The Nile is without doubt the source of one of the most extraordinary and long lasting of civilisations, bequeathing an almost immeasurable legacy to Africa and the world.
     The formation of Egypt as a unified state came when the regions known as Upper and Lower Egypt were united. According to tradition, the first ruler was Menes or Narmer who began the first of thirty ruling dynasties.
      It was to take hundreds of years of consolidation before political stability was actually achieved. The Kings of the first two dynasties, or the archaic period, were mainly concerned with conquest and it was not until the Third dynasty of King Zoser that Egypt was secure as a united kingdom.
   The rulers of Ancient Egypt, known as Pharaohs, were regarded as gods on earth. They were also the embodiment of public service and responsible for national security and the well-being of their people.
      The ancient Egyptians had no single religious system but worshipped a wide range of deities. The most important ones were Ra, the sun god, from whom Egyptian kings claimed descent, and Osiris, king of the dead. In addition, there were numerous other gods who were worshipped in specific localities or temples.
     There was an important belief in reincarnation – life after death – and the ancient Egyptians regarded burial rites as of supreme importance. It was believed that by doing good deeds in the first life, the deceased would be assured a place in eternal paradise.
   The bodies of the wealthy were embalmed and mummified so they would stay in good condition before being put in a tomb, which was then filled with food and offerings that might be needed in the next life.
    It was believed that once the body arrived in the Kingdom of the Dead, the ka, or double of the earthly person, would be judged by Osiris and was either condemned to torture or sent to a heavenly realm.
ياحبيبتى يامصر يامصر                                 

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