Ancient Egyptian Words for Towns and Cities

The Abbott Papyrus from ancient Thebes / British Museum The Egyptians used a variety of terms to refer to their settlements. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool The Egyptians used a variety of terms to refer to their settlements. Like our own terms (‘city’, ‘town’, ‘village’) they are useful in suggesting[…]

The Art and Architecture of New Kingdom Egypt, c.1570-1069 BCE

Pillars of the Great Hypostyle Hall from the Precinct of Amun-Re / Photo by Kurohito, Wikimedia Commons The New Kingdom is known as the golden age of ancient Egyptian history. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.29.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Architecture Overview The golden age of the New Kingdom created huge prosperity for Egypt and allowed for[…]

The Art and Architecture of Middle Kingdom Egypt, c.2055-1650 BCE

The Temple of Isis at Philae, with pylonsand an enclosed court on the left and the inner building at right / Photo by Marc Ryckaert, Wikimedia Commons The Middle Kingdom (c. 2000-1650 BCE) was marked by the reunification of Egypt following a period of weak pharaonic power and civil war called the First Intermediate. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh /[…]

Towns and Houses in Middle and New Kingdom Egypt

A small number of sites, especially from the Middle and New Kingdoms, provide us with extraordinary amounts of evidence for the settlement archaeology of ancient Egypt. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Middle Kingdom Introduction A small number of sites, especially from the Middle and New Kingdoms, provide us with extraordinary[…]

Temples and Cities in Ancient Egypt

The temple of Hathor and Nefertari, also known as the Small Temple, dedicated to the goddess Hathor and Ramesses II’s chief consort, Nefertari, at Abu Simbel / Photo by Ad Meskens, Wikimedia Commons A close relationship with particular deities was an important aspect of regional identity in pharaonic Egypt. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology[…]

Building the City in Ancient Egypt

Ruins of ancient Thebes A team of four men could produce 3,000 mudbricks per day. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Introduction Egypt, more particularly the Nile Valley between Aswan and Cairo, is blessed with a cornucopia of constructional resources. An ancient Egyptian who made the (sometimes very short) stroll from the[…]

Palaces in Ancient Egypt: Cities for Kings and Gods

Illustration of the ancient palace of Malkata The grandeur that early European explorers had come to expect in royal building programs seems to have been reserved for sacred space and funerary complexes. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Introduction For early European explorers in Egypt, it was inconceivable that the massive monumental[…]

Noble Villas in New Kingdom Egypt

There were distinct differences between city and village (country) life, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Although, with exceptions at Amarna, there are few surviving traces of noble villas from the New Kingdom, we have some idea of how they must have looked[…]

Fortified Cities in Ancient Egypt

The Lion Temple Walls do seem to be a defining feature of many Egyptian settlements throughout the dynastic period. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool The origin of urbanism in Egypt includes the emergence of heavily defended walled settlements as major political and economic centres. The policy of providing enclosing walls for[…]

City and Regional Government in Ancient Egypt

Examining  the roles and duties of the court, temple and provincial officials as the backbone of ancient Egyptian administration. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Introduction The administration of towns and cities in dynastic Egypt was part of a complex pattern of central and regional government whose functions, and officials, often overlapped.[…]

Volcanic Eruptions Could Have Spurred Revolts in Ancient Egypt

Harvest scene from the Ptolemaic tomb of Petosiris A study comparing eruptions and uprisings looks at how volcanoes meddle with annual Nile floods. By Jason Daley / 10.19.2017 ome of the most well-known characters in ancient Egyptian history were actually Macedonian. In particular, the Ptolemaic Kingdom, a dynasty founded after the death of Alexander the Great[…]

The Role of Ma’at in the Emergence of Law in Ancient Egypt

Examining the emergence of ancient Egyptian law out of religion and specifically arising from the concept of maat. By Dr. N.J. van Blerk Lecturer in Ancient Studies University of South Africa (UNISA) Abstract In this article, the emergence of ancient Egyptian law out of religion and specifically arising from the concept of maat is discussed, as well as the[…]

Living the Principles of Ma’at in Ancient Egyptian Religion

The limestone Pyramidion of Ramose, from the top of the tomb of the ‘Necropolis Scribe’. Scenes on all four sides depict the worship of the sun. From Deir-el-Demina, New Kingdom, XIX Dynasty, 1279-1213 BCE. (Egyptian Museum, Turin) / Photo by Mark Cartwright, Creative Commons During one’s life on Earth in ancient Egypt, one was expected to uphold the principle[…]

The History of Medicine in Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome

Dated to the New Kingdom (c. 1570 – c. 1069 BCE), and specifically to c. 1200 BCE, the text is written in demotic script and is the oldest treatise on anorectal disease (affecting the anus and rectum) in history. / Photo by Ibolya Horvath, British Museum, Creative Commons The history of medicine is a long and distinguished one, as[…]

Festivals in Ancient Egypt

The Seven Hathors, Temple of Hathor at Dendera / Creative Commons Ancient Egyptians set a premium on celebrations enjoying life, and there were many of them throughout the year. By Dr. Joshua J. Mark / 03.17.2017 Professor of Philosophy Marist College Introduction The gods of the ancient Egyptians were always apparent to the people through[…]

Justice in Pharaonic Egypt

Detail of sarcophagus lid of Ramesses III / The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge Justice  was an immensely important concept within ancient pharaonic Egypt, known to them by the word Ma’at. By A.J. van Loon / 12.15.2014 MA Thesis, Ancient History Leiden University Introduction Concerning Egypt, I am going to speak at length, because it[…]

Jobs in Ancient Egypt

Workers depicted in a mural at the tomb of Menna at Thebes, 18th Dynasty / Photo by Horus3, Flickr, Creative Commons Egypt operated on a barter system up until the Persian invasion of 525 BCE, and the economy was based on agriculture. By Dr. Joshua J. Mark / 05.04.2017 Professor of Philosophy Marist College Introduction[…]

Urban Life in Ancient Egypt

Map of Egypt showing the major sites and settlements Looking at the choices the ancient Egyptians made in the allocation of resources to different parts of the built environment. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Introduction It is easy to think of ancient Egypt as a land filled with tombs and[…]

The Origins of Urbanism in Ancient Egypt

Mythical figurines from Nagada The rise of the city as an important institution can perhaps more confidently be identified as an aspect of ancient Egyptian civilization. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Introduction Like the term ‘city’, ‘urbanism’ and ‘urbanization’ are not words that are easy to define in very strict terms.[…]

The Practice of Tattooing in Ancient Egypt and Nubia

Tattoos on Egyptian mummy / Public Domain Tattooing was practised by many ancient societies, including the ancient Egyptians and Nubians. By Dr. Geoffrey Tassie Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Archaeology University of Edinburgh Abstract Tattooing was practised by many ancient societies, including the ancient Egyptians and Nubians. Egypt, for example, boasts iconographic and physical evidence for[…]

The Amarna Letters: Diplomacy in the Ancient World

These clay tablets (letters) were found in the ruins of Akhenaten’s capital, Tell el-Amarna, Egypt. They were inscribed with Babylonian cuneiform inscriptions, not hieroglyphs. The letters represent the diplomatic correspondence sent by various vassal princes of the Egyptian Empire to the pharaoh Amenhotep III, Akhenaten, and Tutankhamun. They document a turbulent period when Egypt’s preoccupation with domestic policy led to insurrection and instability throughout[…]