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Language development

Unit 2. Ancient Egypt


Exercise 1. Answer the following questions:

1.What is ancient Egyptian writing called? 2.What year was the first pyramid built? 3.What type of government did ancient Egypt have? 4.What is Pharaoh Khufu most known for? 5.What was the purpose of the structure of the Great Sphinx? 6.What do you know about a papyrus? 7.What did the Egyptians invent? 8.Where did pharaohs live? 9.How were the Egyptian pyramids built? 10.Who was Nefertiti? What do you know about her? 11.What did the Egyptians use to wrap mummies? 12.Who was King Djoser? 13.How many Pharaohs were there in Egypt? 14.What is Cleopatra famous for? 15. What famous Egyptians have you remembered?


Exercise 2. Read the text “Ancient Egypt. Part I” and match the headings (A-G) to the correct paragraphs (1-7). Then explain the words in bold.

A. Egyptian hierarchy, B. Egyptian Life, C. Geography, D. Gods and Goddesses, E. Mummification, F. Pharaoh, G. Pyramids

1. ....... . The ancient Egyptians thought of Egypt as being divided into two types of land, the 'black land' and the 'red land'. The 'black land' was the fertile land on the banks of the Nile. The ancient Egyptians used this land for growing their crops. This was the only land in ancient Egypt that could be farmed because a layer of rich, black silt was deposited there every year after the Nile flooded. The 'red land' was a barren desert that protected Egypt on two sides. These deserts separated ancient Egypt from neighbouring countries and invading armies. They also provided the ancient Egyptians with a source for precious metals and semi-precious stones.

2. ....... .Daily life in ancient Egypt revolved around the Nile and the fertile land along its banks. The yearly flooding of the Nile enriched the soil and brought good harvests and wealth to the land. The people of ancient Egypt built mudbrick homes in villages and in the country. They grew some of their own food and traded in the villages for the food and goods they could not produce. Most ancient Egyptians worked as farmers, craftsmen and scribes. A small group of people were nobles. Together, these different groups of people made up the population of ancient Egypt.

3. ....... .1. Egyptian society had a social hierarchy, with the pharaoh at the top. 2. The vizier was the second most powerful official. He was the pharaoh’s most trusted advisor. 3. Nobles in Egyptian society were related to the pharaoh, priests, scribes, doctors, lawyers or important military men. 4. Only scribes and priests were taught how to read and write. 5. Skilled craftsmen 6. At the bottom of the pyramid there were unskilled workers, slaves, labourers and peasants.

Bastet 4. ....... .The ancient Egyptians believed in many different gods and goddesses. Some gods and goddesses took part in creation, some brought the flood every year, some offered protection, and some took care of people after they died. Others were either local gods who represented towns, or minor gods who represented plants or animals. The ancient Egyptians believed that it was important to recognize and worship these gods and goddesses so that life continued smoothly. There were over 2,000 names of gods in Ancient Egypt. Some images of Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses show them with a human body and the head of a bird or an animal. Animals were chosen to represent the powers of the god. Bastet was the goddess of protection of joy, love, pleasure and pregnant woman.
In Egyptian mythology, the sacred cat is the animal incarnation of the goddess Bast or Bastet. She was the protector of women and childbirth, as well as a loving goddess who enjoyed music and dance. Anubis, the God of mummification, guided the dead to the next life via the court of Osiris in the underworld. He was the one who looked after the mummification process. Ra, the god of the Sun, was the most important God. He was the lord of all the gods. He was usually shown in human form with a falcon head, crowned with the sun disc encircled by the sacred cobra. Ra sailed across the heavens in a boat. At the end of each day Ra was thought to die and sailed on his night voyage through the underworld, leaving the Moon to light the world above. The following table gives the information about famous Egyptian gods and goddesses: Sobek
Amun The king of the gods. When Amun was combined with the sun god Ra he was even more powerful. He was then called Amun-Ra. Head of a ram
Anubis The god of mummification (embalming and the dead). His role was as the "guardian to necropolis". Priests often wore a mask of Anubis during mummification ceremonies. Head of a jackal
Bastet The goddess of protection and of household entertainment. Thought to be the daughter of the sun god Ra Head of a cat
Geb The earth god. The ancient Egyptians believed that earthquakes were Geb's laughter. Head of a goose
Hathor The goddess of love, joy, music and dance. Head of a cow
Sekmet The goddess of war and battle Head of a lioness
Horus The god of the sky. The Egyptians believed that the pharaoh was the 'living Horus'. Head of a falcon
Heket The goddess of childbirth Head of frog
Tefnut The goddess of the rain Head of lioness
Thoth The god of wisdom (writing and knowledge) Head of an ibis bird
Sobek The god of Nile Head of a crocodile

5. ....... .The earliest ancient Egyptians buriedtheir dead in small pits in a desert. The heat and dryness of the sand dehydrated the bodies quickly, creating lifelike and natural 'mummies'. Later, the ancient Egyptians began burying their dead in coffins to protect them from wild animals in the desert. However, they realized that bodies placed in coffins decayed when they were notexposed to the hot, dry sand of the desert.

Over many centuries, the ancient Egyptians developed a method of preserving bodies so they would remain lifelike. The process included embalming the bodies and wrappingthem in strips of linen. Today we call this process mummification.

6. ....... .The most powerful person in ancient Egypt was a pharaoh. The pharaoh was the political and religious leader of the Egyptian people, holding the titles: 'Lord of the Two Lands' and 'High Priest of Every Temple'.

As 'Lord of the Two Lands' the pharaoh was the ruler of Upper and Lower Egypt. He owned all of the land, made laws, collected taxes, and defended Egypt against foreigners.

As 'High Priest of Every Temple', the pharaoh represented the gods on Earth. He performed rituals and built temples to honour the gods. Many pharaohs went to war when their land was threatened or when they wanted to control foreign lands. If the pharaoh won the battle he wanted the conqueredpeople to recognize the Egyptian pharaoh as their ruler; and they offered him the finest and most valuable goods from their land.

7. ....... .The pyramids are the stone tombs of Egypt's kings - the Pharaohs and one of the world's greatest historical mysteries. They have stood for thousands of years, filled with many hidden secrets. The Egyptians believed that if the pharaoh's body could be mummified after death the pharaoh would live forever. The tombs were designed to protect the buried Pharaoh's body and his belongings. Most of the pyramids can be found on the western side of the Nile River, just into the dry desert. The dry desert heat

worked to keep the Pharaohs's body and his belongings from decomposing and rottingaway. The reason they built the pyramids next to the Nile River was so it would be easier to get the blocks to the pyramid. The stones could be bought nearer to the pyramid building site by boat.

There are about eighty pyramids known today from ancient Egypt. The three largest and best-preserved of these were built at Giza at the beginning of the Old Kingdom. The most well-known of these pyramids was built from about 2560 to 2540 BC for the pharaoh Cheops or Khufu. It is known as the 'Great Pyramid'. It is about 147 m high and it took 20 years to build. The second pyramid is named after Chepren or Khafre, which is 214 m long and 136 m high. The third pyramid is named after Menkaure or Mykerinos, which is 110 m long and about 70 m high.

The Sphinx stands in front of all the pyramids in Giza. It has the body of a lion and the head of a pharaoh. The Sphinx is the guardof the pyramids. Ancient Egyptians were buried with their belongings and tomb walls were painted with scenes from the dead person’s life. The Egyptians believed that when they died, they would make a journey to another world where they would lead a new life. They would need all the things they had used when they were alive, so their families would put those things in the

graves. Egyptians paid much money to have their bodies properly preserved. Poor Egyptians were buried in the sand while the rich ones were buried in a tomb.


Exercise 3. Read the text “Ancient Egypt. Part II” and explain the words in bold.

Temples.The ancient Egyptians believed that temples were the homes of the gods and goddesses. Every temple was dedicated to a god or goddess and he or she was worshipped there by the temple priests and the pharaoh.

The large temple buildings were made of stone so that they would last forever. Their walls were covered with scenes that were carved onto the stone then brightly painted. These scenes showed the pharaoh fighting in battles and performing rituals with the gods and goddesses.

Trades.Craftsmen in ancient Egypt were usually trained and skilled labourers. They were often well-respected in the community and had a comfortable lifestyle. Yet every craftsman's lifestyle and social standing depended on the quality of his skills and experience. Most craftsmen worked in workshops with other craftsmen. Objects for temples or the pharaoh were made in temple workshops or palace workshops. Objects for ordinary people were made by local craftsmen in small workshops.

Writing.The ancient Egyptians believed that it was important to record information about religion and government. Thus, they invented written scripts that could be used to record this information. The most famous of all ancient Egyptian scripts is hieroglyphic. Using scripts, scribes were able to preserve the beliefs, history and ideas of ancient Egypt in temple and tomb walls and on papyrus scrolls.

The Egyptians did not write vowelsand did not use any punctuation. The Egyptian writing called hieroglyphics used pictures to represent different objects, actions, sound or ideas. There were more than 700 hieroglyphs. Some pictures stood for whole words. Hieroglyph is made from two Greek words: ‘hieros’ meaning holy and ‘glyphe’ meaning writing; so hieroglyph means ‘holy writing’. This writing was uncovered by the Rosetta Stone.

Hieroglyphs were written on papyrus reed, which is a water or marsh plant, with tall straight hollow stems. The reeds were flattened, dried and stuck together to make pages. The Egyptians also carved hieroglyphs onto stone and painted them on the walls of the tombs. Egyptian writing was done with pen and ink on fine paper - papyrus. Egyptian "pens" were thin, sharp reeds, which they would dip in ink to write with.

Clothes.Egypt is a hot country and so people wore lightweight clothes which kept them cool. Ancient Egyptian clothes covered most of theirskin and were made from plant fibres such as linen. Linen is made from the fibres of the flax plant which the Egyptians grew. Most young children went around completely naked. When they were six years old they began to wear clothes that would protect them from the intense dry heat. Men of the working classes wore a loincloth or short kilt and sometimes a type of shirt. Women wore straight dresses with one or two shoulder straps.

The Egyptians wore make-up and jewel to honour the gods. Both men and women wore blue and green eyeshadowand black eyeliner. One item of jewellery, the amulet, was believed to protect the owners and give them strength.

Farming.The people of ancient Egypt grew everything they needed to eat. The pharaoh got peasants to do the farm work on the rich lands. Most villagers were farmers. Farmers lived in towns too, along with craft workers, traders and other workers and their families.

Egyptians grew crops such as wheat, barley, vegetables, figs, melons, pomegranates and vines. They also grew flax which was made into linen.

The most important crop was grain. The ancient Egyptians used grain to make bread, porridge and beer. Grain was the first crop they grew after inundation (flooding season). Once the grain was harvested, they grew vegetables such as onions, leeks, cabbages, beans, cucumbers and lettuce. Farmers planted fruit trees and vines along paths, to give shadeas well as fruit.

The Egyptians grew their crops along the banks of the River Nile on the rich black soil, or kemet which was left behind after the yearly floods. The fertile soil was ideal to grow healthy crops.

Egyptian farmers divided their year into three seasons, based on the cycles of the Nile River:

1) Akhet - the inundation (June-September): The Flooding Season. No farming was done at this time, as all the fields were flooded. Instead, many farmers worked for the pharaoh, building pyramids or temples. Some of the time was spent mending their tools and looking after animals.

2) Peret (October-February): The Growing Season. In October the floodwaters receded, leaving behind a layer of rich, black soil. This fertile soil was then ploughed and seeded.

3) Shemu (March-May): The Harvesting Season. The fully grown crops had to be harvested and removed before the Nile flooded again. It was also the time to repairthe canals ready for the next flood. Ancient Egyptians had simple farming tools such as winnowing scoops, hoes, rakes, flint-bladed sickles and ploughs. They had both hand ploughs and ones pulled by oxen. The ploughs were used to turn the soil. The majority of the tools

were made entirely out of wood or a combination of wood and stone. Once the floods receded and the fields dried, the plants would wither and die. The mud that the Nile left behind needed lots of watering in the hot sun. Egyptians built mud-brick reservoirs to trap and hold the water. They also had a network of irrigation canals that filled with water during the flood and were refilled from the reservoirs. To lift the water from the canal they used a shaduf. A shaduf is a large pole balanced on a crossbeam, a rope and bucket on one end and a heavy counter weight at the other. By pulling the rope it lowered the bucket into the canal. The farmer then raised the bucket of water by pulling down on the weight. Then he swung the pole around and emptied the bucket onto the field.

Animals were very important to farmers. Animals helped them with jobs like trampling in the seeds, pulling the plough and providing the Egyptians with food and drink. They kept animals such as cattle, goats, pigs, ducks, cows and geese. http://www.ancientegypt.co.uk/menu2.html

Exercise 4. Read the text “Ancient Egypt” again and answer the following questions.


1. What two types of land were there in ancient Egypt? 2. What do you know about the daily life of this country? 3. What was social hierarchy? Name the main categories of people. 4. What were the main Egyptian gods and goddesses? 5. How important was the process mummification for ancient Egyptians? 6. What two titles had a pharaoh? 7. What are the most well-known and best-preserved pyramids in Egypt? 8. The ancient Egyptians believed that temples were the homes of the gods and goddesses, didn’t they?
9. What do we call a skilled worker who practices some trade or handicraft? 10. What do you know about writing in ancient Egypt? 11. What kind of clothes did people wear in ancient Egypt? 12. What crops did people grow? 13. What three periods did farmers divide their year into? 14. What tools did ancient Egyptians use in farming? 15. What animals did they keep?


Language development

Date: 2016-04-22; view: 2059

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