Topic: Ancient Egypt
The 4.2-kiloyear BP aridification event was one of the most severe climatic events of the Holocene epoch. It defines the beginning of the current Meghalayan age in the Holocene epoch. Starting in about 2200 BC, it probably lasted the entire 22nd century BC. It has been hypothesised to have caused the collapse of the Old Kingdom in Egypt as well as the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia, and the Liangzhu culture in the lower Yangtze River area. The drought may also have initiated the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilisation, with some of its population moving southeastward to follow the movement of their desired habitat, as well as the migration of Indo-European-speaking people into India.
Some scientists disagree with this conclusion and point out that the event was neither a global drought nor did it happen in a clear timeline.
- "4.2 Kiloyear Event" | 2019-12-16 | 136 Upvotes 97 Comments
The Coffin Texts are a collection of ancient Egyptian funerary spells written on coffins beginning in the First Intermediate Period. They are partially derived from the earlier Pyramid Texts, reserved for royal use only, but contain substantial new material related to everyday desires, indicating a new target audience of common people. Ordinary Egyptians who could afford a coffin had access to these funerary spells and the pharaoh no longer had exclusive rights to an afterlife.
As the modern name of this collection of some 1,185 spells implies, they were mostly inscribed on Middle Kingdom coffins. They were also sometimes written on tomb walls, stelae, canopic chests, papyri and mummy masks. Due to the limited writing surfaces of some of these objects, the spells were often abbreviated, giving rise to long and short versions, some of which were later copied in the Book of the Dead.
- "Coffin Texts" | 2019-12-21 | 21 Upvotes 4 Comments
The Sea Peoples are a purported seafaring confederation that attacked ancient Egypt and other regions of the East Mediterranean prior to and during the Late Bronze Age collapse (1200–900 BCE). Following the creation of the concept in the nineteenth century, it became one of the most famous chapters of Egyptian history, given its connection with, in the words of Wilhelm Max Müller: "the most important questions of ethnography and the primitive history of classic nations". Their origins undocumented, the various Sea Peoples have been proposed to have originated from places that include western Asia Minor, the Aegean, the Mediterranean islands and Southern Europe. Although the archaeological inscriptions do not include reference to a migration, the Sea Peoples are conjectured to have sailed around the eastern Mediterranean and invaded Anatolia, Syria, Phoenicia, Canaan, Cyprus and Egypt toward the end of the Bronze Age.
French Egyptologist Emmanuel de Rougé first used the term peuples de la mer (literally "peoples of the sea") in 1855 in a description of reliefs on the Second Pylon at Medinet Habu documenting Year 8 of Ramesses III. Gaston Maspero, de Rougé's successor at the Collège de France, subsequently popularized the term "Sea Peoples" — and an associated migration-theory — in the late 19th century. Since the early 1990s, his migration theory has been brought into question by a number of scholars.
The Sea Peoples remain unidentified in the eyes of most modern scholars and hypotheses regarding the origin of the various groups are the source of much speculation. Existing theories variously propose equating them with several Aegean tribes, raiders from Central Europe, scattered soldiers who turned to piracy or who had become refugees, and links with natural disasters such as earthquakes or climatic shifts.
Senet (or senat) is a board game from ancient Egypt, whose original rules are the subject of conjecture. The oldest hieroglyph resembling a senet game dates to around 3100 BC. The full name of the game in Egyptian is thought to have been zn.t n.t ḥˁb, meaning the "game of passing".
- "Senet" | 2021-07-19 | 293 Upvotes 119 Comments
- "Senet: board game from predynastic and ancient Egypt" | 2016-02-14 | 33 Upvotes 5 Comments
The Late Bronze Age collapse was a dark age transition in a large area covering much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa (comprising the overlapping regions of the Near East, the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa, with the Balkans, the Aegean, Anatolia, and the Caucasus), which took place from the Late Bronze Age to the emerging Early Iron Age. It was a transition which historians believe was violent, sudden, and culturally disruptive, and involved societal collapse for some civilizations during the 12th century BCE. The palace economy of Mycenaean Greece, the Aegean region and Anatolia that characterized the Late Bronze Age disintegrated, transforming into the small isolated village cultures of the Greek Dark Ages. The Hittite Empire of Anatolia and the Levant collapsed, while states such as the Middle Assyrian Empire in Mesopotamia and the New Kingdom of Egypt survived but were considerably weakened.
Competing and even mutually compatible theories for the ultimate cause of the Late Bronze Age collapse have been made since the 19th century. These include volcanic eruptions, droughts, invasions by the Sea Peoples or migrations of Dorians, economic disruptions due to the rising use of ironworking, and changes in military technology and methods of war that saw the decline of chariot warfare.
- "Late Bronze Age Collapse" | 2021-07-02 | 13 Upvotes 1 Comments
A hydraulic empire, also known as a hydraulic despotism, hydraulic society, hydraulic civilization, or water monopoly empire, is a social or government structure which maintains power and control through exclusive control over access to water. It arises through the need for flood control and irrigation, which requires central coordination and a specialized bureaucracy.
Often associated with these terms and concepts is the notion of a water dynasty. This body is a political structure which is commonly characterized by a system of hierarchy and control often based on class or caste. Power, both over resources (food, water, energy) and a means of enforcement such as the military, is vital for the maintenance of control.
- "Hydraulic Empire" | 2021-08-26 | 11 Upvotes 2 Comments
The Ebers Papyrus, also known as Papyrus Ebers, is an Egyptian medical papyrus of herbal knowledge dating to circa 1550 BC. Among the oldest and most important medical papyri of ancient Egypt, it was purchased at Luxor in the winter of 1873–74 by Georg Ebers. It is currently kept at the library of the University of Leipzig, in Germany.
- "Ebers Papyrus" | 2021-11-28 | 38 Upvotes 7 Comments
The Turin Papyrus Map is an ancient Egyptian map, generally considered the oldest surviving map of topographical interest from the ancient world. It is drawn on a papyrus reportedly discovered at Deir el-Medina in Thebes, collected by Bernardino Drovetti (known as Napoleon's Proconsul) in Egypt sometime before 1824 AD and now preserved in Turin's Museo Egizio. The map was drawn about 1150 BC by the well-known Scribe-of-the-Tomb Amennakhte, son of Ipuy. It was prepared for Ramesses IV's quarrying expedition to the Wadi Hammamat in the Eastern Desert, which exposes Precambrian rocks of the Arabian-Nubian Shield. The purpose of the expedition was to obtain blocks of bekhen-stone (metagraywacke sandstone) to be used for statues of the king.
Tutankhamun's meteoric iron dagger, also known as Tutankhamun's iron dagger and King Tut's dagger, is an iron-bladed dagger from the tomb of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun (reigned c. 1334–1325 BC). As the blade composition and homogeneity closely correlate with meteorite composition and homogeneity, the material for the blade is determined to have originated by way of a meteoritic landing. The dagger is currently displayed at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
- "Tutankhamun's Meteoric Iron Dagger" | 2022-11-15 | 85 Upvotes 12 Comments
The Amarna letters (; sometimes referred to as the Amarna correspondence or Amarna tablets, and cited with the abbreviation EA, for "El Amarna") are an archive, written on clay tablets, primarily consisting of diplomatic correspondence between the Egyptian administration and its representatives in Canaan and Amurru, or neighboring kingdom leaders, during the New Kingdom, spanning a period of no more than thirty years between c. 1360–1332 BC (see here for dates). The letters were found in Upper Egypt at el-Amarna, the modern name for the ancient Egyptian capital of Akhetaten, founded by pharaoh Akhenaten (1350s–1330s BC) during the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. The Amarna letters are unusual in Egyptological research, because they are written not in the language of ancient Egypt, but in cuneiform, the writing system of ancient Mesopotamia. Most are in a variety of Akkadian sometimes characterised as a mixed language, Canaanite-Akkadian; one especially long letter—abbreviated EA 24—was written in a late dialect of Hurrian, and is the longest contiguous text known to survive in that language.
The known tablets total 382, of which 358 have been published by the Norwegian Assyriologist Jørgen Alexander Knudtzon in his work, Die El-Amarna-Tafeln, which came out in two volumes (1907 and 1915) and remains the standard edition to this day. The texts of the remaining 24 complete or fragmentary tablets excavated since Knudtzon have also been made available.
The Amarna letters are of great significance for biblical studies as well as Semitic linguistics because they shed light on the culture and language of the Canaanite peoples in this time period. Though most are written in Akkadian, the Akkadian of the letters is heavily colored by the mother tongue of their writers, who probably spoke an early form of Proto-Canaanite, the language(s) which would later evolve into the daughter languages of Hebrew and Phoenician. These "Canaanisms" provide valuable insights into the proto-stage of those languages several centuries prior to their first actual manifestation.
- "Amarna Letters" | 2023-01-14 | 51 Upvotes 6 Comments