When he came to the throne, Pharaoh Tutankhamun set about transporting the royal remains of his immediate ancestors from Amarna to Thebes. The inhabitants of the Sun City had also begun to slowly make their way back to familiar ground on the new ruler’s orders. With no one left to guard remote Amarna in Middle Egypt, the tombs of the boy king’s family were vulnerable to looting. But how did the old priesthood that had suffered greatly at the hands of his predecessor, Akhenaten, allow the reviled family to be re-buried in the sacred necropolis at Thebes? Was it because they revered Queen Tiye; or was it due to the fact that first Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten and then young Tutankhamun himself had worked towards reinstating the state god Amun? Tomb 55 can help us piece events of this turbulent period.
(Read Part I here)
Through the decades - from its discovery in 1907 - in the battered confines of Tomb 55, speculation and debate have raged over the identity of the mummy found in this stunningly beautiful, yet cruelly defaced, rishi-style coffin. The candidates proposed initially comprised the who’s who of Amarna royalty: Queen Tiye, Kiya, Akhenaten, Meritaten and Smenkhkare. Recent tests have suggested the Heretic was the last owner of the coffin; but not everyone is convinced. Egyptian Museum, Cairo.
Uneasy Co-Existence between the Aten and Amun
It is certain that young Tutankhamun could not have decreed the return of his deceased family members to the ancient capital, Thebes. The priests Aye and Horemheb would surely have had a say in matters, for they appear to have nursed ambitions to occupy high office, and were virtually the de facto rulers—at least during the early years of Tutankhamun’s reign. Moreover, as the real power centers behind the throne, the duo would have understood well that the only way in which to undo the untold damage that Akhenaten’s reign had wreaked on the country, was to get into the good books of the powerful Amun priesthood once again. And so, whilst not completely ignoring the Aten as a god, a new alliance-of-sorts was forged with the Amun cult that automatically meant relegating the solar deity to minor status as before.
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ANCIENT EGYPT
104 Dra-abu’ el-Naga ders. Men added simple cotton tops to their kilts when the weather cooled. That style remained consistentDra-abu’ el-Naga The oldest section of the Theban throughout the Old Kingdom (2575–2134 B.C.E.) andnecropolis on the western shore of the Nile opposite the Middle Kingdom (2040–1640 B.C.E.), although an extraNew Kingdom (1550–1070 B.C.E.) capital, now modern panel, sometimes goffered, sometimes stiffened, wasLUXOR, tombs dating to the Eleventh Dynasty (2134– attached to the kilts for special occasions. Furs were used2040 B.C.E.) were discovered there. in cold weather, and the Egyptians probably had capes and shawls. The tombs found in the area included those of INY-OTEF V, INYOTEF VI, INYOTEF VII, SOBEKEMZAF II, and Wigs were used, and various types of head coveringsKAMOSE, all rulers of the Seventeenth Dynasty (1640– were worn to protect the hair or bare scalp from dust and1550 B.C.E.). Queen HENUTEMPET, a consort of Senakht- the heat of the sun. During the Old and Middle King-enré TA’O I, was also buried there. Other royal women doms, wigs were made of fiber or human hair and wereinterred in Dra-abu’ el-Naga are Queen Montuhotep, an adapted for use by the upper classes. Such wigs wereunknown consort, whose diadem was recovered at the often long, with great masses of hair pulled together in asite, and Queen NUBKHAS (2), the consort of Sobekemzaf stiff design. In such instances beads were woven into theI. The site is in a range of hills north of DEIR EL-BAHRI. hair at set intervals to form an intricate pattern.The ABBOTT PAPYRUS lists an inspection of the tombs therein c. 1080 B.C.E. Some mortuary complexes in Dra-abu’ Styles expanded with the coming of the New King-el-Naga have small pyramids. dom (1550–1070 B.C.E.), as the Egyptians were exposed to foreign elements. During that period, red girdles,Dream Stela A monument erected in the reign of clearly visible under the sheer cotton fabrics, were con-TANUTAMUN (664–657 B.C.E.) at GEBEL BARKAL, the stela sidered stylish. Also popular were dresses with patternedcommemorates a dream experience by Tanutamun, a beadwork set into the material, and elaborate designsmember of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, a Nubian royal line. made out of bits of shell and small stones that wereHe dreamed of two serpents that allowed him to hold embroidered along the length of women’s gowns.them without striking. The serpents represented Upperand Lower Egypt, the Two Kingdoms. Tanutamun moved The capelet, made of sheer linen, was the fashionforward with confidence to punish evildoers who innovation of the New Kingdom, a time in which menopposed his reign, but he faced an implacable enemy in wore kilts and sheer blouses with elaborately pleatedASSURBANIPAL, who entered Egypt with a large Assyrian sleeves. Great panels of woven materials hung from theforce. waist, and intricate folds were visible under sheer over- skirts.dress These were the various styles of apparel usedthroughout Egyptian history. As the warm climate of VIZIERS kept to a simple skirt of white cotton, andEgypt dictated the agricultural seasons, so it influenced PRIESTS used white for all temple functions, placing ani-the style of dress. There were seasons, and on some mal skins or colored sashes and pectorals on their cos-evenings the temperature was cold because of the sur- tumes to signify their rank and function. Priests worerounding deserts, but normally the climate remained con- shaved heads, and some wore the lock of youth as part ofsistently warm and dry. In accordance with the their insignia. This lock was also affected by the royaltemperature, the Egyptians devised simple styles and princes, who shaved their heads but maintained a singlecomfortable materials in which to dress from the earliest lock of hair on the side of the skull, normally entwinederas. Cotton was a major crop put to good use, and linen, with beads and bits of metal.especially the special material called BYSSUS, became thebasis for clothing for upper classes. After the death of the last Ramesses, RAMESSES XI, in 1070 B.C.E., the nation became vulnerable to outside In the Predynastic Periods (before 3000 B.C.E.), both influences. The Libyan, Nubian (modern Sudanese), Per-men and women wore kilts, skirts that hung in simple sian, and Greek cultures advanced in the Nile Valley,folds or were adorned with narrow belts made of rope, bringing about a change in styles. The 300-year Hell-fibers, and leathers. In time women wore an empire-type enization of Egypt during the Ptolemaic Period (304–30long skirt that hung just below their uncovered breasts. B.C.E.) was actually confined to ALEXANDRIA, the DeltaMen kept to the simple kilts. These could be dyed in capital. Even there the traditional pharaonic court stylesexotic colors or designs, although white was probably the continued, as evidence of a link between the Greek con-color used in religious rituals or by court elite. querors and the first rulers of the Nile. Throughout the land the styles of clothing remained static because of the In the Early Dynastic Period (2920–2575 B.C.E.), demands of the climate and the inherent tendency of theboth men and women wore their hair short, adorned with Egyptians to maintain traditions. Such dress codes faded,various bands or flowers. Then the women of Memphis of course, as the Romans and other cultures arrived inbegan to appear in long cotton gowns with sleeves. Oth- the Nile Valley. Softer styles prevailed, and elaborate col-ers adopted the empire style with a band over the shoul- lars and jewels were popular, as well as intricate wigs and hairstyles.
“Drunkards of Menkauré” The name of the gang of dynasties 105laborers who helped build the pyramids of MENKAURÉ(Mycerinus, r. 2490–2472 B.C.E.) of the Fourth Dynasty in their own entries. Each ruler is listed below with his orin Giza, these laborers were part of the CORVÉE system her prenomen (first cartouche name) in parentheses.employed to erect monuments of that era. “The Drunk-ards,” their chosen name, worked in five groups, each See also DYNASTY HISTORIES.composed of 10 to 20 men. They were housed in barrackson the site, alongside as many as 4,000 other laborers. LATE PREDYNASTIC PERIOD C. 3000 B.C.E.Granaries, breweries, bakeries, medical clinics, and other Scorpionsupportive institutions are still evident in the ruins of NarmerGiza. There was also a structure designed for mortuaryand embalming processes. EARLY DYNASTIC PERIOD 2920–2575 B.C.E.Duamutef Divine beings who guarded the stomachs of First Dynasty 2920–2770 B.C.E.the deceased as one of the Sons of Horus, they were the Aha (Menes)patrons of CANOPIC JARS in Egyptian tombs. The stoppers Djeron Duamutef’s jars were shaped into the heads of Djet (Wadj)JACKALS. Den ’Adjib (Anedjib)Duat See TUAT. Semerkhet Qa’aDuauf’s Instructions A didactic text included in thePYRAMID TEXTS that date to the Old Kingdom (2575–2134 Second Dynasty 2770–2649 B.C.E.B.C.E.) in ancient Egypt, the Instructions include adages Hotepsekhemwyabout morality and the true purpose of human life. Duauf Re’neburged his fellow Egyptians to love books and learning Ninetjerand to aspire to the honorable and prosperous career of a Wenegscribe. Peribsen Sendjidwarf Called muu, nem, or hua, in various ages, several Neterkadwarfs in Egypt attained high positions and honors, usu- Neferkaraally marrying normal-sized mates and raising families. Kha’sekhemwyThey had roles in government offices and in festival rites.Records from the reign of NIUSERRÉ (2416–2392 B.C.E.) of Third Dynasty 2649–2575 B.C.E.the Fifth Dynasty indicate that a particular dwarf, called a Nebka (Zanakht) 2649–2630deneg, was brought to the king to dance with royal Djoser (Netjerykhet) 2630–2611princesses in rituals. A particularly touching incident Sekhemkhet 2611–2601involving a dwarf (or pygmy) took place in the reign of Kha’ba 2603–2599PEPI II (2246–2152 B.C.E.) of the Sixth Dynasty. Pepi II Huni 2599–2575was a child when one of his officials, a man namedHARKHUF, sent word from the cataracts that he was bring- OLD KINGDOM PERIOD 2575–2134 B.C.E.ing a dwarf back to MEMPHIS. The small pharaoh wrote aletter giving explicit details about the care of the dwarf Fourth Dynasty 2575–2465 B.C.E.and even alerted the governors of the cities along the way Snefru 2575–2551to extend special hospitality to the dwarf and his com- Khufu (Cheops) 2551–2528panions. Ra’djedef 2528–2520 Khafre (Chephren) 2520–2494dynasties The royal houses of ancient Egypt from the Menkauré (Mycerinus) 2490–2472beginning of the Early Dynastic Period (2920 B.C.E.) to Shepseskhaf 2472–2467the end of the Ptolemaic Period (30 B.C.E.), the rulers ofeach royal line exemplified a particular era in Egyptian Fifth Dynasty 2465–2323 B.C.E.history, some serving as victims of change and political Userkhaf 2465–2458upheaval, and others leaving a profound imprint upon Sahuré 2458–2446the life of the land. The rulers listed below are also found Kakai (Neferirkaré) 2446–2426 Shepseskaré (Ini) 2426–2419 Neferefré (Ra’neferef) 2419–2416 Niuserré (Izi) 2416–2392 Menkauhor 2396–2388 Izezi (Djedkaré) 2388–2356 Unis (Weni) 2356–2323
106 dynasties Hor Awibré date unknown Amenemhet VII (Sedjefakaré) c. 1740Sixth Dynasty 2323–2150 B.C.E. Sobekhotep I (Kha’ankhré) date unknown Teti 2323–2291 Sobekhotep II (Sekhemré-khutawy) Userkaré 2291 Pepi I (Meryré) 2289–2255 date unknown Merenré I (Nemtyemzaf) 2255–2246 Khendjer (Userkaré) date unknown Pepi II (Neferkaré) 2246–2152 Sobekhotep III (Sekhemré-swadjtawy) c. 1745 Merenré II date unknown Neferhotep I (Kha’sekhemré) c. 1741–1730 Nitocris (1) (Q.) date unknown Sahathor c. 1730 Sobekhotep IV (Kha’neferré) c. 1730–1720Seventh Dynasty Sobekhotep V (Kha’hotepré) c. 1720–1715 Dates unknown Aya (Merneferré) 1704–1690 Mentuemzaf (Djed’ankhré) date unknownEighth Dynasty 2150–2134 B.C.E. Dedumose II (Djedneferré) c. 1640 Neferkuré 2150–? Neferhotep III (Sekhemré-s’ankhtawy) date Qakaré Iby date unknown Wadjkaré date unknown unknown Nakare-Aba date unknown Neferku-Hor date unknown Fourteenth Dynasty Contemporary with the Thirteenth Neferku-Min date unknown Dynasty at XoisFIRST INTERMEDIATE PERIOD 2134–2040 B.C.E. SECOND INTERMEDIATE PERIOD 1640–1550 B.C.E.Ninth Dynasty 2134–? B.C.E. Fifteenth Dynasty (Hyksos) 1640–1532 B.C.E. Khetys date unknown Salitis c. 1640 Merikaré date unknown Sheshi date unknown Kaneferré date unknown Yaqub-Hor date unknown Ity date unknown Khian (Swoserenré) date unknown Apophis (Awoserré) c. 1585–1553Tenth Dynasty ?–2040 B.C.E. Khamudi c. 1550–1540Eleventh Dynasty (at Thebes) 2134–2040 B.C.E. Sixteenth Dynasty c. 1640–1532 B.C.E. (Minor Hyksos rulers, Montuhotep I ?–2134 contemporary with the Fifteenth Dynasty) Inyotef I (Sehertawy) 2134–2118 Inyotef II (Wah’ankh) 2118–2069 Sekhaen-Ré date unknown Inyotef III (Nakhtnebtepnufer) 2069–2061 Anather date unknown Yakoba’am date unknownMIDDLE KINGDOM PERIOD 2040–1640 B.C.E. Seventeenth Dynasty (Theban) 1640–1550 B.C.E.Eleventh Dynasty (all Egypt) 2040–1991 B.C.E. Sekhemré-Wahkhau Rahotep date unknown Montuhotep II (Nebhepetré) 2061–2010 Inyotef V (Nubkheperré) c. 1640–1635 Montuhotep III (S’ankharé) 2010–1998 Sobekemsaf I (Sekhemré-wadjka’u) date unknown Montuhotep IV (Nebtawyré) 1998–1991 Nebireyeraw (Swadjenré) date unknown Sobekemsaf II (Sekhemré-shedtawy)Twelfth Dynasty 1991–1783 B.C.E. date unknown Amenemhet I (Sehetepibré) 1991–1962 Inyotef VII c. 1570 Senwosret I (Kheperkaré) 1971–1926 Ta’o I (or Djehutí’o) (Senakhentenré) Amenemhet II (Nubkauré) 1929–1892 date unknown Senwosret II (Kha’kheperré) 1897–1878 Ta’o II (or Djehutí’o) (Sekenenré) date unknown Senwosret III (Kha’kauré) 1878–1841 Kamose (Wadjkheperré) c. 1555–1550 Amenemhet III (Nima’atré) 1844–1797 Amenemhet IV (Ma’akheruré) 1799–1787 NEW KINGDOM PERIOD 1550–1070 B.C.E. Sobekneferu (Sebekkaré) (Q.) 1787–1783 Eighteenth Dynasty 1550–1307 B.C.E.Thirteenth Dynasty 1783–after 1640 B.C.E. ’Ahmose (Nebpehitré) 1550–1525 Wegaf (Khutawyré) 1783–1779 Amenhotep I (Djeserkaré) 1525–1504 Amenemhet V (Sekhemkaré) c. 1760 Tuthmosis I (Akheperkaré) 1504–1492 Amenemhet VI date unknown Tuthmosis II (Akheperneré) 1492–1479 Harnedjheriotef (Hetepibré) c. 1760 Tuthmosis III (Menkheperré) 1479–1425
Hatshepsut (Q.) (Ma’atkaré) 1473–1458 dynasties 107 Amenhotep II (Akhepruré) 1427–1401 Tuthmosis IV (Menkhepruré) 1401–1391 Shoshenq V (Akheperré) 773–735 Amenhotep III (Nebma’atré) 1391–1353 Osorkon IV (Akheperre’setepenamun) 735–712 Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) 1353–1335 Smenkharé (Ankhepruré) 1335–1333 Twenty-third Dynasty c. 828–712 B.C.E. Tut’ankhamun (Nebkhepruré) 1333–1323 Various contemporary lines of kings recognized in Aya (2) (Kheperkhepruré) 1323–1319 Horemhab (Djeserkhepuré) 1319–1307 Thebes, Hermopolis, Herakleopolis, Leontopolis, and Tanis precise arrangement and order are stillNineteenth Dynasty 1307–1196 B.C.E. disputed. Ramesses I (Menpehtiré) 1307–1306 Pedubaste I 828–803 Seti I (Menma’atré) 1306–1290 Iuput I date unknown Ramesses II (Userma’atre’setepenré) 1290–1224 Shoshenq IV date unknown Merenptah (Baenre’hotephirma’at) 1224–1214 Osorkon III 777–749 Seti II (Userkheprure’setepenré) 1214–1204 Takelot III date unknown Amenmesses (Menmiré), usurper during reign of Rudamon date unknown Seti II Iuput II date unknown Siptah (Akhenre’setepenré’) 1204–1198 Nimlot date unknown Twosret (Q.) (Sitre’meritamun) 1198–1196 Peftjau’abast (Neferkaré) 740–725Twentieth Dynasty 1196–1070 B.C.E. Twenty-fourth Dynasty (Sais) 724–712 B.C.E. Sethnakhte (Userkha’ure’meryamun) 1196–1194 Tefnakhte (Shepsesré) 724–717 Ramesses III (Userma’atre’meryamun) 1194–1163 Bakenrenef (Boccharis) (Wahkaré) 717–712 Ramesses IV (Heqama’atre’setepenamun) 1163–1156 Twenty-fifth Dynasty 770–712 B.C.E. (Nubia and Theban area) Ramesses V (Userma’atre’sekhepenré) 1156–1151 Kashta (Nima’atré) 770–750 Ramesses VI (Nebma’atre’meryamun) 1151–1143 Piankhi (Piye) (Userma’atré) 750–712 Ramesses VII (Userma’atre’setepenré meryamun) 1143–1136 LATE PERIOD 712–332 B.C.E. Ramesses VIII (Userma’atre’akhenamun) Twenty-fifth Dynasty 712–657 B.C.E. (Nubia and all Egypt) 1136–1131 Ramesses IX (Neferkare’setenré) 1131–1112 Shabaka (Neferkaré) 712–698 Ramesses X (Kheperma’atre’setepenre’) 1112–1100 Shebitku (Djedkauré) 698–690 Ramesses XI (Menma’atré setepenptah) 1100–1070 Taharqa (Khure’nefertem) 690–664 Tanutamun (Bakaré) 664–657 (possibly later inTHIRD INTERMEDIATE PERIOD 1070–712 B.C.E. Nubia)Twenty-first Dynasty 1070–945 B.C.E. Smendes (Hedjkheperre’setepenré’) 1070–1044 Twenty-sixth Dynasty 664–525 B.C.E. Amenemnisu (Neferkaré) 1044–1040 Necho I 672–664 Psusennes I (Akheperre’setepenamun) 1040–992 Psammetichus I (Wahibré) 664–610 Amenemope (Userma’atre’ setepenatnun) 993–984 Necho II (Wehemibré) 610–595 Osochor (Akheperre’setepenré) 984–978 Psammetichus II (Neferibré) 595–589 Siamun (Netjerkheperre’ setepenamun) 978–959 Apries (Wa’a’ibré) 589–570 Psusennes II (Titkhepure’setepenré) 959–945 Amasis (Khnemibré) 570–526 Psammetichus III (Ankhkaenré) 526–525Twenty-second Dynasty 945–712 B.C.E. Shoshenq I (Hedjkheperre’setepenré) 945–924 Twenty-seventh Dynasty 525–404 B.C.E. Osorkon I (Sekhemkheperre’setepenré) 924–909 (First Persian Period) Takelot I (Userma’atre’setepenamun) 909–883 Cambyses 525–522 Shoshenq II (Hegakheperre’setepenré) 883 Darius I 521–486 Osorkon II (Userma’atre’setepenamun) 883–855 Xerxes I 486–466 Takelot II (Hedjkheperre’setepenré) 860–835 Artaxerxes I 465–424 Shoshenq III (Userma’atre’setepenréamun) Darius II 423–405 835–783 Pami (Userma’atre’setepenre’amun) 783–773 Twenty-eighth Dynasty 404–393 B.C.E. Amyrtaois 404–393 Twenty-ninth Dynasty 393–380 B.C.E. Nephrites I (Baenre’merynetjeru) 399–393 Psammuthis (Userre’setenptah) 393
108 dynasty histories EARLY DYNASTIC PERIOD (2920–2575 B.C.E.) Hakoris (Khnemma’atré) 393–380 First Dynasty (2920–2770 B.C.E.) Nephrites II 380 The Predynastic warriors from Upper Egypt, SCORPION, NARMER, and others, began the great campaigns to subdueThirtieth Dynasty 380–343 B.C.E. the areas of the Delta in lower Egypt as early as 3150 Nectanebo I (Kheperkaré) 380–362 B.C.E. The process was slow and costly, as the people of Teos (Irma’atenré) 365–360 Lower Egypt had developed their own culture and had Nectanebo II (Senedjemibre’setepenahur) 360–343 fortified cities throughout the Delta. When AHA, the leg- Nakhthoreb c. 343 endary Menes, took the throne as the probable heir to Narmer, the unification of the Two Kingdoms was wellThirty-first Dynasty (Second Persian Period) advanced. Aha could rely on the support of many nomes,343–332 B.C.E. or provinces, when he founded the capital city of MEM- PHIS and continued pacifying the clans that had stood Artaxerxes III Ochus 343–338 apart from the merging efforts. Arses 338–336 Darius III Codoman 335–332 His successors continued the campaigns aimed at Period interrupted by a native ruler Khababash unification and began expeditions into the SINAI and the surrounding deserts to claim the natural resources of the (Senentanen-setepenptah) area. These forays into the deserts led to confrontations with the native BEDOUIN tribes, and the Egyptians beganGRECO-ROMAN PERIOD 332 B.C.E.–395 C.E. to amass military units to defend the mines and QUARRIES that they acquired. The nome aristocrats responded toMacedonian (Thirty-second) Dynasty 332–304 B.C.E. the pharaoh’s call and marched at the head of troops from Alexander III the Great 332–323 their provinces. DEN, a ruler of the earliest historical peri- Philip III Arrhidaeus 323–316 ods, was depicted on an ivory label as smiting the Asiat- Alexander IV 316–304 ics, the dwellers in the eastern desert, also called the Troglodytes.Ptolemaic Period 304–30 B.C.E. Ptolemy I Soter 304–284 In Egypt, the pharaohs of the first royal line erected Ptolemy II Philadelphus 285–246 monuments and mortuary structures, demonstrating a Ptolemy III Euergetes I 246–221 maturity in vision and form. The massive tombs at ABY- Ptolemy IV Philopator 221–205 DOS, startling architectural structures, decorated with Ptolemy V Epiphanes 205–180 paneling that also distinguished the palace facades in Ptolemy VI Philometor 180–164, 163–145 MEMPHIS, stand as silent portraits of a nation on the path Ptolemy VII Neos Philopator 145 of a unique destiny on the Nile. Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Physcon) 170–163, 145–116 Second Dynasty (2770–2649 B.C.E.) Cleopatra (3) (Q.) and Ptolemy IX Soter II (Lathy- The rulers of this royal line had to continue to subdue ros) 116–107, 88–81 areas in the Nile Valley that resisted unification and the Cleopatra (3) (Q.) and Ptolemy X Alexander I authority of the pharaoh in Memphis, the White Walled 107–88 capital. Religious debates raged across Egypt as well, as Cleopatra Berenice (Q.) 81–80 the various cults vied for the dominance and the status of Ptolemy XI Alexander II 80 a particular deity. It is probable that actual confrontations Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysius (Auletes) 80–58, 55–51 took place as the cults of SET and HORUS competed for Berenice (4) (Q.) 58–55 dominance. The southern city of HIERAKONPOLIS wit- Cleopatra VII (Q.) 51–30 nessed royal mortuary complexes and perhaps even bat- Ptolemy XIII 51–47 tles within its domain. Victory was hard won, but Ptolemy XIV 47–44 KHA’SEKHEMWY appears to have defeated the last of the Ptolemy XV Caesarion 44–30 rebel clans and returned to Memphis. He built his mortu- ary complex not in SAQQARA, where earlier Seconddynasty histories These recounted the achievements Dynasty rulers had been laid to rest, but at ABYDOS.of the various royal lines throughout Egypt’s history. Eachdynasty faced difficulties and challenges, and some As part of the religious expansion and cultic evolu-remained strong and vibrant while others were consumed tion, a number of theophanies, animal representations ofby events of the eras or were faced with overwhelming the gods, were introduced in shrines and temples. Theenemies. The destiny of Egypt rested in the hands of city of MENDES displayed its sacred ram. The APIS bull wasthese royal families, and most had a unique vision of the at Memphis, and the MNEVIS bull achieved popularity.nation as a “gift of the gods.” The following summarizes Within the court and the nomes, a generation of trainedthe accomplishments of these royals of the Nile. officials had Egypt’s administrative structures in place
and operated with efficiency. The land was poised to dynasty histories 109enter one of the truly magnificent periods of Egypt’s his-tory, the Old Kingdom. foretold a century before, and USERKHAF began the nation’s new historical period. He was possibly the grand- Third Dynasty (2649–2575 B.C.E.) son of RA’DJEDEF, the heir to Khufu and a shadowy figure.The pharaoh NEBKA opened this royal line with compara- Userkhaf did not seek the shadows. His portraits depict ative calm in Egypt. Nebka was a warrior, and he led mili- powerful, determined individual who understood thetary units into the SINAI to claim new mines and quarries reins of power.and to garrison those already in operation. He alsoextended the authority of the throne as far south as The new bureaucracy of the court was composed ofASWAN. Nebka’s successor, his brother DJOSER, would both commoners and nobles. Ability and dedication werecement Egypt’s hold on the area around the first cataract necessary requirements for high office, and a series ofof the Nile and Aswan. intelligent, hardworking individuals served Egypt during this dynasty. They sent expeditions to PUNT and Artistically, Djoser’s reign was pivotal in the Nile Val- expanded Egypt’s military and trade systems. These “Sunley, as IMHOTEP, his vizier, designed and supervised the Kings” built solar pyramid complexes in Saqqara andbuilding of the STEP PYRAMID. The monument declared Abydos.that the god-kings of Egypt were powerful and capable ofuniting the people in a single envisioned act of creation. Sixth Dynasty (2323–2150 B.C.E.)The Step Pyramid also solidified the spiritual aspirations This royal line was opened by TETI (1), who appears toof the Nile Valley as it soared over the plain of Saqqara. have been murdered by his own bodyguard. After USERKARÉ, PEPI I inherited the throne and began a series Djoser also saved Egypt from a famine by sailing to of campaigns that revolutionized Egyptian warfare. UsingELEPHANTINE Island at Aswan where the god KHNUM the skills of a general named WENI, Pepi I had Nubiandwelled, the controller of the Nile’s inundations. One of mercenary units in his army as he attacked the Sinai andhis successors, KHA’BA, built a layered pyramid at Zawiet part of southern Palestine. The HAREM (I) of Pepi I wasel-Aryan and Huni erected the MEIDUM pyramid complex. involved in an attack on his person, but he survived and saw the guilty punished. He then married sisters, the OLD KINGDOM (2575–2134 B.C.E.) ANKHNESMERY-RÉS, who bore his heirs. Fourth Dynasty (2575–2465 B.C.E.)This royal line and the Old Kingdom opened with an His son, MERENRÉ, ruled briefly, followed by PEPI II,innovative pharaoh, SNEFRU. He built an Egyptian navy, who was on the throne for about 94 years. A touchingsending a fleet of 40 ships on the Mediterranean Sea to royal dispatch from the small ruler’s earlier years displaysPhoenicia, modern Lebanon. He was seeking wood, a rare his concern for a petite DWARF who was captured bycommodity in the Nile Valley. Snefru also started the HARKHUF during an expedition to NUBIA. Major buildingPyramid Age by building the Bent Pyramid and the Red projects took place during Pepi II’s reign. Officials werePyramid at Dashur. also opening trade routes to the Red Sea and deep into KHUFU, his son and heir, erected a Wonder of the Nubia. MERENRÉ II followed Pepi II, but his reign wasWorld, the Great Pyramid at GIZA. KHAFRE and short-lived, and his consort, Queen NITOCRIS (1), appearsMENKAURÉ, successors in the line, erected two more pyra- to have ruled briefly. HERODOTUS assigns a fearful mas-midal complexes on the same site, and the Great SPHINX sacre to this queen pharaoh.was created to keep eternal watch on the horizon. Magical tales of women clad only in fish nets, the Seventh Dynasty (dates unknown)parting of the waters of a lake, and a prophecy about This royal line was actually a series of “70 rulers in 70future pharaohs were part of this dynasty’s events. days,” according to MANETHO. The dynasty list containsKhufu’s family had rivalries, dissension, perhaps a royal few names, known only by surviving decrees issued bymurder, and it ended with SHEPSESKHAF, who could not the rulers.command another grand pyramid. He erected “thePharaoh’s Bench,” the MASTABAT EL-FARA’UN, in southern Eighth Dynasty (2150–2134 B.C.E.)Saqqara. A ruler named NEFERKURÉ founded this dynastic line, This dynasty used only royal family members in which recorded several rulers who could not maintain thepositions of power, relying on princes to safeguard the throne or call upon the allegiance of the Egyptian people.throne and the nation. This would change when the next An exemption decree was issued by WADJKARÉ, and a smallroyal line, the sun kings, came to Egypt’s throne. pyramid by QAKARÉ IBY is all that remains of that line. Fifth Dynasty (2465–2323 B.C.E.) FIRST INTERMEDIATE PERIOD (2134–2040 B.C.E.)This was the age of SOLAR CULTS, the traditions dated to Ninth Dynasty (2134–? B.C.E.), Tenth Dynastythe earliest eras in Egypt and embodied by the god RÉ and (?–2040 B.C.E.), and Eleventh Dynastyhis divine associated beings. This royal line had been (at Thebes, 2134–2040) The two royal families of the Ninth and Tenth Dynasties were usurpers from the city of HERAKLEOPOLIS who ruled
110 dynasty histories Thirteenth Dynasty (1784–after 1640? B.C.E.) A royal line of briefly reigning pharaohs, lasting onlythe northern domains but not the lands south of Abydos. about a century and a half, this dynasty usurped the for-Called the KHETYS or the Aktoys, their rule was unstable, mer capital of ITJ-TAWY near the FAIYUM. Some of thesebut some interesting documentation of their eras has sur- rulers are mentioned in the official lists, but they arevived. The “ELOQUENT PEASANT,” an individual named known only by fragmentary papyri, seals, or inscriptions.KHUNIANUPU, was welcomed by one of the rulers of this They erected four pyramids, but the dynasty faced aline, and THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR MERIKARÉ dates to their steady decline of power. Some Delta cities opted for inde-rule. pendence, and these rulers had to withdraw from these eastern and Nubian territories. The HYKSOS were already During the continuing battle against the rulers of in the Delta, amassing lands and consolidating theirTHEBES, the Eleventh Dynasty, the Herakleopolitan rulers influence.allowed an assault on a southern region by their allies inASSIUT. In this attack, tombs and corpses were vandalized, Fourteenth Dynasty (1640? B.C.E.)an act of sacrilege that empowered a Theban, MON- These rulers were located at XOIS in the Delta and had lit-TUHOTEP II, and led to their ruin. tle impact on the rest of Egypt. They reigned for about 57 years and are relatively obscure. MIDDLE KINGDOM (2040–1640 B.C.E.) Eleventh Dynasty (All Egypt 2040–1991 B.C.E.) SECOND INTERMEDIATE PERIODThe royal lines of INYOTEFS in THEBES, having ruled only (1640–1550 B.C.E.)Thebes for a time, mounted a new campaign to unify allEgypt in the reign of Montuhotep II (2061–2010 B.C.E.). Fifteenth Dynasty (1640–1532 B.C.E.)He defeated the Herakleopolitans and campaigned This royal line is remembered as the Great HYKSOS, thethroughout the Nile Valley to suppress nomes and indi- Asiatics who entered Egypt over the decades and builtviduals who opposed his rule. He buried some 60 war- AVARIS in the Delta. They sacked Memphis and openedriors, veterans of these military ventures, to honor their Egypt’s borders to the east, welcoming Canaanites andsacrifice on behalf of the nation. others. Fortified structures were erected by the Hyksos in Montuhotep II regained lost land, penetrated into their domains, and certain Cretan influences are evident.NUBIA and the Sinai, and built extensively. He erected a The Hyksos ruled Egypt as far south as CUSAE, blockedmassive mortuary complex at DEIR EL-BAHRI, on the west- there by the Seventeenth Dynasty at Thebes.ern shore of the Nile at Thebes, and this became a modelfor later temples on the site. Several rulers are known by papyri and seals, and His successors were not as successful in their reigns, one, APOPHIS, became famous because of his quarrel withand the last ruler of this dynasty, MONTUHOTEP IV, was TA’O II, a ruler in Thebes. The Hyksos were attacked andsucceeded by a usurper, AMENEMHET I, in 1991 B.C.E. driven out of Egypt by the armies of ’AHMOSE, the founder of the New Kingdom (1550–1070 B.C.E.), chasing them to Twelfth Dynasty (1991–1783 B.C.E.) Saruhen and then into Syria.Amenemhet I founded this royal line of rulers by usurp-ing the throne, and he brought administrative and mili- Sixteenth Dynasty (Contemporaries oftary skills to the throne. His successors, the Amenemhets the Fifteenth Dynasty)and Senwosrets, were fierce warriors who defended Egyptfrom Libyan invasions and built a series of fortresses to This royal line served as vassals of the Great Hyksos andprotect the eastern and western borders, called the WALL were also Asiatics. Obscure because of their limited scopeOF THE PRINCE. The FAIYUM was refurbished and aided by of power, the rulers of this dynasty left no lasting monu-vast irrigation projects. FORTRESSES were erected at key ments. Three are known: SEKHAEN-RÉ, ANATHER, andmilitary and trade centers in Nubia, with canals dug to YAKOBA’AM.allow the passage of Egyptian vessels through thecataracts of the Nile. Seventeenth Dynasty (1640–1550 B.C.E.) Sekenenré TA’O II, one of the Theban rulers who had Amenemhet I was slain by a harem cabal, but his maintained tense relations with the Hyksos, was a pivotalson, SENWOSRET I, carried on his traditions. SENWOSRET III figure in Egypt’s history. Like the Inyotefs and his father,was revered as the ultimate warrior. The Twelfth Dynasty, Senakhentenré TA’O I, before him, he was the master ofalong with the line of the Montuhoteps before them, was Upper Egypt and content to allow the Hyksos, the Asiat-honored in Egypt as the rulers of a Golden Age. Vast ics, to dominate the Delta. For decades the two groupspyramidal complexes, which included elaborate burial had lived side by side, keeping a relative calm on thesites for family members, were erected by these pharaohs Nile.at DASHUR, HAWARA, el-LISHT, and el-LAHUN. The dynastyclosed with the brief rule of another woman, SOBEKNE- APOPHIS, the ruler of the Hyksos capital at Avaris,FERU. She and AMENEMHET IV are believed to have erected stepped over the bounds, however, by sending Ta’o II antheir tombs at MAZGHUNA, south of Dashur. insulting message. Before Apophis could recant his words or explain, the Thebans were gathered to oust the for-
eigners from the land. Ta’o II died soon after, the victim dynasty histories 111of an ambush and hideous head wounds, and the warappeared to be ended for a time. and his concern for idle mines and quarries set the pace for the royal line that would be called the Ramessids. KAMOSE, however, as the heir to the throne ofThebes, brushed aside councils of peace and started the His son and heir, RAMESSES II, the Great, reigned 66battles in earnest. The last ruler of the dynasty, Kamose years. His Syrian campaigns, his battle at KADESH, and hisadapted the Hyksos CHARIOT and attacked the Asiatic treaty with the HITTITES restored Egypt’s power. His mon-southern site. He rolled the Hyksos force back toward uments, appearing at ABU SIMBEL and in Upper and LowerAvaris before he died. Apophis had been dead for months Egypt, bequeathed a legacy of aristocracy on the Nile.and his heir, KHAMUDI, faced a renewed campaign in thereign of another son of Ta’o II. This young warrior, MERENPTAH, the 13th of his sons, was named the heir.imbued with Kamose’s rage, was ’Ahmose, the founder of He outlived Ramesses II and took the throne at anthe New Kingdom (1550–1070 B.C.E.). advanced age. He campaigned in Libya and Syria and defeated a contingent of the SEA PEOPLES. His son, SETI II, NEW KINGDOM (1550–1070 B.C.E.) was unable to keep the throne, which was taken by a Eighteenth Dynasty (1550–1307 B.C.E.) usurper, AMENMESSES. In time he secured the throne, butSome of the most popular pharaohs of Egypt were part of he was weakened.this royal line, and these warriors carved out an empireby warring against other lands and peoples. ’Ahmose This royal line ended with the reign of another queeninherited the throne at a very young age, and his mother, pharaoh, TWOSRET, who ruled a short time before disap-Queen AH’HOTEP (1), stood as regent for almost a decade. pearing. Her chancellor, BAY, a foreigner and ambitious,Peace was restored on the Nile, but the Thebans were made his own plans, but a true Ramessid ended thearmed and ready. When ’Ahmose reached his majority, he dynasty.led an army northward and put Avaris under siege byland and by sea. The Asiatics fled, and ’Ahmose dealt a Twentieth Dynasty (1196–1070 B.C.E.)smashing blow to the Nubians in the south and then SETHNAKHTE, probably a grandson of Ramesses II, rose uppunished the northerners who had collaborated with the and began campaigns to undo the chaos of the closingHyksos at Avaris. days of the previous reign and secured the throne against His son, AMENHOTEP I, was a warrior also, but Amen- the ambitions of others. His son, RAMESSES III, the lasthotep I’s successor, TUTHMOSIS I, was the first pharaoh to truly great pharaoh of Egypt, had to defeat the Libyansmarch on his enemies in the name of Amun and begin and the Sea Peoples. These wandering nomads had con-the great empire. TUTHMOSIS III, his grandson, ruled from quered the Hittites. Ramesses III defeated them whenKhartoum in modern Sudan to the Euphrates River. He is they invaded the Delta. He built MEDINET HABU and othercalled the “Napoleon of the Nile.” AMENHOTEP II, his son monuments and then received apparently mortal woundsand heir, loved hand-to-hand combat and expanded the in a harem revolt.imperial cause. By the time AMENHOTEP III came to the throne, he His son, RAMESSES IV, restored order and punished thewas the most powerful and wealthiest human being in guilty. He sent trade expeditions to Sinai and Nubia andthe known world of the time. His son, AKHENATEN, living started monuments, but he only lived a few years. Otherin seclusion in ’AMARNA and worshiping a deity named Ramesses followed, but difficult times and a devastatingATEN, brought the empire perilously close to an end. smallpox epidemic took a tragic toll in the royal family.TUT’ANKHAMUN, who returned the court to Thebes and Tomb robberies and trials took place in the period, andthe nation’s devotion to the god AMUN, did not live long the criminals were prosecuted during the reign ofenough to distinguish himself. That task would fall to the RAMESSES IX. RAMESSES XI, a recluse, faced problems inlast pharaoh of the dynasty, HOREMHAB. When Horemhab Thebes and left the administration of Egypt to hisknew that he was dying without an heir, he passed the courtiers. Two of these, SMENDES (1) and HERIHOR, dividedfate of the nation into the hands of a trusted military Egypt and set the pattern for the dynasty that followed.commander: RAMESSES I. THIRD INTERMEDIATE PERIOD Nineteenth Dynasty (1307–1196 B.C.E.) (1070–712 B.C.E.)Ruling only one year, Ramesses I could go to his tombcontent that he had raised up a family of warriors to Twenty-first Dynasty (1070–945 B.C.E.)defend Egypt and to adorn the holy cities on the Nile. His This royal line opened the Third Intermediate Period ofson and heir was SETI I, a military man and an adminis- Egypt. Smendes ruled in TANIS in the Delta, and PINUDJEMtrator who understood the needs of the people. His cam- (1) assumed the pharaonic role in Thebes. The Tanis andpaigns, the monuments at Thebes, KARNAK, and Abydos, Theban families intermarried, and eventually Thebes sent PSUSENNES I to Tanis as the ruler. The monuments and records of the nation in that historical period indicate an era of calm and prosperity, but the Thebans rebelled, being open to many southern influences that Tanis could not control from a distance. The high priests of Amun had to assume military as well
112 dynasty histories enenref’s reign was that of a vassal and was very brief. There were too many Nubians in Egypt by then, and theyas temple roles, defeating rebel groups and exiling the were intent on restoring the old traditions and the faith-leaders for a time to the western oases. based society of the past. Psusennes I adorned TANIS as a capital, and his mor- LATE PERIOD (712–332 B.C.E.)tuary regalia, as well as those of some of his successors, Twenty-fifth Dynasty (Nubia and Thebesare masterpieces of gold and silver. These rulers, how- 770–750 B.C.E. All Egypt 712–657 B.C.E.)ever, could not hold on to power in an era of political and The Late Period of Egypt began with this Nubianreligious change. The Libyans who had settled in the city Dynasty, a royal family that marched northward along theof BUBASTIS were ready to launch their own dynastic Nile to restore faith and the purity of the god Amun toclaims. the people of the Two Kingdoms. Coming out of the capi- tal at Napata, the Nubians controlled much of the Theban Twenty-second Dynasty (945–712 B.C.E.) domain and then, led by Piankhi, moved to capture theThe Libyan rulers who reigned during this dynasty could ancient capital of Memphis. Tefnakhte, who ruled in Sais,trace their ancestry back to OSOCHOR, one of the formed a coalition of petty rulers, and they met Piankhi’spharaohs of the previous line. SHOSHENQ I, a direct army and suffered a severe defeat. Piankhi celebrated hisdescendant, opened the Libyan period and began military victory with a stela and retired to Nubia.campaigns recorded in the Bible. He also took the precau- SHABAKA, his brother, mounted another campaigntion of installing his own sons in the highest offices of and took control of Egypt personally. He was followed onthe priesthood of Amun in Thebes. An increase in trade, the throne of Egypt by his heir, SHEBITKU, and then bylands, and artistic projects demonstrated a revitalization TAHARQA, all members of the same line. King ESSARHAD-of Egypt during Shoshenq I’s reign. DON of Assyria entered Egypt in Taharqa’s reign, taking the abandoned Nubian queen and one of Taharqa’s sons Some rather obscure successors to Shoshenq I main- back to Nineveh as slaves. Taharqa fought back, and histained the throne, and Egypt remained a power in the successor, TANUTAMUN, tried to maintain power, but theregion. The reign of TAKELOT II of this line, however, wit- Saite-Arthribis royal line that had served as allies of thenessed the first signs of decline. HARSIESE, a prince, Assyrians would be the ones to free the nation from for-assumed pharaonic titles and fostered a Theban rebellion eign rule.that endangered Upper Egypt for decades. SHOSHENQ IIIwas another usurper, setting aside the true heir, his Twenty-sixth Dynasty (664–525 B.C.E.)brother. The division between Thebes and Tanis widened, While the Nubians fled from the Assyrians and thenand other cities and nomes began to seek ways in which regrouped to oust the Assyrians, NECHO I and PSAM-they could gain independence. METICHUS I adapted and secured their holdings. Necho I was slain by the Nubians, but his son, Psammetichus I, Twenty-third Dynasty (c. 828–712 B.C.E.) united Egypt and amassed a mercenary and native army.A prince named PEDUBASTE I, who controlled LEONTOPO- He ousted the Assyrians and began his royal line. All thatLIS, started this royal line, and another family opened a Piankhi had hoped for Egypt’s rebirth was realized by thisTanis royal line, contemporaries and rivals for the alle- dynasty. Old traditions of faith and the skills and visiongiance of the people. There were other petty rulers at of the past flourished on the Nile. NECHO II, the son ofHERMOPOLIS and Herakleopolis as well. Holding such Psammetichus, followed in his stead, and the land flour-limited areas, these rulers were vulnerable to the power- ished. Necho II even connected the Nile and the Red Seaful Nubians, who had already begun their march into with a canal.Egypt. APRIES came to the throne and introduced a program As the Nubians posed a real threat, the rulers of of intervention in Palestine, increasing trade and the useTanis, Leontopolis, Herakleopolis, and Hermopolis joined of Greek mercenaries. His involvement in Libya, how-a confederation led by TEFNAKHTE of Sais and confronted ever, led to a mutiny in the Egyptian army and the risethe Nubian armies. They were swept aside as the Nubians of AMASIS, his general. Apries died in an attempt tomoved northward to restore the old traditions and beliefs. regain his throne. Amasis was Hellenic in his outlook and was recorded as aiding Delphi in returning the ora- Twenty-fourth Dynasty (724–712 B.C.E.) cle and the temple of Apollo. The city of NAUKRATIS,Tefnakhte and BAKENRENEF are the only rulers of this ceded to the Greeks in the Delta, was started in this his-royal line at Tanis. They were contemporaries of the torical period.city-states and faced the Nubian threat. Tefnakhte orga-nized a confederation of self-appointed “kings” to meet PSAMMETICHUS III, the last ruler of this dynasty, facedthe army marching out of Nubia, led by a warrior named CAMBYSES and the invading Persian army. PsammetichusPIANKHI (1). was taken prisoner and sent to Susa, the Persian capital. At Herakleopolis, Tefnakhte’s coalition was routed.His allies surrendered to Piankhi and were allowed torule their own former domains as vassal governors, andTefnakhte eventually endured the same humiliation. Bak-
Twenty-seventh Dynasty— dynasty histories 113 The First Persian Period (525–404 B.C.E.)This was not a dynasty of native Egyptians but a period NECTANEBO II, chosen to replace Teos, faced the Persianof foreign occupation, also recorded as the First Persian ARTAXERXES III, who came with a vast army and reoccu-Period. Egypt survived under foreign rule, prosper- pied the Nile Valley.ing under some of the satraps and Persian kings, asthe ACHAEMENIANS had problems in their own land. A Thirty-first Dynasty—court eunuch murdered some of the rulers, along with The Second Persian Period (343–332 B.C.E.)their sons, and the survivors had to endure political Artaxerxes III lasted only about five years and was poi-complications. soned in his own court by the eunuch BAGOAS. ARSES, his The Egyptians categorized CAMBYSES as a criminal heir, reigned only two years before meeting the same fate.lunatic, but he treated the nation with a certain discretion DARIUS III, wise to the machinations of Bagoas, made himin most instances. A large unit of the Persian army, sent drink the cup that he was offering to the king, andby Cambyses to loot the Oasis of SIWA in the Western Bagoas died as a result. Darius III faced ALEXANDER III THEDesert, disappeared to a man. DARIUS I, XERXES I, ARTAX- GREAT, however, and he was defeated in three separateERXES I, and DARIUS II followed Cambyses, but they faced battles and then slain by one of his own associates.rebellions and political intrigues at home as well as rebel- Alexander the Great now ruled Egypt.lions on the Nile. Darius II reigned over the Nile Valleyfrom Persia and was viewed as tolerable as far as the GRECO-ROMAN PERIOD (332 B.C.E.–395 C.E.)Egyptians were concerned. Thirty-second Dynasty— Twenty-eighth Dynasty (404–393 B.C.E.) Ptolemaic Period (304–30 B.C.E.)AMYRTAIOS (2) was a rebel in the Delta, holding the rank The brief period of Macedonian rule (332–304 B.C.E.) wasof prince in Sais. Egyptians felt loyal to him, and he ended by PTOLEMY I SOTER, the Macedonian general ofexerted influence even as far south as ASWAN. His dynasty Alexander the Great, who stole the body of Alexanderwas doomed, however, because he was judged a violator and declared himself and his heirs the rulers of Egypt.of the laws of Egypt and was not allowed to name his son The Ptolemies modernized and Hellenized much ofas heir to the throne. NEPHRITES I, the founder of the Egypt’s agricultural and governmental agencies but alsoTwenty-ninth Dynasty, captured and killed him. instituted a dual system in the land. Twenty-ninth Dynasty (393–380 B.C.E.) They did not relate to the native Egyptians, did notNEPHRITES I founded this line of rulers at MENDES and intermarry with nome heiresses, and imported their con-began to rebuild in many areas of Egypt. He maintained sorts from other Greek city-states. The Ptolemaic rulersthe APIS cult and regulated trade and government in the also did not speak the ancient language and seldom trav-land. Nephrites I was followed by PSAMMUTHIS, whose eled out of ALEXANDRIA. They were warrior kings in thebrief reign was cut short by the usurper HAKORIS, who Greek world, but at home they maintained the traditionsexpanded the dynasty’s building programs. NEPHRITES II, of the god-kings of the Nile. Greek citizens were treatedHakoris’s son and heir, did not succeed him, as according to Greek laws, while the traditional courts ofNECTANEBO I took the throne. Egypt served the natives. Thirtieth Dynasty (380–343 B.C.E.) The land prospered under their rule, particularly theThis royal line was founded from Sebennytos, and agricultural bases, and the Egyptians were allowed toNectanebo I faced a Persian army, using Greek mercenar- exist in peace, despite the rivalries within the Ptolemaicies. The Persians bypassed a strategic fortress at Pelu- family and the alliances made with other Greek states.sium, and Nectanebo I launched a counterattack and The Ptolemies were not remarkable for their reigns, anddefeated the invaders. He had a stable, prosperous reign queens were politically powerful and at times murdered.in which he restored temples and sites and built at PHI- Such activities, however, did not impact on the daily livesLAE. His son and heir, TEOS, began wars to regain lost of the Egyptians beyond Alexandria.imperial lands but took temple treasures to pay for hismilitary campaigns. He was ousted from the throne by his The dynasty was fatally wounded in the reign ofown royal family after only two years and fled to Susa. CLEOPATRA VII, who killed herself to escape the inevitable humiliation at the hands of Octavian (Emperor AUGUS- TUS) in 30 B.C.E. Her son was slain as well to halt the Ptolemaic influence. Egypt became a special territory of Rome, closely guarded by the emperor as a province with unique assets and unique needs.
EEbers Papyrus One of the longest papyri from ancient defense of the nation and was fortified against assaults byEgypt, dating to the reign of AMENHOTEP I (r. 1525–1504 the Nubians (the modern Sudanese). During the SecondB.C.E.) of the Eighteenth Dynasty, discovered by George Intermediate Period (1640–1550 B.C.E.) when the AsiaticsEbers, a German Egyptologist in 1873, the PAPYRUS is a (HYKSOS) ruled the northern Delta territories, Edfu wasmedical text measuring 65 feet with 108 separate pages. fortified by the Theban dynasties.The document is one of the modern world’s majorsources for information concerning the medical knowl- The great temple of Horus, located at Edfu, wasedge and techniques of Egypt’s priest-physicians. These started by PTOLEMY III EUERGETES I (r. 246–221 B.C.E.),medical practitioners gained a considerable reputation and was probably erected on an earlier established foun-throughout the ancient world. Sections on digestive dis- dation. More than 451 feet long, the temple honoredeases, worm infestations, eye ailments, skin problems, Horus of the Winged Disk, called Behdet by the Egyp-burns, fractures, rheumatism, and anatomy are included tians and revered as the consort of HATHOR of DENDEREH.in the texts, as well as discussions of the treatment of Hathor’s effigy was brought to the temple on a boat annu-tumors and abscesses. More than 900 diagnoses and pre- ally for a ceremonial visit. Fronted by a PYLON, the templescriptions are listed in this papyrus. They indicate the opened onto a court with columns and elaborate wallfact that the priest-physicians understood pain and recog- reliefs. Granite falcons were built as well to serve asnized the pulse and the problems related to the main divine patrons of this area. The dedication ceremony tookartery. These priests also displayed a remarkable aware- place there in 142 B.C.E., and the temple was completedness of the circulation of the blood in the human body. in 57 B.C.E.The Ebers Papyrus is now in Berlin. A processional way, a MAMMISI (a birthing room), and See also MEDICINE. a colonnade continue the architectural splendor of Edfu’s temple, with columns and northern and southern wings.Edfu (Behdet) A site 72 miles south of THEBES, on the Horus statues adorn the courts, and a relief of the “FeastNile, Edfu was the capital of the second nome of Upper of the Beautiful Meeting,” the annual reunion of HorusEgypt and the HORUS cultic site from early times. The city and Hathor, depicts the joy of that religious event. Otherwas called “the Exaltation of Horus” in some eras. Tombs chambers honor “the Triumph of Horus,” an annual cele-dating to the Sixth Dynasty (2323–2150 B.C.E.) and bration. Two HYPOSTYLE HALLS open onto an easternerected by the local NOMARCHS were discovered in the library and robing rooms and lead to a sanctuary thatcity’s necropolis, as well as a step pyramid dating to the contains a pedestal for the sacred bark of Horus andThird Dynasty (2649–2575 B.C.E.). MASTABAS and reliefs reliefs depicting PTOLEMY IV PHILOPATOR (r. 221–205were also discovered there. In the Ptolemaic Period B.C.E.) offering devotion to Horus and Hathor. A relief in(304–30 B.C.E.) a great temple was erected on the site. the New Year Chapel shows the goddess NUT.The city was always considered militarily strategic for the The sanctuary is a monolithic shrine with an ALTAR and is illuminated by an aperture in the roof. A staircase leads to the roof, as at Dendereh, and the granite naos, a 114
part of the design, was installed by NECTANEBO II (r. Egypt 115360–343 B.C.E.). Other sections of the temple include thechamber of linens, and the throne of the god. A double the city of MEMPHIS, Hiku Ptah, the “Mansion of the Soul,chapel of KHONS (1) and Hathor is located alongside the or ka, of PTAH.” Egyptians call their land Msr today, and inchapel of the throne of RÉ and the chapel of “the Spread Pharaonic times it was designated Khem or Khemet.Wings,” a Horus cultic sign. Another chamber also hon-ors the god MIN. GEOGRAPHICAL DESIGNATIONS The temple of Horus at Edfu holds the cosmological Egypt has always been a narrow, fertile strip of land alongrecords of “the Adoration of the Sanctified Deity Who the Nile River surrounded by deserts, called the RedCame into Being at the First Occasion.” PTAH was wor- Lands, or Deshret. The northern border was the Mediter-shiped there also as the SCARAB, the “Divine Beetle.” ranean Sea, called the UAT-UR or Wadj-ur, the “GreatOther reliefs show “the Stretching of the Cord over the Green.” The southern border was the first cataract atTemple,” “the Foundation of the Great Seat,” a procession ASWAN until the Middle Kingdom (2040–1640 B.C.E.),of the Builder Gods, and seated figures representing the although the armies of the Early Dynastic PeriodOgdoad. Another relief depicts 30 deities in “the Adora- (2920–2575 B.C.E.) and Old Kingdom (2575–2134 B.C.E.)tion of the Great Seat.” Temple services recorded in the conducted trading and punitive expeditions and evenbook were supposedly dictated by the god THOTH to the erected fortified settlements and centers south of Aswan.SAGES OF MEHWERET, the ancient scholars and devotees. During the Middle Kingdom the southern border wasBuilding texts displayed include “the Sacred Book of the extended some 250 miles, and in the New KingdomPrimeval Age of the Gods” and the “Coming of Ré into (1550–1070 B.C.E.) the southern outpost was some 600his Mansion of Ms-nht.” miles south of Aswan. See also FESTIVALS TEMPLES. Egypt was composed of the Nile Valley, the Delta, the FAIYUM, and the eastern (Arabian or Red Sea) desert. TheEdku This was a salt lake in Egypt’s Delta region. LIBYAN DESERT served as the border on the west. Tradi- See also LAKES. tionally there has been another geographic duality in Egypt: the Upper and Lower Kingdoms, now calledEdwin Smith Papyrus A text called “the Secret Book Upper and Lower Egypt.of Physicians,” dating to the Third Dynasty (2649–2575B.C.E.) and containing 38 sections. Each of these separate Lower Egypt, located in the north and called Ta-elements was presented with five headings: title, symp- Meht, is believed to have encompassed the land from thetoms, diagnosis, opinion, and treatment. “The opinion” Mediterranean Sea to ITJ-TAWY (Lisht) or possibly tophase of medical care is related to the physician’s ability ASSIUT. There is evidence that Lower Egypt was not actu-to state: “This is an infection with which I shall or shall ally a kingdom when the armies of the south came tonot attempt treatment.” dominate the region and to bring about a unified nation (c. 3000 B.C.E.). A depiction of a ruler can be seen on a Also called “the Surgical Papyrus,” the present form major historical source from the period, but no events orwas a copy made in the period of the New Kingdom details are provided. The only rulers listed by name from(1550–1070 B.C.E.). It opens with a section on the heart the late Predynastic age (before 3000 B.C.E.) are from theand pulse, but the main sections concern general trauma south. The concept of Lower Egypt starting as a kingdomand orthopedic surgical procedures. There are specific with its own geographical and social uniqueness quitedetailed references to organs, with anatomical awareness probably was a fabrication with religious and politicalevident. There are even references to depressed skull overtones. The Egyptians grasped a great sense of sym-injuries and fractures of the vertebrae, dislocation of the metry, and the idea of two parallel geographical unitsjaw, and traumatic paraplegia. These sections establish united to form one great nation would have appealed toclear relationships between symptoms and trauma. The them.priests early on in Egypt understood relationshipsbetween injuries and movements and encouraged obser- It is not certain that there was any sort of provincialvations and patient care. The use of hemayet (Arabic hel- designation in the northern lands in the Predynasticbah oil) was prescribed for the preservation of the skin of Period either. The nomes, or provinces, date to the firstgeriatric patients. dynasties, and it is possible that Lower Egypt was not one unified region at all. Whether a confederation of small See also MEDICINE PER ANKH. groups or a people under the command of a single king, Lower Egypt called the city of BUTO its capital (Pe inEgypt The nation called “the gift of the Nile” and evolv- Egyptian), then SAIS.ing in isolation on the northeastern section of the Africancontinent. The name Egypt is the modern version of Lower Egypt was always dominated by the Delta,Aigyptos, the Greek word derived from the Egyptian for originally formed by perennial swamps and lakes. It turned into seasonally flooded basins as the climate stabi- lized and inhabitants left an impact on the region. Origi- nally as many as seven river branches wound through this area, and the annual inundation of the Nile deposited
Geography of Ancient Egypt Cyprus LEBANON Mediterranean Sea PALESTINE Dead Sea Alexandria Red Sea LIBYA Tanis SIWA Piramesse OASIS LOWERLIBYAN DESERT EGYPT Memphis Giza SINAI Saqqara FAIYUM BAHRIYA Hierakleopolis OASIS EASTERN FARAFRA D E S E RT OASIS Beni Hasan Tell el-Amarna WESTERN DESERT Nile R. RED DAKHLA Abydos OASIS Thebes SEA KHARGA OASIS UPPER Aswan HILLS EGYPT 1st cataract SALIMA Semna NUBIAN OASIS 2nd cataract D E S E RT N 3rd cataract0 150 Miles Kerma Kurgus0 150 Kilometers Gebel 4th cataract Cultivated land Barkal Pastoral area Nile 5th cataract R. BAYUDA Napata D E S E RT
layers of effluvium and silt. There was continued mois- Egypt 117ture, gentle winds, and a vastness that encouraged agri-culture. by c. 50,000 B.C.E. The last periods of the Achulean cul- ture in Egypt were marked by the development of tech- Upper Egypt, the territory south of Itj-tawy to the first nological advances, including the use of flake tools.cataract of the Nile at Aswan, was called Ta-resu. It is pos-sible that the southern border of Egypt was originally The Asterian culture, associated with the Mousterian,north of Aswan, as the rulers of the First Dynasty added used bows and arrows and was widespread in Maghrebterritory to the nation. It is also possible that Upper Egypt and in the southern SAHARA. The Khormoussan culture,included some lands south of Aswan in predynastic times. named for the Khor Musa, near WADI HALFA, appeared c. 45,000 B.C.E. The Khormoussans were encamped in river The Nile Valley dominated Upper Egypt, which had valleys, following wild herds and abandoning the deserts.sandstone cliffs and massive outcroppings of granite.These cliffs marched alongside the Nile, sometimes set From c. 15,000 to 10,000 B.C.E., the Qadan phaseback from the shore and sometimes coming close to the moved to the Neolithic stage of development at ELKAB,river’s edge. There were river terraces, however, and areas Wadi Halfa, and in the FAIYUM. Other settlements startedof continued moisture, as the remains of trees and vegeta- at Deir el-BADARI, Deir Tasa, MERIMDA BENI SALAMA, andtion indicate that the region was once less arid. The origi- el-OMARI near HALWAN. These settlements had improvednal settlers of the region started their sites on the edges of weapons and used agricultural plots alongside the usualthe desert to secure themselves from the floods. hunting and fishing routines. Pottery and baskets appear, as well as the use of necropolises, or burial sites, and There were probably rudimentary forms of provincial funerary practices.government in Upper Egypt as well, specific multifamilygroups that had consolidated their holdings. Totems of The Naqada III, or Gerzean B, cultures were in placesome of these groups or provincial units are evident in in the Nile Valley alongside the Ma’adi, or so-calledthe unification documentation. The NOMES, or provinces, “Dynasty O,” cultures by 3500 B.C.E. Regional kingdomswere established originally by the rulers of the first had been established, and slate palettes were in use. Thedynasties or perhaps were in existence in earlier eras. It is sites from this evolutionary phase are at Kom Tennis, El-probable that Upper Egypt was advanced in that regard. Beda, Manshiya Abu OMARI, Tell el-Dab, Khufu, Nigm, Beni Anir, HELIOPOLIS, El-Qabta, ABU ROWASH, GIZA, HISTORICAL PERIODS ZAWIYET EL-ARYAN, SAQQARA, ABUSIR, TUREH, MEMPHIS, HALWAN, El-Ragagna, BEIT KHALLAF, DENDEREH, EL-TARIF,Because of its geographical position on the African conti- Nag el-Mamariya, WADI ABBAD, ELEPHANTINE Island, Tellnent, and because of its relative isolation, Egypt devel- el-Ginn, Tell el-Samara, Kom el-Kanatero, Tell el-Farain,oped in a unique fashion. The natural defenses of the Dimai, KOM MEDINET GHUROB, and DAMANHUR.cataracts of the Nile and the eastern and western desertskept the land comparatively free of foreign domination in The Neolithic cultures of the Badarian, Tassan, andthe early stages of growth and confederation. The Nile Faiyum A and B, 5540 B.C.E., were at Badari, Hemania,was the primary factor in this development, as the region Merimda Beni Salami, and in the Faiyum. These were fol-offered no other rivers and little rainfall. The annual lowed by the Faiyum A and B cultures, the Naqada I, orinundation provided a bountiful agricultural economy Amratian, including the Omari A or Halwan, and the Fas-and also prompted a remarkable sense of cooperation san cultures appeared at Naqada, with a phase at el-among the Egyptians. This spirit illuminated much of ’Amra. A dual ceramic development took place, with thetheir religious and political thinking and left an imprint use of theriomorphic vessels. Copper was being usedon their lives and on their future. along with mined gold and tin, discovered in the Eastern Desert. QUARRIES were started, and the flint was common. PREDYNASTIC PERIOD The first historical architectural forms appear in this age, and towns were planned and erected.This was the era in which hunters and gatherers aban-doned the heights and plateaus to enter the lush Valley of The main settlements of Naqada I (c. 3600 B.C.E.),the Nile, discovering safety there and a certain abundance also called the Amratian cultural evolution, were at ABY-that induced them to begin settlements. These first settle- DOS, ERMENT, ELKAB, Kom el-Amra, GEBELEIN, Khizan,ments were not uniform throughout Egypt, and a list of NAQADA, QUS, KOPTOS, Nag el-Goziriya, el-Mahaina, NagaPredynastic cultural sequences has been developed to el-Deir, Meraid, and Qaw Elkabir. In the same era settle-trace the development of cultural achievements in Upper ments were also in the Faiyum, and at el-Saff, HELIOPOLISand Lower Egypt. (now a suburb of modern Cairo), Dimai, Tureh, Wadi Digla, Giza, MA’ADI, and Kom Medinet Ghurob. Evolution and development took place in the NileValley as early as c. 120,000 B.C.E. The Achulean culture The Naqada II, or Gerzean, Period began c. 4000appeared in the region, extending their range until c. B.C.E., along with the Omari B culture. Settlements at el-90,000 B.C.E. Homo erectus gave way to Homo sapiens c. GERZE and elsewhere display ceramic changes in this100,000 B.C.E., and the Mousterian culture was evident development, with style, motifs, and the use of natural images emerging. Boats were in use, and standards were adopted as clan or regional totems. Palettes were
118 Egypt were composed of clay jars or baskets, buried up to the neck in the ground. The dead of the Merimda sequencefashioned out of schist, and funerary items were pro- were probably buried on the sites, but little evidence ofduced. Small slates were rising in the Nile Valley, and grave goods has been recovered.large and elaborate grave sites were developing. The HIER-AKONPOLIS necropolis heralded future royal burials. El-OMARI (3700–3400 B.C.E.) is a site between mod- ern Cairo and HALWAN. The pottery from this sequence The Naqada II, or Gerzean A, Period signals a turn- was red or black, unadorned, with some vases and someing point in Predynastic Egypt. One of the aspects of this lipped vessels discovered. Flake and blade tools werecultural event was contact with other nations beyond made, as well as millstones. Oval shelters were con-Egypt’s borders. Trade was conducted with the SINAI structed, with poles and woven mats, and the people ofregion and with southern Palestine. Cultural aspects also the El-Omari sites probably had granaries.included the rise of the nome families, the use of stonefigures, and the centralization of power. MA’ADI (3400–3000 B.C.E.), a site located to the northwest of the El-Omari sequence location, contained a Naqada II or Gerzean sites have been discovered at large area that was once occupied by the people of thisHierakonpolis, Naga el-Deir, el-Ahaiwah, THINIS, Naqada, sequence. They constructed oval huts and windbreaks,KARNAK (in Luxor), Qift, DEIR EL-GABRAWI, KOPTOS, with wooden posts placed in the ground to support red orZAWIYET EL-AMWAT, Sawada, Naziet el-Sheikh, Maiyama, wattle walls, sometimes covered with mud. Storage jarsGEBEL EL-SIDMANT, Kom Medinet Ghurob, ABUSIR, and and grindstones were discovered beside the houses.gerze. There were also two rectangular buildings there, with subterranean chambers, stairs, hearths, and roof poles. LOWER EGYPT Three cemeteries were in use during this sequence,Faiyum A (4400–3900 B.C.E.) was a cultural sequence as at Wadi Digla, although the remains of some unbornthat emerged on the northern and northeastern shores of children were found in the settlement. Animals were alsoan ancient lake in the Faiyum district, possibly seasonal buried there. The Ma’adi sequence people were morein habitation. The site was occupied by agriculturalists, sedentary in their lifestyle, probably involved in agricul-but it is evident that they depended upon fishing and ture and in some herding activities. A copper ax head andhunting and may have moved with the changes of the the remains of copper ore (the oldest dated find of thisyearly migrations of large mammals. Fish were caught nature in Egypt) were also discovered. There is some evi-with harpoons and beveled points, but the people of this dence of Naqada II influences from Upper Egypt, andsequence did not use fishhooks. there are some imported objects from the Palestinian cul- ture on the Mediterranean, probably the result of trade. Mat or reed huts were erected on the sheltered sidesof mounds beside fertile grounds. There were under- UPPER EGYPTground granaries, removed from the houses to higherground, no doubt to protect the stored materials from Badarian (4500–4000 B.C.E.) was one of the culturalflooding. Some evidence has been gathered at these sites groups living in the Nile region in the areas of el-Ham-to indicate that the people used sheep, goats, and possi- mamiya, el-Matmar, el-Mostagedda, and at the foot of thebly domesticated cattle. The granaries also showed cliffs at el-Badari. Some Badarian artifacts were also dis-remains of emmer wheat and a form of barley. covered at ERMENT, HIERANKOPOLIS, and in the WADI HAM- MAMAT. A semisedentary people, the Badarians lived in The stone tools used by the people of Faiyum A were tents made of skins, or in huts of reeds hung on poles.large, with notches and denticulates. Flints were set into They cultivated wheat and barley and collected fruits andwooden handles, and arrowheads were in use. Baskets herbs, using the castor bean for oil. The people of thiswere woven for the granaries and for the daily needs, and sequence wove cloth and used animal skins as furs and asa variety of rough linen was manufactured. Pottery in the leather. The bones of cattle, sheep, and goats were foundFaiyum A sites was made out of coarse clay, normally in on the sites, and domesticated and wild animals werethe form of flat dishes and bag-shaped vessels. Some were buried in the necropolis areas.plain and some had red slip. Weapons and tools included flint arrowheads, throw- The people of this era appear to have lived in micro- ing sticks, push planes, and sickle stones. These werebands, single and extended family groups, with chieftains found in the gravesites, discovered on the eastern side ofwho provided them with leadership. The sequence indi- the Nile between el-Matmar and el-Etmantieh, located oncates the beginning of communities in the north. Mer- the edge of the desert. The graves were oval or rectangu-imda (4300–3700 B.C.E.), a site on the western edge of lar and were roofed. Food offerings were placed in thethe Delta, covered a very vast territory with layers of cul- graves, and the corpses were covered with hides or reedtural debris that give indications of up to 600 years of matting. Rectangular stone palettes were part of the gravehabitation. The people of this cultural sequence lived in offerings, along with ivory and stone objects. The manu-pole-framed huts, with windbreaks, and some used semi- factured pottery of the Badarians demonstrates sophisti-subterranean residences, building the walls high enoughto stand above ground. Small, the habitations were laidout in rows, possibly part of a circular pattern. Granaries
cation and artistry, with semicircular bowls dominating Egypt 119the styles. Vessels used for daily life were smooth orrough brown. The quality pottery was thinner than any the Egyptians, was not always bountiful. It could be aother forms manufactured in predynastic times, combed raging source of destruction if allowed to surge uncon-and burnished before firing. Polished red or black, the trolled. Irrigation projects and diverting projects weremost unique type was a pottery painted red with a black necessary to tame the river and to provide water through-interior and a lip formed while the vessel was cooling. out the agricultural seasons. The river, its bounty, and the rich soil it deposited gave birth to a nation. Naqada I (AMRATIAN) (4000–3500 B.C.E.) was locatedfrom Deir Tasa to Nubia, including Hierakonpolis and Sometime in the late part of the predynastic era,Naqada, with a large concentration of sites evident attempts were made by leaders from Upper Egypt to con-between Naqada and Abydos. The people of this se- quer the northern territories. Upper Egypt probably wasquence erected oval huts (a type used in Naqada II as united by that time, but Lower Egypt’s political conditionwell), containing hearths, and that were wattled and is not known for certain. Men such as SCORPION anddaubed. There were no windows evident, but these could NARMER have been documented, but their individualhave been placed in the upper levels. Windbreaks and efforts and their successes have not been determined.cooking pots were also found. There was, however, a renaissance of the arts, a force that would come to flower in the Early Dynastic Period (also The tools of the people were bifacial flint knives with called the Archaic Period).cutting edges and rhombodial knives. Basalt vases werefound, along with mace heads, slate palettes, and ivory THE EARLY DYNASTIC PERIOD (ARCHAIC)carvings. Ritual figures, depicting animals and humans, 2920–2575 B.C.E.were carved out of ivory or molded in clay. A black-topped pottery gave way to red wares in this sequence, The era of the founding of the Egyptian state and thesome with white cross designs or scenes. Metal was very start of its ruling dynasties was dynamic and prolonged.rare. The First Dynasty, begun at Memphis by AHA (Menes), was marked by significant cultural achievements. He Naqada II (Gerzean) (3500–3000 B.C.E.) was a cul- cemented his claims to the throne by marrying a Mem-tural sequence that left sites from the Delta to the Nubian phite heiress and by instituting or reinforcing the previ-border, with most of the habitation centers located south ous modes of governmental and religious traditions thatof Abydos. This sequence is marked by the changes would become unique aspects of Egypt’s heritage.brought about in contacts with other peoples and other PAPYRUS, writing, and a CALENDAR were in use, and linearlands. The period also indicates growing institutions and measurements, mathematics, and ASTRONOMY were prac-traditions. ticed. A census, tax assessments, the reestablishment of boundaries after the yearly Nile inundations, and the Accelerated trade brought advances in the artistic development of new astronomical instruments moved theskills of the people of this era, and Palestinian influences nation to new heights. The rulers of the Early Dynasticare evident in the pottery, which began to include tilted Period raided Libya and the SINAI and began the exploita-spouts and handles. A light-colored pottery emerged in tion of natural resources so vital to Egypt. Some punitiveNaqada II, composed of clay and calcium carbonate. expeditions were conducted in Nubia, as well as theOriginally the vessels had red patterns, changing to annexation of land around Aswan.scenes of animals, boats, trees, and herds later on. It isprobable that such pottery was mass-produced at certain It cannot be verified that the first rulers of this periodsettlements for trading purposes. Copper was evident in accomplished the actual unification of Egypt. They ruledweapons and in jewelry, and the people of this sequence portions of the land and tried to gain control of theused gold foil and silver. Flint blades were sophisticated, nomes or provinces that were still independent. Regionsand beads and amulets were made out of metals and lapis such as the northeastern Delta remained outside of theirlazuli. domination for a long period, as did other territories. It is assumed that the reign of KHA’SEKHEMWY, the last king of Funerary pottery indicates advanced mortuary cults, the Second Dynasty (c. 2649 B.C.E), witnessed the cohe-and brick houses formed settlements. These small single- sion of the southern and northern regions, and the con-chambered residences had their own enclosed courtyards. federation of Upper and Lower Egypt was completed.A temple was erected at Hierakonpolis with battered Kha’sekhemwy also started a settlement at BUHEN inwalls. Graves erected in this period were also lined with Nubia. Religious texts permeated Egyptian society duringwooden planks and contained small niches for offerings. this period, and elaborate tomb complexes based uponSome were built with plastered walls, which were religious beliefs were constructed by the rulers, who alsopainted. built secondary tombs, called CENOTAPHS. Egypt was gov- erned firmly by these pharaohs, with the aid of nome offi- The cultural sequences discussed above were particu- cials and dedicated administrators.lar aspects of a growing civilization along the Nile,prompted to cooperate with one another by that great Art and architecture, especially the forms associatedwaterway. The Nile, the most vital factor in the lives of with mortuary rituals, showed an increased degree of
120 Egypt royal line was so ferocious in attempting to gain control of the nomes surrounding his capital that he earned ainnovation and competence. The first evidence of the use reputation for cruelty. This was also the period in whichof stone in large monuments dates to this period, and the the INSTRUCTIONS FOR MERIKARÉ and the advice of theconventions of Egyptian art developed at the same time. “ELOQUENT PEASANT” were written.Cities flourished, and temples were raised for the localcults and for the emerging national deities. The achieve- The INYOTEF line, contemporaries who ruled thements of the Early Dynastic Period culminated in the southern nomes in THEBES, began an assault on Herak-splendid mortuary complex erected for DJOSER (r. leopolis. The last ruler of the Tenth Dynasty lost his capi-2630–2611 B.C.E.) by IMHOTEP, the chancellor, or VIZIER, tal to Montuhotep II in 2040 B.C.E.of the pharaoh. THE MIDDLE KINGDOM PERIOD The Egyptians believed in material comforts and (2040–1640 B.C.E.)enjoyed amusements and pleasures, tempered by the ide-als of moderation, quietude, and a respect for the wisdom This new and vital historical period began with the fall ofof elders. While they were obedient to superiors, the Herakleopolis to Montuhotep II, an era of great artisticEgyptians firmly acknowledged an unprecedented aware- gains and stability in Egypt. A strong government fos-ness of human free will. This aspect of free will they tered a climate in which a great deal of creative activitytranslated into personal responsibility for one’s actions, took place. The greatest monument of this period was atsummarized in time by the concept of MA’AT. Sages such Thebes, on the western bank of the Nile, at a site calledas PTAH-HOTEP (2), who is reported as having lived in this DEIR EL-BAHRI. There Montuhotep II erected his vast mor-era, wrote didactic LITERATURE extolling the virtues to the tuary complex, a structure that would later influence thenation. architects of the New Kingdom (1550–1070 B.C.E.). THE OLD KINGDOM (2575–2134 B.C.E.) The Montuhotep royal line encouraged all forms of art and relied upon military prowess to establish newThe great pyramid builders of the Fourth Dynasty boundaries and new mining operations. The Mon-(2575–2465 B.C.E.) erected monuments, which rise from tuhoteps, as the Inyotefs before them, were fierce com-the sands of Giza as eternal testaments to the vigor and petitors on the battlefield. They campaigned in Nubia,dynamism of this age, and sent exploratory and punitive Libya, the Sinai, Palestine, and perhaps even visited Syriaexpeditions into Libya, Syria, and Nubia. A navy came on a punitive campaign. The Montuhoteps were followedinto use in this era and land-based forces were frequently by a royal line that was started by a usurper, AMENEMHETengaged. QUARRIES and mines were opened, and new I. Having served as a VIZIER and military commander forexpeditions ventured as far south as northern modern Egypt, Amenemhet took the throne and then sailed a fleetSudan. Mining operations and other activities for extract- of 40 galleys up and down the Nile to put down rebel-ing foreign natural resources demanded a military pres- lious nomes. He built his new capital at ITJ-TAWY, south ofence and a commitment of men and materials. By the GIZA and SAQQARA. He also established a “WALL OF THEclose of the Old Kingdom the defensive posture of the PRINCE,” a series of fortresses on Egypt’s eastern and west-Egyptian military was altered by General WENI (c. 2402 ern borders. Both Amenemhet I and the “Wall of theB.C.E.), who began aggressive campaigns using veteran Prince” were supposedly foretold by a sage named NEFEtroops and mercenaries. ROHU (Neferti), who was reported to have lived in the Fourth Dynasty and promised that a savior would appear The last two dynasties of this historical period were to help Egypt in a time of need.unable to resist the growing independence of theprovinces. The Seventh Dynasty was short-lived (having The Twelfth Dynasty pharaohs raided Syria andno real power), and the Eighth Dynasty could not main- Palestine and marched to the third cataract of the Nile totain its grip on the various nomes and territories that establish fortified posts. They sent expeditions to the Redwere rebelling against this last line of kings in an effort to Sea, using the overland route to the coast and the wayestablish political alliances. through the WADI TIMULAT and the BITTER LAKES. To stim- ulate the national economy, these rulers also began vast THE FIRST INTERMEDIATE PERIOD irrigation and hydraulic projects in the Faiyum to reclaim (2134–2040 B.C.E.) the lush fields there. The agricultural lands made avail- able by these systems revitalized Egyptian life.This was an age of turmoil and chaos that began with thecollapse of the Old Kingdom and ended with the military The rulers built vast pyramids at Itj-tawy and atcampaigns of MONTUHOTEP II (2061–2010 B.C.E.) of the DASHUR, including the multichambered LABYRINTH, whichEleventh Dynasty. Following the Seventh and Eighth was an administrative center. It was an age of culturalDynasties, the capital shifted to the south to HERAKLEOPO- and literary achievement on the Nile, prompted by theLIS, in the FAIYUM. This was the home of the rulers of the leadership of the royal family and revered by later Egyp-Ninth and Tenth Dynasties, (called KHETY by some and tians as the nation’s Golden Age. By 1799 B.C.E., however,Aktoy by others), and 18 rulers of this line are listed in the line had waned. AMENEMHET IV ruled for a decade,part or in whole in the TURIN CANON. The first of the
followed by SOBEKNEFERU, the first woman to appropriate Egypt 121all the royal names of a pharaoh. Her reign lasted onlyfour years, and the Thirteenth Dynasty came to power in In the beginning, when the Hyksos and their alliesa futile effort to retain a grip on the nation. This royal were entrenched in the eastern Delta and were construct-line was listed in the Turin Canon, which credited ing their capital at AVARIS, the Thebans maintained some-between 50 and 60 rulers to a period of 140 or more what cordial relations with them. The Hyksos sailed pastyears. They continued to conduct building projects and Thebes on their way to the lands below the cataracts ofgovernmental administration, but they were increasingly the Nile in order to trade there, and the Theban cattleharassed by the growing number of Asiatics in the north- barons grazed their herds in the Delta marshlands with-eastern Delta, and in time they collapsed or served as vas- out incident. The cordiality vanished after a time, how-sals to the new foreign regime. ever, and the Hyksos had to abandon all hopes of penetrating deep into Theban territories. They remained In XOIS, in the western Delta, another dynasty, the ensconced with their forces at CUSAE, unable to maintainFourteenth, contemporaries of the Thirteenth or the Fif- their dominance of more southerly lands.teenth Dynasties, maintained independence of a sort andpromulgated a long line of kings (76 according to Then APOPHIS (2) of Avaris sent an insulting messageMANETHO). Scarcely any evidence remains of this royal to TA’O II of Thebes, words recorded in the QUARREL OFline, but its rulers are mentioned in the Turin Canon. APOPHIS AND SEKENENRÉ TA’O II. The Thebans declared war on the Hyksos c. 1570 B.C.E., and Ta’o II mobilized his THE SECOND INTERMEDIATE PERIOD armies and struck at the Asiatic outposts. He died in bat- (1640–1550 B.C.E.) tle or as a result of an ambush, but his son, KAMOSE, took up the war with equal vigor.This was an era of struggle and confusion, marked by thepresence of the HYKSOS, the Asiatics who conquered the Kamose, the last king of the Seventeenth Dynasty,northeastern territories of Egypt. Manetho, the third cen- used the famed MEDJAY troops and other military strate-tury B.C.E. historian, stated that the Asiatics, whom he gies and was approaching the defenses of Avaris when hecalled the Hyksos, arrived in a whirlwind of devastation died. His brother, ’AHMOSE, the founder of the Eighteenthto conquer the land. The Hyksos did come to the Nile Dynasty and the New Kingdom, laid siege to the city andand did assume kingly roles, but their introduction into ran the Asiatics out of Egypt, pursuing them to Sharuhenthe land was gradual and dependent upon many factors. and then into Syria. Slavery had been introduced as an institution into The arts and architecture of Egypt waned during theEgypt during the Middle Kingdom, whose last rulers held Second Intermediate Period, although the tombs of thetheir power from Memphis or Thebes. While Egypt’s mili- nomarchs in the outlying provinces were adorned withtary powers declined, the clamor for slaves increased, vivacious scenes that reflected the continuity of life inespecially for the feudal and priestly estates of the Delta areas untouched by Egypt’s warring dynasties. The Sec-and the Faiyum. ond Intermediate Period did have one lasting effect, how- ever. Egypt was brought to the realization of the military The Asiatics, called the A’amu, Seteyu, or Hikau- and political realities of the age. The Thebans, watchingKhoswet (Manetho’s Hyksos), came willingly into Egypt the domination of the Asiatics in the northeast section ofas mercenary border guards, as prisoners, or as inden- the nation, resolved to oust them from the Nile and totured servants, because Egypt offered them opportunities. seal the borders once again.As their numbers increased, they began to insinuatethemselves into various positions of power. IPUWER’s THE NEW KINGDOM (1550–1070 B.C.E.)complaints about the presence of the “Desert,” a refer-ence to the Hyksos, in Egypt provides a cunning image of The era following the departure of the Asiatics, the Newthe changes taking place. The “Desert,” the coarse Kingdom became a period of empire, prestige, and mili-nomads, consolidated their gains and opened Egypt to tary prowess. The New Kingdom was actually a combina-more and more migrations from the Mediterranean tion of three separate historical periods: the beginning ofregion. the empire, the ’AMARNA era, and the Age of the Rames- sids. ’Ahmose destroyed Avaris and put down rebellions The Fifteenth Dynasty, ruling from AVARIS in the east- within Egypt and Nubia, and then he set about conduct-ern Delta, was the royal line of the Hyksos. These kings ing the affairs of state with a keen and energetic mind. Heruled from 1640 to 1532 B.C.E. A second group of Hyksos reduced the status of the hereditary princes and counts ofkings ruled contemporaneously as the Sixteenth Dynasty, the various nomes, thus putting an end to the petty rival-but exercised less political control and held limited terri- ries that had plagued the nation in the past.tory. Both Asiatic royal lines ruled at the same time as theSeventeenth Dynasty, the kings of Thebes, who main- He established the viceroyalty of Nubia and con-tained a tight grip on Upper Egypt. The Seventeenth ducted all other government affairs through a series ofDynasty is dated from c. 1640 to 1550 B.C.E. and was judges and governors, who were sworn to serve him andentirely Egyptian. the cause of his dynasty. This early part of the New King- dom was particularly graced by talented Egyptians who brought loyalty and dedication to their tasks as officials
122 Egypt military setbacks. After the brief reigns of Kings SMENKHARE’, TUT’ANKHAMUN, and AYA (2), Generalof the court. AMUN, the god of Thebes, honored by the HOREMHAB (r. 1319–1307 B.C.E.) came to the throne. HeMontuhoteps of the Eleventh Dynasty, became the worked to restore lost lands and to bring cohesion andsupreme deity of Egypt and the occupied territories. order to the government of the nation. His laws were sternCostly offerings and gifts were presented to the god at and effective, and he managed to lift Egypt to greatnessKARNAK and the LUXOR temples, which were expanded again. Horemhab died childless and left the throne to aduring this era. military companion in arms, RAMESSES I. AMENHOTEP I (r. 1525–1504 B.C.E.), the second king The Ramessid Period began in 1307 B.C.E., and lastedof the New Kingdom period, followed in his father’s foot- until 1070 B.C.E., with the Nineteenth and Twentiethsteps, but it was his successor, TUTHMOSIS I, who began Dynasties. Ramesses I did not rule more than a year, butthe empire in earnest. He fought against enemies in far- his son, SETI I (r. 1306–1290 B.C.E.), was a trained mili-flung lands and conquered territories all the way to the tary commander who was anxious to see the empire fullyEuphrates River, where he put up a STELA of victory to restored. He and his son, RAMESSES II (r. 1290–1224commemorate his success. His grandson, TUTHMOSIS III, B.C.E.), called the Great, took the field against Near East-would be one of the greatest warrior kings in Egypt’s his- ern powers, gaining territories and securing Egypt’story, called the “Napoleon of the Nile.” prominence. Ramesses II also endowed Egypt with a mul- titude of monuments honoring his reign. The kings fol- Tuthmosis III (r. 1479–1425 B.C.E.) was named as lowing Ramesses II were not as vigorous or talented,heir to the throne by his father, TUTHMOSIS II, but he was although MERENPTAH (r. 1224–1214 B.C.E.) stopped anunable to assume the throne because Queen HATSHEPSUT invasion of the SEA PEOPLES in the Delta. The Nineteenthusurped the titles and the role of pharaoh. She ruled Dynasty came to a close with the reign of the widow ofEgypt from 1473 to 1458 B.C.E., and her reign was a time Seti II, TWOSRET. She had served as regent for the youngof comparative peace and stability. It was also a period of ruler SIPTAH and had usurped the throne with the aid ofintense building in the northern and southern regions of BAY, her foreign-born counselor.Egypt. Hatshepsut remained powerful with the support ofthe priests of Amun and her able courtiers until SENEN- The Twentieth Dynasty began with SETHNAKHTE, whoMUT and NEFERU-RE’, her daughter, died. Then the forces started his royal line in 1196 B.C.E. RAMESSES III (r.of Tuthmosis III began to press for her abdication. She 1194–1163 B.C.E.), another military giant, managed todisappeared while Tuthmosis was on his first major mili- maintain the trappings of empire and restored Egypt’stary campaign at Ar-Megiddo. artistic and cultural traditions. Ramesses III was followed, however, by eight additional rulers named Ramesses, Tuthmosis III not only conquered vast territories but each one having little military or administrative compe-set in place an imperial system. He placed his own offi- tence. The Twentieth Dynasty and the New Kingdomcials in the palaces of vassal rulers and brought back the were destroyed when the powerful priests of Amunyoung nobles of other lands to be educated as Egyptians divided the nation and usurped the throne.so that they could return to rule in his name. Treaties,tributes, a standing army, a vast naval force, and garrisons The New Kingdom was a time of flowering, both mil-installed throughout the Mediterranean consolidated his itarily and artistically. Egypt received tribute from landsmilitary conquests. Tuthmosis’s son, AMENHOTEP II from the Sudan to the Euphrates, and vassal kings waited(1427–1401 B.C.E.), maintained the same firm hold on upon the pharaoh in his palace. The original capital ofthe territories and loved hand-to-hand combat and the New Kingdom was Thebes, but the Ramessids hadsports. His son, TUTHMOSIS IV, did not undertake many come from Avaris, the former Asiatic capital in the Delta,military campaigns, because the lands won by his ances- and returned there to build a splendid new city calledtors remained firmly in Egyptian hands. He is remem- PER-RAMESSES.bered for his restoration of the SPHINX at Giza. Thebes was a wondrous site, and the Greeks, coming AMENHOTEP III came to the throne in 1391 B.C.E., upon it centuries later, sang the praises of the ancientwhen Egypt’s empire was at its height. He was not particu- capital. Homer, in fact, spoke of its hundred gates and oflarly martial or attentive to his duties, but his commoner its eternal charms. Other magnificent sites, such as ABUwife, Queen TIYE (1), worked with talented officials to SIMBEL, MEDINET HABU, Abydos, Deir el-Bahri, and count-keep the government stable. Amenhotep III also cemented less shrines and temples up and down the Nile stand asties with other lands by marrying their royal princesses, reminders of the glories of this age.including one from Babylon. His son Amenhotep IV,called AKHENATEN (r. 1353–1335 B.C.E.), abandoned THIRD INTERMEDIATE PERIODThebes and the god Amun and initiated the ’AMARNA (1070–712 B.C.E.)period, a time of great artistic innovation and political dis-aster. He remained isolated in his new capital, where he After the fall of the New Kingdom, Egypt entered aworshiped the god ATEN, and the empire almost collapsed period of decline and foreign domination. This era wasaround him. When he died in 1335 B.C.E., Egypt had lost marked by the rise of the Amunite priests, who usurpedits imperial territories, and its allies had suffered severe
the power of the ruler even before the death of RAMESSES Egypt and the East 123XI (r. 1100–1070 B.C.E.). These priests acknowledged theTwenty-first Dynasty kings of TANIS in Lower Egypt and military campaigns, took control of Egypt, founding themarried into that royal family but ruled Upper Egypt city of ALEXANDRIA. At his death the nation became thefrom Thebes. The Libyans had also intervened in Egyp- property of PTOLEMY I SOTER (r. 304–284 B.C.E.), one oftian affairs and had come to hold certain territories, in his generals. For the next 250 years the Greeks success-time becoming the Twenty-second Dynasty. Military cam- fully ruled Egypt, imbuing the land with the Hellenic tra-paigns were conducted, especially by SHOSHENQ I (r. ditions in the capital but not affecting rural Nile areas. It945–924 B.C.E.) in Palestine, and trade was revived, was a time of economic and artistic prosperity, but by thebringing new prosperity. By the end of the eight century second century B.C.E., there was a marked decline. FamilyB.C.E., however, there were many kings in Egypt, each feuds and external forces took their toll, even though theholding a small area. A Twenty-fifth Dynasty king, Ptolemaic line remained in power. This royal house diedPIANKHI (r. 750–712 B.C.E.), set out from Nubia to subju- with CLEOPATRA VII (r. 51–30 B.C.E.) and her short-livedgate other rulers of Egypt and inspired other Nubians to corulers. Octavian (the future emperor AUGUSTUS) tookfollow him. control and began the period of Roman occupation, c. 30 B.C.E. Egypt became a prized possession of Rome, pro- LATE PERIOD (712–332 B.C.E.) tected by the Caesars.Starting in 712 B.C.E. with the reign of SHABAKA, this era Suggested Readings: Bowman, Alan K. Egypt After thewas one fraught with civil wars. The Nubians inhabited Pharaohs: 332 B.C.–A.D. 642 from Alexander to the Arabthe Nile Valley, eventually taking Memphis and making it Conquest. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996their capital. The Nubians did not actually dispossess Breasted, James Henry. A History of Egypt: From the Earli-local rulers, who were allowed to continue their rule as est Times to the Persian Conquest. New York: Simon andvassals. Throughout their tenure, however, the Nubians Schuster, 1999 David, A. Rosalie. Handbook to Life inbuilt massive structures and brought about a certain Ancient Egypt. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press,renaissance of the arts. Another priest of Amun, 1999 Hornung, Erik, and David Lorton, transl. History ofMENTUEMHAT, rose up in Thebes and controlled much of Ancient Egypt: An Introduction. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Uni-Upper Egypt. In 671 B.C.E. the ASSYRIANS took Memphis, versity Press, 1999 Johnson, Paul. The Civilization ofdestroying the Nubian hold, and forced all of Egypt to Ancient Egypt. New York: Harper Collins, 1999 Midant-pay tribute. Egypt, no longer isolated, was thus engaged Reynes, Beatrix, and Ian Shaw, transl. The Prehistory ofin the struggles of the Mediterranean. Egypt: From the First Egyptians to the First Pharaohs. Lon- don: Blackwell, 1999 Mysliwiec, Karol, and David Lor- Greek mercenaries, used by the Egyptian rulers in ton, transl. The Twilight of Ancient Egypt: 1st Millenniumtheir unification struggles, had set up their own commu- B.C. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2000 Silver-nities on the Nile and by the fourth century B.C.E. had man, David P., ed. Ancient Egypt. Oxford, U.K.: Oxfordinfluenced much of the nation through their skill in trade University Press, 1997 Shaw, Ian, ed. The Oxford Historyand warfare. Reunification was eventually accomplished of Ancient Egypt. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press,by a new royal line, recorded as the Twenty-sixth Dynasty 2000 Wilkinson, Toby A. H. Early Dynastic Egypt. New(664–525 B.C.E.), and Egypt prospered under a central York: Routledge, 1999.authority. The era of prosperity was not long lived, how-ever. In 567 B.C.E. the Babylonians attempted an invasion. Egypt and the East The relationship between the NileThe Egyptians defeated the Babylonians, only to face a Valley and Mediterranean states was complex and subjectgrowing Persian menace. The Persians attacked during to many historical factors, including dynastic vitality andthe reign of PSAMMETICHUS III (526–525 B.C.E.), success- foreign leadership. From the Early Dynastic Periodfully defeating the armies of Egypt. A line of Persians (2920–2575 B.C.E.), Egypt guarded its borders, especiallyruled Egypt until 404 B.C.E., when AMYRTAIOS of SAIS freed those that faced eastward, as Egyptians had ventured intothe Delta of the foreigners. Amyrtaios was listed as the the SINAI and opened copper and turquoise mines in thatsole ruler of the Twenty-eighth Dynasty. The Twenty- area, repulsing the Asiatics and staking their own claims.ninth and Thirtieth Dynasties presided over troubled The Egyptians maintained camps and fortresses in thetimes until 343 B.C.E., when the Persians once again area to protect this valuable fount of natural resources. Ingained control of the land. This decade-long period of the Old Kingdom (2575–2134 B.C.E.), the Egyptians ledoccupation, listed in historical accounts as the Thirty- punitive raids against their rebellious eastern vassals andfirst Dynasty, was the Second Persian Period. defended their borders furiously. In the Sixth Dynasty (2323–2150 B.C.E.), the leadership of General WENI ush- GRECO-PTOLEMAIC PERIOD ered in a new period of Egyptian military expansion, and (332–30 B.C.E.) the people of southern Palestine began to look toward the Nile uneasily. Weni and his Nubian mercenaries andIn 332 B.C.E., ALEXANDER III THE GREAT, having defeatedthe Persian forces of Darius III Codoman in a series of
124 Egypt and the East Egyptian Asiatic Empire under Tuthmosis III, 1450 B.C.E. KINGDOM OF THE HITTITES Mycenae ASIA CaspianMessenia Sea Kythera Carchemish M I AMORITES Washukanni N O Nineveh Crete Capital of the R (Keftiu) kingdom of Mitanni. Assur Mediterranean Cyprus Kadesh Destroyed by the Kingdom of Assyria. Gained power Sea Hittites, c. 1330 B.CCE.E. with the decline of Mitanni in Tyre the 14th century B.C.E. Megiddo phrates R. Tigris R. Eu CANAAN IR’I Babylon B Major power in the Ur Amarna period E A Memphis H K G Persian Y Gulf Thebes ARABIA Elephantine Sea Red N T0 200 Miles0 200 Kilometers P Nile R. Buhen LOWER NUBIA UPPER Ancient coastline NUBIA Egyptian Asiatic Empireconscripts raided the lands and the natural resources of Eighteenth Dynasty changed that condition abruptly.much of southern Palestine. ’AHMOSE (r. 1550–1525 B.C.E.) chased the Asiatics from Egypt and sealed its borders, reestablishing the series of During the First Intermediate Period (2134–2040 fortresses called the WALL OF THE PRINCE erected duringB.C.E.), Egyptians held onto limited powers until Middle the Middle Kingdom period.Kingdom (2040–1640 B.C.E.) pharaohs secured Egypt’sborders again and established a firm rule. The Mon- AMENHOTEP I (r. 1525–1504 B.C.E.) maintained thistuhoteps, Amenemhets, and Senwosrets were warrior firm rule, but it was his successor, TUTHMOSIS I (r.pharaohs who conquered entire city-states, establishing 1504–1492 B.C.E.), who defeated the MITANNIS, oncevassals and trade partners while controlling the people of Egypt’s principal Asiatic enemies, and marched to theNubia. This relationship with other states lasted until the Euphrates River with a large army. The MitannisSecond Intermediate Period (1640–1550 B.C.E.), at which remained firm allies of Egypt from that time onward, andtime vast hordes of Asiatics entered the Nile region with many treaties and pacts maintained the partitioning ofease. In this era it appears as if no border existed on the vast territories between them. Mitanni princesses alsoeastern side of the nation, and many peoples in southern entered Egypt as wives of the pharaohs. The Mitanni peo-Palestine viewed themselves as Egyptians and lived under ple flowered as an empire, having started their invasionthe rule of the HYKSOS kings of the eastern Delta. The of neighboring lands during Tuthmosis I’s era. In time
they controlled city-states and kingdoms from the Zagros Egypt and the East 125Mountains to Lake Van and even to Assur, proving to beloyal allies of Egypt. They suffered during the ’AMARNA The son of Hittite king SUPPILULIUMAS I was offeredPeriod (1353–1335 B.C.E.), when AKHENATEN failed to the Egyptian throne by TUT’ANKHAMUN’s young widow,meet the challenge of the emerging HITTITES and their ANKHESENAMON, c. 1323 B.C.E. Prince ZANNANZA, how-cohorts and the roving bands of barbarians who were ever, was slain as he approached Egypt’s border.migrating throughout the Mediterranean region. The HOREMHAB (c. 1319–1307 B.C.E.) who became the lastRamessids, coming to power later, could not protect the pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty, was probably the oneMitannis either. By that time the Mitanni kingdom had who ordered the death of the Hittite prince, but when healready been subjugated by the warriors of the hittites. came to power he was able to arrange a truce between theWhen TUTHMOSIS III came to the throne in 1479 B.C.E., two nations. He needed to maintain such a pact in orderthe Mitannis were still in power, and the Hittites were to restore Egypt’s internal affairs, greatly deteriorated byconsumed by their own internal problems and by wars Akhenaten’s reign.with their immediate neighbors. The first Ramessid kings, all military veterans, were He began campaigns in southern Palestine and in the anxious to restore the empire again, and they began tocity-states on the Mediterranean Coast, eventually reach- assault Egypt’s former provinces. They watched the Hit-ing the Euphrates. Palestine and the Sinai had been under tites begin their own attacks on new territories withEgypt’s control since Tuthmosis I. A confederation of growing annoyance. The Hittites had conducted a greatstates threatened by Egypt, or in the process of seeking Syrian campaign, defeating the Mitanni king and attack-total independence, banded under the leadership of the ing that empire’s vassal states as a result. The city-state ofking of KADESH. Tuthmosis III met them at AR-MEGIDDO, Amurru also rose to prominence as the Amurrian kingnear Mount Carmel, and laid siege. He then attacked and his heir conducted diplomatic maneuvers and state-Phoenicia (modern Lebanon) and fortified the coastal craft skillfully as agents of the Hatti. Many loyal Egyptiancities there, placing them all under Egyptian control. states fell to them.Egypt, as a result, received gifts and tribute from Babylon,Assyria, CYPRUS, Crete, and all of the small city-states of The Hittites next assaulted the Hurrian region, tak-the Mediterranean region. Even the Hittites were anxious ing the city of CARCHEMISH. The Hurrians had come intoto send offerings and diplomats to the Egyptian court at this territory from an unknown land, bringing skills inTHEBES. war, horses, and chariot attacks. In time the Egyptians were the beneficiaries of the Hurrian skills, as many of Tuthmosis III’s son, AMENHOTEP II (r. 1427–1401 them entered the Nile Valley to conduct training sessionsB.C.E.) conducted ruthless campaigns in Syria and gov- and programs.erned the provinces with a firm hand. His heir, TUTHMO-SIS IV (r. 1401–1391 B.C.E.), did not have to exert himself, When the Hittites began to invade Egyptian territo-because the tributary nations were not anxious to pro- ries, SETI I (r. 1306–1290 B.C.E.) started a counteroffen-voke another Egyptian invasion. AMENHOTEP III (r. sive. He easily overcame Palestine and Lebanon with his1391–1353 B.C.E.) came to power in an era of Egyptian vast and skilled army. He then advanced on Kadesh, asupremacy, and he too did not have difficulty maintaining Hittite ally, and consolidated his victories by reaching anthe wealth or status of the nation. His son, Akhenaten (r. agreement with the Hittites over the division of lands and1353–1335 B.C.E.), however, lost control of many territo- spoils. The Hatti and the Egyptians thus shared most ofries, ignoring the pleas of his vassal kings and allies when the Near East with Egypt, maintaining the whole ofthey were threatened by hostile forces instigated by the Palestine and the Syrian coastal regions to the LitaniHittites. River. The Hittites had arrived at the city of Hattus some- Seti’s son, RAMESSES II, faced a reinvigorated Hittitetime c. 1400 B.C.E. and renamed it Hattusa. This capital nation, however, one that was not eager to allow Egypt tobecame a sophisticated metropolis in time, with vast for- keep its fabled domain. The battles displayed ontified walls complete with stone lions and a sphinx gate. Ramesses II’s war memorials and on temple walls, espe-The Hittites conquered vast regions of Asia Minor and cially the celebrated “Poem” of PENTAUR, depict the clashSyria. They worshiped a storm god and conducted between the Hittites and the Egyptians. Ramesses II andadministrative, legislative, and legal affairs ably. They his army were caught in a cleverly devised ambush, butworked silver, gold, and electrum skillfully, maintained he led his troops out of the trap and managed an effectivethree separate languages within their main territories, delaying effort until reinforcements arrived. This, the Bat-kept vast records, and protected the individual rights of tle of KADESH, resulting in heavy losses on both sides, ledtheir own citizens. Their legal code, like the Hammurabic to the HITTITE ALLIANCE.code before it, was harsh but just. The Hittites were war-riors, but they were also capable of statecraft and diplo- From that point on, the Hittites and the Egyptiansmacy. maintained cordial relations. Both were suffering from the changing arenas of power in the world, and both were experiencing internal problems. It is significant that the successors of Ramesses II fought against invasions of Egypt as the Hittites faced attacks from enemies of their
126 Egyptian Empire Throughout the period, the Ptolemaic rulers aligned themselves with many Greek city-states and conductedown. The SEA PEOPLES, the SHERDEN PIRATES, and others wars over Hellenic affairs. In 30 B.C.E., Egypt became awere challenging the might and will of these great holding of the Roman Empire.empires. Men like WENAMUN, traveling in the last stagesof Egyptian decline, faced hostility and contempt in the Egyptian Empire During the Eighteenth and Nine-very regions once firmly within the Egyptian camp. teenth Dynasties (1550–1307 B.C.E., 1307–1196 B.C.E.), when the empire was at its zenith, Egypt ruled over an With the decline and fall of the Ramessid line in estimated 400,000 square miles of the Middle East, from1070 B.C.E., the imperial designs of Egypt faded. The Khartoum in modern Sudan to CARCHEMISH on theinternal rivalries between Thebes and the Delta rulers Euphrates River and westward to the SIWA OASIS. By thefactionalized the military and political power of the Twentieth Dynasty (1196–1070 B.C.E.), however, thenation. City-states arose, and the nomarchs once again empire was failing as new and vigorous nations chal-fortified their holdings. TANIS, SAIS, BUBASTIS, and THEBES lenged Egypt’s domain.became centers of power, but little effort was made tohold on to the imperial territories, and Egypt settled for The rulers of the Eighteenth Dynasty (1550–1307trade pacts and cordial relations with surrounding lands. B.C.E.), inspired by TUTHMOSIS I (r. 1504–1492 B.C.E.), began the conquest and modernized the military machine When the Libyans came to power in 945 B.C.E., how- of Egypt. KAMOSE (r. 1555–1550 B.C.E.) had continued hisever, SHOSHENQ I made successful campaigns in Palestine father’s war on the HYKSOS invaders of the Delta with aand amassed vassal states. Others in that dynasty were standing army. In the earlier times, the various nomes ofunable to sustain the momentum, however, and Egypt the nation had answered the call of their pharaohs anddid not affect the Near East but stood vulnerable and par- had gathered small armies to join in military campaigns.titioned by local clans. The Twenty-third Dynasty (c. Such armies, however, marched behind nomarchs and828–712 B.C.E.) and the nation witnessed the disintegra- clan totems and disbanded when the crises were over.tion. The Twenty-fourth Dynasty (724–712 B.C.E.), a con- Kamose and his successor, ’AHMOSE (r. 1550–1525 B.C.E.),temporary line of rulers, joined with their counterparts in had professional soldiers, a corps of trained officers, andfacing the Nubian army, led into the various cities of an army composed of regular troops. Instantly, EgyptEgypt by PIANKHI (r. 750–712 B.C.E.). became a first-class military power with innovative weapons and various units that terrorized neighboring Egypt was entering the historical era called the Late states. From the start, Egypt’s foreign policy was based onPeriod (712–332 B.C.E.), a time of conquest by newly a firm control of Palestine, NUBIA, and Syria.emerging groups in the region. The ASSYRIANS, expandingand taking older imperial territories, arrived in Egypt in Pharaoh normally led campaigns in the field, withthe reign of TAHARQA (690–664 B.C.E.), led by ESSARHAD- the Tuthmossids and the Ramessids rising to the occasionDON. The Assyrian conquest of Egypt was short, but and accepting each challenge. If a pharaoh did commitother rising powers recognized that the Nile Valley was himself to participation in battle, he could rely on trustednow vulnerable. generals, veterans of previous campaigns. The fielded army was organized into divisions, each consisting of The presence of large numbers of Greeks in Egypt charioteers and infantry and numbering around 5,000added to the relationship of the Nile Valley and the Near men or more.East. The Greeks had NAKROTIS, a city in the Delta, andwere firmly entrenched in Egypt by the Twenty-sixth The chaotic conditions of the Middle East at thisDynasty (664–525 B.C.E.). NECHO I, PSAMMETICHUS I, time aided the single-minded Egyptians in their quest forAPRIES, and AMASIS, all rulers of this line, used other city- power. The city of Babylon was in the hands of the Kas-states and mercenaries to aid their own causes. They sites, the warrior clans from the eastern highlands. To thejoined confederacies and alliances to keep the Assyrians, north, the MITANNI Empire stretched across Iraq and SyriaPersians, and other military powers at bay. as far as the Euphrates (c. 1500–1370 B.C.E.). The Mitan- nis were Indo-European invaders who came in the wave In 525 B.C.E., however, CAMBYSES, the Persian king, of the migrating peoples from the Caucasus. The Mitan-marched into Egypt and began a period of occupation nis were enemies of Egypt and Egypt’s allies until accom-that would last until 404 B.C.E. The Persians faced only modations were reached.sporadic resistance during this period. In 404 B.C.E.,AMYRTAIOS ruled as the lone member of the Twenty-eighth The HITTITES, Indo-Europeans who crossed the Tau-Dynasty (404–393 B.C.E.), and the Twenty-ninth Dynasty rus Mountains to found the city of Hatti, were beginning(393–380 B.C.E.) arose as another native Egyptian royal their migratory conquests. In time they would destroy theline. Mitanni and then become an uneasy neighbor of Egypt. The Eighteenth Dynasty cleared the Nile Valley of the The Persians returned in 343 B.C.E. and ruled in Hyksos and started the era of the greatest imperialEgypt until DARIUS III CODOMAN (335–332 B.C.E.) wasdefeated by ALEXANDER III THE GREAT. Egypt then becamepart of Alexander’s empire, and PTOLEMY I SOTER (r.304–284 B.C.E.) claimed the land and started the Ptole-maic Period that lasted until the suicide of CLEOPATRA VII.
achievements. The political and military gains made dur- Egyptian natural resources 127ing the reigns of these pharaohs were never equaled. regions provided a vast array of metals, gems, and stones The Nubians south of the first cataract had over the centuries. Nearby lands, easily controlled byresponded to the Hyksos’ offer of alliance and had threat- Egyptian forces, especially in the period of the empire,ened Upper Egypt. ’Ahmose (r. 1550–1525 B.C.E.) sub- held even greater resources, all of which were systemati-dued Nubia and maintained new defenses along the Nile, cally mined or quarried by the various dynasties. Theserefurbishing the FORTRESSES started centuries before. resources included:These fortresses were sustained by his successors, andnew bastions were added. With the expulsion of the Hyk- Agate a variety of chalcedony (silicon dioxide), col-sos and the subjugation of NUBIA, the Egyptians devel- ored in layers of red or brown, separated by grad-oped a consciousness of the nation’s destiny as the uated shades of white to gray. Agate was plentifulgreatest land on earth. The centuries of priests and sages in Egypt from the earliest eras. It was called ka orhad assured the Egyptians of such a destiny, and now the hedj and was found in the deserts with jasper.conquests were establishing such a future as a reality. Some agate was brought from PUNT and NUBIA (modern Sudan). Tuthmosis I, the third ruler of the EighteenthDynasty, carved Egypt’s empire out of the Near East, con- Alabaster a lustrous white or cream colored calcitequering Mediterranean lands all the way to the Euphrates (calcium carbonate), called shés by the Egyptians.River. His grandson, TUTHMOSIS III (r. 1479–1425 B.C.E.), Alabaster was quarried at HATNUB and at othercalled “the Napoleon of Egypt,” was the actual architect eastern Nile sites. The stone was used in jewelryof the empire. He recruited retaliatory military units and making and in the construction of sarcophagi inestablished garrisons and administrative policies that tombs.kept other potential powers away from Egypt’s holdingsand vassal states. Amethyst a translucent quartz (silicon dioxide) that is found in various shades of violet. Called hes- AKHENATEN (r. 1353–1335 B.C.E.) imperiled the men, the stone was quarried at Wadi el-Hudi nearempire, as the ’Amarna Period correspondence illustrates. ASWAN in the Middle Kingdom Period (2040–1640HOREMHAB (r. 1319–1307 B.C.E.), however, began the B.C.E.) and at a site northwest of ABU SIMBEL.restoration and then named RAMESSES I (r. 1307–1306B.C.E.) as his heir. Ramesses I’s son, SETI I (r. 1306–1290 Beryl a translucent, transparent yellow-green stoneB.C.E.), a trained general, and RAMESSES II (r. 1290– formed by aluminum-beryllium silicate. Called1224 B.C.E.), called the Great, as well as MERENPTAH (r. wadj en bakh, the “green stone of the east,” beryl1224–1214 B.C.E.), all maintained the empire, stretching was brought from the coast of the Red Sea duringfor a long time from Khartoum in modern Sudan to the the Late Period.Euphrates River. As the SEA PEOPLES destroyed theHittites and other cultures, Egypt remained secure. The Carnelian a translucent form of chalcedony that waslast imperial pharaoh was RAMESSES III (r. 1194–1163 available in colors from red-brown to orange. TheB.C.E.) of the Twentieth Dynasty. After his death, the stone was mined in the eastern and Nubian desertRamessid line collapsed slowly, and Egypt faced internal and was called herset. Carnelian was highly prizeddivisions and the growing menace of merging military as rare and valuable and was used for heads,powers. amulets, and inlays. In the Third Intermediate Period, SHOSHENQ I (r. Chalcedony a translucent bluish white type of quartz945–924 B.C.E.) conquered parts of Palestine once again, (silicon dioxide) called herset hedji. Chalcedonybut these city-states broke free or were overcome by other was mined in the eastern desert, the BAHARIAempires. Egypt was invaded by the Syrians, Nubians, Per- OASIS, and the FAIYUM. Some chalcedony was alsosians, and then by ALEXANDER [III] THE GREAT. The Ptole- found in Nubia and in the SINAI.maic Period (304–30 B.C.E.) that followed ushered in anew imperial period, but these gains were part of the Copper a metal mined in the Wadi Maghara and ingrand Hellenic scheme and did not provide the nation the Serabit el-Khadim of the Sinai region. Calledwith a true empire carved out by Egypt’s armies. The hemt, copper was also found in meteorites andRomans put an end to Egypt as an independent nation in was then called baa en pet.30 B.C.E. Diorite a hard igneous rock, speckled black or white.Egyptian language See LANGUAGE. Found in ASWAN quarries, diorite was called mentet and was highly prized.Egyptian natural resources The natural materialsavailable to Egyptians in the Nile Valley and surrounding Electrum a metal popular in the New Kingdom Period (1550–1070 B.C.E.) although used in ear- lier times. Electrum was a naturally occurring combination of gold and silver. It was fashioned into the war helmets of the pharaohs. It was called tjam (tchem), or white gold, by the Egyptians the Greeks called it electrum. The metal was highly prized, particularly because silver was scarce in
128 Egyptian natural resourcesSkilled metal workers displayed on a painted wall using the rich metals exploited in various mines, part of Egypt’s rich naturalresources. (Hulton Archive.) Egypt. Electrum was mined in Nubia and was also Garnet was called hemaget by the Egyptians and used to plate obelisks. was used from the Badarian Period (c. 5500 B.C.E.)Faience a decorative material fashioned out of fired through the New Kingdom Period. quartz paste with a glazed surface. The crushed Gold the favorite metal of the Egyptians, who quartz (silicon dioxide), mined at Aswan or in started mining the substance as early as the Nubia, was coated either blue or green. A substi- First Dynasty (2920–2770 B.C.E.). Gold was tute for turquoise, faience was used for many dec- mined in the eastern deserts, especially at WADI orative objects. ABBAD near EDFU, and the Nubian (modernFeldspar an orange semiprecious stone now called Sudanese) sites were the main sources. In later “Amazon Stone.” When feldspar was a true green eras, other nations sent gold to Egypt as tribute. in color it was called neshmet. It was mined in the Gold was called nub or nub nefer when of the desert near the Red Sea or in the Libyan desert ter- highest grade and tcham (tjam) when in the form ritories. of electrum.Garnet a translucent iron, or a silicate stone, mined Hematite an iron oxide that was opaque black or near the Aswan area and in some desert regions. grayish black. The Egyptians called it bia and
Natural Resources of Ancient Egypt copper LEBANON Mediterranean Sea Cyprus wood PALESTINE Dead Sea Alexandria iron LIBYA Tanis natron Piramesse LOWER natron Cairo EGYPT Giza quartzite limestone SINAI Memphis calcite copper FAIYUM Saqqara SIWA BAHRIYA copper copper OASIS OASIS Hierakleopolis malachiteLIBYAN DESERT turquoise EASTERN D E S E RT Beni Hasan copper limestone Tell el-Amarna limestone FARAFRA dolerite OASIS calcite porphyry WESTERN DESERT (alabaster) granite Nile jasper calcareous Abydos R. pottery clay Red Sea limestone granite RED copper DAKHLA limestone Thebes SEA OASIS KHARGA natron OASIS gold iron copper UPPER diorite HILLS EGYPT quartzite Aswan steatite 1st cataract diorite copper malachite gold Semna goldN SALIMA 2nd cataract NUBIAN OASIS gold gold D E S E RT0 150 Miles 3rd cataract0 150 Kilometers Kerma gold Kurgus Cultivated land Gebel 4th cataract gold Barkal Pastoral area Conjectural Nile 5th cataract pastoral area gold R. BAYUDA gold Resources Napata D E S E RT iron
The selected list of mummies has an important role on the on-going debate of identifications. Some other mummies from the Hawass et al. ( 2010 ) article are too distant to be of real importance for the connection with Tutankhamun (e.g., KV 60 A as purported Queen Hatshepsut). Few of the mummies covered here were found in situ as an original burial. For the royal families they are these three: King Tutankhamun found in KV 62 (still in situ), and the parents-in-law of King Amenhotep III, Yuya and his wife Thuya in KV 46 (Davis, 1907 Carter, 2010 ), whose mummies are now in the Egyptian National Museum in Cairo: Yuya (Egypt. Mus., Cairo CG 51190) and Thuya (Egypt. Mus., Cairo CG 51191). Their identity is not disputed (Gabolde, 2013a ). The presented study focus on mummies connected with recent genetic studies and exclude unsolved cases, such as the identification of mummy KV 60 A as Queen Hatshepsut (Hawass, 2006, 2007 Quilici, 2007 Thimes, 2008 Graefe, 2011 ). Purported diseases of Akhenaton and the many causes of death of Tutankhamun do not help in identification and were also excluded (Rühli and Ikram, 2014 ).
The following mummies were used in the meta-analysis: Table 1.
|Mummy Invent. No||Find location||Present location||Reference|
|Mummy CG 61066||DB 320||Egypt. Mus., Cairo||Smith, 1912|
|Mummy CG 61068||DB 320||Egypt. Mus., Cairo||Smith, 1912|
|Mummy CG 61069||KV 35 in the sarcophagus||Egypt. Mus., Cairo||Smith, 1912|
|Mummy CG 61073||KV 35 room Jb||Egypt. Mus., Cairo||Smith, 1912|
|Mummy CG 61074||KV 35 room Jb||Egypt. Mus., Cairo||Smith, 1912|
|Mummy CG 51190||KV 46||Egypt. Mus., Cairo||Davis, 1910|
|Mummy CG 51191||KV 46||Egypt. Mus., Cairo||Davis, 1910|
|Mummy CG 61075||KV 55||Egypt. Mus., Cairo||Smith, 1912 Reeves, 2002|
|Mummy CG 61070||KV 35 room Jc||Egypt. Mus., Cairo||Smith, 1912 Fletcher, 2004|
|Mummy CG 61072||KV 35 room Jc||Egypt. Mus., Cairo||Smith, 1912 Fletcher, 2004|
|Mummy KV 62||KV 62||In situ, KV 62||Derry, 1925 Harrison, 1968 Hawass et al., 2007, 2010|
Also, some unidentified remains from unconfirmed burial situations (original or secondary) are used: Table 2.
|Mummy Invent. No||Finding location||Actual location||Reference|
|Mummy KV 21 A||KV 21||In situ||Hawass et al., 2010|
|Mummy KV 21 B||KV 21||In situ||Hawass et al., 2010|
|Mummy remains WV 23 (West Valley, Luxor)||WV 23||unknown||Schaden, 1984|
The Golden Shrine of Queen Tiye: Reburial of a Rebel Ruler and His Mother - Part II - History
Nefertiti (ca. 1370 BC - ca. 1330 BC) was the Great Royal Wife (chief consort) of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten. Their story is best read on his file. Nefertiti and her husband were known for a religious revolution, in which they worshiped one god only, Aten, or the sun disc.
The exact dates of when Nefertiti was married to Akhenaten and later promoted to his Queen are uncertain. However, the couple had six known daughters.
Her name roughly translates to "the beautiful one is come". She also shares her name with a type of elongated gold bead that she was often portrayed as wearing, known as "nefer" beads. Famed throughout the ancient world for her outstanding beauty, Nefertiti remains the one of the most well known Queen of Egypt. Though Akhenaten had several wives, Queen Nefertiti was his chief wife.
She was made famous by her painted limestone bust pictured above, now in Berlin's Egyptian Museum, shown to the right. The bust, seen from two different angles, is indeed, the most famous depiction of Queen Nefertiti. Found in the workshop of the famed sculptor Thutmose, the bust is believed to be a sculptor's model. The technique which begins with a carved piece of limestone, requires the stone core to be first plastered and then richly painted. Flesh tones on the face give the bust life.
Her full lips are enhanced by a bold red. Although the crystal inlay is missing from her left eye, both eyelids and brows are outlined in black. Her graceful elongated neck balances the tall, flat-top crown which adorns her sleek head. The vibrant colors of the her necklace and crown contrast the yellow-brown of her smooth skin. While everything is sculpted to perfection, the one flaw of the piece is a broken left ear. Because this remarkable sculpture is still in existence, it is no wonder why Nefertiti remains 'The Most Beautiful Woman in the World.'
Long-Hidden 3D Scan of Ancient Egyptian Nefertiti Bust Finally Revealed Live Science - November 25, 2019
In Berlin, the state-funded Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection has a high-quality, full-color 3D scan of the most iconic portrait sculpture ever produced, the 3,364-year-old Bust of Nefertiti. It has held this artifact since 1920, just a few years after its discovery in Amarna, Egypt Egypt has been demanding its repatriation ever since it first went on display. The bust is one of the most copied works of ancient Egyptian art, and has become a cultural symbol of Berlin. For reasons the museum has difficulty explaining, this scan too is off-limits to the public.Rather, it was off-limits. I was able to obtain it after a 3-year-long freedom of information effort directed at the organization that oversees the museum. Read more
Nefertiti's origins are confusing. It has been suggested to me that Tiye was also her mother. Another suggestion is that Nefertiti was Akhenaten's cousin. Her wet nurse was the wife of the vizier Ay, who could have been Tiy's brother. Ay sometimes called himself "the God's father," suggesting that he might have been Akhenaten's father-in-law. However Ay never specifically refers to himself as the father of Nefertiti, although there are references that Nefertiti's sister, Mutnojme, is featured prominently in the decorations of the tomb of Ay. We may never know the truth of this bloodline.
Nefertiti first appears in scenes in Thebes. In the damaged tomb (TT188) of the royal butler Parennefer the new king Amenhotep IV is accompanied by a royal woman, and this lady is thought to be an early depiction of Nefertiti. The king and queen are shown worshiping the Aten. In the tomb of the vizier Ramose Nefertiti is shown standing behind Amenhotep IV in the Window of Appearance during the reward ceremony for the vizier.
During the early years in Thebes Akhenaten (still known as Amenhotep IV) had several temples erected at Karnak. One of the structures, the Mansion of the Benben (hwt-ben-ben), was dedicated to Nefertiti. She is depicted with her daughter Meritaten and in some scenes the princess Meketaten participates in the scenes as well. In scenes found on the talatat Nefertiti appears almost twice as often as her husband. She is shown appearing behind her husband the Pharaoh in offering scenes in the role of the queen supporting her husband, but she is also depicted in scenes that would have normally been the prerogative of the king. She is shown smiting the enemy, and captive enemies decorate her throne.
In the fourth year of his reign Amenhotep IV decided to move the capital to Akhetaten (modern Amarna). In his fifth year, Amenhotep IV officially changed his name to Akhenaten, and Nefertiti was henceforth known as Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti. The name change was a sign of the ever-increasing importance of the cult of the Aten. It changed Egypt's religion from a polytheistic religion to a religion which may have been better described as a monolatry (the depiction of a single god as an object for worship) or henotheism (one god, who is not the only god).
The boundary stelae of years 4 and 5 mark the boundaries of the new city and suggest that the move to the new city of Akhetaten occurred around that time. The new city contained several large open-air temples dedicated to the Aten. Nefertiti and her family would have resided in the Great Royal Palace in the center of the city and possibly at the Northern Palace as well. Nefertiti and the rest of the royal family feature prominently in the scenes at the palaces and in the tombs of the nobles. Nefertiti's steward during this time was an official named Meryre II. He would have been in charge of running her household.
Inscriptions in the tombs of Huya and Meryre II dated to Year 12, 2nd month of Peret, Day 8 show a large foreign tribute. The people of Kharu (the north) and Kush (the south) are shown bringing gifts of gold and precious items to Akhenaten and Nefertiti. In the tomb of Meryre II, Nefertiti's steward, the royal couple is shown seated in a kiosk with their six daughters in attendance.
This tribute from year 12 is one of the last times princess Meketaten is shown alive. Meketaten may have died in year 13 or 14. Nefertiti, Akhenaten, and three princesses are shown mourning Meketaten. Nefertiti disappears from the scene soon after that.
About Year 14 of Akhenaten's reign, Nefertiti vanishes from the historical record. There is no word of her after that date. Theories include sudden death by a plague that was sweeping through the city or another natural death. This theory is based on the discovery of several shabti fragments inscribed for Nefertiti (now located in the Louvre and Brooklyn Museums).
A previous theory that she fell into disgrace is now discredited, since the deliberate erasures of monuments belonging to a queen of Akhenaten have been shown to refer to Kiya instead.
During Akhenaten's reign (and perhaps after), Nefertiti enjoyed unprecedented power. The Coregency Stela may show her as a co-regent with her husband. By the twelfth year of his reign, there is evidence that she may have been elevated to the status of co-regent: equal in status to the pharaoh. It is possible that Nefertiti is to be identified as the ruler named Neferneferuaten.
Some theories state that Nefertiti was still alive and held influence on the younger royals. If this is the case, that influence and presumably Nefertiti's own life would have ended by year 3 of Tutankhaten's reign (1331 BC). In that year, Tutankhaten changed his name to Tutankhamun. This was evidence of his return to the official worship of Amun, and his abandonment of Amarna to return the capital to Thebes.
Nefertiti's Burial and Tomb
There are many theories regarding her death and burial but to date, the mummy of this famous and iconic queen has not been found or identified. Two mummies have been found which were initially believed to be her remains but has since been ruled out following recent DNA testing in 2010. As Nefertiti's tomb was never completed and no mummy was ever found, the location of Nefertiti's body has long been a subject of curiosity and speculation.
Nefertiti Still Missing: King Tut's Tomb Shows No Hidden Chambers Live Science - May 11, 2016
Radar scans conducted by a National Geographic team have found that there are no hidden chambers in Tutankhamun's tomb, disproving a claim that the secret grave of Queen Nefertiti lurks behind the walls. Egypt's antiquities ministry has refused to accept the new results, telling Live Science that it plans more tests to search for a tomb. "Other types of radar and remote-sensing techniques will be applied in the next stage.
Search for Nefertiti's burial chamber in Tutankhamun tomb BBC - October 2, 2015
The Egyptian pharaoh queen Nefertiti could be buried in King Tutankhamun's tomb, says a British archaeologist. Nicholas Reeves says he believes there may be two hidden doorways behind the Tutankhamun's burial chamber, leading to two undiscovered rooms. Egyptian officials plan to use radar equipment to test Mr Reeves' theory that Nefertiti's remains were placed in one of them.
Has Nefertiti's tomb finally been found? CNN - August 12, 2015
Nefertiti has continued to capture our collective imagination throughout the ages. Yet no trace has been found of the legendary "beautiful one" who ruled across Egypt at her husband's side. until, possibly, now. Nicholas Reeves, a British archaeologist at the University of Arizona believes he has found her resting place hidden in plain sight -- in the tomb of Tutankhamun.
Tutankhamun Death Mask was Made for Nefertiti, Archaeologist says Ancient Origins - October 2, 2015
New analysis of Tutankhamun's golden death mask has led to a radical new theory - the mask was originally made for Nefertiti, step mother of Tutankhamun, as a co-regent to her husband king Akhenaten. Ahram Online reports that archaeologist Nicholas Reeves was examining the back of Tutankhamun's death mask when he noticed that the face did not match the opposite side - the type of gold and the material used for the blue color are different between the front and the back. Reeves also noted that the ears contain holes used to hang earrings.
Eulogy to Nefertiti found on the boundary stelae of Akhenaten
And the Heiress, Great in the Palace, Fair of Face,
Adorned with the Double Plumes, Mistress of Happiness,
Endowed with Favors, at hearing whose voice the King rejoices,
the Chief Wife of the King, his beloved, the Lady of the Two Lands,
Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti, May she live for Ever and Always.
Together Akhenaten and Nefertiti transformed the religious practices of ancient Egyptian society. This limestone relief (above), found in the Royal Tomb at Amarna depicts Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and two of their six daughters making an offering to the sun-disk Aten. Akhenaten and Nefertiti carry flowers to be laid on the table beneath the "life-giving" rays of the Aten.
The figures are carved in the grotesque style, a characteristic of the early half of the Amarna period. Nefertiti, sporting the double plume headdress mentioned in the stela dedication, is the petite figure placed behind her larger scale husband. The compostion mirrors early artistic representations of the royal couple. To emphasize the strength and power of the pharaoh, Egyptian iconographical tradition required the female figure to be smaller in scale than the male.
This shrine stela also from the early part of the Amarna period depicts Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and Princesses Meretaten, Mekeaten, and Ankhesenpaaten worshiping the Aten as a family. Dorothea Arnold in her article "Aspects of the Royal Female Image during the Amarna Period" discusses the plethora of reliefs depicting intimate family moments. While Akhenaten leans forward to give Meretaten a kiss, Mekeaten plays on her mother's lap and gazes up lovingly.
At the same time Ankhesenpaaten, the smallest, sits on Nefertiti's shoulder and fiddles with her earring. Arnold claims that the shrine stela "relates to the Aten religion's concept of creation" in which the King and Queen are viewed as "a primeval 'first pair." At the top of the composition, the sun-god, Aten, represented by a raised circle, extends his life-giving rays to the Royal Family. The relief uses the concept of the "window of appearances" or a snapshot of life. The figures are framed by a fictive structure which suggests the form of a square window. Aldred in his book Egyptian Art calls this "a brief moment in the lives of five beings as they are caught in an act of mutual affection". In actuality, the royal palace at Akhetaten had a window from which the royal couple could observe the city and address their subjects.
The names of the daughters were Meritaten (1349 BC) - Meketaten and Ankhenspaaten (1346 BC) - Neferneferuaten (1339 BC) - Neferneferure and Setepenre (1338).
In 1337 BC the official family, with all six of Nefertiti's daughters was shown for the last time.
In 1336 BC Meketaten died in childbirth.
In 1335 Nefertiti seemed to vanish, assumed dead.
It is possible that Akhenaten's successors Smenkhkare and Tutankhaten were his children by another royal wife called Kiya who became his principle queen for a short while after year 12 of his reign.
As with Akhenaten there is no trace of Nefertiti's mummy. Some jewelry bearing her cartouche was found outside the royal tomb at Akhetaten but there is no real evidence that she was buried there. From surviving record it seems she either fell from favor or died at around year 12 of Akhenaten's reign. In this case her burial may have been elsewhere. It is interesting to consider that the busts on this page were found in a sculptors workshop at Akhetaten. It seems that when the city was abandoned they were left behind because such was the anti Atenist feelings that no one wanted them.
It is suspected that they were murdered, but the priests of the day who wished to return to the old religion - the worship of a panteon off gods and goddesses - stone idols - things one could see physically.
Nefertiti's place as an icon in popular culture is secure: she has become a celebrity, the second most famous "Queen" of Egypt in the European imagination and influenced through photographs the changed standards of feminine beauty of the 20th century.
The sandstone relief above found in a temple at Karnak depicts Nefertiti praying to Aten and is characteristic of the Karnak style. It shows grotesque features include an oversized ear, a protruding face, an elongated neck and chin. This does remind one of realistic images of Akhenaten, who many suspect suffered from an illness called Marfan Syndrome, characterized by unusually long limbs.
According to Ancient Alien Theory . Nefertiti and Akhenaten were not of this world . coming here to help humans understand that there is only one god . light and consciousness . and the worship of stone idols is false. Was that really the sun they were praying to or something else?
Three thousand years ago, the rebel Pharaoh Akhenaten preached monotheism and enraged the Nile Valley. Less than 100 years after Akhenaten's death, Moses would be preaching monotheism on the bank of the Nile River, to the Israelis. The idea of a single God, once the radical belief of an isolated heretic, is now embraced by Moslems, Christians, and Jews throughout the world. The vision of Akhenaten lives on!
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Lecture: Qebhet Daughter of Anubis
She was originally a serpent deity, known as "the celestial serpent" in the Pyramid Texts (c. 2400-2300 BCE) but was re-imagined as a goddess associated with the land of the dead, daughter of Anubis and "the king's sister", though who the `king' is remains unclear. Anubis was conceived from an affair between Nephthys (who was married to Set) and Osiris (married to Isis). Nephthys was drawn to the beauty of Osiris and transformed herself into an image of Isis, tricking Osiris into sleeping with her.
As Nephthys and Osiris were brother and sister is is possible that this story became mirrored in the conception of Qebhet. Anubis was an ancient god and judge of the dead before Osiris rose in popularity and replaced him. Possibly the story of Qebhet formed an earlier tale involving Anubis in the role of Osiris and some other goddess in the part of Nephthys. Osiris was considered the "first king" and often references to "the king" indicate this god but, in this case, it does not seem to make sense. Qebhet is never linked to Osiris as a daughter and the reference to "the king's sister" remains a mystery.
QEBHET'S SERVICE TO THE DEAD
The Egyptians believed that the afterlife was a mirror image of life on earth in Egypt. One of the reasons Egyptians preferred not to campaign far from their land was the concern in dying and being buried somewhere beyond the boundaries of their native land and so not being able to pass on to the Hall of Truth and, from there, to the Field of Reeds. If someone died in Egypt, however great or humble, they were buried in the earth of their mother and so passed on to the afterlife with relative ease.
This same paradigm held for all other aspects of the soul. Since they held that the immortal soul had all the needs and desires it did in the body, it might well become thirsty standing in line in the Hall of Truth, and Qebhet would have attended to this need. Although it does not seem she ever had a large cult following, she may have played a part or made some kind of appearance in religious events such as the Festival of the Wadi which was a celebration of the lives of the dead and of the living. The Egyptologist Lynn Meskell writes:
Religious festivals actualized belief they were not simply social celebrations. They acted in a multiplicity of related spheres. There were festivals of the gods, of the king, and of the dead. The Beautiful Festival of the Wadi was a key example of a festival of the dead, which took place between the harvest and the Nile flood. In it, the divine boat of Amun traveled from the Karnak temple to the necropolis of Western Thebes. A large procession followed, and living and dead were thought to commune near the graves which became houses of the joy of the heart on that occasion. (Nardo, 100).
QEBHET PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE RITUALS OF DEATH IN THAT SHE ASSURED THE STILL-LIVING THAT THEIR LOVED ONE WAS CARED FOR.
One of the most important aspects in honoring the dead in ancient Egypt (as well as Greeceand elsewhere) was their remembrance and no one wished to think of their departed loved one thirsting while awaiting trial before the great god Osiris in the afterlife. Qebhet, therefore, played an important role in the rituals of death in that she assured the still-living that their loved one was cared for and, furthermore, that they themselves would also be when it came their own time to stand in the hall of judgement. Further, the ritual cleansing of the body of the corpse by clean water was a vital element in the burial of the dead and Qebhet symbolized this purification.
She was also thought to play an especially vital role in the revival of the soul after death. Egyptologist Richard H. Wilkinson writes how Qebhet personally tended the soul of the dead king and "refreshed and purified the heart of the deceased monarch with pure water from four nemset jars [ritual funerary vessels] and that the goddess helped open the `windows of the sky' to assist the king's resurrection" (223). To `open the windows of the sky' meant to liberate the soul from the body and Qebhet seems to have come to perform this service for all the dead, not just the royalty. Her grandmother, Nephthys, was known as "Friend of the Dead" and Qebhet came to be associated with this same kind of care and concern for the departed souls.
ASSOCIATION WITH HARMONY AND BALANCE
Qebhet is often pictured as a serpent or an ostrich bringing water. She was never worshipped to the degree of Isis or Hathor - or even much lesser deities - but was revered and respected and, at certain times, became associated with the Nile and cults which grew up in worship of the river. This is hardly surprising as she was always closely associated with pure, clean water. As the Nile was associated with Milky Way and the courses of the gods, Qebhet also became linked with the sky in both daylight and darkness. In her role as a purifier, she would also have been linked with the concept of Ma'at, eternal harmony and truth, which was the central guiding principle in ancient Egyptian culture.
Her earlier image as a celestial serpent was probably never completely forgotten even after she was imagined in human form in the land of the dead. Qebhet's association with the Milky Way and the divine Nile probably come from this early understanding of the goddess. The earthly plane of existence was thought to be a reflection of the eternal realm of the gods and so balance was struck through Qebhet as a goddess of the ever-changing night sky and also of the river of life which flowed through the Nile Valley to the sea. Her place among the dead would have further illustrated the Egyptian value of harmony in that a celestial goddess would humble herself to provide water to the souls of mortals. She would then have been a role model for the living to care for others in life just as Qebhet did in the land of the dead.
The Kolbrin’s King Akhenaten story
Akhenaten … Nefertiti … Tutankhamun. The names ring out amidst the gold and ruins of Ancient Egypt’s 18 th Dynasty, and so high do they hit the headlines at each fresh discovery, we tend to think we know them. Well, we may know the basic facts from inscriptions, archaeology and science, but we know little about why things happened as they did. Yvonne Whiteman investigates what The Kolbrin has to say about this enigmatic Pharaoh.
Akhenaten: he of the elongated head and feminized body, who reigned from 1353-35 B.C. He has been called a saint, a tyrant, a utopian, a rebel and an affectionate family man. Following the immensely wealthy times of his father Amenhotep III, during his 17-year reign Akhenaten turned away from his country’s age-old polytheistic beliefs under the chief deity Amun and instead imposed a monotheistic sun religion focused on the god Aten. Changing his name from Amunhotep IV to Akhn-aten, the king had the name ‘Amun’ erased on all state inscriptions, built a new capital, Amarna, and moved his court there, rewrote the textbooks and revolutionised the archaeology and art of his time (‘the Amarna period’). He composed a hymn entitled ‘Great Hymn to the Aten’ which has been compared to Psalm 104. With his wife Nefertiti he had six daughters. His legacy was wiped off the records after his death.
When his tomb was discovered in 1893-4, it was found to be empty and its images defaced (see reworked sample below). Recent genetic and other scientific tests on 15 mummies confirm that one of the individuals buried in tomb KV55 was both the son of Amenhotep III and the father of Tutankhamun, and is probably Akhenaten.
That, briefly, is what we know about this strange pharaoh of the 18 th Dynasty.
<See picture here>
Buried deep in the patchwork of texts making up The Kolbrin’s Egyptian books, there exists the lengthy story of a pharaoh called Nabihaton. Anyone who already has a basic knowledge of the Pharaoh Akhenaten will soon realise that this king is none other than Akhnaten. At one point mention is made of a young princess ‘called Nefare, in our tongue’. What that tongue may be, no-one knows The Kolbrin, published in 1994 by The Culdian Trust, has no provenance its Egyptian books are a collection of disparate scrolls now translated into English, and all we know about Annexed Scroll 2, Book of Manuscripts is what we read in the first paragraph: that it was found ‘in the temple of Athorhara, the possession of Neyti, a free woman of Pibes’. (As everywhere else in The Kolbrin, names of people and places are skewed. ‘Athorhara’ suggests the Temple of Hathor at Dendera, while ‘Pibes’ might be Thebes.)
Anyway, I tucked the Akhnaten/Nabihaton story away, vaguely hoping that something interesting might turn up to persuade me it wasn’t just a fairy tale. And blow me down, something did.
On 20 th October 2014, following Jessica Hamzelou’s 2012 New Scientist article Tutankhamun’s death and the birth of monotheism , the BBC showed a documentary, ‘Tutankhamun: the truth uncovered’. DNA tests on a few of the 15 mummies associated with Akhenaten were assessed, observations made on their appearances, their lives examined – and an extraordinary theory was put forward by Dr Hutan Ashrafian, Clinical Lecturer in Surgery at Imperial College, London, whose special interest is medical history. Ashrafian pointed out that Tutankhamun’s family line died increasingly earlier and earlier that Amenhotep III and his grandson Akhnaten/Nabihaton are known to have had visions that Akhenaten and Tutankhamun both had feminized bodies resulting from an inherited hormone imbalance and that Tutankhamun was born of incest, had a club foot, buck teeth, developed necrosis of the limbs and was suffering from a fractured knee at the time of his death. (His body has been digitally reconstructed and is shown in the link below.)
<See picture here>
All these elements, Ashrafian thinks, add up to a very specific hereditary disease running through the family line: Familial Temporal Epilepsy.
The idea that Akhenaten might have been epileptic has been circulating for over a century. Back in the 1900s, Arthur Weigall first proposed the theory in his book The Life and Times of Akhnaton, Pharaoh of Egypt he saw Akhenaten as a weak child who suffered epileptic fits and hallucinations due to his misshapen skull. Weigall had read the work of the Italian 19 th -century criminologist and physician Caesare Lombroso, whose 1889 book The Man of Genius argued ‘the epileptoid nature of genius’. Theorizing that artistic genius could be a form of hereditary insanity, Lombroso researched clinical descriptions and skull dimensions, citing famous artists and writers as well as religious reformers such as St Paul and St Francis of Assisi. Weigall applied Lombroso’s conclusions to Akhenaten.
In 1945 the Finnish author Mika Waltari incorporated Arthur Weigall’s theory into his bestselling novel Sinuhe the Egyptian. Then in 1954, 20 th Century Fox turned the book into a Hollywood blockbuster, The Egyptian, starring Michael Wilding as Akhenaten.
As a result of the novel and the film, most people are vaguely aware that Akhenaten suffered from a strange condition.
However, Ashrafian’s recent suggestion of epilepsy is far more scientifically based and has intrigued medical historians and neurologists worldwide – but they point out that the theory is almost impossible to prove, given there is no definitive genetic test for the condition.
Well, there may be no definitive test, but what we do have, in The Kolbrin’s Annexed Scroll 2, is the story of a king with a severe disorder that afflicted him throughout his life. Take a look at these pieces of Kolbrin text (courtesy of The Culdian Trust (http://culdiantrust.org)):
While he [Akhnaten/Nabihaton] was still a child and yet at nurse … a Formless One came up from out of its l air beside the flaming lake and entered the bedchamber … and the child was stricken. In the morning the child’s body was consumed with an inner fire lit the night before, and the breath of life struggled against the occupying demon to enter the body. In those days there lived a great physician named Mahu and he drew out the demon with things of power, and dowsed the fire with impregnated water…
Nabihaton rose to rule while still very young and though it is said that he died in the grip of a demon, with blood welling up from within his mouth, the other version, that he died a tombless wanderer, seems more probable, for it is so written on the Tablets of Amon…
The Pharaoh, the Great One of Egypt, was ill-formed in body, he was subject to uncontrolled trances unproductive of any vision. This was because at such times his spirit would withdraw, thus permitting a Dark One to enter its seat. He would fall down upon the ground and the demon spume would issue from his mouth. Therefore, at such times he had to be kept from the eyes of the people, lest they were seized with the fear of demon [sic] devastating the land and sapping its fertility. Yet not everything could be kept hidden from the people, for the Pharaoh lived as the fish within the garden pool…
When Nefare left, wickedness consumed good in Nabihaton and the chambers of his heart lay open and unprotected. Then a Dark One entered into him and drove him out into the barren places of the wilderness. It is said, “And Pharaoh fled through the wilderness, uttering horrible cries and howling as dogs howl, so that all men departed from him in fear.” Thus it came about that Nabihaton came upon Hepoa and The Master as they sat beneath the shade of a rock in the heat of the day, and the tongue of the king was blackened with the fire of the Dark One that held him. Hepoa cooled the fire within the king and expelled the Dark One, so that the king was made whole again’…
In ancient times, what we now call epilepsy was thought to be possession by a demon. Note the blackened tongue, a classic symptom of epileptic seizure. It’s also interesting that The Kolbrin refers to an earlier written source – not something you’d come across in channelled text.
There is not much doubt but that at this time he was under the control of e ither a demon or a Dark One which had taken possession of his heart…
The law which decreed that any one of royal blood suffering a demon-induced deformity or becoming possessed by a Dark One should be given the draught of death, was no longer enforced.
The events that followed remain within a shadow and none knows the truth, for it was a time of confusion. Meriten probably died of poison administered by her own hand, as was befitting. Her tomb is known, for she was not unhonoured. Some say the same potion slew the king, but others that he died of a Dark Demon within the heart. It seems that the poison was not a quick one and while Meriten died in her chamber, after pledging of the king was made he fell forward with an issue of blood from his mouth. His spirit was heard in his throat.
These are clearly descriptions of a man suffering violent epilepsy throughout his life.
Is it pure coincidence that the descriptions in The Kolbrin, published in 1994, match the very latest scientific theory about Akhenaten’s family line? To me, it suggests the Akhenaten/Nabihaton text might be authentic, and bearing this in mind, that the Kolbrin story is worth a further look to see what it can tell us about this intriguing pharaoh.
Overview of Akhenaten/Nabihaton
Most of The Kolbrin is written from a metaphysical viewpoint – and, as a religious revolutionary, Akhnaten makes the perfect metaphysical subject, since his is a cautionary tale about the balance between good intention and psychological/physical weakness.
The author, though writing retrospectively, is clearly a descendant of ‘the faithful’ mentioned throughout the story. Who were ‘the faithful’? Earlier, the Book of Manuscripts tells us that ‘the faithful’ followed the ‘ways of light’ – the original spiritual teachings of Osiris brought to Egypt in its early days by ‘the Children of Light’ their teachings included ‘the great secret of how to penetrate the barrier between the two spheres of mortal and spirit’.
The Kolbrin writer gives a broad overview of Akhnaten/Nabihaton:
Perhaps it is well to give a fuller account of this Pharaoh, not as a matter of history, for this I am not competent to record, but to show what can happen when those unqualified seek to reveal the light. Also the perils that can attend such folly…
Nabihaton, Pharaoh of Egypt, was a strange mixture of goodness and wickedness, both carried to their extreme. I know not what his form will be in the place where the spirit stands forth in its true aspect. Certainly, we are taught that goodness cannot entirely obliterate the evil effects of wickedness. Yet how much was the king really to blame? How much can be laid at the door of his affliction, how much apportioned to the demons in his limbs? How much to the Dark Ones that possessed him?
The king, severed from his weaknesses, could have been a truly great ruler, a steady light before the eyes of men, the guide to a new age for the people of the land. But he was one who cast heavily on both arms of the balances.
This Pharaoh had many powerful opponents in high places, the tales are much exaggerated. Some, not knowing the inside of the pot, declared him to be the very light of goodness. Perhaps the truth is that in him good and evil swung out to the extremes of the balances.
Akhenaten’s father Amenhotep III
What The Kolbrin says:
I will go back to when the father of Nabihaton, a man of great valour, much beloved by the people, became feeble through a wound that troubled him in his old age. It was then that his queen, the noble Towi, priestess of the faithful, urged him to send for the young prince Nabihaton, though he was not then so called, to become his staff and take up some of the burden. In this manner it was hoped to secure the throne of Egypt once more for one of the faithful, an end towards which the faithful had long laboured.
Akhenaten’s mother TIye
What The Kolbrin says:
When his father died, the young king Nabihaton ruled in equality with his mother, they shared the royal seat and symbols.
The mother of Nabihaton was Towi, one of the Chosen Ones. In those days there were still four ranks of the faithful: the Twice Born, the Enlightened Ones, the Chosen Ones and the Dwellers in Light. Among the Dwellers in Light there were Seekers in Light and Labourers in Light. Even then as now.
While he had still not come to manhood, the mother of Pharaoh taught him the ways of light. She revealed many of its secrets, probably without proper authority, though this cannot be known.
It was the popularity of Queen Towi among the people, her wisdom and insight, that enabled the young prince to maintain his place at the king’s right hand and share the royal symbols, despite hostility by the priests of Amon.
When his father died, the young king Nabihaton ruled in equality with his mother, they shared the royal seat and symbols, but he acted in a manner unbefitting a son. He inclined away from the highborn ladies of royal blood, his interests were not those of a Pharaoh, and this caused the hearts of those who opposed him to rise in hope. It also isolated him from the faithful who would have been his most ardent supporters, though their loyalty remained with the queen.
Tiye, the Great Royal Wife of Amenhotep III and mother of Akhenaten and grandmother of Tutankhamun (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Tiye/Towi is known to have been an incredibly powerful figure. The Kolbrin tells us she was a priestess of the faithful, one of the Chosen Ones and a strong influence on her wilful son during her lifetime.
Change from polytheism to the worship of Aten
What The Kolbrin says:
The new form of worship introduced by this Pharaoh was simple enough. Outwardly it had all the symbols and ceremonial beloved by the people, with sufficient substance in it to attract the spiritually inclined. It could have formed a fitting gateway to the Path of the True Way … Behind the symbols and ceremonial the Pharaoh worshipped the Spirit behind the Sun, the Spirit of Light and Life as a direct fully conscious member outflowing from The Great God Behind All. The king, however, being cut off in the midst of his instruction, perceived the road but dimly. There is little doubt of his genuine desire to bring the True Light to the people, but he was not wise enough to know, firstly, that one who brings light must be one in whom light burns brightly, and secondly, that the multitude cannot be exposed to its unveiled brightness with impunity.
The king, severed from his weaknesses, could have been a truly great ruler, a steady light before the eyes of men, the guide to a new age for the people of the land. But he was one who cast heavily on both arms of the balances.
Undoubtedly, the Enlightened Ones and the Chosen Ones from among the faithful played some part in the introduction of the new form of worship, but unfortunately they were not equal to the opportunities of the times. This is an instance when too much concern with spirituality, too little interest and involvement in mortal affairs, can prove a fatal handicap…
To say, as many have, that the new form of worship clashed with the old established worship of Amon, is true in part only. The hopes of the faithful were nurtured in both and could have been a reconciling force, weak in power and numbers though it might have been. Superficially, and among the mass of lesser priests and followers in the two beliefs, there was antagonism and strife. While the flame of Aton waned, the sun of the new form of worship rose. But it was the popularity of Queen Towi among the people, her wisdom and insight, that enabled the young prince to maintain his place at the king’s right hand and share the royal symbols, despite hostility by the priests of Amon.
Had he dutifully followed the Path of the True Way, all would have been well. Perhaps, and this seems more likely, he did not quite understand it. Probably his intentions were good, but good intent is not sufficient… It is not sufficient for a man to proclaim a way of life for others, unless he lives according to its principles himself.
It is clear from The Kolbrin that the faithful were at odds with the more earthly-orientated whose new religious rituals threatened their traditional power and influence.
The move to Amarna
What The Kolbrin says:
Nabihaton knew enough of the Secret Mysteries to realise that he would need a new place of worship, uncontaminated by previous concentration of the twin powers, if he were to succeed in opening even the first door. Therefore, he moved his court to a new city within which was a temple outwardly dedicated to the New Light, which he enshrined before the Place of Flame. It was a sanctum for those whom he called ‘The Awakeners of the Spirit to Light’. From this we get the expression, ‘Light within the light behind the Light’, used even to this day. The priests of Amon were impoverished to pay for the new city.
Note the reference to an expression dating from Akhnaten’s time and ‘used even to this day’ – not something you’d find in channelled text.
How the priests of Amun must have hated having to pay for a new city based on a doubtful new religion! Immediately we can see how resentment started to build up against Akhenaten.
However, with the removal of the king’s household to the new city its power was diminished, the people under the two crowns became divided against themselves. The rulers became unsettled in their posts and there were revolts in the colonies towards the East. It was a time of unease because of the dispersion of the power. Now also, because of the most grievous wickedness of the Pharaoh, all the protecting divinity of his blood, which, though diminished by the generations of wilfulness yet remained potent, was dissipated. Thus, all the land suffered and was restless.
Within the City of the Horizon at Dawning was the Temple of the Sun’s Dawning, at which Nabihaton officiated as High Priest, but after his return with Hepoa he built a residential temple upriverwards, called ‘The Sun’s Blessing’. Some men have called it ‘The Temple of the Blessing of Light’. This was erected in three courts, one of which was called ‘Nefare’s Memory’, a place dedicated to womanly virtues.
The Kolbrin names the temples built in Amarna, and mentions a concept I haven’t come across before – a ‘residential temple’.
Akhnaten – writer and aesthete
What The Kolbrin says:
He … had an unusually strong, perhaps overwhelming appreciation of beauty, as can be seen by any of his writings still in existence, though few remain of the great many there once were, and these ever in danger.
Perhaps the best indication of his state of mind is shown in the prayer he composed for the offering ceremony at the festival of the inturning year:
“With this sacred outpouring we sanctify You, Great God of Golden Goodness. Upon Your altar we offer pure butter, cakes of broken barley, fresh meat of clean beasts, dark bread and honey in three shades. Two kinds of beer and dark wine poured out before You.
Now we open our mouths in praise, Eternal One Overlooking Heaven and Earth. This we do, not for ourselves alone but also for the sanctified dead. Humbly we come before You, humbly we offer our meagre sacrifice and humbly we receive the gracious gifts which grant us our sustenance from day to day, and even greater gifts beyond our understanding.
We thank you for the peace filling the land with contentment.
Teach us the meaning of Your laws which we cannot understand. Look down upon us with benevolent kindness when we err. Permit us to assist in accomplishing Your will.
O Lady of Loveliness, coming forth from your place of vigil, O Lady of Protection, coming forth with your maiden attendants, speak for me with the tongue of simplicity and the heart of purity.
O Dedicated Maiden, be my mouthpiece in the inner shrine.
O Sanctified One, be the listening ear before my people. Let your goodness shine upon us as the glory above shines upon Earth.
O pacify any wrath that rises in the Glorious Heart of Heat.
I know not all the weaknesses and wickednesses of my heart, I who am mortally blind and mortally frail. I know not all the impure longings that posses me, I who am mortally blind and mortally frail. I sought for help, but it came not. I wept, but there was none to comfort me. In the night I cried for succour, but none answered. I who am great, have less than the least.
O Lady of Loveliness, intercede for me in purity and devotion”.
Never before had such a prayer been offered in sight of the people by a Pharaoh, and the people murmured that divinity had departed from the king.
Several courtiers’ tombs at Amarna contain similar prayers. Bearing in mind that The Kolbrin says the king was a prolific writer, any or all of them might have been written by him.
Akhenaten/Nabihaton’s ‘overwhelming appreciation of beauty’ is evident in the many statues, carvings and paintings found at Amarna they depart radically in style from what appeared earlier or afterwards. Some incredibly beautiful art had been produced under his father, Amenhotep III but during Akhnaten/Nabihaton’s reign two very different styles of art appeared – a formal, incised style, and later, a far more naturalistic approach. This is all well-documented and The Kolbrin has little to add.
On the strength of a single small statue, the wife of Akhnaten is thought to be one of the world’s most beautiful and elegant women. She had several daughters by him and then seems to have disappeared from public life. During the later part of Akhnaten’s reign a co-regent appeared on monuments called Nefernefruaten wearing all the attributes of kingship, which has led Egyptologists to think that Nefertiti took over the throne in the years after Akhenaten’s death. Nefertiti’s body has never been identified.
This is what The Kolbrin has to say:
When their Pharaoh showed no inclination to marry, and strange rumours were heard about him in the streets and marketplaces, the people became disturbed and uneasy. Also, the highborn ones about him, the court officials, the princes and governors of the land, were perturbed at his interest in the Mistress of Songstresses at the Temple of Amon in Victory. The faithful were perturbed also, for within this temple was one of their secret shrines. This could have been the turning point for the faithful in Egypt, had the king been other than he was, for there were several princesses of the royal blood numbered among them. As it was the faithful were antagonised.
Then it was that some of the faithful from the city of the old royal residence, not from the new one as told, contacted the eyes and the ears of the king, so that the Pharaoh was counselled to take himself a wife. In this manner alone could the clamour of the people be stilled and their hearts put at ease. It was then that the High Priest at the Temple of the Visible Light, by a cunning move brought the young princess called Nefare, in our tongue, before Pharaoh. She was a temple maiden, daughter of a king, and one devoted to The Great God in Silence.
Pharaoh took her to wife, but he showed her little affection, though she was not unbeautiful, even if with a beauty not of this land. Nevertheless, in the eyes of the people the marriage appeared successful enough, though perhaps the outward display of affection was overdone. Still the queen, being more frail than Egyptian women, could bear only daughters .. . Things were not as they appeared and Nefare despised the king in her heart for his secret wickedness.
The Kolbrin tells us that Nefertiti was not Egyptian, which scholars have long suspected. That the pair shared little affection is, however, a revelation, suggesting that all those stone carvings showing the family firm of Akhnaten & Family were just state propaganda.
It was the wife of Pharaoh who influenced him to disclose some of the mysteries which … had been … very carefully hidden. Thus, though the forces of evil had prevailed in the land they had not uncovered the Inner Shrine of the Sacred Mysteries. Such mysteries as they had discovered proved of little value to them and were soon so distorted and perverted as to be useless. The great secret of how to penetrate the barrier between the two spheres of mortal and spirit was still completely secured. If nothing else its very dangers would have safeguarded it.
Actually, though it is said that Secret Mysteries were disclosed, this did not happen. All that did happen was that Pharaoh used the knowledge he had to try and give the people a greater insight into the way of light, the True Way. As is ever done he veiled the all -consuming brilliance of Truth, leaving just sufficient glimmer to light the way, to become a beacon. Nabihaton himself saw the Truth but dimly, for though he tried he failed to meet the tests of an Enlightened One. Perhaps it was this that inclined him away from the faithful. How many, when they discover what the knowledge of Truth entails, falter on the path?
Spelt out here is one of Akhnaten/Nabihaton’s chief weaknesses: he had failed to become an Enlightened One he was ‘unqualified … to reveal the light’. The Kolbrin says that the Enlightened Ones were a spiritual elite to whom certain mysteries were revealed, though it seems they did not have to go through the incredibly dangerous ordeals undertaken by others who aspired to become Twice Born. That the pharaoh himself, the country’s spiritual leader, should have failed to become an Enlightened One (presumably on grounds of spiritual inadequacy) would have been humiliating for Akhnaten/Nabihaton, and would almost certainly have turned him away from the religion of Amun.
Now, as the years went down into dust, the land of Egypt crumbled and began to fall apart. Nefare, because she followed the pure light, could not dwell with Pharaoh while the life he led was an abomination against purity. She was an ever faithful one, though in her disgust she must have been tempted to be otherwise. The queen removed herself and her household in the fifteenth year of the reign of Nabihaton.
Interesting that one of the Amarna temples mentioned earlier was called ‘Nefare’s Memory’. Was this another way of saying ‘In Memory of Nefare’, suggesting that Nefertiti had removed herself from public life by the time the temple was built?
It was then put about, by those who licked the feet of Pharaoh, that she was a fickle woman of wanton ways. They said she was an adulteress and called upon her beauty to bear witness against her. What they said was false … Surely there can be no doubt that the Pharaoh was abnormal, for how could any but an abnormal one treat such a woman thus? Nefare sought refuge in Lebados where there was a secret shrine to The Great God, and resigned herself to a life of great virtue.
When Nefare left, wickedness consumed good in Nabihaton and the chambers of his heart lay open and unprotected.
Nefare is described here as one of ‘the faithful’. ‘Lebados’ could well be a skewed version of Abydos, where one of the greatest and most ancient temples in Egypt was dedicated to Osiris, whose ways the faithful followed.
Towards the end of the Kolbrin story, an odd piece of text reads:
Of Neferuten, wife of Upofa, men say she established the Sisterhood of Sin, but this is untrue, for they misunderstand the writings. The written things are misread… Neferuten was, of all women, the most virtuous yet surely no woman ever evoked such malice in the hearts of her sisters!
‘Neferuten’ could be a skewed version of Nefernefruaten, who according to archaeological evidence reigned as pharaoh toward the end of the Amarna Period. This text seems to refer to the Nefare/Nefertiti described earlier – the virtuous wife who evoked such envy and malice in women around her. (I’ve had no success trying to decode ‘Upofa’.)
Akhenaten/Nabihaton and the Mistress of Songstresses
I have … mentioned another son [of Akhenaten/Nabihaton], one born to the Lady of Songstresses, and he was bound to a different destiny altogether.
The son born to Pharaoh by the Lady of Songstresses was also born to high estate through her. I will not record his name, lest even now it be used with evil intent, for it is a name of power. I will not disclose his titles but call him just what he was, ‘The Master’.
The king had a son by the Lady of Songstresses, one destined for greatness, though his greatness was not perceived by the eyes of men. When, later, this son was exiled to wander in strange places, his mother cast herself into the arms of Sebuk, but this is something the telling of which has no place here.
Sobek/Sebuk was the crocodile god associated with the River Nile – which seems appropriate, bearing in mind the Lady of Songstresses’ son was carried away by a vessel.
When The Master was born, Pharaoh was quite indifferent towards him, though, through the nature of his blood, he was not unexposed to danger. The account of how the child was stolen from the temple garden by the priests of Amon how it was rescued by a Syrian in the services of Nefare, disguised as a woman vendor of spices, and Seltis, a Captain of Craft, is known and need not be retold. However, though it is true that the child was carried away by a vessel, he was not taken to the lands of the Henbew. He was not brought up in the household of the Captain of Craft. The child was left at the Temple of Anthor in Splendour, where sweet waters kiss the bitter, and brought back to the City of the Horizon at Dawning. Later, both child and mother were taken into the royal household, for the two women had long been friends, even before Nefare became queen. Yet Pharaoh knew not that the manchild within the household of Nefare was his, for the tale had been put about that the son of the Lady of Songstresses was dead. Thus, even in the shadow of the royal household The Master grew up to walk in the path of Truth.
Without the temple gates at Lebados, beneath a sycamore tree, dwelt a three-eyed man called Hepoa, one who could foreknow the future, who had the gift of farseeing, but he was aged and infirm. One day The Master chanced to pass that way and he came upon Hepoa as some youths mocked him and cast sand upon his head. Then the heart of The Master was filled with wrath and, taking up the staff of Hepoa which lay upon the ground he laid it on the backs of the youths and they were discomfited. When they had fled he succoured the old man and, returning into the city, brought forth food so that Hepoa ate and was made content. Then The Master sat at the feet of Hepoa and heard his words, for they were words of wisdom and Truth. Hepoa was one who knew the mystery of The Great God and the secrets of the hidden places, for he was one of the Twice Born. Thus, The Master became the old man’s staff. Eventually, the day came when the two journeyed to a secret place within the wilderness, so that The Master might approach the threshold.
I have included this and an earlier passage mentioning Hepoa because he features large later in Akhenaten/Nabihaton’s story.
It has been tentatively suggested that this illegitimate son of Akhnaten who grew up to become The Master (a title given to great spiritual figures throughout The Kolbrin) could have been Moses – but since The Kolbrin only mentions a shadowy parallel in the child’s early life and the fact that he grew up to be great, it is only of passing interest.
Archaeologists have drawn attention to another royal wife of Akhenaten called Kiya, possibly a Mitanni princess. She was an important figure at Akhenaten’s court in Amarna during the middle years of his reign when she bore him a daughter. In inscriptions, Kiya is called “The Favourite” and “The Greatly Beloved.” She is not mentioned in The Kolbrin. Could she perhaps have been the Mistress/Lady of Songstresses? The Lady of Songstresses was born to high estate and, looking at images of Kiya, I notice that she often seems to wear the oversized earrings favoured by singers and dancers – but these are tenuous suggestions.
By now, readers might be puzzling over all those scurrilous scraps scattered through The Kolbrin text. What on earth could Akhenaten/Nabihaton have been up to that was so wicked? Early on in the story it says that he inclined away from highborn ladies I take this to mean that as an adolescent he liked low life. ‘In the streets and marketplaces’ could mean anything from female prostitutes to rent boys to rough trade.
But it was what happened later in his reign that so appalled Nefertiti/Nefare and all his people. Here is the Kolbrin version of what happened:
Within the City of the Horizon at Dawning … he [Akhenaten/Nabihaton] built a residential temple … erected in three courts, one of which was called ‘Nefare’s Memory’, a place dedicated to womanly virtues. There, when she came of age, his daughter by Nefare, a maiden called Meriten [Meritaten], was consecrated in service.
There is a description of this maiden in a scroll kept at the shrine dedicated to the Martyred Maidens of Chastity, at Nomin, the city of forgotten wickednesses. It says, “As I stood before the gate called ‘Treasurer of Life’, on one pillar of which was engraved the words ‘When the eyes see, the ears hear, and the nose smells, they transmit to the spirit, that it understands’, I saw the young daughter of the king. She was not tall or fat and her feet were delicately formed. Her curls were long but tied back from her face and anointed with sweetly fragrant oils. She passed close by and I noticed her garments gave out a delicate perfume. Her eyes were large and unusually long-lashed. Her glance was soft and restrained, her whole bearing modest. Her skin was lighter than the pale copper of Askent, like the cherished ostrich egg, soft as the finest oil. Her nose was perhaps slightly larger than usual but fine and delicately formed. Her mouth was small, though the lips were full and even then tantalising with secret promise. About her head was a circlet of gold and she wore a necklace of gold and blue stones. She was clad in a pure garment of fine linen fringed above and below with blue and red. Upon it were workings of gold ornamentation. On her arms were bracelets of burnished copper interwoven with gold and silver. She had just come from the sacred grove and the glistening dew of morning still dampened the lower fringe of her robe. In one hand she carried two small bells of copper and in the other a small hammer of gold.”
It was after the consecration of Meriten that the eyes of Nabihaton wandered towards her lustfully, but perhaps, to do him justice, he should not be judged by the same standards as other men. He was the Pharaoh of Egypt, who, according to ageless tradition, was above wrongdoing. There is not much doubt but that at this time he was under the control of either a demon or a Dark One which had taken possession of his heart. Also, he had been brought up to a code where inter-family love and marriage were accepted as the rule, where the sanctity of the royal blood and the need for its conservation in purity was believed in as a law. Then, too, despite his unnatural longings, which he lacked the strength to control and subdue, there is no doubt that he could and did experience extremely deep feelings of affection.. .
Anyway, he did take his daughter in awful wickedness, his evil thoughts displaying themselves uncontrollably. Now he took no care to hide them. Throughout the new city he caused the name of Nefare to be struck out and the name of Meriten was put in its place.
<See picture here>
Although it had been accepted that the kindred of the Pharaoh could inter-marry, any union between parent and child was absolutely forbidden. This law from days long past was still binding.
In the exhibition catalogue Pharaohs of the Sun: Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Tutankhamen (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1999) the Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves writes: ‘The princess was promoted to the position of Great Royal Wife, presumably to fill the ritualistic void… the new queen was still little more than a child. Notwithstanding the daughter’s tender age and the essentially functional character of the title “Great Royal Wife”, scholars have long suspected the relationship between Akhenaten and Meretaten ultimately to have been a sexual one … Since, unlike other forms of incest, no divine precedent could convincingly be cited, it was an arrangement that must have appeared abhorrent even to contemporaries.’
The Kolbrin states unequivocally that it was abhorrent to the Egyptian people.
Now, when Pharaoh took Meriten in grievous wickedness, the people murmured, but none arose among them to do more, for such is not the custom of the land. Towi, the great and good who had lapsed into but one form of wickedness, was no longer there to restrain him. Nor in all probability could she have done anything, for he was Pharaoh. But when it came to the ears of Hepoa, he took himself into the wilderness and fasted there for seven days. He then returned and gained audience with Nabihaton.
Hepoa went before Pharaoh and there, in the midst of his court, he denounced him. These were the words issuing from the mouth of Hepoa, as set down by the attending scribe: “O great and mighty Pharaoh, where once the stormwind raged there is now a gentle breeze. Where once the diligent shepherd stood, now a musician sits and idly plays. The land is no more as it was and no man remains content within his dwelling. The northwind has ceased to enter the land and the southwind eats it up. A heavy hand lies on the hearts of men and their limbs are sluggish, they are languid and move no longer as once they did.
Wherefore has all this come about, the people ask, and I answer them truly, it is because the protective power has departed from the blood of the Pharaoh, it is because of the iniquity in the palace. This is a time of woe. These things I have spoken before the eyes and ears of Pharaoh, beyond the palace gates. Yet it is not in me to leave them unsaid before the face of the king himself. Where is the great one who sets goodness in the place of wickedness? Where is he who replaces injustice with justice, who hears the cry of the lowly? Who causes right to prevail in the land? Where is He? I look and I look in vain.
I see only one who has defiled the protective treasures, the glory of Egypt, with iniquity. I see only one who has polluted the pure stream with the sewage of evil, who has succumbed to the ultimate in wickedness. This I see, as all men see it, but I am one who sees more. I see an Egypt gone down into dust. I see plague and death stalking the streets. I see the fertile black waters turned back on themselves. I see the black land buried beneath the sand. I see grim-faced men coming from out of the East to stamp the land flat in blood. I see the dread things of the past recurring. I see desolation spread out on every side.
Woe to you, great Pharaoh, woe to the land of Egypt! Goodness lies dying beneath the triumphant foot of evil. Virtue is betrayed into the foul hands of loathsome lust, her despairing cry unanswered by any coming to her aid. Wickedness walks unhampered through the cities and wrongdoing is seen on every side. Woeful are these days and doomed are those who endure them. What does the great light shining forth from the palace conceal, sacred mysteries or secret sins?”
Then the arm of Pharaoh stretched forth to stop the mouth of Hepoa, and it was stopped. He was led forth and whips were laid on his back, and he was placed within a dungeon.
The events that followed remain within a shadow and none knows the truth, for it was a time of confusion. Meriten probably died of poison administered by her own hand, as was befitting. Her tomb is known, for she was not unhonoured. Some say the same potion slew the king, but others that he died of a Dark Demon within the heart. It seems that the poison was not a quick one and while Meriten died in her chamber, after pledging of the king was made he fell forward with an issue of blood from his mouth. His spirit was heard in his throat. Thus, it does not appear that they were slain with the one cup. It is unlikely that Meriten died by any hand other than her own, though this is said.
But is that all it is – just a story? The 2015 BBC documentary, ‘Tutankhamun: the truth uncovered’ aired a second new theory in addition to the epilepsy claim. One of the 15 DNA-tested mummies, known only as ‘the Younger Woman’, was said to be not only the mother of Tutankhamun – but also, it is thought, Akhenaten’s sister.
The Kolbrin tells it differently. It states that one of two sons ‘born under the darkest cloud’ and ‘conceived in wickedness’ ‘became king of Egypt in his day’. ‘The darkest cloud’ and ‘conceived in wickedness’ can only refer to the incestuous union between Akhenaten/Nabihaton and Meritaten/Meriten. In other words, Meritaten/Meriten was the mother of the son who became king of Egypt in his day – Tutankhamun.
And findings are getting steadily closer to the Kolbrin version of events. In December 2015 the French archaeologist Alain Zivie and Egyptian officials unveiled the tomb of Maia, Tutankhamun’s wet nurse, at Saqqara. Zivie has been studying the tomb carvings and is now convinced that the woman known as ‘Maia’ is none other than Meritaten. Watch this space…
This is what we know about Tutankhamun from inscriptions and archaeology:
Pharaoh Tutankhamun (1333-23 B.C.): the short-lived boy-king whose relatively unlooted tomb was discovered by the English archaeologist Howard Carter in the early 1920s (“Can you see anything?” “Yes, wonderful things.”). The whole world was mesmerised by his funeral wealth, now in the Cairo Museum. During Tutankhamun’s short reign, power was held by Aye, who ruled for four years after Tutankhamun’s death, and by the general Horemheb who followed Aye. Under Tutankhamun the old religion with its many gods and temples was restored. Recent DNA tests have confirmed that Akhenaten was Tutankhamun’s father, but a big question mark hovers over the identity of his mother.
And here is what The Kolbrin has to say about the short-lived son of Akhenaten/Nabihaton:
I have mentioned the surviving son of the king, one born under the darkest cloud, the secret of whose ill-omened birth had been unrevealed, though it was known to a few. Some of these were antagonistic to the new form of worship proclaimed by the king and they used this knowledge to their own advantage.
The son of Nabihaton, one conceived in wickedness, was slain in battle [Smenkhkare?], therefore the younger son, one also born of the union of evil, became king in Egypt in his day.
While yet young he became a follower of the new rites of mystery which his father had set up in imitation of the Mysteries of the Hidden God. These new rites were themselves hidden within a new form of worship set up by Nabihaton. Of themselves these were not things of wickedness, but they inclined too far towards ritual which was futile and ceremonial that was purposeless. Though the new mysteries served to spiritualise and could awaken the spirit, they went just so far and could go no further. They led to a dead end. They went as far as the Grim Threshold, but could not lead beyond it.
As far as the faithful were concerned, the setting up of a new form of worship made little difference to their position in the land, but they did attempt to draw the young prince wholly within their fold. Because of his manner of life, the king, his father, was precluded from this.
The next Pharaoh [after Akhenaten/Nabihaton] married his sister, conceived in wickedness, and therefore died while yet young.
The predictions of Hepoa were averted by the happenings in the land, happenings that purified it during the days of Pharaoh’s short-lived successor.
The Kolbrin tells us that Akhenaten/Nabihaton’s son started life following his father’s new religion, but was gradually drawn back into the ranks of the faithful and the old religion.
Akhenaten/Nabihaton’s death and its aftermath
What The Kolbrin says:
Some say the king died after being carried to his chamber, others that he recovered, but the truth is unknown, for at this time the signal was given and the people arose in the streets. The new worship, which nevertheless was an outgrowth from the bulb of Truth, died away as the growth dies back on an onion. But like an onion, the bulb remained. The new worship was not unwelcome in the land of Egypt and would have survived had not its founder led an impure life. The hostility by priests of the other forms of worship would not alone have sufficed to extinguish its light. It was the maggot in the heart of the flower he raised that caused it to fall apart. To establish a pure form of worship and beliefs its founder must also be pure of hands and heart.
Whatever happened Nabihaton was never placed within the tomb he had prepared for himself. Some say because Hepoa cursed it, but this I doubt … Some say Pharaoh was buried with his wife, but who knows the name of the woman in whose tomb he is said to lie? I think, however, it is more likely that he is a tombless wanderer, which is not so strange when the record is considered fully. … The next Pharaoh married his sister, conceived in wickedness, and therefore died while yet young.
The predictions of Hepoa were averted by the happenings in the land, happenings that purified it during the days of Pharaoh’s short-lived successor. Then came a great one to rule the land, and peace and prosperity returned. Of his times this is written: “Be joyful, O people, for a time of gladness had descended upon the whole land. A righteous and royal king has been set over us, one truly favoured in the eyes of the Great Ones. The waters rise and fall in moderation, the days are long and productive. The hours of night are measured and restful. The moon maintains her appointed seasons and the sunship steers a straight course. The bright torch of Heaven burns steadily and the stars retain their stations. Once more, men must qualify by goodness for the right to govern and to hold official positions. All is well with the land”. If this could be but written of these days!
It’s difficult to know precisely who this ‘great one’ was, who came to rule the land. Aye, who succeeded Tutankhamun, and after him Horemheb, could be said to have purified Egypt by destroying Amarna and all evidence of Akhenaten’s reign – but each of them ruled for just four years. Sethos I, who came afterwards and ruled for 11-15 years, re-established order and reconquered most of the disputed territories for Egypt. That’s as much as I know.
Incidentally, the lines referring to the untroubled state of the waters and the planets are not just hyperbole. Earlier in the Book of Manuscripts a scribe writes:
My land is old, a hundred and twenty generations have passed through it since Osireh brought light to men. Four times the stars have moved to new positions and twice the sun has changed the direction of his journey. Twice the Destroyer has struck Earth and three times the Heavens have opened and shut. Twice the land has been swept clean by water.
Records of these earlier, terrible happenings had clearly been handed down for generations, and the Egyptian people considered themselves blessed when all was well with the land and the heavens.
The moral of this cautionary tale
The Kolbrin’s story of Akhenaten ends on a note that rings down the centuries:
Once, men said that the king was the shepherd of everyman and that wickedness was not in him. That however lowly the man in distress, he would devote hours of his time to bring him justice.
If our fathers had but known the nature of the men who would follow as kings, or had the kings of olden days foreseen what was to come, the sons of the kings would have been destroyed even though they were the seeds of divinity.
Perhaps we do injustice to our rulers, for when the governors are bad maybe they are no worse than a corrupt, degenerate and indifferent generation deserves.
When you decry your rulers, read the hearts of your people.
[N.B. Images have been chosen purely for their visual content and not for the opinions on the websites from which they have been taken.]
4. The History of the Queen of Sheba
While completing my book Thera and the Exodus, I stumbled upon a book by Sabine Baring-Gould called Legends of Old Testament Characters from the Talmud and Other Sources . This book presents a legend called The History of the Queen of Sheba, listed in full in Thera and the Exodus (Appendix I), which presents very specific information about this fabled queen.
- Baring-Gould, Rev. S., Legends of Old Testament Characters from the Talmud and Other Sources, MacMillan and Co., 1871.
Atenism: Akhenaten’s Experiment in Monotheism
Oh my gods! Everyone knows that Ancient Egypt was polytheistic, with a troupe of animal-headed gods that were worshiped for thousands of years. And it’s true. Ancient Egypt was polytheistic — except, of course, for those 20 years or so when it wasn’t.
Many of us thought that the Jews were the first monotheists in history. But sometime early in his reign, from 1353-1336 BCE, the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten upended centuries of polytheistic practices and decreed that there was only one god: the sun itself.
Sun worship started with his father, Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who identified himself with a minor god, the Aten, elevating it to the status of a favored god and personal deity.
Amenhotep III might have initiated the intense worship of the Aten that took over his son, the pharaoh who became Akhenaten
Like Father, Like Sun
After Amenhotep III died, his son ascended the throne under the name Amenhotep IV, which meant The God Amun Is Content. But the pharaoh, in the fifth year of his reign, changed his name to Akhenaten, He Who Is Effective on the Aten’s Behalf, when he became convinced that the Aten was the one true god.
Egyptologists never fail to point out that the Aten is the “solar disc,” though I’m not sure how that differs from just saying that they worshipped the sun.
Gerhard Fecht, who taught Egyptology at the Free University of Berlin and who died in 2006, noted the similarity of the pronunciation in ancient times of Aten (“yati”) and father or forefather (“yata”), which he believed was far from a coincidence. Akhenaten styled himself as the son of the sun and the father of his people, and he believed that he would merge with the sun in death.
Wally and Duke are particularly partial to the Amarna style of art, as shown in this statue of Akhenaten
The Upsides of the So-Called Amarna Heresy
History hasn’t looked favorably upon Akhenaten, deeming him “the Heretic King” for having the gall to shift Ancient Egypt from polytheism to monotheism for a short period and for moving the capital from Thebes to a new city, Akhentaten, now referred to as Amarna.
There’s much to admire about this fascinating ruler, though. For one thing, he created a new style of art — strangely captivating genderbending statuary on the one hand and paintings that convey an intimate realism on the other — when the rest of the three millennia of Ancient Egypt had a remarkably stagnant style. If we can believe the artwork (and we have every reason to be skeptical, since imagery was used for propagandist purposes throughout the ancient kingdom), Akhenaten was utterly devoted to his queen Nefertiti.
We’re also led to believe that Akhenaten doted on the six — count ’em, six — daughters he had with Nefertiti. Most pharaohs would have been disappointed by not having at least one son who could become heir to the throne, but Akhenaten was so enamored of his daughters, he included depictions of them in the artwork he commissioned — an uncommon practice for the time.
There’s evidence that The Hymn to the Aten influenced one of the Psalms in the Bible
The Great Hymn to the Aten
This controversial pharaoh was a man who loved nature, waxing poetic in the Great Hymn to the Aten, which it’s believed he wrote himself. This poem begins:
For you are risen from the eastern horizon and have filled every land with your beauty
For you are fair, great, dazzling and high over every land,
And your rays enclose the lands to the limit of all you have made
For you are Re, having reached their limit and subdued them for your beloved son
For although you are far away, your rays are upon the earth and you are perceived.
When your movements vanish and you set in the western horizon,
The land is in darkness, in the manner of death.
People, they lie in bedchambers, heads covered up, and one eye does not see its fellow.
All their property might be robbed, although it is under their heads, and they do not realize it.
Every lion is out of its den, all creeping things bite.
Darkness gathers, the land is silent. The one who made them is set in his horizon.
Scholars delight in pointing out how similar the Bible’s Psalm 104 is to the second stanza. It’s not too far-fetched to accuse the Psalm author, who wrote hundreds of years after the Aten hymn, of plagiarism.
Akhenaten and Nefertiti, with three of their daughters, basking in the holy rays of the sun, known as the Aten in Ancient Egypt
Who’s Worshipping Whom?
In his book Akhenaten: Egypt’s False Prophet, Nicholas Reeves argues that Akhenaten worshipped the sun, while the populace of Egypt worshiped Akhenaten. He sees the move to monotheism as a political ploy to strengthen the pharaoh’s power. This point is strengthened by the carvings found in the few tombs used outside of Akhentaten: Instead of gods and goddesses, they feature the royal family prominently.
Atenism created a new trinity. Instead of Amun, the father who jerked off to create the twin siblings, his son Shu and daughter Tefnut, you had the Aten, Akhenaten and Nefertiti. In fact, their six daughters rounded out the royal family, providing a new version of the Ennead, the nine gods of creation.
Aten’s temples were open to the air, a striking contrast to previous Egyptian places of worship, notably the dark and mysterious confines of the temples to Amun, known as the Hidden One. Other temples held a small chamber at the back, the sanctuary, or holy of holies, which housed the cult image of the deity. But with the Aten there was no need for a statue — the god could be seen blazing up in the sky, its warmth felt upon the skin during daylight.
A relief from the Karnak Temple shows Akhenaten worshipping the sun. The new religion was probably appealing at first, with its focus on life and beauty instead of death
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Atenism’s popularity was short-lived, perhaps even beginning to wane while Akhenaten was still alive. But its initial appeal is easy to imagine.
For centuries, Ancient Egyptians were obsessed with death their great monuments, elaborate spells and mummification rituals were meant to assure a pleasant afterlife. But Atenism focused instead on the here and now, on life on this Earth.
In the past, Egyptian tombs were located on the West Bank of the Nile, most notably the Valley of the Kings. But Akhenaten broke with tradition, designating the eastern hills as the site of the royal tombs and lesser cemeteries. No longer would death be associated with the west and the god Osiris, evoking the sunset and a bleak finality. Instead, death was now connected to the sun that rose from the eastern cliffside, offering light and hope each day.
The Militaristic Move to Monotheism
Most likely in the 10th year of his reign, Pharaoh Akhenaten ceased to tolerate any mention of other gods aside from the Aten, and launched an all-out war against the old deities, Amun and his consort Mut in particular.
“An order went out from the palace to smash up the divine statues and hack out the names and images of these gods wherever they occurred — on temple walls, on obelisks, on shrines, on the accessible portions of tombs,” Reeves writes.
The priesthood of the chief god, Amun, in particular, didn’t fare well under Akhenaten’s decree to worship only one deity: the Aten
The persecution spread to the common people as well. Eye makeup containers and commemorative scarabs from this time have been found with the hieroglyphs for other gods gouged or scratched out.
We don’t just have to take Reeves’ word for how bad things got. Here’s what Manetho, a priest and historian from the Ptolemaic Kingdom in the early third century BCE, wrote about Akhenaten’s monomania:
…not only did they [pharaoh’s men] set towns and villages on fire, pillaging the temples and mutilating images of the gods without restraint, but they also made a practice of using the sanctuaries as kitchens to roast the sacred animals which the people worshipped and they would compel the priests and prophets to sacrifice and butcher the beasts, afterwards casting the men forth naked.
Upon Akhenaten’s death, his son and successor, King Tut, returned Egypt to polytheism
King Tut Restores the Old Gods
After Akhenaten’s death, his son Tutankhamun’s reign didn’t last long — but did effect major change. Tut brought Ancient Egypt back to polytheism, after his father’s failed experiment. His Restoration Stela paints a bleak picture of how badly things had gotten in such a short time:
…the temples and the cities of the gods and goddesses, starting from Elephantine as far as the Delta marshes … were fallen into decay and their shrines were fallen into ruin, having become mere mounds overgrown with grass. Their sanctuaries were like something which had not yet come into being and their buildings were a footpath [i.e., public] — for the land was in rack and ruin. The gods were ignoring this land. … if one prayed to a god, to ask something from him, he did not come at all and if one beseeched any goddess in the same way, she did not come at all.
Akhenaten undeniably wreaked havoc upon the social order. His persecution of the gods that had been worshipped for millennia must have greatly unnerved the populace. He created countless enemies by stripping the priests of Amun of their power and stealing their great wealth to build his new capital city. He didn’t concern himself with the military or economics. For all his focus on hope, he left Ancient Egypt in worse shape than when he took the throne.
But his revolutionary religious vision, even if it was self-centered, very well could have planted the seeds of the monotheistic religions that dominate the world today. –Wally
Black History Month 2016 Day 1
Today we will visit with Fredrick Douglass
Frederick Douglass 1818 – 1895
When a 7-foot bronze statue of 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass is unveiled at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, the event will honor a figure whose political legacy looms large but whose personal life is lesser known.
Many Americans know that Douglass was born a slave in Maryland in the early 1800s and later wrote an autobiography “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American.” His tale of escape from bondage to statesman, abolitionist and activist in the women’s suffrage movement is also fairly well known.
But sculptor Steven Weitzman says he found that while working on the piece, Douglass was a man whose life goes far beyond the legend.
Here are five things you might not know about him:
1. He worked across the aisle
Republican House Speaker John Boehner recently called the statue of Douglass “a fitting tribute to one of the greatest Americans and voices for freedom who ever lived.”
The GOP connection to Douglass goes back centuries.
Douglass had the ear of President Abraham Lincoln on matters concerning slavery and the treatment of black soldiers who fought in the Civil War.
However, the two had a complicated relationship. Douglass was frustrated by what he saw as Lincoln’s delayed support of emancipation. Douglass would later go on to call Lincoln the nation’s “greatest president.”
During the 1888 Republican National Convention, Douglass was both a speaker and became the first African-American in a major party roll call vote to have his name put forth for president.
Douglass also conferred with Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson, on supporting the right of blacks to vote.
2. He held several government positions
At a time when many African-Americans were trying to establish lives after slavery, Douglass was appointed to several high-level U.S. government positions.
He served as minister and general counsel to the Republic of Haiti. He spoke at the 1892 Chicago World’s fair where he detailed Haiti’s journey as a colony founded on slave labor to one governed by former slaves, and drew a connection to the African-American struggle for freedom. Douglass was also the first black U.S. marshal and served in Washington.
3. He was a twice-married supporter of women’s rights
Douglass was first married to Anna Murray, a free black woman who shared his passion and commitment to the abolitionist cause. She helped him escape slavery and the couple eventually adopted the last name Douglass.
The couple and their five children were heavily involved in printing an abolitionist newspaper and helping support Murray’s underground railroad efforts as she aided runaway slaves on their journey north.
Douglass’ second wife was Helen Pitts, the white daughter of an abolitionist who was very active in the women’s rights movement.
Douglass spoke passionately at the Seneca Falls Convention on women’s rights and urged the gathering to support the right to vote for both genders regardless of race.
4. He often found himself in difficult political positions
As an outspoken advocate for the right to vote for African-Americans and women, Douglass often found his relationship with those who supported similar causes strained.
Abolitionist John Brown tried to convince Douglass to join the raid on Harper’s Ferry, a violent and ultimately failed attempt to start an armed slave revolt.
“I…told him that Virginia would blow him and his hostages sky-high, rather than that he should hold Harper’s Ferry an hour. Our talk was long and earnest We spent the most of Saturday and a part of Sunday in this debate: Brown for Harper’s Ferry, and I against it He for striking a blow which should instantly rouse the country, and I for the policy of gradually and unaccountably drawing off the slaves to the mountains, as at first suggested and proposed by him,” Douglass wrote in “The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.”
Douglass also found himself at odds with longtime friend and women’s suffrage advocate Elizabeth Cady Stanton, over the 15th Amendment, which prevents the government from denying citizens the right to vote based on race. Stanton had hopes to link women’s voting rights to the bill Douglass worried this would sink the measure.
Douglass publicly expressed frustration with Lincoln’s latent support of emancipation and once wrote of Johnson, who had blanched at meeting the black abolitionist: “‘Whatever Andrew Johnson may be, he certainly is no friend of our race.'”
5. The abolitionist’s statue will stand in a place built by slave labor
It is no small symbol that Douglass’ statue will stand in the U.S. Capitol, a landmark built partly slave labor. They quarried the stones used in the columns, walls and floors.
Douglass’ statue will be featured prominently in Emancipation Hall and will be one of the first big visuals millions of Americans see when they arrive.
Douglass’ statue is the first to represent the District of Columbia and the third of an African-American at the Capitol. Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks from the civil rights era also have statues as does abolitionist Sojourner Truth.
The unveiling comes on a day when many states celebrate “Juneteenth,” a day in 1865 when African-American slaves in Texas were finally told they were free.
Thanks for your attention.
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ANCIENT EGYPT
132 embalming GEB, the earth god. ATUM, the creator, discovered that Nut and Geb were lovers and had Nut raised up to formofficials would not aid him. Taken before a special the sky. Discovering that the goddess was pregnant,regional court, Khunianupu pleaded eloquently, using Atum said that she could give birth, but not on the tradi-traditional moral values as arguments. Rensi was so tional days of the known calendar. The god THOTH, tak-impressed that he gave the transcript of the testimony to ing pity on Nut, gambled with the other deities of Egyptthe ruler. The court and ruler promptly punished Dje- and won five extra days for Nut. Nut gave birth on thosehutinakhte by taking all his lands and personal posses- days, bringing Osiris, Horus, Set, Isis, and Nephthys intosions and awarding them to Khunianupu. the world. Called “the Eloquent Peasant,” announcing to the Eratosthenes of Cyrene (d. 194 B.C.E.) Greek scientist,court officials the fact that “righteousness is for eternity,” astronomer, and poetKhunianupu eventually made his way into the royal He was born c. 276 B.C.E. in CYRENE, Libya. He becamecourt, where he was applauded and honored. The ruler the chief of the LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA c. 255 B.C.E. andsupposedly invited Khunianupu to address his officials wrote about poetry, philosophy, literary criticism, geogra-and to recite on state occasions. The popular account of phy, mathematics, and astronomy. His Geographica andKhunianupu’s adventures and sayings was recorded in the On the Measurement of the Earth were instant classics.Twelfth Dynasty (1991–1783 B.C.E.) and is included infour New Kingdom (1550–1070 B.C.E.) papyri, now in Eratosthenes was reportedly the first person to mea-Berlin and London. Such tales delighted the Egyptians, sure the earth’s circumference. He stated that the earthwho appreciated the didactic texts of their literature and was round and assessed the circumference using geomet-especially admired the independence and courage of the ric calculation. The length of the shadows measured atcommoners, whether or not they were real people or fic- noon on the summer solstice in ALEXANDRIA and ASWANtitious characters. started the calculations. Eratosthenes also mapped the world in lines of latitude and longitude. As the head ofembalming See MORTUARY RITUALS. the Library of Alexandria, he tried to reform the calendar and to fix the historical dates in literature. When he wentEnnead A system of nine deities worshiped at HELIOPO- blind, Eratosthenes committed suicide by voluntary star-LIS during the Early Dynastic Period (2920–2575 B.C.E.), vation c. 194 B.C.E. He died in Alexandria.the Ennead was part of the cosmogonic or creation mythsof the region. The Ennead varies according to ancient Erment (Hermonthis, Iun-Mut, Iun-Montu, Ar-records, but the usual deities involved were Ré-ATUM, mant) This was a site south of Thebes, called Iun-Mut,SHU, TEFNUT, GEB, NUT, ISIS, SET, NEPHTHYS, and OSIRIS. In “The Pillar of Mut,” or Iun-Montu, “the Pillar of Montu,”some lists Thoth or Horus are included. PTAH was given in Egyptian Hermonthis in Greek also Armant in somean Ennead in MEMPHIS also. The Ennead gathered at lists. Erment was once the capital of the fourth nome ofHeliopolis and influenced human affairs. All Enneads Upper Egypt but was replaced by Thebes as early as thewere called “Companies of Gods.” Middle Kingdom (2040–1640 B.C.E.). The god MONTU had a cult center at Erment, associated with the sacred bullepagomenal days The five days at the end of the BUCHIS. Remains of an Eleventh Dynasty (2040–1991Egyptian CALENDAR that were used to commemorate the B.C.E.) palace were discovered on the site. A temple frombirthdays of the gods with gala festivals and ceremonies, the Eighteenth Dynasty, built by Queen-Pharaoh HATSHEP-the epagomenal days were officially added to the Egyp- SUT (r. 1473–1458 B.C.E.) and restored by TUTHMOSIS III (r.tian calendar by IMHOTEP, the vizier of DJOSER (r. 1479–1425 B.C.E.), was also found in Erment. The2630–2611 B.C.E.) in the Third Dynasty. Imhotep also BUCHEUM, the bull necropolis, is also on the site.designed the STEP PYRAMID. He used the additional timeto correct the calendar, which had been in use since the A major temple at Erment dates to the Middle King-Early Dynastic Period (2920–2575 B.C.E.). The original dom with later additions. NECTANEBO II (r. 363–343?lunar calendar did not correspond to the actual rotation B.C.E.) started a similar shrine that was completed by theof the earth around the sun, thus veering steadily away Ptolemies (304–30 B.C.E.). CLEOPATRA VII (r. 51–30 B.C.E.)from real time. The epagomenal days were added to and PTOLEMY XV CAESARION (r. 44–30 B.C.E.) built a MAM-make the necessary adjustments, although the traditional MISI, or birth house there, with a sacred lake.calendar was never accurate. The birthdays celebrated onthese additional periods of time were: the first day, Ernutet She was an Egyptian goddess revered in theOSIRIS second, HORUS third, SET fourth, ISIS and the FAIYUM, near modern Medinet el-Faiyum (CROCODILOPO-fifth, NEPHTHYS. The days were actually called “the God’s LIS). A temple honoring Ernutet, SOBEK, and HORUS wasBirthdays.” erected there by AMENEMHET III (r. 1844–1797 B.C.E.) and completed by AMENEMHET IV (r. 1799–1787 B.C.E.). The cosmological tradition associated with theepagomenal days concerns NUT, the sky goddess, and
erpati hati’o The ancient Egyptian term for the nobil- eternity 133ity of the NOMES or provinces of the nation, in some eraswomen inherited the rights and rank of this class. concepts were involved in this awareness of eternity: (1) that eternity was changeless existence and (2) that eter-Esna (Iunit, Enit, Letopolis) A site 34 miles south of nity was continued renewal. Time was thus viewed inLUXOR in the Upper Kingdom. Tombs from the Middle terms both linear and cyclical, an important element inKingdom (2040–1640 B.C.E.). Second Intermediate Period the reenactment of ancient ceremonies. The deity AMUN(1640–1550 B.C.E.), and New Kingdom (1550– 1070 represented changeless existence, and OSIRIS depictedB.C.E.) were discovered there. Esna is noted, however, for daily renewal, thus uniting the concepts in cultic terms.the Ptolemaic Period (304–30 B.C.E.) temple. It served asa cult center for the god KHNUM and the goddess Nebtu’u. Egyptians feared eternal darkness and unconscious-There was also a necropolis for the sacred Nile perch ness in the afterlife because both of these conditions(Lates niloticus) at Esna. belied the orderly transmission of light and movement evident in the universe. They understood that death was The temple stood at a crossroads of oasis caravans in reality the gateway to eternity. The Egyptians thusfrom the Nubian (modern Sudanese) region. Construc- esteemed the act of dying and venerated the structurestion began in the reign of PTOLEMY III EUERGETES and the rituals involved in such human adventure. HEH,(246–221 B.C.E.) and was completed in the mid-first cen- called Huh in some eras, the god of eternity, was one oftury. Twenty-four columns, with various capitals, de- the original gods of the OGDOAD at HERMOPOLIS and rep-signed as imitation palms and other plants, form a stone resented eternity—the goal and destiny of all human lifeforest in the shrine. Highly decorated, the temple of in Egyptian religious beliefs, a stage of existence in whichKhnum and NEITH (1) was adorned with Ptolemaic sym- mortals could achieve eternal bliss.bols and architectural styles. The ceilings have astronom-ical decorations, and CROCODILES and rams figure Eternity was an endless period of existence that wasprominently. Predynastic sites, dated to c. 13,000–10,000 not feared by any Egyptian because it carried with it ever-B.C.E., were also found in Esna. lasting renewal. One ancient name for it was nuheh, but eternity was also called the shenu, which meant round,Essarhaddon (Assur-Akh-Iddina) (d. 669 B.C.E.) King hence everlasting or unending, and became the form ofof Assyria and ruler of Egypt the royal cartouches. The astral term “Going to One’s ka,”He reigned from 681 B.C.E. until his death. His Assyrian a reference to the astral being that accompanied humansname was Assur-Akh-Iddina, which was Persian for “the through earthly life, was used in each age to expressGod Ashur Has Given Me a Brother.” He was named the dying. The hieroglyph for a corpse was translated as “par-heir by King Sennacherib and inherited when Sen- ticipating in eternal life.” The tomb was “the Mansion ofnacherib was slain. Essarhaddon marched on the rebels Eternity” and the deceased was an akh, a transformedwho had assassinated the king and then was crowned in spirit. The PYRAMID TEXTS from the Old Kingdom PeriodNINEVEH. In 657 B.C.E., he attacked the frontier outposts (2575–2134 B.C.E.) proclaimed that the akh went to theof Egypt and took the northern capital of MEMPHIS. In 671 sky as the mortal remains went into the earth.B.C.E., TAHARQA, the Egyptian ruler of the time, fled toNUBIA, abandoning his wife, AMUN-DYEK’HET, and their While the concept of eternity provided the impetusson, USHANAHURU, who were taken as slaves by the Assyr- for the rituals and ceremonies of the mortuary rites, theians. Two years later, Taharqa returned to Egypt to regain arts and architecture benefited from the same vision ofhis throne. Essarhaddon died on his way to defeat the afterlife. The surviving monuments of Egypt areTaharqa and was succeeded by his son ASSURBANIPAL. mostly related to MORTUARY RITUALS because they were made of stone and raised as insignias of the EgyptianEsye An Egyptian deity of wisdom and somewhat mys- contemplation of eternity. The PYRAMIDS rising out of theterious being, Esye was mentioned in a document from sand at GIZA were symbols of everlasting power andthe reign of SENWOSRET I (1971–1926 B.C.E.) in a HELIO- transformation in death. The elaborate TOMBS and TEM-POLIS temple inscription. PLES were introductions into the supernatural ways of the realm beyond the grave, called TUAT in passage. This con-eternity This ancient Egyptian concept gave impetus cept was also the foundation of the role of the rulers ofto the mortuary rituals and to the religious philosophy of Egypt. Each pharaoh was the god RÉ while he lived uponevery period on the Nile. Early in their history the people the earth. At his death, however, he became OSIRIS, “theof the Nile Valley determined that the earth reflected the First of the Westerners,” the “Lord of the Dead.” Thuscosmos, a vision glimpsed nightly by the astronomer- rulers were divine and destined for eternal happiness.priests and incorporated into spiritual ideals. This led to UNIS (r. 2356–2323 B.C.E.), of the Fifth Dynasty, declaredthe concept of timeless order called eternity. Two basic in his tomb in SAQQARA that “the stars would tremble when he dawned as a soul.” Eternity was the common destination of each man, woman, and child in Egypt. Such a belief infused the vision of the people, challeng- ing their artists to produce soaring masterpieces and
134 Euclid deceased’s power in the afterlife was traditionally thought to be destroyed by such vandalism.providing them with a certain exuberance for life,unmatched anywhere in the ancient world. Execration texts were inscribed as well on pottery or figurines and listed cities and individuals in Palestine andEuclid (fl. third century B.C.E.) “Father of Mathematics” southern Syria as enemies. Some 1,000 execration textsEuclid was an Alexandrian scholar who served in the survive, dating from the Old Kingdom (2575–2134reign of PTOLEMY I SOTER (304–284 B.C.E.). He is best B.C.E.) to CLEOPATRA VII (r. 51–30 B.C.E.). One discoveredknown for his Elements of Geometry, which he presented dates to c. 1900 B.C.E. and curses Askalon, Rehab, andto Ptolemy. When the ruler declared that the work was Jerusalem. Two other such texts, made perhaps a centurytoo long and too difficult, Euclid stated that the pharaohs later, curse the cities of Acshaf, Acre, Ashtaroth, Hazor,had “royal roads” in Egypt but that geometry could not Íyon, Laish, Mishal, Qanah, Qederesh, and Jerusalem.be reached with speed or ease. Euclid systematized theentire body of mathematics, developing axiomatic proofs. exemption decrees Documents used in various erasHe founded mathematical schools in ALEXANDRIA and was of ancient Egypt to exempt designated temple complexesesteemed internationally. from taxes, CORVÉE labor, and other civic responsibilities, the most famous of these decrees were issued in KOPTOS.Eurydice (fl. third century B.C.E.) Royal woman of thePtolemaic Period extradition A clause included in the HITTITE ALLIANCEShe was the consort of PTOLEMY I SOTER (r. 304–284 between RAMESSES II (r. 1290–1224 B.C.E.) of the Nine-B.C.E.) and the daughter of King Antipater of Macedonia. teenth Dynasty and the HITTITES, it provided that personsIn her retinue, however, was a woman named BERENICE of rank or importance would be returned to their own(1), reportedly a half sister of Ptolemy I. He set Eurydice rulers if they tried to flee from one territory to the otheraside and disinherited her children, Ptolemy Ceraunus, to escape punishment for their crimes. This clause,Ptolemais, Lysander, and Meleager, in favor of Bere- sophisticated and remarkably advanced for this period,nice (1)’s offspring. exemplified the complex judicial aspects of Egyptian law in that period.execration This was the ritualized destruction ofobjects or depictions of individuals, especially in Egyp- Eye of Horus See HORUS EYE.tian tombs or MORTUARY TEMPLES and cultic shrines. Bydemolishing or damaging such depictions or texts, the Eye of Ré This was a complex tradition concerning thepower of the deceased portrayed was diminished or eye of he sun deity, viewed as a physical component ofdestroyed. There are many surviving examples of execra- the god and functioning as well as a separate spiritualtion in tombs, especially in the New Kingdom Period entity. The goddess ISIS, along with HATHOR and SEKHMET,(1550–1070 B.C.E.). The images of Queen-Pharaoh HAT- were associated with this tradition, and the cobra, WAD-SHEPSUT (r. 1473–1458 B.C.E.) were destroyed or vandal- JET, was also part of the symbolism. AMULETS and otherized at DEIR EL-BAHRI and in other shrines. The entire mystical ornaments employed the eye of Ré as a powerfulcapital of AKHENATEN (r. 1353–1335 B.C.E.) was razed. insignia of protection.The tomb of AYA (2) (1323–1319 B.C.E.) was savaged. The
FFag el-Gamous A necropolis site in the FAIYUM, used date to c. 4500 B.C.E. The BAHR YUSEF, an Arabic namefrom 300 B.C.E., the start of the Ptolemaic Period (304–30 meaning “Joseph’s River” (not a biblical reference but oneB.C.E.) to 400 C.E., this burial ground contains multiple honoring an Islamic hero), left the Nile at ASSIUT, becom-burials in single graves, all containing commoners of the ing a subsidiary stream. The Bahr Yusef was allowed byera. The reason for the multiple burials is being studied natural forces to enter the Faiyum but was not providedit is considered likely that an epidemic, or outbreak of a with a natural route of exit, thus inundating the area anddisease, would have prompted such graves. transforming it into lush fields, gardens, and marshes. The site of CROCODILOPOLIS was the capital for the terri-faience A glassy manufactured substance of the ancient tory, also called Shedet, and served as a cult center for theEgyptians, the process developed by the artisans of the god SOBEK. Located on Lake QARUN, called Me-Wer by theNile Valley may have been prompted by a desire to imi- Egyptians, Crocodilopolis was also a haven for aquatictate highly prized turquoise, or lapis lazuli, although life-forms. Crocodiles were plentiful, and in some erasthere was a great diversity of color in the faience manu- tourists were allowed to feed them.factured. The usual Egyptian faience was composed of aquartz or crystal base, covered with a vitreous, alkaline The rulers of the Twelfth Dynasty (1991–1783 B.C.E.)compound with calcium silicates made of lime, ash, and began reconstruction of this area. Seeing the need fornatron, to provide the colors and glassy finish. The Egyp- increased agricultural output, these pharaohs started atians called faience tjehenet, which translates as “bril- series of hydraulic systems to reclaim acres of land.liant.” It was used in sacred and royal insignias, AMULETS AMENEMHET I (r. 1991–1962 B.C.E.) widened and deep-and jewelry, as well as inlay. ened the channels, bringing water to various parts of the Faiyum and establishing a true reservoir. During the See also EGYPT’S NATURAL RESOURCES. annual inundations of the Nile, regulators installed at el- LAHUN controlled the Faiyum water levels. Every JanuaryFaiyum (Ta-she, Pa-yuum, Pa-yom) The region of the sluices at el-Lahun were closed to enable repairs to beEgypt once called Ta-she, the Land of the Lakes, and used made on bridges and walkways. AMENEMHET III (r.in many eras as an agricultural center, the Faiyum was 1844–1797 B.C.E.) erected dikes and retaining walls, withalso called Pa-yuum and Pa-yom and was settled in Pale- sluices and canals that regulated the flow of water. In theolithic times when hunters and gatherers came down process he provided Egypt with vast tracts of arablefrom the arid plateaus of the region, attracted by the lands, all of which strengthened the economic base of theabundant game and grasses. nation. The Faiyum, adapted with such regulators, thus served as an emergency reservoir in periods of great A natural depression extending along the western floods.side of the NILE River, the Faiyum had distinct Predynas-tic cultures, including Faiyum A and B. These cultures One of the most beautiful regions in the Nile Val- ley, the Faiyum was reclaimed again and again as an 135
136 false door from the New Kingdom Period (1550–1070 B.C.E.). Also on the site is a temple of TUT’ANKHAMUN (r. 1333–1323agricultural site. In the Ptolemaic Period (304–30 B.C.E.) B.C.E.) from the Eighteenth Dynasty. This temple had athe rulers developed the region and made it a major agri- stylish portico and HYPOSTYLE HALLS. The shrine origi-cultural and population center. Olive production was nally measured 81 by 182 feet.encouraged as the Greek Ptolemaics deemed the Faiyumolive the tastiest of all. At various times the territory Fara’un Mastaba The modern Arabic name given toextended over 4,000 square miles. PTOLEMY II PHILADEL- the tomb of SHEPSESKHAF (r. 2472–2467 B.C.E.) of thePHUS (r. 285–246 B.C.E.) renamed the nome containing Fourth Dynasty, the name translates as “Seat of thethe Faiyum Arsinoe, after his relative, ARSINOE (2). Pharaoh.” This mastaba was erected in the southern part of the necropolis area of SAQQARA. KARANIS, located in the Faiyum, was founded by thePtolemys and endowed with two limestone temples. A fate Called shoy or shai by the ancient Egyptians, whoSOBEK shrine, called Dineh el-Giba or Soknopaiou Neos, put great stock in the appointed destiny of each individ-was also erected there. The famed statues of Amenemhet ual, shoy was the good or ill destiny laid down for eachIII graced the area as well. Medinet el-Faiyum is the mod- Egyptian at the moment of his or her birth by the divineern capital of the region. beings called the SEVEN HATHORS. If the fate was good, it was called RENENET, or Renenutet, after the goddess ofSuggested Readings: Doxiadis, Euphrosyne, and Doro- generation. In the case of royal princes, the Seventhy J. Thompson. The Mysterious Faiyum Portraits: Faces Hathors always guaranteed a favorable fate. They arrivedfrom Ancient Egypt. New York: Harry Abrams, 1995. at the crib of any prince born on an unlucky day and put a lucky child in his place to avoid disaster for the individ-false door A TOMB element dating to the Old Kingdom ual and the nation. The CAIRO CALENDAR reflects this(2575–2134 B.C.E.), normally fashioned out of wood or belief among the ancient Egyptians.stone and serving as a monument to the deceased, falsedoors appeared early in MASTABAS and tombs and were Fatieh el-Beida A site in the Eastern Desert that wasdesigned to allow the KA of the deceased to move from used as a QUARRY in many ages of Egyptian history, thethe burial chamber to the chapel or shrine room, where ruins of the settlement and a temple dating to the Romanofferings were made during MORTUARY RITUALS. The false Period (after 30 B.C.E.) were discovered there.door was also believed to link the human deceased withthe TUAT, or Underworld. This door was elaborately Festival of Entering a Temple A unique celebrationdesigned or was only a simple STELA encased in a wall. associated with the cult of the god RÉ. The deity wasMost were narrow, stepped niches with stone slabs saluted by another god, Ptah-Tenen, during the cere-depicting figures of the deceased or life statues of the monies, while priests chanted hymns and formed proces-dead, sometimes portrayed as returning from the Tuat in sions. The ritual was formally called the Testimony ofa resurrected state. Entering the House of the God, and every divine being was represented. The festival was reenacted wherever Ré’sFamine Stela A monument located on SEHEL ISLAND cult flourished and remained popular over the centuries.south of ASWAN, where dynasties throughout Egypt’s his-tory left records, the Famine Stela dates to the Ptolemaic Festival of the Two Weepers See LAMENTATIONS OFPeriod (304–30 B.C.E.) but relates a tale about a famine ISIS AND NEPHTHYS.that took place in the reign of DJOSER (2630–2611 B.C.E.)of the Third Dynasty. The Nile had not flooded for several festivals The celebrations of ancient Egypt were nor-years, and Djoser, informed that the inundations were the mally religious in nature and held in conjunction withprerogatives of the god KHNUM, erected a temple on ELE- the lunar calendar in temples. Some festivals, mortuary orPHANTINE Island to appease the deity. He had a dream in funerary in nature, were held as well in the royal and pri-which the god berated him for not taking care of the vate tombs. The Egyptians liked visible manifestations ofsacred on Elephantine Island. When Djoser repaired the their beliefs and used festivals to make spiritual conceptsshrine, the Nile resumed its normal inundation levels. meaningful. Most of the cultic celebrations were part of the calendar and were based on local temple traditions.Farafra Oasis A site in a vast depression in the west- In some periods of Egypt there were as many as 75 suchern desert of Egypt, located south of the BAHARIA OASIS, celebrations observed throughout the nation annually.Farafra was once called “the Land of the Cow” and has amodern capital named Qasr el-Farafra. The monuments Starting in the Old Kingdom (2575–2134 B.C.E.), thefrom ancient eras are mostly in ruins. first, sixth, and 15th day of every month were festivalsFaras This was a site near ABU SIMBEL, in NUBIA (mod-ern Sudan), which contained temples and a rock chapel
festivals 137Wall paintings portraying Egyptians enjoying one of the many religious festivals held throughout each year. (Hulton Archive.)List of site sources >>>