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Glossary and Terms
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Afterlife - The place where the Ancient Egyptians believed they would go after they died.
Akhet - The season of the year when the Nile river flooded.
Amulet - A charm worn that the Ancient Egyptians thought had magical powers.
Amun - The main god of the New Kingdom.
Ankh - A symbol carried by the pharaohs and gods that meant "life".
Book of the Dead - A text that had a number of magic spells that were supposed to help a person in the afterlife.
Canopic jars - Special jars that held the organs of a mummy including the lungs, intestines, liver, and stomach.
Cedar - A tree from the land of Lebanon that produced wood that was good for building. The Egyptians used cedar wood to build their ships.
Delta - The region of land where the Nile River split into several branches before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea.
Dynasty - A period of rule when a series of kings or pharaohs all came from the same family.
Egyptologist - An archeologist who specializes in Ancient Egypt.
Eye of Horus - A good luck sign of the Sun or Moon that the Egyptians believed protected one from evil.
Giza - A place where several large pyramids and the Great Sphinx were built.
Hatshepsut - A powerful queen who became one of Egypt's most successful pharaohs.
Hieroglyphics - A type of writing used by the Ancient Egyptians that used a combination of pictures and symbols.
Hyksos - A people that conquered Lower Egypt for a time. They brought superior weapons and the chariot.
Imhotep - The architect of the first Egyptian pyramid. He was also the second in command after the pharaoh and was later made into a god.
Inundation - Another name for when the Nile would flood the lands.
Lower Egypt - The northern half of Ancient Egypt. It was called Lower Egypt because it was at the end of the Nile River where it entered the Mediterranean Sea.
Memphis - The capital city of the Old Kingdom of Egypt. It was near the border of Upper and Lower Egypt.
Mummy - A dead body that has been specially preserved using embalming so that it won't rot.
Nefertiti - A queen of Egypt who was famous for her beauty.
Obelisk - A tall pillar monument that the Egyptians generally built as pairs near the entrances to their temples.
Osiris - Egyptian god of the afterlife.
Papyrus - A plant that grew on the banks of the Nile. The Ancient Egyptians used it to make paper, boats, sandals, baskets, and rope.
Pharaoh - The supreme ruler of all of Ancient Egypt. He or she was considered a god.
Pyramid - A giant tomb built for the pharaohs of Egypt. It was made from stone and had four sides that came to a point at the top in a pyramid shape.
Rosetta stone - A special stone that had the same inscription written both in Greek and in Egyptian hieroglyphics. It was very helpful in translating and understanding hieroglyphics.
Sarcophagus - A large stone box that held a mummy's coffin.
Scribe - An Ancient Egyptian that was specially trained to read and write.
Senet - A board game played by the Ancient Egyptians.
Sphinx - A mythological beast with the body of a lion and the head of a pharaoh or god. The Egyptians built sphinx statues to guard tombs.
Thebes - The capital city of Egypt during the period of the New Kingdom.
Tutankhamun - A pharaoh of Egypt that is famous for his tomb that was discovered. The tomb was largely untouched and was full of treasure.
Upper Egypt - The southern half of the kingdom of Egypt. It is called Upper Egypt because the Nile River flows from Upper to Lower Egypt.
Vizier - The second in command in the Egyptian government after the pharaoh.
More information on the civilization of Ancient Egypt:
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