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Ancient Egypt

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:

Timeline of Ancient Egypt
Old Kingdom
Middle Kingdom
New Kingdom
Late Period
Greek and Roman Rule

Monuments and Geography
Geography and the Nile River
Cities of Ancient Egypt
Valley of the Kings
Egyptian Pyramids
Great Pyramid at Giza
The Great Sphinx
King Tut's Tomb
Famous Temples
Egyptian Food, Jobs, Daily Life
Ancient Egyptian Art
Entertainment and Games
Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
Temples and Priests
Egyptian Mummies
Book of the Dead
Ancient Egyptian Government
Women's Roles
Hieroglyphics Examples
Amenhotep III
Cleopatra VII
Ramses II
Thutmose III

Inventions and Technology
Boats and Transportation
Egyptian Army and Soldiers
Glossary and Terms

Works Cited

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