Ancient Egypt blossomed for many years, thirty centuries to be exact, from 3100 B.C. to 322 B.C. “When people mention the roots of western culture and heritage, they often refer to classic Greece, Rome, and Judaism. All three, however, seem to have drawn their inspiration in many (perhaps even occasionally illicit) ways from the leading spiritual and economic superpower of the ancient world: Egypt. (Kessler, 2004).” The civilization is well known for noteworthy developments such as agriculture, literature, science, and government. Many inventions, such as clocks and black ink, play a vital role in modern day living. Additional notable accomplishments that originated during the time include sports, medicine, construction, and religion. It can be said with certainty that the civilization of ancient Egypt was extremely ahead of its time. Overall, their impact on our culture is remarkable and is displayed throughout our everyday life.
Communication is an essential way to connect with other people. During the time of ancient Egypt, communication was performed through sacred carvings called hieroglyphics. With the addition of logograms (symbols representing words) and ideograms (sense signs), they were able to receive information as if it were a face-to-face conversation. “Hieroglyphics were comprised of an ‘alphabet’ of 24 basic consonants which would convey meaning but over 800 different symbols to express that meaning precisely which all had to be memorized and used correctly. (Mark, 2016).” The transition from carving to writing was accomplished through their developments of paper and ink. They usually used charcoal or soot to form black lettering to write on long strips from the stalk of a plant called papyrus. The ancient Egyptians believed it was important to document and communicate information, which is currently practiced throughout the world.
Astronomy is a branch of science that studies celestial objects or “the cosmos”. “The principle astronomical cycles are the day (based on the rotation of the Earth on its axis), the year (based on the revolution of the Earth around the Sun), and the month (based on the revolution of the Moon around the Earth)(Calendars Through the Ages, 2008)” The ancient Egyptians were the first to use this system of 12 months and 365 days which equaled to a solar year. “The Egyptian civil calendar was altered by Julius Caesar around 46 BCE with the addition of a leap-year day occurring once every four years; the revised system forms the basis of the Western calendar still used in modern times. (Egyptian Calendar Chronology, 1998)”. The calendar provides a format to structure and organize our everyday lives. It helps people with scheduling events easier and remember important dates with less confusion.
Sports and games are very popular and important cornerstone of western culture. It is a fun way to maintain health and fitness. They are used a change of pace from the repetitiveness of everyday life. They also can serve as useful platforms for both entertainment and physical activity. Most importantly, sports and games are great character builders, providing us with strength and energy. “Inscriptions on monuments indicate that the Egyptians practiced wrestling, weightlifting, long jump, swimming, rowing, shooting, fishing and athletics, as well as various kinds of ball games (Ancient Egyptian Sport).” They were also responsible for the use of uniforms for teams and a neutral referee that called the games evenly. Sports were also made into events, which were played in stadiums and fields, with large crowds that attended to spectate. The modern representation is manifested by the massive fanbase that sports has, with many of their fans attending games regularly. Most of these sports today are either covered by mainstream media or are played in the Olympics.
Construction and architecture are one of Egypt’s most important contributions, where they were believed to be the first nation to build using stone. These projects required a great deal of architectural and engineering prowess, and a highly trained group of dedicated construction workers. “They erected temples and tombs, floored and roofed with boards of timber, and rebuilt houses and refurbished murals. (Green, 2016)” The pyramids of Giza, known as one of the seven wonders of the world, and the Karnak and Luxor temples are some of the most popular landmarks constructed by the Egyptians. Their contribution in construction set the stage for current jobs in residential, institutional, and commercial building. They were the first to use a pully system, scaffolding, piping, cement, and ropes, which all can be found on today’s construction sites.
Religion plays an important role in modern society, with many different denominations to choose from. The practice of religion played an important role in the lives of ancient Egyptians as well. During their time, they practiced polytheism (the belief in multiple gods), but more importantly, monotheism (a belief that there is only one god), where they are believed to be one of the first nations to do so. “The ancient-Egyptians also believed in life after death. That is why they built Pyramid. Osiris was sending a man to heaven or hell after judgement. The Egyptians also believed in deeds. The result of good deeds led a human being to heaven and bad deeds, to hell. (Ghosh, 2017)” Many of the aspects practiced during the time of ancient Egypt are beliefs of many religion today. It is a direct correlation to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam which are some of the most practiced religions in modern society.
Agriculture is key in modern day living as it provides food, nutrients, and medicine to help sustain and improve life. During the time of ancient Egypt, there were many skilled agriculturists who invented many tools that are still used today. They were responsible for the use of sickle blades, plows, and hoes. “Observing the cycles of the Nile allowed Egyptian farmers to pioneer early irrigation systems. (Green, 2016)” The development of the “Shandur” aided in the transportation of the water from the Nile river to their canals. Herding cattle was used to help loosen the soil faster in order to plant more crops. “The chief crops grown by them were wheat and barley flax. They also produced fruits like orange, date-palm, and melon. (Ghosh, 2017)” In today’s farms, irrigation provides controlled intervals of water to keep the crops growing and herding aids in maintaining valuable resources such as meat and dairy products.
One of the main reasons why the people of ancient Egypt were able maintain health and perform manual labor was due to their developments in medicine. Centuries ahead of their time, a lot of the practices that doctors used in ancient Egypt would not be unfamiliar to us today (Gentempo, 2017). Their understanding of the circulatory system, vascular system, and anatomy made them one of the first civilizations measure the pulsations of the heart and perform surgeries. Dental issues and cavities were able to be treat with their developments of filling recipes derived from the papyrus plant. The ancient Egyptians believed that the body needed to be whole for life after death to be achieved. This led to their use of prosthetic limbs to replace lost ones, making the person whole again, ready for the afterlife. When it came to pain relief, ancient Egyptians already had knowledge of the narcotics in natural herbs like the water lily and lotus, cannabis, the poppy and the mandrake. (Gordon, 2015). These developments are presently used in modern healthcare, where a visit to the doctor today draws many similarities to a visit thousands of years ago.
Ancient Egypt had a notable development of an orderly and peaceful government. They were one of the first united nations, used a centralized government, and had a hierarchy of jobs and administration. Government brought order to society through the construction of temples, the creation of laws, taxation, the organization of labour, trade with neighbours and the defence of the country’s interests (Cite). The pharaoh and his team of advisers were responsible for overseeing the people. The modern representation of this is shown through the different branches of our government, which are there to help advise the president. Many practices in governments today are influenced by the ancient Egyptians. The structure and their code of ethics are used in around the world.
The impact that ancient Egypt had on modern society is shown in many ways. They provided the blueprints for many cultures that existed after them, including todays western culture. The Egyptian architecture, ideas, and inventions can be seen everywhere. You can find them through buildings, government, and in our day to day lives. Their hieroglyphics survived as visual proof of a civilization that thrived for many years. Their culture was one of the oldest that existed, which set the standard for future successful nations. From their inventions to the great monuments left behind, we still use many of their foods, tradition/ceremonial ways, writing system, sports and their general way of life. Egypt had a very complex society which has given us many advances in modern day and opened doors for the entire world. Ancient Egypt’s contributions cannot be understated