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27

The Sumerians are widely credited with being the first real civilisation on Earth, beginning in around the 5th millennium BC. Cities and agricultural communities existed before this time, but are generally not considered to have constituted a civilisation. The Sumerians, who were situated in modern-day lower Iraq and Kuwait, are widely believed to have ...


18

Per the Wikipedia article: At the end of the twelfth century al-Malek al-Aziz Othman ben Yusuf, Saladin's son and heir, attempted to demolish the pyramids starting with Menkaure's pyramid. The workmen who Al-Aziz had recruited to demolish the pyramid found it almost as expensive to destroy as to build. They stayed at their job for eight months. They were ...


14

Maybe your source was National Geographics. However, it completely fails at explaining where this theory comes from and which facts speak in its favor (it prefers to present it as a fact). This BBC article does only a marginally better job, it lists some evidence but one is bound to ask whether a different interpretation of the same evidence wouldn't have ...


13

There is no evidence at all for any of the biblical stories involving Egypt. There is also overwhelming evidence that the origin of the Israelites is indigenous. There is no indication of a takeover as described in the Bible for example. As for the plagues themselves, although there is one papyrus describing a series of disasters they do not fit with the ...


11

Isra'el means "he struggles with God" and is the name granted to Jacob after he wrestles with an angel in Genesis 32: Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. Then ...


10

The Serapeum is actually a smaller "branch" of the original library, formally part of the Temple of Serapis. The temple was converted to a Christian church by Theophilus around 390 AD, and it appears this is the reference you have noted above. This "branch" was not actually destroyed, but there is no doubt that many documents were destroyed during the ...


9

Papyrus was known to the Greek world since the 8th century BC, as it's mentioned in the Odyssey: [Hom. Od. 21.390] Now there lay beneath the portico the cable of a curved ship, made of byblus plant, wherewith he made fast the gates, and then himself went within. Thereafter he came and sat down on the seat from which he had risen, and gazed upon ...


8

No, they were not. The Ptolemys were the last dynasty to rule Egypt directly in the old fashion. When the Romans took over, they just treated it as another province in the empire. In 30 BC, following the death of Cleopatra VII, the Roman Empire declared that Egypt was a province (Aegyptus), and that it was to be governed by a prefect selected by the ...


8

Italian author Lucio Russo in his book "Forgotten revolution" argues that a large part of the scientific knowledge of Hellenistic world has been lost. I find his arguments very convincing. Exact sciences in the modern sense of this word originated in Ptolemaic Egypt and other Hellenistic states, and reached very high degree of development. Few first class ...


8

In the Wikipedia article you have copied there is a reference to the Pinakes. Searching I have found and article on this website Library Philosophy and Practice (LPP) that explains the organization of the books, manuscripts,... of this vast library. I copy some fragments: About Zenodotus, the first librarian Zenodotus, the Great Library's first ...


8

Judaism was long a Henotheist religion, ie it believed there was many gods, but claimed the Yahweh was the foremost and most powerful of these gods. It is generally believed that Judaism became monotheistic, claiming that other gods did not exist at all, during the Babylonian exile, (1, 2) probably influenced by Zoroastrianism. These events are in the 6th ...


8

The first thing to note is that fashions changed rapidly in ancient times, just like they do today and one "Phoenician" might be wearing something completely different than another one. Also, a foreigner who was doing business in Rome normally would dress just like the Romans. Wearing foreign garb in Augustan Rome would not be a recipe for success. Also, ...


7

The reason to remove the brain wasn't because it was "useless", but because it was among the first tissues to decay. From http://si.edu/encyclopedia_si/nmnh/mummies.htm The first step in the process was the removal of all internal parts that might decay rapidly. The brain was removed by carefully inserting special hooked instruments up through the ...


7

After spreading of Christianity, old Egyptian religion faded away. Last Egyptian temple was closed in 6th Century AD by Byzantine emperor, Justinian. Altough, old religion 'died' on beggining of middle ages, today it still exists in different variations. Most popular is Kemetism, Egyptian neopagan religion which wants to reconstruct old Egyptian beliefs. ...


6

In 30 BC Cleopatra, Mark Anthony, and Caesarion (Ptolemy Caesar) famously met their deaths in the aftermath of the Battle of Actium at the dawn of the Roman Empire and the Augustan Age. Ronald Syme (in The Roman Revolution) provides this account of the Ptolemaic dynasty's demise in Egypt: The children of Cleopatra presented a more delicate problem ...


6

That we don't know exactly how they did it doesn't mean that we can't duplicate what they did. There are no exact descriptions of precisely how the great pyramids were built, and that means we will never know for sure how they were built. But it does not mean that they had some ancient and mysterious knowledge that has been lost, or that it was aliens, or ...


6

Strabo, who was in Egypt from 24 to 19 BC and gave us detailed accounts of the Museum, claims the inspiration for the Library's organization - at least initially - was Aristotle (emphasis mine): From Scepsis came the Socratic philosophers Erastus and Coriscus and Neleus the son of Coriscus, this last a man who not only was a pupil of Aristotle and ...


6

According to the main authoritiy on ancient astronomy and astrology, Otto Neugebauer, astrology was introduced to Hellenistic world from Babylon. (If you not know who he is, look at this Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Neugebauer). Here is what he writes on Egypt in general: Egypt provides us with the exceptional case of a highly ...


6

The Ancient Egyptians had a great number of ways for saying "soldier". The hieroglyphs that have a significance meaning soldier as a determinative were: Anyway, here's a few words I've found in dictionaries:


5

I think this probably falls into the same category as questions like "When did the Roman Empire Fall?" If you're ever on Jeopardy and somebody asks you that question, you should probably answer "476 AD," but there are entire books written about how and why that isn't the case. Kind of the same deal here, especially depending on how you want to interpret ...


5

The main Greek innovation in education was the Socratic Method. This mainly involved the teacher questioning the students, hopefully leading them to a better understanding of things that way. I don't know much about Egyptian education, but between the times of Alexander and Mohammed the upper classes in Egypt were culturally Greek anyway. By comparison you ...


5

On is the biblical Hebrew name of Heliopolis. Potipherah is only mentioned in Genesis 41:45 (your passage) and 41:50: And unto Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asenath the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On bore unto him His rank ("governor/priest of On") and the literal meaning of his name ("he whom Ra has given") imply ...


5

In 1944-45, the late forensic anthropologist John Lawrence Angel studied Ancient Greek skeletal remains. His results were 162 cm for men and 153 cm for women. He only had a rather small sample size at the time, though. Right after his death, excavation began on the cemetery of the Magna Graecia colony-city of Metapontum. The Metaontum necropolis was ...


4

Science is a modern concept, "a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions". Although the ideas of science came gradually, and it is not possible to point out a single moment when science was born, the first real science and the first real scientists are usually attributed to the 15th to ...


4

The theory I formerly heard was that demi-barbarian Dorian greeks from the north overran their literate Mycenaean brethern to the south. The surviving displaced Mycenaeans then took to their boats and moved south into the levant and Egypt, where they became known as Philistines and Sea Peoples respectively. Sort of a domino effect. For instance, I believe ...


4

There are several important technologies developed independently by different civilizations. Those I can think of off the top of my head is writing, agriculture including large-scale irrigation, metal working, pottery and the aforementioned pyramids. There are probably more. As to your second question: No, even if it would be proven that Phoenicians ...


4

The architecture you want to investigate is the step-pyramid. In short, it's the easiest way to build very tall structures with a lot of manpower and natural resources, but not a lot of architectural sophistication. As a civilization progresses, its architectural sophistication increases, leading to very different structures - the smooth sided Egyptian ...


4

The first mention of Israel anywhere is in the stele of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah c. 1209 BCE, where it says "Israel is laid waste and his seed is no more". In other words Merneptah claims to have crushed the Israeli nation so badly that it can't rise again. This is in fact the only mention of Israel in any Egyptian records. The reason is that Egypt ...


4

A Google search for "fingerprints on ancient artifacts" is actually pretty fruitful. The study of ancient fingerprints appears to be called "paleodermatoglyphics." (This article introduces the topic a bit.) There is at least one issue of a journal related to this available for free online: The Journal of Ancient Fingerprints. It says: "Fingerprints ...



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