Doctor of Biblical Egyptology
Certainly the course proved to be informative and interesting. As a final essay I have endeavoured to incorporate the general base of the course and that of research ,fact, thinking and my own views.
It is interesting to look at the times to which this course relates, namely that of 1600-1200BC. At this period of time a tribal form of peoples existed. Many were shepherds or nomads. It is interesting to consider the events of the times. This was the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Protodynastic period.Camels which we associate with Egypt, were not introduced into Egypt in quantity until 500BC. Horses which were much prized, brought in by the Hyksos during the Middle Kingdom.
In order to record commerce and administration, Egypt became the first to introduce books. The recording of all in hieroglyphs or cuneiform(wedge shaped). Hierogyphics gradually fading from use about 350 AD and cuneiform at the time of Christ. Much of our knowledge has come from archaeological finds or ancient writings. With the writings and ancient scrolls we must of course consider that much was written in contex of the times. Some as fact, some as stories and some with a political agenda.
With the Holy Bible, we are looking at a very ancient work. In part holy for the Jews, wholly for Christians and an important text for the followers of Islam. Originally written in Hebrew. The first five called the Torah. The key books of Jewish biblical interpretation, called Midrashin, are sacred in Judaism almost as sacred as the Torah. Interpretation has been an ongoing labour for many years and claims that the Bible is interpreted literally by some and others suggest it speaks in metaphors which allows some flexibility in doctrine.
There are writers of which we have learned much.Josephus, born 37/38AD was a Greek historian and Jewish priest, also a defender of the Jewish religion and culture. We can also remember the great contribution by Herodotus 5BC, thought of as the father of history. An important historian to those researching Ancient Egypt was Manetho circa 3rd. cent BC. Manetho, was a priest living in the early Ptolemaic period, his works include Aegyptiaca (A History of Egypt.)
An interesting point to mention is that the Egyptians were accomplished artists and builders. It is also interesting that they either shunned perspective or simply did not understand it. It may be that it was to show greater detail in their artwork as can be seen in tableware seemingly to hover above tables etc. Over the years there has been greater accuracy in dating artefacts found on sites being excavated. Of these radio carbon methods and isotope analysis have been used. MRI scanning of course has limited uses as hydrogen is required in the object being scanned.
Egyptian deities played a large part in the spread to other cultures in the region. The Egyptian worship of animals much to the distain of the Graeco/Romans. However, the Egyptians turned animal worship into a symbol of national identity.
Late period religion to be assimilated into the Graeco/Roman world were deities such as Isis and Serapis, although other deities became well known outside of Egypt. Among the others were Apis, Horus and Anubis. It is known that various Egyptian cultures and deities were spread by Egyptian immigrants and others who had lived in Egypt.
A most popular divinity during the late period was Isis. It is thought that Isis was connected to the Royal throne and mistress of the house of life. With all of the Egyptian deities there is an interrelationship, Isis with Horus, again an important god. An early royal god, Apis the sacred bull and various others, all of which are indicated in Egyptian hieroglyphics.
The Egyptian culture was in in contex of the times, quite advanced in relation to the Greek and Roman cultures. During the later era the practice of medicine was thought to be mainly of incantations to the gods and what would be considered today as witchcraft and temple medicine. Evidence has indicated a knowledge of chemical medicine, probably not always effective.
Disease was a concern in Ancient times, certainly tuberculosis, leprosy and malaria.
From earliest times survival has been to the forefront of mans thinking, Whether physical survival or that of the soul and eternal life. This is shown In Egyptian culture. Survival, whether of a society or that of the individual must have been to the forefront of Moses mind leading to the Exodus.
Moses is significant in various religions including Christianity and Islam. Moses is an Egyptian name (meaning One Who Is Born.) Certainly there are many questions to be answered and with each story of the Exodus
there is usually a scientific fact or reason. For instance in parting of the Red Sea (Ex. 14;21), The Ten Plagues and The Pillars of Cloud and Fire (Ex.13;21). In respect of my own thinking and research reading, there are indications that Moses did exist and there was an Exodus but very much more is needed to tip the scales.
This essay was an attempt to give an overview and insight into the Ancient Egyptian era and that of Moses and Exodus. The development From the Predynastic period rising to a cultured society. Much of the culture passing on to Greek and Roman societies.
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