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University of Toronto St. George
Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
Katja Goebs

OLD KINGDOM (II) State and Administration Internal Affairs - pyramid construction o requires new kind of administration and economy - recruiting people involved in agriculture  need for: o optimizing agricultural production o efficient ways of tax collection o additional sources of revenue - food production remained the same but “State organized” - State o Eg. brings surpluses to area affected by drought/floods o Provides legal system to prevent/ deal with local conflicts o Insures security on national and local levels Central Administration The Royal Palace Systematized in Dyns 4 – 5” - top: king - princes as military leaders/ genereal in dyn 4 o guarding fortresses in south (elephantine) and east (helopolism, bubastis  trade route to palestine) o expeditions to quarries etc. o also first viziers - (1) office of Vizier ~ equivalent to modern prime minister  by dyn 4 o also involved legal activities then  “judicative” o highest judge of country - (2) overseer of works ~ minister of labour o by dyn 4 - rouyal secretariat (“scribe of royal documents) ~ ministry of interior  includes administration of temples  dyn 5 - overseer of the granary ~ minister of agriculture o dyn 5 - oversser of the treasury ~minister of finanace o dyn 5 Development in dyn 5 and later - construction of sun-temples  now smaller, pyramids at Abusir o economically dependent on these  deliver their sustenance - with Wenis (last king of Dyn 5) o tradition of sun-temples ceases o royal tombs back in Saqqara - bureaucracy increasingly decentralized o viziers no longer from royal family - “head” or “overseer of upper egypt” created in dyn 5 o administration of south  most important after vizier o responsible for tax collection in provinces of southern Egypt - increasing importance of Osiris o his cultic centres (Abydos, busiris) flourish  Abydos  seat of “head of upper Egypt” o Local Osiris temples receives funds through royal decrees, governor’s palace found? - Officials now buried in their provinces - Significant  Weni and elder at Abydos o 6 dyn. Chief judge and vizier at end of his career o massive tomb o leaving 2 important texts, autobiographical text and something else o head of upper Egypt and from there makes it to vizier o under kings Teti, Pepy I and Merenre Provincial Administration - in begginigng  no provinces/ nomes o everything run from Memphis, the capital - royal “domains” set up in provinces o these and smaller economic units (workshops, agricultural settlements, fishing villages) deliver produce directly to residence o first royal temples dyn 5… - administrative reforms by Neferirkare and Neuserre - bureaucracy enlarged, systematized o open to non-royals - supported by income from royal funerary foundations and temple estates - divison into “nomes” systematized - nomarchs by dynasty 6 The Egyptian Nomes - in most periods 22 nomes in UE and 20 nomes in LE Late Dynasty 6 - long reign of Pepi II o 70 or 94 years o decisive administrative reforms - seat of “head of UE” changes repeatedly OR - administration in provinces is increased - for several nomarchs now title ‘head of upper egypt’ - by end of reign includes nomarchs of o Menir (16 UE)th th o Thebes (4 UE) o Coptos (5 UE)  state temple of Min  gain influence - Eventually Thebes = centre of southern administration External Affairs - no real threat from abroad - but records show  Egypt watched western asia and nubia closely - annual rituals celebrate symbolic defeat of enemies - however  focus on trade - increase in construction activity -  need for building materials -  intensified quarrying activity o graffiti/ autobiographies - Sinai o Same need  renewed mini
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