Egypt’s history spans some five millenniums, and encompasses the origin of civilization, the rise of the Greeks and Romans, the establishment of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religions, the colonial era when first France and then the English ruled the country, and finally, a return to independence. Egypt has played an important role through all of these eras, and today one can find monuments that evidence Egypt’s role in most of the world’s historic events.
In Egypt, we find the earliest detailed records of warfare recorded thousands of years ago, but we also find the cemeteries and monuments of the world’s last global war, World War II. In Egypt, we find some of the first written words of civilization, but we also find great thinkers and writers throughout the Greek period, into the Christian era, the archaic Islamic period and even modern Nobel Literates. We find ancient pyramids and giant columns supporting massive temples; now we can find these architectural elements spread throughout the world. Along with the first monumental buildings made of stone, we find the first paved roads, the first wines and beer and even the first peace treaties between organized governments. We also find the world’s first scientists, doctors, architects and mathematicians.
Egypt is our window to humanity’s distant past and in understanding its history, we find both mankind’s greatest glories and achievements, as well as his often-repeated mistakes. We can follow along with the building of empires, only to see them collapse again and again. We find great men and rulers renowned, but we often also see their ultimate demise. And here, we learn about religion, its evolution and, as the world grows older, its replacement with newer religions.
Please, take the time to understand ancient Egyptian history for you will find, within this knowledge, a better understanding of this modern world in which we live.
This article is Gail Ingis’s writing from her text book and lectures: History of Architecture & Interior Design. (unpublished).