1-The first capital of ancient Egypt
Memphis was the first capital of ancient Egypt and a famous religious and trade centre; its high status is attested to by the Greeks alluding to the entire country by that name.
To the ancient Egyptians themselves, their country was simply known as Kemet, which means ‘Black Land’, so named for the rich, dark soil along the Nile River where the first settlements began.
Later, the country was known as Misr which means ‘country’, a name still in use by Egyptians for their nation in the present day. Egypt thrived for thousands of years (from c. 8000 BCE to c. 30 BCE) as an independent nation whose culture was famous for great cultural advances in every area of human knowledge, from the arts to science to technology and religion.
The great monuments which ancient Egypt is still celebrated for reflect the depth and grandeur of Egyptian culture which influenced so many ancient civilizations, among them Greece and Rome.
2- What the reasons for the enduring popularity of Egyptian culture?
One of the reasons for the enduring popularity of Egyptian culture is its emphasis on the grandeur of the human experience. Their great monuments, tombs, temples, and artwork all celebrate life and stand as reminders of what once was and what human beings, at their best, are capable of achieving. Although ancient Egypt in popular culture is often associated with death and mortuary rites, something even in these speaks to people across the ages of what it means to be a human being and the power and purpose of remembrance.
To the Egyptians, life on earth was only one aspect of an eternal journey.
The soul was immortal and was only inhabiting a body on this physical plane for a short time. At death, one would meet with judgment in the Hall of Truth and, if justified, would move on to an eternal paradise known as The Field of Reeds which was a mirror image of one’s life on earth.
Once one had reached paradise one could live peacefully in the company of those ones had loved while on earth, including one’s pets, in the same neighbourhood by the same stream, beneath the very same trees one thought had been lost at death.
This eternal life, however, was only available to those who had lived well and in accordance with the will of the gods in the most perfect place conducive to such a goal: the land of Egypt.
THE WRITTEN HISTORY OF EGYPT BEGINS BETWEEN 3400 AND 3200 BCE WHEN HIEROGLYPHIC SCRIPT IS DEVELOPED BY THE NAQADA CULTURE III.
3-The Gods in ancient Egypt
From the Predynastic Period in Egypt (c. 6000 – c. 3150 BCE) a belief in the gods defined the Egyptian culture.
Early Egyptian creation myth tells of the god Atum who stood in the midst of swirling chaos before the beginning of time and spoke creation into existence.
Atum was accompanied by the eternal force of heka (magic), personified in the god Heka and by other spiritual forces which would animate the world.
Heka was the primal force that infused the universe and caused all things to operate as they did,
Also it allowed for the central value of the Egyptian culture: ma’at, harmony and balance.
All of the gods and all of their responsibilities went back to ma’at and heka.
The sun rose and set as it did and the moon traveled its course across the sky and the seasons came and went in accordance with balance and order which was possible because of these two agencies.
Ma’at was also personified as a deity, the goddess of the ostrich feather, to whom every king promised his full abilities and devotion.