MIDEAST 293- Midterm 1

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Mastaba

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Mastaba

  • bench-like funerary structure

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  • term means bench in arabic

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  • tombs for the elite and officials

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  • used in the development of the step pyramid

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  • had offering shrines (in a room called the serdab) with statues of the diseased

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Red Land, Black Land

  • a sign of the duality of Egypt

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  • Tawy ("the two lands")

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  • "kemet" = the black land where silt is deposited during inundation

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  • black land is the nile valley (fertile soil, lots of people live there)

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  • black land has nutrition

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  • "deshret" = where nobody lives, dessert and sad

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  • black land is the nile valley (fertile soil, lots of people live there)

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  • red land = foreign land

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  • red land is sandy, less people live there

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  • black land has nutrition

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Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt

  • Nile Delta = Lower Egypt

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  • "ta-shemau"

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  • Lower Egypt --> more marshy land, produces reeds (which makes papyrus), humid

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  • Nile Valley = Upper Egypt

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  • "ta-mehu"

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  • Upper Egypt --> floodplains, lots of silt, grows a lot of grain for bread and beer

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Wadi Hammamat

  • the desert valley from the Nile to the Red Sea

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  • major mining region that had a lot of expensive natural resources

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  • resources lie copper, tin, gold, greywacke

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  • expeditions to Wadi Hammamat were recorded bc they were such administrative feats

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  • material for the king's sarcophagus was collected here

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  • dangerous territory

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texts:

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  • papyrus map of wadi hammahat

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  • mentuhotep iv quarrying inscriptions

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Manetho

  • 255-240 BCE

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  • Ptolemaic period

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  • wrote the Aegyptiaca-- a written history of the past kings of Egypt

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  • actual work is lost

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  • wrote in Greek (Egypt was ruled by Greece at that time)

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  • his work is cited and referenced in other scholarly works hundreds of years after him

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  • the pyramids of Ancient Egypt were already ancient to him

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Kinglists

  • historical records of the ruling kings of Egypt

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  • sometimes people would leave out kings if they were not considered "worthy" (ex. female kings, kings that were considered weak or their succession was challenged, etc)

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  • people would make seals/impressions of the kinglists and press them on clay

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  • offered legitimacy to kings/dynasties and were often found in tombs/pyramids

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  • palermo stone is an example of a kinglist

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Ma'at

  • the egyptian concept of order

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  • relates back to the idea of duality: order over chaos, etc (ma'at vs. isfet)

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  • kings were expected to keep ma'at

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  • divine order

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Naquada Culture

  • late predynastic period

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  • can be divided into naquada 1, 2, and 3

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  • material culture-- seeing how culture changes through changes in material goods/objects

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  • had Tomb 100

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  • sites in Upper Egypt (like Hierakonpolis)

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  • showed shift from burials in ground to people in power getting tombs

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Umm el-Qaab at Abydos

  • burial ground/funerary site dating to predynastic period/first dynasty

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  • earliest evidence of written language found here

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  • there were subsidiary graves-- people were killed and buried near the person in power

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  • narmer palette was found here

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Step Pyramid

  • 3rd dynasty

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  • built by King Djoser

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  • showed the transition to the old kingdom period

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  • built out of stone, not out of mudbrick like previous burial tombs

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  • built in stages-- a mastaba, then a smaller pyramid encompassing the mastaba, then a larger pyramid encompassing all three

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  • built at Saqqara

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Sneferu

  • king of the 4th dynasty

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  • built the first true pyramid

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  • built three pyramids at daishur and meidum

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  • used the most stone out of all the kings for building pyramids

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Abusir Papyri

  • 5th dynasty

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  • administrative papyri that details people leaving offerings at the temple of a king that passed 50 years prior to the abusir papyri

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  • showed that people still worshipped the kings after their passing

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  • showed records of important temple items being repaired

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Merer

  • 4th dynasty senior administrator

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  • wrote a logbook that recorded the transport of Tura limestone (which was prized for how white it was) to Khufu's pyramid

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  • logbook detailed transporting the limestone, paying workers in bread

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Pyramid town of Giza

  • 4th dynasty

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  • a town where workers (administrators, builders, craftsmen, etc) for the pyramids of Giza lived

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  • workers for Giza were likely part of a corvee labor force

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  • bakeries found at the site make us think that bread and beer formed the majority of the workers diet

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  • there was also evidence of meat (cattle/goat/sheep slaughter and fish)

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hieratic

  • an older script of egyptian

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  • a "cursive" form of heiroglyphs

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  • used for day-to-day writing (tax documents, letters, etc) until the development of the demotic script

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  • Merer's logbook was written in hieratic

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Hieroglyphs

  • ancient egyptian writing system

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  • "sacred carving" in greek

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  • each hieroglyph was a picture of something in the world to represent what they depict

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  • also used the rebus principle

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  • the rosetta stone was monumental in helping us decipher hieroglyphs

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scribe

  • scribes were writers and record keepers

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  • highly educated--> literacy rates in egypt were low (esp in the old and middle kingdom) so scribes were elite officials

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  • would go to scribal schools to learn the trade of writing and reading

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Ankhtifi

-9th-10th dynasty (first intermediate period)

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  • nomarch of the 2nd and 3rd nomes

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  • talked about giving bread to the ungry and clothing to the naked, etc etc et

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  • talks about taking care of towns in crisis

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  • brags about how his nome didn't go hungry while upper egypt was starving

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  • talks about himself like a king-- talks about how Horus fetched him to rehabilitate nome of Edfu

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