Egypt is one of the oldest civilisations on earth. The name 'Egypt' comes from the Greek word Aegyptos which was their pronunciation of the Egyptian name 'Hwt-Ka-Ptah' ("House of the Spirit of Ptah", an early God of the Ancient Egyptians). In the early Old Kingdom, Egypt was known as 'Kemet' which means 'Black Land' - named for the rich, dark soil along the Nile River where the first settlements began. Later, the country was known simply as Misr which means 'country', a name still in use by Egyptians in the present day.
Egypt thrived for thousands of years (from c.8,000 - c.525 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 Egypt is still celebrated for reflect the depth and grandeur of Egyptian culture which influenced many ancient civilisations, among them Greece and Rome.
From 'Ancient Egypt: Definition' by Mark, Joshua J., in Ancient History Encyclopedia, <http://www.ancient.eu/egypt/>
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