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By L. J. Amstutz

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Wind instruments were popular, including the double clarinet and double pipes, the flute, and the trumpet. Drums, the tambourine, and other shaken or rattled percussion instruments added rhythm. The Egyptians appreciated beauty, and craftsmen created many beautiful items, some of which were also useful. Objects included jewelry, pottery, and mirrors. indd 58 10/30/14 9:29 AM Skilled artisans crafted this artifact from King Tut’s tomb, a pendant of Nekhabet, the vulture goddess. the bust of Nefertiti, which is on display in the Neues Museum in Berlin, Germany.

Ancient Egyptian paintings show that both men and women wore large amounts of eye paint. The paint was originally made of malachite, or green copper ore, and later of galena, or lead ore. Not only did the Egyptians consider a thick layer of eye paint beautiful, it also cut down on the sun’s glare, like the black greasepaint today’s football players sometimes wear under their eyes. In addition, the paint kept away flies and killed germs. Many Egyptians shaved their heads and wore wigs. This probably kept them cooler and helped prevent lice.

He and his descendants claimed the title and role of pharaoh, ruling just as the Egyptian pharaohs of the past had. During this time, these Greek rulers built the Library of Alexandria and Egypt became an important center of learning. Queen Cleopatra VII was the last of this line to rule before Augustus conquered Egypt in 30 BCE and made it part of the Roman Empire. Ancient Egyptian culture ended more than 400 years later, in 391 CE, when the arrival of Christianity outlawed polytheism in Egypt.

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