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What were the key features of the Egyptian society and what innovations were developed?
Hieroglyphics was the most important invention in the ancient time, scribes used it to keep track of government records, and even recorded history. Hieroglyphics were first discovered during Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 that the wonderful artefacts of the Egyptians were seen in Europe and their ancient culture began to awaken from its long slumber. In 1799 a French captain named Pierre Bouchard discovered the Rosetta Stone which was carved with the same text in two languages, Egyptian and Greek, and three writing systems, hieroglyphic, demotic, and the Greek alphabet.The ancient Egyptians believed that hieroglyphics were invented by the god Thoth and called their hieroglyphic script "mdju netjer" ("words of the gods"). The word hieroglyph comes from the Greek hieros (sacred) plus glypho (inscriptions) and was first used by Clement of Alexandria. The hieroglyphic system used in ancient Egypt had between 700 and 800 basic symbols, called glyphs. This number grew in the last centuries of ancient Egyptian civilization, because of an increased interest in writing religious texts. Egyptians wrote hieroglyphs in long lines from right to left and from top to bottom. At first Egyptian hieroglyphics were simply pictures. They showed simple things, such as the sun, plants, parts of the body and animals. Later the hieroglyphics came to mean more. An arm might not only mean an arm, but also strength. A symbol of an eye meant first an eye, and an eye with a teardrop meant sadness.
The medicine of the ancient Egyptians are some of the oldest documented. From the beginnings of the civilization in the late fourth millennium BC until the Persian invasion of 525 BC, Egyptian medical practice went largely unchanged but were highly advanced for its time, including simple non-invasive surgery, setting of bones and dentistry. The Egyptian priest-physician, wab sxmt (wab sekhmet), had a number of important functions. First, to discover the nature of the particular entity possessing the person and then attack, drive it out, or otherwise destroy it. This was done by some powerful magic for which rituals, spells, incantations, talismans and amulets were used. Sekhmet priests seem also to have been involved in the prevention of plagues, inspection of sacrificial animals and even veterinary medicine. Physical medicines such as herbs were mostly expected to assuage the pain only, while magic affected the cure. A section in the Papyrus Ebers is about charms and invocations used to encourage healing. One spell, recited before taking an herbal remedy, reads as follows: "Come Remedy! Come thou who expellest (evil) things in this my stomach and in these my limbs!" Occasionally Egyptians would use spiritual healing and herbal medicine, they also practiced massage.
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other inventions made by ancient egyptians
One of the big inventions in ancient egyptian times was the Calendar. In ancient Egypt, a calendar could mean the difference between feast and famine. Without a calendar, ancient Egyptians had no way of knowing when the annual flooding of the Nile would begin. Without that knowledge, their entire agricultural system would be put at risk, so a few thousand years before the common era, they started using one.Their civil calendar was so closely tied into farming that the Egyptians divided it up into three main seasons: inundation, growing and harvest. Each season had four months, with each month divided into 30 days. Adding it all up, you get 360 days a year -- a bit short of an actual year. To make up the difference, the Egyptians added five days between the harvest and inundation seasons. These five epagomenal days, were designated as religious holidays set aside to honor the children of the gods. Another big invention in the ancient times is the Plow which helped grow plants and food. Even though historians aren't entirely certain of where the plow originated, evidence suggests that the Egyptians and Sumerians were among the first societies to employ its use around 4000 B.C. Those plows certainly had room for improvement. Likely built from modified hand tools, the plows were so light and ineffective that they are now referred to as "scratch plows" for their inability to dig deep into the ground. What's more, the plows ran on nothing more than elbow grease. For instance, wall paintings illustrate four men pulling a plow through a field together -- not a great way to spend a day in the scorching Egyptian sun. That all changed in 2000 B.C., when the Egyptians first hooked their plows to oxen. Early designs were connected to the horns of cattle but proved to interfere with the animal's ability to breathe. Finally the last important invention in the ancient egyptian history was surprisingly enough-Toothpaste. Egyptians had a lot of trouble with their teeth, in large part because their bread had grit and sand in it, which wore out their enamel. While they didn't have dentistry, they did make some effort to keep their teeth clean. Archaeologists have found toothpicks buried alongside mummies, apparently placed there so that they could clean food debris from between their teeth in the afterlife. Along with the Babylonians, they're also credited with inventing the first toothbrushes, which were frayed ends of wooden twigs. Also the Egyptians contributed to an innovation associated with dental hygiene, in the form of toothpaste. Early ingredients included the powder of ox hooves, ashes, burnt eggshells and pumice, which probably made for a less-than-refreshing morning tooth-care ritual. Archaeologists recently found what appears to be a more advanced toothpaste recipe and how-to-brush guide written on papyrus that dates back to the Roman occupation in the fourth century A.D. The unknown author explains how to mix precise amounts of rock salt, mint, dried iris flower and grains of pepper, to form a "powder for white and perfect teeth".
The people of ancient Egypt highly valued family life. They treasured children and regarded them as a great blessing. In the lower class families, the mother raised the children. The wealthy and nobility, had slaves and servants that helped take care of the children by attending to their daily needs. If a couple had no children, they would pray to the gods and goddesses for help. They would also place letters at the tombs of dead relatives asking them to use their influence with the gods. Magic was also used as an attempt to have children. In event that a couple still could not conceive a child, adoption was also an option. Peasant girls usually married around the age 12, the boys were a few years older than the girls. Girls of more affluent families married a few years older. The marriages were arranged by parents of the children although some young people chose their own spouse. While the ordinary man normally had one wife, the kings always had several. Before the marriage ceremony, an agreement was signed by the couple. The pre-nuptial agreement stated that the wife was to receive an allowance from her husband. The contract also stated that any material good the wife brought into the marriage was hers to keep if the marriage ended for any reason. Both could own land separate from each other but the wife usually let her husband administer her land along with his. Egyptian society was structured like a pyramid. At the top were the gods, such as Ra, Osiris, and Isis. Egyptians believed that the gods controlled the universe. Therefore, it was important to keep them happy. They could make the Nile overflow, cause famine, or even bring death. The second highest is the pharaoh, the pharaoh also appointed a chief minister called a vizier as a supervisor. The vizier ensured that taxes were collected. Right below the pharaoh in status were powerful nobles and priests. Only nobles could hold government posts; in these positions they profited from tributes paid to the pharaoh. Priests were responsible for pleasing the gods. Soldiers fought in wars or quelled domestic uprisings. During long periods of peace, soldiers also supervised the peasants, farmers, and slaves who were involved in building such structures as pyramids and palaces. Skilled workers such as physicians and crafts persons made up the middle class. Crafts persons made and sold jewelry, pottery, papyrus products, tools, and other useful things. Naturally, there were people needed to buy goods from artisans and traders. These were the merchants and storekeepers who sold these goods to the public. At the bottom of the social structure were slaves and farmers. Slavery became the fate of those captured as prisoners of war. In addition to being forced to work on building projects, slaves toiled at the discretion of the pharaoh or nobles. Farmers tended the fields, raised animals, kept canals and reservoirs in good order, worked in the stone quarries, and built the royal monuments.