Wed, 17 September 2014
Senuseret I (Part II) and the Teachings of Amenemhat.
In the wake of his father's unexpected murder, Senuseret I ascends the throne as sole ruler of Upper and Lower Egypt. His early years must be spent navigating the transition of power: although this was greatly facilitated by ten years of co-regency, the king must now find his own way.
To strengthen his ethical reputation among the country's elites, Senuseret commissions and publishes The Teachings of Amenemhat. Puporting to be written by the late king, the work promotes the new king's view of his situation and courtly society, with special warnings to trust no one.
Whether the work is full of Senuseret's own ideas, or perhaps composed from teachings given by the late Amenemhat during their co-regency, it is a fascinating piece of Egyptian didactic literature.
An 18th Dynasty copy of the Teachings, written in hieratic.
The pyramid of Amenemhat I at al-Lisht. A modern cemetery in the foreground.
The cartonnage and wood coffin of Hapy-Ankhtyfy, Twelfth Dynasty.
Nakht, a steward for Amenemhat I and Senuseret I. Buried in the cemetery at al-Lisht.
The mummy mask of Khnum-hotep, a Twelfth Dynasty official.
A New Kingdom piece of cartonnage: linen or papyrus coated in plaster, left to set, and then painted.
Tue, 2 September 2014
Senuseret I (Part I) and the Flight of Sinuhe.
Egypt is in disarray. King Amenemhat I has been murdered in his bed, slain by his own guards.
Hearing the news, a royal soldier and attendant named Sinuhe panics - with Amenemhat dead, his livelihood has disappeared and his connection to Egyptian society severed.
Sinuhe flees to Byblos, in modern Lebanon. Venturing inland, he meets a chieftain of Yam, and is taken into his service. He prospers, and builds a new life.
But Sinuhe has not escaped trouble, and must face a local warlord in single combat, and then deal with the fallout when Senuseret learns where Sinuhe has fled.
The Egyptian ; now available on Youtube (link)
A papyrus version of Sinuhe's tale, now in the Berlin Museum.
A 19th Dynasty ostracon (decorated shard of limestone or pottery) with a segment of the Tale of Sinuhe.
The journeys of Sinuhe (approximate).
Scott Morschauser. "What made Sinuhe run?" Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt. Vol. 37 (2000): 187-98.
Hans Goedicke. "Sinuhe's Duel." JARCE Vol. 21 (1984): 197-201.
Anthony Spalinger. "Orientations on Sinuhe." Studien zur Altägypischen Kultur. Vol. 25 (1998): 311-39.