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Ancient History and Classics
AHCL 2201
James Cook

January 28, 2014 THE OLD KINGDOM - ca. 2989-2181 BCE • A period of remarkable development • Known as the Age of the Pyramids • The construction of these monuments meant that it required a large work force to build it o Monumental workforce - required a centralized power to control • Also required a great deal of materials for construction o Did the pyramid bankrupt the Old Kingdom OLD KINGDOM ADMINISTRATION • Capital at Memphis o Not a major urban center - that we know of o Palaces not (yet?) discovered o Cemeteries in the low desert nearby Saqqara and Giza • Rule by the King (Pharaoh > Per-aa - "Great house" o Pharaoh was not used until the New Kingdom o The king is the son of Ra o Intermediary between gods and man o Guarantor of ma'at • Ensured the annual flood • Justified the traditional; social order • The King was the son of Ra, and thus communicated between the living and the gods o The king ensures that the forces of chaos do not over run the order ROYAL TITULARY • Naming things was a very important characteristic for Egypt • The names of the commoners often mimicked the kings and gods, but the King's had more elaborate names • Birth name (nomen) o Preceded by Son of Ra o Example - Ramsey, Amenemhat • Horus Name o Written in serekh with falcon on top • "He of the Two Ladies" o Refers to Wadjit and Nekhbet (Vulture and Snake) • And Throne name THE OLD KINGDOME STATE King I Vizer T I Overseer of works____ Nomachs (homes)_____Priests I The People (The Cove…Labour) • The king gives gifts as a means of consolidating his power • Nomarchs- are the regional rulers who act out the kings doing PRIESTS AND TEMPLES • Even if the priests and regional centers were of wealth, they were still quite humble o Simple structures built on top of a low mound - constructed with reeds • Temples required many priests - most worked part time with a few working full time o Once you were a priest you were for life o Many were born into priesthood - which was fine as they needed to know nothing • Herodotus tells us that priests must wear fresh linen - wash several times a day, remove their bodies of all hair and not have sex MIN at COPTOS • Min is Ithyphallic penis sticking out - he is a god that brought life through masturbation PREFORMAL TEMPLES • Temple architecture was complete constructed through weaving reeds o Bound reeds and matting • Upper Egyptian temples had rounded roofs • Lower Egyptian temples had flat roofs • Temples also have Kekher friezes - looks like the point of bundled reeds MORTUARY CULT • It was not only important to the king that he be properly buried, but to the people too • Royal o Require huge numbers of priests and scribes to maintain • Every day priests had to perform several rituals of feeding and clothing the dead king o Often endowed by donations of land/estates • Large gatherings - parties - where people would bring goods to the burial
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