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University of Toronto St. George
Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
M.A.Pouls- Wegner

January 10 , 2012 1) Inscriptional evidence: things inscribed with information that we find historically important  Temples (decorations; objects dedicated to the temple, commemorate historical events (ex, Narmer’s Palette))  Royal tombs  Tombs of high officials: autobiography, titles  Texts: papyri and ostraca (written in ink on Coptic, potsherds or small pieces of stone)  Archives (shadowy category, most did not survive)  Artifacts (funerary stele, votive palettes, maceheads, small labels) - Problems of interpretation/Biases of data  Not continuous, has gaps  Cannot represent the totality of Egyptian population  Not written specifically to inform future generations  Egyptians had a very literal concept of writing, they write because they want to actualize somethingvery subjective, served a function 2) Other written sources: - Classical Sources  Manetho: Egyptian priest sent to write the history of Egypt by the Greek during Ptolemaic times, but most of his work did not survive)  Divided Ancient Egypt into dynasties according to location of principal royal residence or kinship, listed out the reignal lengths, sum of each dynasty, provided the Greek names  Herodotus: Before Manetho, Greek historian  Like to connect things, also recorded oral historiesinaccurate information about older history - Palermo Stone  Basalt stele inscribed on both sides with royal annals of kings of Lower Egypt  Only goes up to the 5 Dynasty, stretches back to the mythological kings  Records the level of Nile inundation for taxation purposeshigher the inundation, higher the taxes  Recorded cult ceremonies, taxation, sculpture, building, warfare (similar to labels, but do not record clerical information, and labels do not record Nile inundation) - Turin Papyrus/Canon  Sources from temple archives th  Composed in the 19 Dynasty  From SIP to Menes and even mythical kings  Records the length of reigns in dynasties (indigenous to Egyptian culture) - King Lists 1  Most important: Abydos King List/Table of Abydos on the Temple of Seti I, 19 Dynasty th  Saqqara King List/Tablet: Beings with Anedjib and Qa'a to Ramesis II, 19 Dynasty  Table of Karnak: Begins with Sneferu, not in consecutive order, incomplete, Thutmose III, 18 Dynasty - Annals, Daybooks  Do not exist before New Kingdom Modern reconstruction: - Dynastic system - Periods:  Kingdoms: centralization of power  Intermediate Periods: lack of centralization - Relative Dating:  Stratigraphic excavations  Sequence dating of artifacts (Petrie) - Absolute Dating:  Calendrical records  Astronomical records, but you have to know the location of the observation made; Ex. two records of Sothic rising (rise of the Sirius star):  Dynasty 12 letter from Lahun, written on day 16, month 4, of the second season in year 7 of the reign of Senwosret III  Dynasty 18 Theban medical papyrus (papyrus Ebers), written on day 9, month 3, of the third season in year 9 of the reign of Amenhotep I  Bible (New Kingdom, Bronze Age)  Count back using Turin canon (less and less accurate as moving further away from 19 Dynasty) - Radiometric Methods  Carbon Dating (very recent, not very accurate): benefited prehistoric Egypt  Thermo-luminescence Archaeological evidence: - Potential to be continuous - Potential to represent a broad spectrum of population - Mostly excavated cemetery sites in desert instead of settlement sites (habituation, manufacturing) because they are mostly occupied - Most of the objects in the museum has no context dedicated to them - Focus on recovery of objects rather than context - The objects are all made for a function/purpose, but not to provide a linear history to future generation - Propagandistic? Twelfth Dynasty: 2 - Amenemhat I:  Seems to have no relationship with the family of Dynasty 11  The Prophecy of Neferty: described problems in land and “predicts” the emergence of a powerful king  Asiatics  Walls-of-the-Ruler: built by Amenemhat across eastern approach to Egypt  Moved capital to Itj-tawy near Fayum (Lisht?), has not been found  Thebes was a bit far south, Lisht was closer to the middle of the Nile and source of Asiatic incursions  Establishes himself as a new king and differentiates himself from Dynasty 11starting out fresh  Constructed Rawaty at Mendes and the outposts of Semna and Quban in Nubiaprotect and service the gold mines in Wad Allaqi  Inscription found at Korosko (mid way between 1 and 2 nd cataracts)  One military foray against the Libyans lead by Senwosret I  Seems to be assassinated  Pyramid complex at Lisht  Burial of family members incorporated into the pyramid complex enclosure of the pyramid - Senwosret I:  Perhaps the most active in building projects  Increasing emphasis on the cult of Osiris  Living king: Horus  Dead king: Osiris  “Democratization of the Afterlife”  Association with Osiris  Pyramid texts  White chapel at Karnak: all raised reliefs, most exquisite in any period  Text “Instruction of Amenemhat I” to legitimize his reign  Reigned for 45 years, but how long was the overlap? Does it include the period of coregency?  Active in Nubia, established Buhen as the Southern frontier  Erected the victory stele at Buhen  Active in Syro-Palestine to maintain trade for cedar and ivory  First to introduce a construction program where monuments were set up in each of the main cult sites throughout the landundermined the power base of local temples and priests  The Hekanakhte papers: letters written by an old farmer to his family while away on a long business trip  Most intimate view of family dynamics  Suggested famine in Hekanakhte’s later years  Include a rare letter from a woman to her daughterliteracy of women?  Built his pyramid complex close to Amenemhat I and finis
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