Sun, 20 December 2015
How to Bury an Egyptian King.
In 1530 BCE, Ahmose I is dead. He must now be buried, in full pomp and circumstance.
We join the King's son, Djser-ka-Re Amunhotep I, the six-year-old ruler of Egypt, as he buries his father.
Some burial items of Ahmose. Two small lions, and a cartouche-shaped chest (Louvre, via Wikipedia).
An Egyptian funeral depicted in a papyrus of the 19th Dynasty.
Ahmose's sword (Royal Ontario Museum, via Wikipedia).
The mummy of Ahmose I (disputed). Via Wikipedia.
Mourning women of the New Kingdom.
A fragmented statue of a mourning woman. Louvre Museum, Paris.
Emily Teeter. Religion and Ritual in Ancient Egypt. 2011.
Steven Snape. Ancient Egyptian Tombs: the Culture of Life and Death. 2011. Google Books.
Aidan Dodson. "The Burials of Ahmose I" in Studies in Honor of Kent R. Weeks. 2010.
University College London website - The Opening of the Mouth.
Tue, 8 December 2015
Second Intermediate Period (End).
The Hyksos are on the run, pursued by King Ahmose I and his warriors. Into the lands of Palestine they go, towards their final confrontation at Sharuhen.
Meanwhile, Queen Mother Ah-hotep leads the Theban army against a rebellion, in order to crush sedition and assert her family's dominance.
Finally, the Thebans must rally in the face of environmental disaster, as the gods enact a sudden tempest.
A soldier of the Middle Kingdom, bearing an axe and shield. Probably very similar to the warriors accompanying Ahmose I.
Sharuhen, now known as Tell el-Farah South.
The golden flies of Ah-hotep; found in her tomb west of Thebes.
The dagger of Queen Ah-hotep; copper, gold and silver. Found in her tomb west of Thebes.
The axe of Queen Ah-hotep, found in her tomb west of Thebes.
The golden fan of Queen Ah-hotep. Ostrich feathers would have been inserted into the rim to create a cooling breeze.
The copper hand-mirror of Ah-hotep, from her tomb at Thebes.
The heir to the throne Ahmose Sapair; died at six years old, buried west of Thebes in a tomb later used for his grandmother Ah-hotep.
The coffin and mummy of Sapair, found in the Deir el-Bahari Cache (more on that at another time).
Robert K. Ritner and Nadine Moeller. "The Ahmose 'Tempest' Stela, Thera and Comparative Chronology," Journal of Near Eastern Studies 2014. Read for Free at Academia.edu.
W. Vivian Davies, “The Tomb of Ahmose Son-of-Ibana at Elkab, Documenting the Family and Other Observations,” Elkab and Beyond: Studies in Honour of Luc Limme, 2009. Read for Free at Academia.edu.
Aidan Dodson and Dyan Hilton. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, 2010.
Nicolas Grimal. A History of Ancient Egypt, 1994.
Anthony J. Spalinger. War in Ancient Egypt, 2005.
Reshafim.org – The Autobiography of Ahmose Ibana.
Reshafim.org - The Autobiography of Ahmose Pen-Nekhbet.
Sun, 22 November 2015
Second Intermediate Period (Part V).
War rages up and down the Nile. The Thebans drive towards the Hyksos capital, Avaris, hoping to isolate and conquer it.
King Ahmose I, and his mother Queen Ah-hotep pummel their foes, while raising up their friends. We met two of these: Ahmose Ibana, a commoner, and QueenAhmose-Nefertari, wife of the King and priestess of Amun.
A dagger belonging to King Ahmose I, found in his tomb (Royal Ontario Museum).
A bronze axe, inscribed with the cartouches of Neb-pehty-Re Ahmose I (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford).
A dagger handle, with the names of King Apepy (of Avaris), the Ruler of the Hyksos (National Egyptian Museum, Cairo).
Queen Ahmose-Nefertari, the Priestess of Amun-Re, consort of the King, and daughter of Ah-hotep (Metropolitan Museum, NY).
Trinkets of King Ahmose I, including two small lions and a box in the shape of his cartouche (Musee du Louvre).
Reshafim.org – The Autobiography of Ahmose son of Ibana.
Irene Forstner-Muller, “Avaris, its Harbours and the Peru-nefer Problem,” Egyptian Archaeology 45 (2014). Read for free online at Academia.edu.
W. Vivian Davies, “The Tomb of Ahmose Son-of-Ibana at Elkab, Documenting the Family and Other Observations,” Elkab and Beyond: Studies in Honour of Luc Limme, 2009. Read for free at Academia.edu.
Aidan Dodson & Dyan Hilton. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, 2010.
William Kelly Simpson (editor). The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 2006.
Anthony J. Spalinger. War in Ancient Egypt, 2005.
Thu, 5 November 2015
Second Intermediate Period (Part IV).
1560 BCE: King Seqenenre Tao is dead. His body must now be retrieved from the battlefield and given its proper burial, a task which falls to his widow. The formidable Queen Ah-Hotep will keep Thebes together, helping to maintain its unity in the face of catastrophe.
Soon, Seqenenre's son, Kamose must decide: will he take vengeance, or try to salvage peace?
The royal names and titles of Seqenenre on the burial shroud of his son, Ahmose (Egyptian Museum, Turin, Italy; Image: Wikipedia).
One of two Kamose stelae, detailing his campaigns in the North.
Garry J. Shaw. "The Death of King Seqenenre Tao." Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt. 2009. Read online at JSTOR.
Aidan Dodson & Dyan Hilton. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. 2010.
William Kelly Simpson (editor). The Literature of Ancient Egypt.
Anthony J. Spalinger. War in Ancient Egypt. 2005.
Reshafim.org - The Kamose Inscriptions.
Mon, 19 October 2015
Second Intermediate Period (Part III).
The Hyksos remain supreme over Egypt, along with their allies the Nubians of Kerma.
In Thebes, the Kings of Dynasty Sixteen are struggling to resist the invaders and reclaim their ancestral kingdom. But there will be hard fights, and dreadful losses, before the war is won.
The tomb of Senebkay (Near Eastern Archaeology Magazine, 2015: Full Resolution).
A King of Kerma, represented with the White Crown of Upper Egypt, a mace, and a bow. Discovered in the fortresses re-occupied around 1600 BCE.
The shattered head of Seqenenre Tao (c.1560 BCE), found in a cache at Thebes (Image Source: Wikipedia - Full Resolution).
Anthony J. Spalinger, War in Ancient Egypt, 2005
Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, 1994.
Aidan Dodson and Dyan Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, 2004 & 2010.
Lazlo Torok, Between Two Worlds: The Frontier Region Between Ancient Nubia and Egypt 3700 BC - AD 500, 2009.
Tue, 29 September 2015
Second Intermediate Period (Part II).
c.1650 BCE, Egypt is invaded from the East. They come from an unknown region of Arabia/Palestine/Syria, and have overthrown the Canaanites of the Delta.
They subjugate the lands from Memphis to the Mediterranean. They capture the necropolis and tombs of the sacred cities. They compel the Kings of Upper Egypt to pay them tribute.
They are the Hyksos, and their coming is a watershed in the history of the country.
The territory of the Hyksos; border in red (Full Resolution).
Nadine Moeller, et al., "Discussion of Late Middle Kingdom and Early Second Intermediate Period History and Chronology in Relation to the Khayan Sealings From Edfu." Egypt and the Levant, XXI (2011). FREE on Academia.edu.
Wolfram Grajetzki, "Notes on Administration in the Second Intermediate Period," The Second Intermediate Period, 2010.
Charlotte Booth, The Hyksos Period in Egypt, 2008.
Wed, 9 September 2015
Second Intermediate Period (Part I).
In 1700 BCE, Egypt is suddenly riven in two. The Delta, populated by a mixture of native Egyptians and second/third-generation Canaanite immigrants is afflicted with a catastrophic famine and plague.
Unable to gain aid from the Kings of Dynasty 13, they rebel and establish their own kingdom. We follow the consequences of this, and how the new state responded to its situation and mixed population.
Plague pit discovered at Avaris (Source: Gregory Mumford).
The hypothesised bordes of the two kingdoms (Larger Resolution).
The digitally reconstructed palace of Avaris, capital of the Delta kingdom c.1700-1550 BCE (Source: Gregory Mumford).
The wonderful funerary statue of 13th Dynasty king Aw-ib-Re Hor, otherwise anonymous (Source: Global Egyptian Museum).
Manfred Bietak, "Egypt and Canaan During the Middle Bronze Age," Bulletin of the American School of Oriental Research, 1991.
Janine Bourriau, "The Second Intermediate Period" in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, 2004.
Irene Forstner-Muller, "Tombs and Burial Customs..." in The Second Intermediate Period: Current Research, Future Prospects, 2010.
Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, 1994.
Aidan Dodson & Dyan Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, 2010.
Wolfram Grajetzki, The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, 2006.
Gregory D. Mumford, "Dynasties 13-17: The Second Intermediate Period," Lecture Series.
Thu, 27 August 2015
Invisible Kings of Dynasty 13
The 13th Dynasty begins in 1786 BCE, with the reign of Sobek-Hotep I. This king, like the fifty who follow him, is nearly invisible in the archaeological record.
We meet Sobek-Hotep and his successors, the great crocodile god Sobek after whom the king named himself, and visit with an excellent philosophical tale, the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant.
The smiling face of King Amenemhat V, one of the fifty short-lived kings of Dynasty XIII (Image: Wikipedia).
The crocodile god Sobek, in his human-bodied form (Image: Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University).
Sobek on the walls of Kom Ombo, a temple of the Greek-Roman period (Image: Wilkinson, 2003).
Tue, 28 July 2015
Political and Personal Crisis in 1776
Dynasty 12 ends with Egypt's first fully-fledged female King. Neferu-Sobek rules three years, ten months and twenty-four days, dying in 1776 BCE.
With her death, a 205-year legacy comes to an end, and Egypt's ruling household is now held by a new family.
In a departure from our recent political narrative, we explore this period thematically, through a text called the Man Who Was Tired of Life.
Neferu-Sobek, Egypt's first Woman King.
Sources for The Man Who Was Tired of Life:
Ramond O. Faulkner, "The Man Who Was Tired of Life," Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 1956.
Sun, 12 July 2015
From Byblos to Nubia
The nine-year reign of Maacheru-Re Amenemhat IV are unremarkable, but Egypt is entering into a fascinating period of international visibility. Foreigners from Canaan are moving into the country in larger and larger numbers, and will eventually cause enormous disruptions in the political world. We explore their origins and their culture...
A gold plaque of Maacherure, discovered at Beirut (Lebanon), near Byblos. Maacherure Amenemhat IV offers oils to Atum, the Creator.
A scarab of Amenemhat III and Maacherure.
Scarabs from Canaan, showing the Egyptian hieroglyphs and tropes which filtered into the country over time. (Source: Lippke, 2011).
Amethyst items produced during the Middle Kingdom.
Top: a hippopotamus.
Below: a scarab.
For full resolution, click here.