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ARCH 1616
Between Sahara and Sea:
North Africa from Human Origins to Islam
Brett Kaufman
[email protected]
Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2:30-4:30 pm
Rhode Island Hall 007
Egypt from the 4th to 1st millennia BCE
(Old Kingdom to Third Intermediate
Egyptian Chronology – Political scheme
Predynastic Period (5300-3000 BCE)
Early Dynastic Period (3000-2686 BCE)
Old Kingdom (2686-2160 BCE)
First Intermediate Period (2160-2055 BCE)
Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 BCE)
Second Intermediate Period (1650-1550 BCE)
New Kingdom (1550-1069 BCE)
Third Intermediate Period (1069-664 BCE)
Late Period (664-332 BCE)
Predynastic Period (5300-3000 BCE)
• The Two Lands
• Lower Egypt
• Upper Egypt
• Foreign Relations
• The Rise of Social
Predynastic Period (5300-3000 BCE)
• Foreign Relations
raw materials
cylinder seals
artistic motifs
Predynastic Period (5300-3000 BCE)
• The Rise of Social Stratification
• many small dirt pit tombs with no grave goods
• some medium wooden rectangular tombs with
several grave goods
• few large mudbrick mastabas with numerous
grave goods
Tomb U-j at Abydos
Protodynastic Period (3200-3000 BCE)
• The Formation of the Egyptian State
• Ideology of Kingship
• Development of Writing
Protodynastic Period (3200-3000 BCE)
• The Formation of the Egyptian State
• unification of the Two Lands
Protodynastic Period (3200-3000 BCE)
• Ideology of Kingship
• king is divine
• role of king to keep ma’at (truth, order, justice)
• political: protection (Military Leader), laws (Judge)
• religious: temples and rituals (High Priest)
Protodynastic Period (3200-3000 BCE)
• Development of Writing
• tags: amounts, materials, names, etc.
• events: cattle count (taxes), Nile height,
coronation of king, etc.
Royal Annals of Egypt
• Palermo Stone (25th cent. BCE)
• records kings of Dynasty 1 to Dynasty 5
• regnal years and important events
• Turin Canon (13th cent. BCE)
• records rulers of
Predynastic to Dynasty 17
• regnal years
Early Dynastic Period (3000-2686 BCE)
• Dynasty 1 (3000-2890 BCE)
• Dynasty 2 (2890-2686 BCE)
Early Dynastic Period (3000-2686 BCE)
• Dynasty 1 (3000-2890 BCE)
• Abydos Mastaba
1st stone floor
1st stairway
hundreds of subsidary burials
1st double crown
Horus serekh
Abydos Mastaba
Early Dynastic Period (3000-2686 BCE)
• Dynasty 2 (2890-2686 BCE)
• Abydos Tomb
entirely lined with limestone
1st name in cartouche
1st complete sentence
Seth serekh
• Abydos Tomb and Funerary Enclosure
burial and worship
1st inscribed royal statue
original name: Khasekhem
Horus and Seth serekh
The Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BCE)
Dynasty 3 (2686-2613 BCE)
Dynasty 4 (2613-2498 BCE)
Dynasty 5 (2498-2345 BCE)
Dynasty 6 (2345-2181 BCE)
The Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BCE)
• Dynasty 3 (2686-2613 BCE)
Nebka (2686-2667 BCE)
Djoser (2667-2648 BCE)
Sekhemkhet (2648-2640 BCE)
Khaba (2640-2637 BCE)
Huni (2637-2613 BCE)
Djoser (2667-2648 BCE)
• The Step Pyramid in Saqqara
• 1st large stone building in the world
• 140 m. long x 118 m. wide x 60 m. high
• six building phases
• from mastaba to 6-stepped pyramid
• mortal to immortal
• impermanent materials in stone
• sed festival to regenerate king
Building Phases of the Step Pyramid
Step Pyramid Complex
The Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BCE)
• Dynasty 4 (2613-2494 BCE)
Sneferu (2613-2589 BCE)
Khufu (2589-2566 BCE)
Djedefre (2566-2558 BCE)
Khafre (2558-2532 BCE)
Menkaure (2532-2503 BCE)
Shepseskaf (2503-2498 BCE)
Sneferu (2613-2494 BCE)
• Meidum Pyramid
• Rhomboidal (Bent) Pyramid
• Red (North) Pyramid
Sneferu (2613-2494 BCE)
• Meidum Pyramid
• transitional pyramid
• 3 building phases
• 7-stepped
• 8-stepped
• steps filled in
Sneferu (2613-2494 BCE)
• Rhomboidal/Bent Pyramid in Dashur
• angle of sides altered 2/3 way up
• white limestone casing
Sneferu (2613-2494 BCE)
• Red/North Pyramid in Dashur
• red granite core
• burial place of king
Khufu (2589-2566 BCE)
• Great Pyramid in Giza
• power of king
• 231 m. long x 231 m. wide x 146 m high
• hierarchy of burials
• canonical pyramid complex
mortuary temple (east)
satellite pyramid
valley temple
enclosure wall
Great Pyramid
Great Pyramid
Khafre (2558-2532 BCE)
• The Great Sphinx and Pyramid in Giza
• king as protector
• human-headed lion
• immortality of king
• special regalia
• statues
• mortuary temple
• Sphinx Temple
• rise of solar theology
Great Sphinx and Pyramid
Menkaure (2532-2503 BCE)
• Pyramid in Giza
• last pyramid in Giza
• artistic power
Papyrus Westcar (20th cent. BCE)
• Contains 5 stories about marvels performed by
priests and magicians.
• King Khufu is told by a priest that his heirs
will not rule the next generation.
• Instead, three kings will be born by the wife of
the High Priest of Re.
• The three babies are named and
blessed by gods and goddesses.
• The names of the kings are the
first three rulers of Dynasty 5.
The Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BCE)
• Dynasty 5 (2494-2345 BCE)
Userkaf (2494-2487 BCE)
Sahure (2487-2475 BCE)
Neferirkare (2475-2455 BCE)
Shepseskare (2455-2448 BCE)
Reneferef (2448-2445 BCE)
Nyuserre (2445-2421 BCE)
Menkauhor (2421-2414 BCE)
Djedkare (2414-2375 BCE)
Unas (2375-2345 BCE)
Userkaf (2494-2487 BCE)
• Saqqara Pyramid
• small: 74 m. long x 74 m. wide x 49 m. high
• low quality construction
• improvised plan
• Abusir Sun Temple
• Re as 1st national god
• 3 parts
• sun temple with obelisk
• causeway
• valley temple
Sun Temple
Neferirkare (2475-2455 BCE)
• Abusir Pyramid
• administrative texts
• management of Egypt, pyramids, Sun Temples
• foreign relations
• Sinai
• Lebanon
• Mesopotamia
• Palermo Stone
• king-list
• regnal years
• important events
Unas (2375-2345 BCE)
• Saqqara Pyramid
• smaller than some private tombs
• 56 m. long x 56 m. wide x 43 m. tall
• Pyramid Texts
• shift from immortality
in monuments and
statues to immortality
in scenes and texts
• rebirth of king in
• deceased king = Osiris
The Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BCE)
• Dynasty 6 (2345-2181 BCE)
Teti (2345-2323 BCE)
Userkare (2323-2321 BCE)
Pepy I (2321-2287 BCE)
Merenre (2287-2278 BCE)
Pepy II (2278-2184 BCE)
Nitiqret (2184-2181 BCE)
Pepy II (2278-2184 BCE)
• Saqqara Pyramid
• reigned 94 years
• powerful provincial rulers
• loss in power (divinity?)
of king
• provincial art
• gain control in the First
Intermediate Period
• last large pyramid for 300 years
MB IIC (III) 1650–1530 BC
• XV and XVI Dynasties, Hyksos “rulers of
foreign lands”
• Textual sources:
• Hebron tablet
• Josephus preserving Manetho’s acct. of “Hyksos” rule
in Egypt at Avaris
• Egyptian sources for expulsion of “Hyksos”
• Amorite rule of lower Egypt at Avaris
• Introduction of chariot and composite bow
• Appearance of Hurrians in Levant
• Terminates with expulsion of Hyksos from Egypt
by Ahmose
(16th cent. BC)
“Hyksos” Scarabs
Tell el-Dab‘a
• Amorite center in
eastern Delta
• Capital of
Fifteenth Dynasty
of Egypt (ca.
1600–1530 BC)
• Settled from MB
IIA, grows
through MB IIC
Amorite Avaris
Asiatic statue (Area F/I), MB IIA
“Theran” Minoan Frescos (Avaris)
Tell el-‘Ajjul (Sharuhen?)
Settled: from MB IIB
Size: 10 ha.
Cultural Context: Names
Yakub-hur (Hyksos) Seal
• Abram/Abraham
• Hyksos seal (foreign
rulers of Egypt, 16th cent.
• AmoriteYakub cp. Heb.
• Hyksos period marked by
a gradual infiltration of
Semites into eastern Delta
in the 17th cent. BC; they
came to power ca. 1640
• Ahmose, founder of the
18th Dynasty, expelled
Hyksos from Egypt
Pre-1530 BC
Carnarvan Tablet: The War Against the Hyksos
“(One) prince is in Avaris, another is in Ethiopia,
…No man can settle down, being despoiled by the
imposts of the Asiatics…My wish is to save Egypt
and to smite the Asiatics.”…“I broke down his
walls, I killed his people, and I made his wife come
down to the riverbank…Their horses were fled
ANET, pp. 232-233
Autobiography of Ahmose son of Abana (ca. 1530 BC)
Now when I had established a household, I was taken to the ship “Northern,”
because I was brave. I followed the sovereign on foot when he rode about on his
chariot. When the town of Avaris was besieged, I fought bravely on foot in his
majesty’s presence. Thereupon I was appointed to the ship “Rising in Memphis.”
Then there was fighting on the water in “Pdjeku” of Avaris. I made a seizure and
carried off a hand. When it was reported to the royal herald the gold of valor was
given to me.
Then they fought again in this place; I again made a seizure there and carried
off a hand. Then I was given the gold of valor once again.
Then there was fighting in Egypt to the south of this town, and I carried off a
man as a living captive. I went down into the water—for he was captured on the city
side—and crossed the water carrying him. When it was reported to the royal herald I
was rewarded with gold once more. Then Avaris was despoiled, and I brought spoil
from there: one man, three women: total, four persons. His majesty gave them to me
as slaves.
Then Sharuhen was besieged for three years. His majesty despoiled it and I
brought spoil from it: two women and a hand. Then the gold of valor was given me,
and my captives were given to me as slaves.
AEL 2:12 ff.
New Kingdom Setting
• After “Hyksos” expulsion from Egypt ca. 1530 BC…
• Egyptian campaigns from ca. 1530 to 1200 BC
• Southern half of Levant under Egyptian administration
• Pharaohs pursue expansionist policy…
• Canaanite towns besieged, rulers made vassals
• Opposition required massive alliances; never successful
• Military and administrative networks established
• Egyptians garrisoned in Canaan
• Forts built along the main route (Ex 13:17–18)
The Near East ca. 1500 BC: Levant Divided
Late Bronze Age (1530–1200 BC)
• LB I (1530–1400 BC) Egyptian expansion
• LB IIA (1400–1300 BC) “The Amarna Age”
• Amarna Letters tell of Levant politically fragmented
• Akhenaton and Tutankhamun: henotheism v. Israelite monotheism?
• Exodus fits within 19th and 20th Dynasties (ca. 1300–1200)
• Ramesses ~ Moses
• P(r)-Ramesses (“House of Ramesses”) 20th Dyn. settlement
• P(r)-‘Itum (“House of Atum”)
• Late Bronze Age ends with the Migrations of the Sea Peoples
(including Philistines) ca. 1200 BC
LB I (1530–1400 BC):
Canaan under Empire
LB Periodization
LB IA 1530–1460 BC Dyn. 18 to Thutmose III
Unplanned imperial expansion
LB IB 1460–1400 BC Thutmose III to Amarna
Systematic conquest and consolidation
LB IIA 1400–1300 BC Amarna Period and aftermath
LB IIB 1300–1200 BC Dyn. 19
LB I Textual Sources
• Egyptian tomb biographies and literature
Ethnicity and Archaeology
• LB is an international and imperial period
• Evidence of movement of people
Royal emissaries (Amarna letters)
Armies and mercenaries (Egyptian, Hurrian, and Hittite empires)
Long distance merchants (maritime contact)
Migrations and invasions (Sea Peoples)
• Groups identified in the Levant include:
Amorites and Canaanites
Greeks and “Sea Peoples”
So what constitutes a Canaanite?
What’s in a name?
• Confusion of terms:
• Implications
• Location
• Cultural customs
• Material culture
LB IA 1530–1460 BC
• Begins with expulsion of Hyksos;
numerous destructions
• More than 30 sites identified as destroyed
• Ends with campaigns of Thutmose III
• General population decline
• Textual sources
• Alalakh archive (ca. 1500–1450 BC)
Egyptian, Hurrian, and Hittite Empires (ca. 1500 BC)
Hatti (Hittites)
Mitanni (Hurrians)
LB II (1400–1200 BC):
Maintaining Egypt’s Empire
LB Periodization
LB IA 1530–1470 BC
LB IB 1470–1400 BC
LB IIA 1400–1300 BC
LB IIB 1300–1200 BC
Dyn. 18 to Thutmose III
Thutmose III-Amenhotep II
Amarna Period
Dyn. 19
LB II Textual Sources
• LB tablets (Alalakh, Qatna, Hazor, Kumidi, Megiddo, BethShean, Aphek, Ta‘anach, etc.)
• Egyptian New Kingdom temple and tomb reliefs and
Amarna Letters
ca. 1350 BC
Amenhotep III
Amenhotep IV
Amarna Letters
• Amarna Letters
• Cuneiform tablet letters
from ca. 1350 BC
• From the court of
Amenhotep III & IV at
• Over 300 letters written
from rulers of Levantine
towns to Egyptian Pharaoh:
• 5 from Abdi-Kheba, ruler of
Jerusalem (cf. Urusalimu)
• Hazor
• Lachish
• Ashkelon
• Akko, etc.
Fragment of “Epic of
Other texts from…
• Ashkelon (13th cent.)
• Aphek (in Ugaritic)
• Gezer
• Hazor
• Tell el-Hesi (EA 333)
• Jericho
• Shechem
• Taanach
These include…
• Letters
• Lexical lists
• Receipts
International Exchange Networks
• Trade and Pax Aegyptiaca
• Ceramics in tomb contexts (from late MB)
• Mycenaean ceramics
• Cypriot ceramics
• Amarna Letters (ca. 1350 BC): royal
• Shipwrecks
• Ulu Burun (ca. 1305 BC)
• Cape Gelidonya (ca. 1200 BC)
Merneptah (Israel)
Stele (1207 BC)
“The princes are prostrate saying:
Not one of the Nine Bows lifts his
head: Tjehenu is vanquished, Khatti at
peace, Canaan is captive with all woe.
Ashkelon is conquered, Gezer seized,
Yanoam made nonexistent; Israel is
wasted, bare of seed, Khor has become
a widow for Egypt. All who roamed
have been subdued By the King of
Upper and Lower Egypt, Baneremeramun, Son of Re, Merneptah,
Content with Maat, Given life like Re
every day.”
Third Intermediate Period
1069-664 BCE
Libyan Dynasties: XXII, XXIII, and XXIV
Libyan groups enjoyed some autonomy in Egypt before
Dynasty XXII – the ‘great chief’ was able to set up an
Egyptian funerary cult; call on the Amun oracle in
Attacks and raids on Egypt by Libyan chiefs seem to
have reached a level that the rulers of Dynasty XX were
prompted to take them in as soldiers, give them land
grants, and create marriage alliances.
Others were settled on reservations and became soldiers
or mercenaries for the state.
Third Intermediate Period
A powerful office likely developed in this period, ‘god’s
wife of Amun.’ This was usually held by a daughter of
the pharaoh and served as a check to the power of the
Theban state.
Third Intermediate Period
Sheshonq I
“Sheshonq, great chief of Meshwesh”
Third Intermediate Period
Sheshonq I, 945-924 BCE
I Kings 9:16 “For Pharaoh king of Egypt
had gone up and taken Gezer, and burnt it
with fire, and slain the Canaanites who
dwelled there, and give it for a present to his
daughter, Solomon’s wife.”
I Kings 11:40 “Jeroboam arose, and fled to
Egypt, to Shishaq king of Egypt…”
I Kings 14:25 “…Shishaq king of Egypt
came up against Jerusalem: and he took
away the treasures of the house of the Lord,
and the treasures of the king’s house, he
took it all away, and he took away all the
shields of gold that Solomon had made.”
2 Chronicles 12:2 “…Shishaq king of Egypt
came up against Jerusalem, because they
had transgressed the Lord, with 1200
chariots, and 60,000 cavalry, and the people
were without number who came with him
out of Egypt: the Libyans, the Sukites, and
Third Intermediate Period
Libyan control continued until about 715 BCE, when
Egypt was conquered by Nubian dynasties.