The Egyptians called their land Kemet (black land). Eachyear, the Nile flooded and its waters spilled over the banks to spread a layerof black, fertile mud on the fields where the farmers grew their crops. Thisyearly gift of the Nile allowed people to enjoy civilization and plenty.
The earliest peoples of Egypt were desert nomads. As theysettled to become farmers, they built villages and towns. By 3100 BC, Egypt hadbecome one country. The southern kingdom of Upper Egypt conquered the northernkingdom of Lower Egypt, and King Menes made Memphis his capital.
The Egyptians regarded their king as a god. Thirty dynastiesof these god kings ruled form the time of King Menes in 3100 BC until 332 BCwhen Alexander the Great conquered Egypt. From about 1554 BC the Egyptian kingswere given the title pharaoh.
Government and DailyLife
Egypt was governed by officials and tax collectors, whomeasured the Nile’s waters to predict how high it would flood each year, and sohow big a harvest was to be expected. Taxes were set accordingly. MostEgyptians were farmers. They grew crops of barley, wheat, fruit and vegetables.Their diet consisted of daily meals of bread and beer, often supplemented with fish.Meat from cattle, sheep and goats was a luxury.
Children began work at the age of five. Boys went to schoolif their parents could afford to spare them from work, and some girls did too.There were many slaves, but even freemen might be press ganged to digirrigation canals, or haul stones to building sites. Skilled workers, such asscribes (writers), stone cutters, carpenters, metalworkers, painters, potters,bakers and brewers, were kept busy in the towns.
The Egyptians were good at Math, particularly at geometry,with they used in architecture and surveying. The drew up an accurate 12 monthcalendar of 365 days, and used water clocks to measure time.