The Ancient Egyptians: Introduction (01:54)
This episode examines the achievements of Ancient Egypt, the longest-lived single civilization in human history.
Step Pyramid of Djoser: c.2667-2648 BC (03:58)
Imhotep designed the first major building constructed in stone; pharaohs were previously buried in mastabas. Djoser was buried 28 meters beneath the pyramid.
The Great Pyramid of Giza: c.2580-2560 BC (06:50)
The monument for Pharaoh Khufu was the world's tallest building for 3,500 years. Egyptians built nearby pyramids for his son and grandson; archaeologists located workers' tombs. Workers likely used a massive ramp to move the stones.
Tomb of Tutankhamun: c.1332-1323 BC (06:43)
Pharaohs sought to protect their tombs in the Valley of the Kings; all but one were robbed. Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922; the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities houses several mummies.
Abu Simbel Temple: c.1264-1244 BC (04:26)
Ramesses II used carvings inside and outside the temple, dedicated to the sun god Re-Horakhte, to send a message of power. in the 1960s, UNESCO moved the temple 200 feet to protect it from Lake Nasser.
Luxor Temple: c.1390-1230 BC (05:36)
Luxor was a powerful, wealthy city in Ancient Egypt. An avenue of sphinxes led to the temple that housed several statues of Ramesses II and two obelisks; one went to France in the 1930s. Roman emperors obtained many ancient obelisks.
The Unfinished Obelisk: c.1500-1200 BC (03:01)
Workers cut the 140 foot obelisk from granite bedrock at the Aswan quarries with simple stone tools. The obelisk cracked and was abandoned.
Karnak Temple: c.1540-343 BC (05:07)
The temple, mostly built during the reign of Seti I, was constructed at the center of a vast religious complex. The first pylon was the last part of the temple constructed. Rule of Egypt went to the Persians, Alexander the Great, and the Ptolemys.
Edfu Temple: c.237-57 BC (03:37)
Temples became darker the deeper one went and access became limited; only senior priests attended the gods. Many Egyptian gods were represented in animal form; Edfu was dedicated to Horus.
The Serapeum of Saqqara: c.1350-30 BC (02:58)
In 1851, Auguste Mariette discovered the catacombs that once contained over 20 mummified bulls. Ancient Egyptians viewed Apis bulls as manifestations of Ptah. By the 6th century AD, Christians destroyed or closed all pagan temples and cult centers, except one.
Philae Temple: c. 370 BC-c.536 AD (06:39)
The temple, located on an island in the Nile River, was dedicated to Isis. Construction of the Aswan Dam flooded the temple and UNESCO moved it to higher ground. Christians transformed the temple into a church and the ability to read hieroglyphs was lost.
Credits: The Ancient Egyptians (00:40)
Credits: The Ancient Egyptians
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