Ancient Egypt by L. J. Amstutz

By L. J. Amstutz

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Those sentenced to the death penalty might be fed to crocodiles or burned alive. In later times, if someone disputed the kenbet’s verdict, the council would call on the statue of a god to make the final judgment. Council members would perform ceremonies in front of the god and watch for a sign. TAXATION AND TRADE The treasury collected taxes from everyone. Rather than calculate how much people produced each year, the viziers measured the height of the Nile flood using a nilometer—steps built into the riverbank to show the height of the water.

They worked with glass in other ways, too. One was to carve blocks of glass. Another was to pour molten glass into clay molds. POTTERY As early as 4750 BCE, Egyptians created vessels out of readily available clay. They developed so many styles over the years that archaeologists now use pottery types to date excavation sites. To make pottery, the Egyptians kneaded clay by trampling it. They then added straw, chaff, or animal dung to make it less sticky. The potter shaped pots by hand or on a hand-turned potter’s wheel.

Indd 56 10/30/14 9:28 AM When the British defeated Napoléon in 1801 CE, they claimed the stone and placed it in the British Museum in London, England. Scholars realized it likely contained the same words written in all three languages. They were able to translate the ancient Greek text by 1803. The stone had been carved after the coronation of Ptolemy V in 196 BCE and praises the pharaoh and his accomplishments at length. Figuring out the hieroglyphic text would take much longer. Finally, in 1822 CE, Jean-François Champollion cracked the code.

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