Ancient Egypt still holds some of the greatest mysteries of the world even though it has been studied for hundreds of years. Many of this great nation s secrets will probably never be exposed. It’s monuments such as the Sphinx and the pyramids have become both a symbol of mystery and a link to the past. One of our clues to the vision of ancient Egypt was the Palette of King Narmer. One of the major images on the Palette of King Narmer is that of the Cow headed Goddess Hathor. The cow is the symbol for mother, she gives milk and life, and there would be nothing without her. The rest of this artifact shows the unification of a divided Egypt. This union is depicted by the king wearing both the crown of Upper Egypt and the crown of Lower Egypt and also by the lions with intertwined necks.
When someone thinks of Egypt the first image to pop into their mind is probably that of the pyramids. It is mind boggling how these massive structures could have ever been built without the aid of modern technology. The exact purpose of the pyramids and how they were constructed are still unknown. Inside of these amazing monuments are some of the oldest writings in the world. The first pyramid was the Step Pyramid of King Zoser. The world s first known architect, Imhotep designed the pyramid and was worshiped for 3,000 years afterward. It is believed that the king used the pyramid to help him ascend to heaven. The Great Pyramid of Cheops is the most massive stone structure ever constructed. Although built four millennia ago the Pyramids of Giza are the only of the 7 wonders of the ancient world to have survived into the present time. These amazing structures, once erected, were overlaid with a layer of limestone and the peak was crested in gold.
Religion is the tie that held the nation of Egypt together. The people s visions and beliefs are reflected in all aspects of this civilization. They saw it in everything around them and everything they did. All things were put there by god for a purpose therefore it held some sort of sacredness. This is visible in every structure and writing from ancient Egypt. The Temple of Karnak, which was created for the god Amon-Re took more than 2,000 years to construct and is considered on of the most awesome structures ever built. This temple is joined to another temple devoted to the gods, the Temple of Luxor, a mile away by a strip of a thousand sphinxes. At the entrance to the Temple of Luxor stand colossal statues of Rameses II.
The visions of the ancient Egyptians are most dominant in their burial chambers and tombs. One of the recurring symbols is that of the cycle of day and night. The Goddess Nut was the celestial being whom each night the sun would enter her mouth in the west and would then be reborn in her womb in the east each morning. This imaged played into how the kings would be reborn after their deaths and rise again like the sun to proceed to their eternal journey. Death was just another phase of life to the ancient Egyptians because to them it was not the end. All of the writings and personal belongings in the tombs of the dead were to help them on their journey in the afterlife. In the afterlife the deeds of the dead would be weighed and he would either live in paradise or be devoured by the monster.
The grandness of such a nation as the ancient Egyptians had is very difficult to imagine. The sacredness of the world had not been lost, in fact it was grasped and exalted at every opportunity. The peoples love for their gods and their thanks can be clearly seen in their prayers such as O living Lord, Creator of Life. When you rise in the East you fill the whole world with your glory and As the Shepherd leads the herds to pasture so do you, O Amon, lead the hungry to food. For Amon is a shepherd for the one who trusts him. To me this section has been incredibly interesting. The most intriguing part of the ancient Egyptian culture to me is how everything has a sacredness even the animals, land, and colors. Learning more about this culture can help us to discover things about ourselves.