Lecture 5 - Old Kingdom

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Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
Zoe Mc Quinn

NMC343 -Ancient Egypt I Thursday Oct 11, 2012 Lecture 5 - Unification --- missed first half hour --- • Culturally homogenous in their expression Investing huge about of wealth and energy into the tombs of some individuals • • Social hierarchy/uneven distribution of power • Power being shown through ceremonial objects and regalia The Early Dynastic Period By 3000 BC the early Dynastic state had emerged in Egypt, controlling much of the Nile Valley • from the Delta to the first cataract atAswan, a distance of over 1000 km along the nile • Sources of information include: • Data from excavated sites • Cemeteries • Settlement remains (limited) • Literary data comes from later dynasties • Palermo Stone • Royal King Lists • More recent sources • Manetho • Herodotus Dynasty One • Most important sites include: • Abydos • In Naqadda period was there we had ‘rulers’burials - not yet called kings; powerful political entities Burial site of first kings in Dynast One - birthplace of kings as well? • • Memphis • First time as important city • Centre of administration in Egypt At a crossroads just before the nile spreads out into the delta • • Perfect place for communication with the south and the delta • Makes control and admin very easy • From this point on is site of administration Buto • • Important cult goddess Leith probably hailed from this area • She plays predominant role int he names of the queens of the first Dynasty • Hierakonpolis • Kings and Regents: • Hor-Aha: “the fighter” • Djer: “The strong one” • Djet/Wajdi: “The Cobra” • Merneith “Beloved of Neith” • Den “The Striker/the Cutter” NMC343 -Ancient Egypt I Thursday Oct 11, 2012 Lecture 5 - Unification • Anedjib “Slaughterer of hearts • Semerkhet “thoughtful friend” Aqa “HisArm is Raised” • • All the kings have violent names (except the girl and Semerkhet) • If name is expression of who they are as king then it tells us that Dynasty One held a strong king as important • Who was Menes? • In the Palermo stone called first king • Where does Narmer fit? • But the evidence shows that Narmer is the uniter • Narmer palette Narmer macehead • • Marriage scene? • Their son isAha • Narmer has political marriage to northern princess After that marriage he finishes off his enemies • • Possible uniting Egypt • Serekh of Narmer • Aha-Menes label tag Narmer probably not the first king of Egypt • • Aha-Menes probably the real true first king of Egypt • Narmer as Dynasty 0, Aha-Menes as Dynasty 1 (according to Zoe) • Aha is Menes and is first king of united Egypt*** Aha “The Fighter” • Evidence of campaign in Nubia • Didn’t like the people in the south • Study of Nubian group suggests thatAha sent a military group into the area He wanted to make sure everyone knew who was in charge and wanted full control of trade • goods • Seems to be buried inAbydos • Ritual sacrifice of humans • Subsidiary burial from aha - person is buried in typical way. No damage on physical bones, but at the same time he was buried 35 people were buried directly around hi in his tomb, and another 12 outside (called subsidiary) • Probably unlikely they all just died at once • 1) Poison? Evidence of bowls used to hold poison? • 2) When someone is suffocated there is an increase in blood pressure which causes blood vessels in teeth to pop - the teeth she looked at show this evidence • 3) Combination of methods? Slit throat? • Seal fromAha-Menes shows man with arms behind his back. In front is a man holding a bowl and he is cutting into someones chest • Innovations during his reign include: • 1) the skilled use of copper, ivory and faience NMC343 -Ancient Egypt I Thursday Oct 11, 2012 Lecture 5 - Unification • 2) established new features in the mortuary complex and the establishment of an elite ceme- tery in northern Saqqara Djer “The Strong One” • In his tomb we have most people buried in sacrifice • 580 people, 318 in tomb, 269 about the tomb • No children • Everyone in between the ages of 12 - 40 • Symbol like that on seal ofAha- Menes (arms thrown back with someone cutting into their chest) • Official mourning women? • Label showing royal visit to east • Possibly into Syrio-Palestine area • Ceremonial knife of Djer Djet “The Serpent” • Bows, arrows and axes are primary weapons of Egyptian military • Dies young • Probably only had a child for an heir • Therefore we get a woman ruler Merneith “Beloved of Neith” • Has big tomb • Her name is not in a serekh • She is female regent who rules until her son is of the age to rule for himself • Probably the first time this happened • After her this becomes the standard, where the primary queen would become regent till son is of age • Merneith also had 40 people buried with her Den “The Striker” • Son of Merneith • Oldest example of the heb-sed which was practiced in a celebration after 30 years of rule • The king is shown with dual crown • Ritually running, carrying the symbol of the kingly power in one hand, and rolled up piece of cloth/paper that represents his deed to Egypt • He is running around chevrons which mark his course • This becomes standard practice fro any pharaoh who has ruled for 30 years • Reestablishes their kingship • Celebrates the prosperity of their rule • His tomb has 230 sacrificial burials in it • To get his grave goods in faster, he uses stairs (for the first time ever) and then this becomes stan- dard from that point on • For the first time the administration of Egypt in Memphis go big and bold with their burials • Administrators buried in Saqqara NMC343 -Ancient Egypt I Thursday Oct 11, 2012 Lecture 5 - Unification • Den shown with Ureaus - the symbol of kingship Semerkhet “Thoughtful Friend” Doesn’t have biggest tomb • • Only has 67 ritually buried • He includes his people, then builds his temple on top so nobody can get out • The subsidiary burials located beneath his Mastaba Qa’a “HisArm is Raised” • Last king we know of from Dynasty One • No one is buried inAbydos again until end of 2nd dynasty • Also last to have human sacrifice in burial Defining of the 1st Dynasty - > CentralizedAdministration and New Elites*** (Exam Q) • Memphis is im
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