Fri, 18 April 2014
Montuhotep II [Part I]
The First Intermediate Period is drawing to a close.
The Thebans have conquered the North, under Montuhotep II's leadership.
To celebrate his victory, Montuhotep expands his mortuary temple under construction at Thebes.
The temple at Deir el-Bahari is a fascinating structure, with much to tell us about this king's ideas.
A stela of King Montuhotep II. The elongated proportions and bright eyes bear all the hallmarks of First Intermediate Period artwork. Louvre Museum of Art.
A stela of Intef II, king of Thebes. Met. Museum of Fine Art.
A writing board from a First Intermediate Period scribe. Met. Museum of Art.
Queen Kawit. FineArtAmerica.
The Deir el-Bahari monument. AncientEgyptOnline.
Queen Khemsit. Edouard Naville, The XIth Dynasty Temple... Vol. 3, plate 3.
The burial chamber of Montuhotep II.
Wolfram Grajetzki, The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. London, 2006.
Gay Robins. The Art of Ancient Egypt. London, 2008 (second edition).
Ian Shaw (ed.) The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford, 2000.
Mon, 24 March 2014
"Khety vs. Intef"
The time has come for a reckoning between Egypt's two royal factions.
The Theban kings, "House of Intef," are pushing northward.
Their rivals, the "House of Khety" are standing their ground, ready to attack in return.
Urban renewal projects, war crimes and divine warfare all play a part.
Who will emerge victorious? Listen and find out.
Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, 1988, pp.102-36.
Kathryn A. Bard, Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt, 1999.
Marcel Zitman, The Necropolis of Assiut, 2010.
In addition to the Keith Zizza Immortal Cities music which (by permission) is the
Podcast's soundtrack, we also have a small excerpt of another OST.
Taken (for educational purposes) from Vangelis' work for Alexander, this
small piece can be found at 21:10 in the podcast.
Buy the soundtrack on Amazon, here:
Wed, 12 February 2014
A Kingdom Divided.
The House of Khety, ruling the North, now faces a challenger. At Thebes
the House of Intef has emerged as a new confederation. Their emergence comes at
the expense of Ankhtyfy, a local prince who attempted to create his own
autonomous principality. In the North, the Instructions of Merykare present
a political manifesto for the kings of the House of Khety.
Sun, 26 January 2014
The First Intermediate Period.
Pepy II is long gone, and with him the Old Kingdom. The land is now disunited,
with the North ruled by a family named the "House of Khety."
Economic depression, spiritual woe and frustration characterise later views of
this period, with the Lamentations of Ipuwer being our primary source
for such concerns.
Sun, 5 January 2014
Pepy II [Part III].
Pepy II's long reign draws its final curtain. Up and down Egypt, the economic
situation in the Nile valley is becoming difficult. The climate is changing, and
the ancients must deal with the consequences. The end of the Old Kingdom
now approaches, finally. The First Intermediate Period is about to begin.
Help an Egyptology student go on her first dig! Leah Bender, of the University
of Toronto, Canada, is in need of financial assistance to join a field school at
Mendes in the Egyptian Delta. You can find the link below, or donate through
our Paypal Donate button (right).
100% OF DONATIONS made through the Podcast Paypal button will go to
Leah (make sure to put "Leah" as the reference when you donate)!
Juan Carlos Moreno Garcia. Ancient Egyptian Administration. Brill Publishing, 2013.
Fekri A. Hassan. "Droughts, Famine and the Collapse of the Old Kingdom:
Re-reading Ipuwer." The Archaeology of Ancient Egypt - Essays in Honor of
David B. O'Connor. 2007.
Toby H. Wilkinson. The Egyptian World. 2007.
Wed, 27 November 2013
Pepy II [Part II].
Pepy II, King of Upper and Lower Egypt is now reaching middle-age, after coming to
the throne at the age of six.
Egyptian officials are flying afield in the service of the king, taking Egyptian wealth
and prestige to Nubia (Wawat), Sinai and the coast of Palestine.
Two distinct families are involved in these events: Pepynakht Heryib and his son,
Sabni son of Pepynakht. The father journeys to the coast of Palestine to retrieve
the body of a fallen colleague. His son is despatched to Wawat to construct
two obelisks for the king.
A second Sabni (II) journeys south into Wawat to retrieve the body of his father,
who had died on expedition. His son, Mekhu, in turn must retrieve Sabni's body after
he dies later at Elephantine.
The king is all-powerful, still, but the cracks are beginning to appear.
Wed, 30 October 2013
Pepy II [Part I].
Ankh-enes-Pepy (2) oversees the kingdom in the name of her young son, Pepy II.
At the age of six, Pepy II was too young to rule effectively on his own.
Expeditions outside Egypt continue unabated; the Overseer Qar
handles live-stock raising and pastoral administration in the South.
Meanwhile, a royal expedition under the command of Harkhuf is
returning from its 2+ year trip into the southern land of Yam ('Iyam').
Pepy II is delighted to hear of the special gift Harkhuf has acquired for him, and
reveals his excitement in a lengthy letter, recorded in Harkhuf's tomb.
Sun, 13 October 2013
Weni the Elder [Part II].
The life and times of Weni the Elder now take him to the southern
reaches of Egypt, to act as Overseer of Upper Egypt for approximately
3-4 years (2 Occasions of the 'Count' - the semi-bi-annual census).
The ruler Merenre (son of Pepy I, Episode 19) sends him to Nubia in
search of a sandstone sarcophagus for his pyramid. While in the South,
Weni is also commissioned to build canals and river-boats for the royal use.
Such endeavours reflect the increasing interest of the kings in this southern territory.
We also discuss the sea-going capabilities of Egyptian ships,
and whether the few proposed trace of Egyptian journeys to
South America have any real basis in fact.
The Ship Ra II, with which Thor Heyerdhal crossed the Atlantic in 1970.
Simpson, William K. The Literature of Ancient Egypt.
Shaw, Ian. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt.
Freedman, Renée. Egypt and Nubia, Gifts of the Desert.
Sun, 22 September 2013
Pepy I and Weni the Elder.
The early years of Pepy I are a difficult time for the young king;
following the downfall of his predecessor, the usurper named
Userkare, Pepy I took the throne as a young man.
A conspiracy against him in the first half of his reign stressed the new
dangers facing Egyptian kings; no longer inviolable, the person of the
king had to be protected more than ever.
A model of Egyptian soldiers from the 11th Dynasty. Weni would have led troops very similar to the ones represented here.
A small offering-statue of Pepy I.
Bibliography for Weni the Elder:
Simpson, William K. The Literature of Ancient Egypt.
Wed, 28 August 2013
The Assassination of King Teti
The Greek-Egyptian Historian Manetho (writing c.280BCE) tells us
that the first king of Dynasty VI, Teti, was murdered in a conspiracy
by his palace guards.
Was Manetho right?
Did the courtiers and guards of a god-king turn on him
and commit the ultimate crime?
This episode digs through the evidence in search of an answer.