerse the body in salt water, dissolve the oil and wash off the epidermis; 40 days later, remove the body and dry it, and fill the abdominal cavity with frankincense, cinnamon and other spices. Apply gum on the outside to avoid contact with air and bacteria; finally wrap it with a layer of cloth. In Egyptian mythology, the body is a “card” and the soul is a “bar”. The two parts of the deceased will eventually be reunited and reborn.

The ancient Egyptians believed that the mummies would wait quietly for the arrival of the elf of the first bird, the “Ba”. In The Book of the Dead, it is mentioned how the “ba” of the undead is combined with the body: “I saw my Ba came to me… It saw its body again and perched on its mummy.”

Whether it is religion or mythology, it is essentially the saying of “destiny” – the source of rule of legitimacy. The priest who manages the sacrifice of the Lord God, called Vizier, is equivalent to the prime minister, often in the name of God, and the power exceeds Pharaoh. Like Ramses I, I took power in the position of Vizier and became a new Pharaoh. In the same way, in the late 18th Dynasty, Amenhotep IV (the renamed Ekhnaton) wanted to limit the power of the priests, carried out a round of religious reform, and changed the main god “Amon” to “A “Don’t close all the temples of the old gods, but they encountered great resistance and finally failed.

The Book of the Undead is also called “The Book of the Sun” and “The Book of Light to the Light”. It is a part of the text drawn on the pyramid or coffin, dating back to 3000 BC. The Book of the Undead teaches the deceased how to protect himself from the evil spirits on his way to the underworld. He also teaches the deceased how to answer the question of the gods in the face of trial, and even “blinds the customs”. The most famous bridge is to compare the weight of the feathers with the heart of the deceased. If the heart is lighter, it is not guilty.

Although life is gratifying, death is not hurt. Ancient Egyptian civilization has disappeared into the long river of history, but it still highlights the charm of its “eternal life” through rich archaeological discoveries. As stated in the Book of the Undead: “Time is rolling up dust under your feet, and you will never change. The creator of time, you have surpassed all time… You are yesterday, today, and tomorrow.”