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City in the Oldest Land (the province of This in Upper Egypt). Chief site of Osiris worship, contains royal tombs of the first and second dynasties. Behind the temple of Seti I, on a lowlying island, is situated the "Tomb of Osiris."
Tool woth the blade at right angle to the handle, for chipping wood.
"Horizon of the Aten." City build by Akhetaten for his god, Aten.
Modern name for the city founded by Akhetaten, "Horizon of the Aten," the city that Akhetaten built in Central Egypt after his break with the gods of Thebes. Now called Tel el Amarna.
King of the gods from the New Kingdom onwards; a fusion of Amun and the sun god Re.
A small object, either worn or carried, that was thought to ward off evil. Often in the form of hieroglyphics or gods.
God of Luxor. During the New Kingdom, regarded as the king of the gods.
Hieroglyphic meaning `to live' and `life'. Adopted by Coptic Christians as their cross.
Greek: `man-shaped'. In Egyptology, refers to inner wooden coffins of human shape.
The god who prepares the deceased for his journey to the "Land of the Western Ones." Depicted as a man with a wild dogs head.
Holy bull, sacred to the god Osiris, worshipped especially in Thebes.
The god of the universe, whom Akhnetaten raised above all the other gods during the Amarna period, in the 18th dynasty.
Primeval cosmic god; appeared spontaneously from Nun. Progenitor of elements of universe.
Capital of the Hyksos (the "foreign rulers").
A tool for piecing holes.
A name for the soul, frequently represented in the form of a human-headed bird.
A roof of hemi-cylindrical shape. In Egypt, used for lids of Old Kingdom sarcophagi.
Obelisk-shaped focal point of a 5th dynasty solar temple.
Book of the Dead
Modern name for magical texts protecting the dead on their way to the afterlife.
Biban el Muluk
The Valley of the kings in Upper Egypt (Thebes), containing royal tombs of the New Kingdom.
Crystalline form of limestone. Often incorrectly called alabaster.
Four jars, often made of calcite, used to store the mummified internal organs of high ranking persons when buried after death.
Blood-red semiprecious stone.
Bandages soaked in gesso plaster, shaped around a body and painted.
Oval-shaped loop encircling a royal name.
Outcrops of rocks on the Nile from Aswan southwards.
Path from pyramids to canal cut from river. It was enclosed and decorated inside.
Tomn built for ceremonial purposes; never intended for a burial.
Magical spells on inner faces of Middle Kingdom wooden coffins.
Colossi of Memnon
Name given by classical visitors to pair of colossal statues in front of the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III.
Greek: `aegyptios' (Egyptians). Refers to Egyptian Christians and language of their liturgy.
Annual three-month work period required of all men as taxation.
"Northern Monastery," a gorge in western Thebes containing the temples of Mentuhotep and Queen Hatshepsut.
Fertile area between Cairo and the Mediterranaen, usually called Lower Egypt.
`Shorthand' variety of hieroglyphics.
Temple site dedicated to Luxor.
Der el Medineh
"Monastery of the City," a settlement for the artisans and artists employed in building and adorning the temples and tombs during the era of the New Kingdom.
Hard black rocks found as small nodules; used for mining.
Native guides for tourists.
Land of the Dead. Regarded as similar to Egypt in climate and nature.
Group of nine gods.
Glazed material; base of steatite or clay with crushed quartz, overlaid with coloured glass.
Large oasis fifty miles south-east of Cairo, connected by a canal to the Nile. A dam erected here by the kings of the twelfth dynasty made this area one of the most fertile in Egypt.
Focal point of tomb; pained or carved door through which the ka could enter and leave.
Bread, beer, wine, etc. provided by mourners and later magically.
A wide, smock-like garment.
God of the earth. Son of Shu and Tefnut, brother of Nut.
Suburb of Cairo, on the edge of the western desert. On a wide plateau stand the pyramids of Cheops, Chephren, and Mycerinus, the Great Sphinx, and many mastabas.
God of the Nile.
Goddess portrayed with cow's horns.
"House of Gold," a large alabaster quarry to the south-east of Amarna.
Curved piece of wood or stone on a vertical post, used as a pillow.
Anniversary festival and ceremony performed by the pharaoh for renewal of his rule, usually after thirty years of a reign.
"City of the Pillar," or Sun City, situated some seven miles to the north-east of present-day Cairo; it contained an important temple to the sun, of which only an obelisk remains.
Cursive writing derived from hieroglyphics.
"Holy Symbols," the script of the ancient Egyptians. Later two derivatives, hieratic (the "priestly script") and demotic (the "popular script"), were developed.
People of a nation located in what is now central and southern Turkey.
God who was worshipped in the guise of a falcon. As ruler of the earth he was the son of Osiris.
Earliest versions of king's names written inside a serekh, with a Horus falcon above.
"Foreign rulers," Asiatic cheifs who conquered Egypt during the period between the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom.
Greek: `many columns'; refers to the large columned hall in most temples.
Brief times of confusion on Egyptian history, during which Egypt was split and ruled simultaneously by different kings.
Annual flooding of Nile from August to November.
The greatest of goddesses, sister and wife of Osiris, mother of Horus. Venerated as ideal mother.
The spiritual essence of a human being, which according to the belief of the ancient Egyptians count enter into the mummy or the statue of a dead person.
A temple area in eastern Thebes, connected with the temple of Luxor by an avenue of male sphinxes.
Scarab beetle aspect of the sun which pushed `ball' of the sun over the horizon at dawn.
The god who formed men and gods and their ka on his potter's wheel.
Listing of all the kings from the unification onwards; usually found in temples.
Small, elaborate temple-like structure, usually minor feature of a larger site. Could have been a quay or processional entrance to a site.
A dark-blue semiprecious stone.
Land around the delta, from modern Cairo to Mediterranean coast. So named because the Nile river runs from south to north.
City on east bank of the Nile, 675km (420mi) south of Cairo; site of Temple of Karnak. On west bank, site of royal and noble burials.
The ancient Egyptians concept for order in the world, for truth and justice. At the judgement of the dead, the heart of the deceased would be weighed against the sign of maat, a pen. Also, Egyptian goddess of justice.
Green-colored copper ore. When ground to powder, used as pigment for paint and coloring for glass and faience.
`Place of birth'. Name for subsidary temple or chamber attached to temple and to which residing goddess retired once a year to `give birth' to child with whom she and her `husband' god were associated.
Arabic: `Bench'. The rectangular superstructure of a tomb, characteristic of the Old Kingdom.
Memnon, Colossus of
One of the two sixty-foot statues of Amenophis III in front of his mortuary temple in Thebes. The northern colosssus had cracked after an earthquake, and from 27 B.C. to 199 A.D. (when it was repaired by the Roman Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus) used to give forth a wailing tone at sunrise. This phenomenon attracted many visitors. The greeks considered the colossus to be a statue of the legendary Ethiopian king Memnon, who supposedly had fallen at Troy.
"The White Walls," erected by Menes, the unifier of the two lands, on the border between Upper and Lower Egypt. As the "Balance of the Two Lands" Memphis became the capital of the entire kingdom.
Legendary first king of unified Egypt.
Term loosely applied to area south of the Faiyum and north of Luxor, especially to sites around Beni Hasan and Tel el Amarna.
Area of northern Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
The temple in which the rites for the deceased were performed.
Mound of creation
Land mass arising from Nun upon which gods and humans came into existence.
"City of the Dead," cemetery.
Sister and wife of Set, the brother and murderer of Osiris.
Staircase down to a passage, usually in a temple, leading to the Nile. During inundation, the maximum level could be marked on the staircase as a means of assessing the future yield of the land.
Administrative area, controlled by a governor or nomarch. There were 22 nomes in Upper Egypt and 20 in Lower Egypt.
Land south of Aswan; source of gold and hard stones, especially granite. Name most likely derived from Egyptian word `nub' meaning `gold'.
Watery void of chaos, present before the existence of the world.
Goddess of the sky who reigned over sun, moon, and stars.
"Roasting spit," gigantic needle of stone which symbolized the sun god whose first rays touched the small golden pyramid upon the apex of the obelisk.
Opening of the mouth
Rite performed on a mummy, whereby the priest, with an adze, frees the ka from the body and magically restores it's senses.
The god of resurrection, at first ruler over all Egypt, later regarded as king and judge in the land of the shades, the "Beautiful West."
Potsherd or limestone flake used by scibes for practicing to write, and as a cheap and easily available medium for letters, daily documents and quick sketches. Plural - ostraca.
Flat stone, often slate, sometimes shaped in form of a fish or animal and with a shallow depression for grinding of malachite.
A reed, today almost vanished from Egypt, but once plentiful and characteristic of the land. It provided the model for pillars, material for light boats, mats, ropes, sandels, baskets. When fine strips were cut from its pith, laid one upon the other and pressed, an excellent writing paper was produced. These were the famous papyrus scrolls.
Jewelled plaque worn as a pendent.
"Great House," the word for the royal palace in the Old and Middle Kingdoms. In the New Kingdom it became synonymous with king.
Sacred bird, belonging to the sun god.
The creator god of Memphis, represented in human form. Assosiated with wife, Sekhmet, and son, Nefertem
The Land of Incense on the coast of the Red Sea, to which expeditions were sent by various pharaohs, including Hatshepsut.
Greek: `gate' or `door'. In Egypt, refers to monumental gateways at the front of temples.
The Greek designation for the tombs (residences in the hereafter) of kings of the third to seventeenth dynasties. In the New Kingdom modest-sized pyramids were erected even over private tombs. The names of some pyramids: Snofru Appears; Horizon of Khufu; Great is Chephren; Divine is Mycerinus; the Places of Unas are Complete; Everlasting is the Life of Pepi.
Spells on buried-chamber walls of late Old Kingdom pyramids to effect passage of ka into afterlife as a god.
A small pyramid. Generally one small hard stone used to cap a pyramid or obelisk.
Village in Upper Egypt which occupies an area thickly sown with some of the most important tombs of the New Kingdom. Towering above it is El Qurn, a pyramid-shaped peak which was regarded as the seat of the goddess Mersegret, "she who loves silence."
Sun god. The Pharaohs from the fifth dynasty on regarded themselves as his sons.
Mortuary temple of Ramesses II on west bank of Luxor.
Base, or ground, line used as a `floor' for figures in Egyptian art.
Foreman at excavations, captain of Nile ships.
Carving effected without undercutting any of the surface; either sunk, with figures cut out of the stone; or raised, with background cut away.
Stone portrait head placed in a serdab in burial shafts of Old Kingdom courtiers.
The necropolis of the Old Kingdom and Memphisl its most important structure is the Step Pyramid.
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