|Author||Charles River Editors|
|Publisher||CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform|
|Publication Date||August 1, 2016|
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*Includes pictures *Includes archaeological facts about the sites and descriptions of them *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading Africa may have given rise to the first humans, and Egypt probably gave rise to the first great civilizations, which continue to fascinate modern societies across the globe nearly 5,000 years later. From the Library and Lighthouse of Alexandria to the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Ancient Egyptians produced several wonders of the world, revolutionized architecture and construction, created some of the world’s first systems of mathematics and medicine, and established language and art that spread across the known world. With world-famous leaders like King Tut and Cleopatra, it’s no wonder that today’s world has so many Egyptologists. Thus, it is somewhat ironic that over time, people have managed to retain hardly any information about Memphis, the Ancient Egyptian capital in which the pharaohs responsible for the Great Pyramids resided and ruled. At some point, even the precise location of Memphis came to be forgotten, and the city was believed lost to the annals of time. Archaeological David Jefferys, not to be dissuaded, has continued to insist that Memphis is not a “lost” city but simply a city that has been temporarily misplaced. To this day, teams of archaeologists continue to sift through the Egyptian sands in the hopes that they will at last unearth the walls of the elusive city. In the meantime, an examination of the scant historical record read in close conjunction with the archaeological record does allow a glimpse into what one of Egypt’s most important cities was like. In just a few lines of his renowned Iliad, Homer immortalized in writing what the Thebans had immortalized in stone nearly a millennium before - Thebes “of the Hundred Gates” was home to some of the most splendid relics of the religion, history, and art of ancient Egypt and indeed of all the ancient world. As Thebes grew from an unimportant settlement to the richest city in the ancient world, unparalleled in its beauty and splendor, nearly all of its leaders left his or her mark in the form of one or more legendary monuments at the great temple complex to Amun-Ra at Karnak, the temple to Amun-Ra at Luxor, and the mortuary temples and tombs of the Valley of the Kings. As Thebes underwent the dramatic changes that came with its 3,000 years of political shifts, religious reforms, and ritual changes - not to mention its sometimes abrupt changes in fortune - its monuments grew and changed with it. The study of the fascinating archaeology of these sprawling structures thus provides an excellent point of entry for understanding nearly all aspects of Theban history and culture. The land and people of Egypt so impressed the Greeks that when Alexander the Great conquered the Nile Valley in the 4th century BCE, he decided that he would build a new city on its soil and name it Alexandria. After Alexander, the city of Alexandria grew and became the most important city in the world for centuries as it watched and played a role in the rise and fall of numerous dynasties. The city also became home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Lighthouse of Alexandria – and a center of culture and learning, which was exemplified by the Library of Alexandria. Truly, Alexandria was as unique as it was great; it was a Greek city built on Egyptian soil that was later ruled by the Romans and then became an important center of early Christian culture. What made Alexandria stand apart from other ancient cities such as Rome and Babylon and how did it become the gift of the Mediterranean? The answer is complicated, but an examination of Alexandria’s history reveals that from the time the city was founded until the Arab conquest, the different dynasties who ruled there took the time and effort to foster and patronize arts, culture, and learning.
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