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A History of Ancient Egypt
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xiii List of Color Plates xvi List of Maps xvii List of Boxed Texts xviii List of Summaries of Dynastic History xx Preface xxi 1 Introductory Concerns 1 1.1 What Is Ancient Egypt? 1 Chronological boundaries 1 Geographical boundaries 3 What is ancient Egyptian history? 4 Who are the ancient Egyptians? 5 1.2 Egypt's Geography 7 The Nile River 7 The desert 8 Climate 10 Frontiers and links 10 1.3 The Makeup of Egyptian Historical Sources 10 Papyri and ostraca 11 Monumental inscriptions 13 Historical criticism 13 1.4 The Egyptians and Their Past 14 King lists 14 Egyptian concepts of kingship 18 1.5 The Chronology of Egyptian History 19 Modern subdivisions of Egyptian history 19 Absolute chronology 20 1.6 Prehistoric Developments 21 The beginning of agriculture 21 Naqada I and II periods 23 2 The Formation of the Egyptian State (ca. 3400-2686) 27 2.1 Sources 30 2.2 Royal Cemeteries and Cities 31 The Late Naqada culture 31 Dynasty 0 32 2.3 The First Kings 33 Images of war 33 The unification of Egypt 35 2.4 Ideological Foundations of the New State 36 Kings 36 Cemeteries 37 Festivals 37 Royal annals and year names 38 Gods and cults 39 Bureaucracy 40 2.5 The Invention of Writing 42 Precursors at Abydos 43 Hieroglyphic script 43 2.6 Foreign Relations 47 The Uruk culture of Babylonia 47 Late-fourth-millennium Nubia 48 Late-fourth-millennium Palestine 49 3 The Great Pyramid Builders (ca. 2686-2345) 52 3.1 Sources 53 3.2 The Evolution of the Mortuary Complex 55 Djoser's step pyramid at Saqqara 56 Sneferu's three pyramids 57 The Great Pyramids at Giza 58 Solar temples of the 5th dynasty 61 3.3 Administrating the Old Kingdom State 62 Neferirkara's archive at Abusir 62 Officialdom 64 3.4 Ideological Debates? 66 Problems of royal succession 67 The gods Horus and Ra 69 3.5 Foreign Relations 71 Contacts with Nubia 71 Contacts with Asia 71 3.6 Later Traditions about the Old Kingdom 73 Djoser and Imhotep 73 Sneferu 74 The Great Pyramid builders 74 4 The End of the Old Kingdom and the First Intermediate Period (ca. 2345-2055) 78 4.1 Sources 79 4.2 The Rise of the Regions and Political Fragmentation 80 Nomes and nomarchs 80 Mortuary texts 81 Officials' biographies 84 Pepy II 84 Why did the Old Kingdom dissolve? 86 4.3 Foreign Relations 88 Nubian independence 88 Beyond the Nile Valley 91 Mercenaries 91 4.4 Competition between Herakleopolis and Thebes 93 Herakleopolis 93 Thebes 93 4.5 Appraising the First Intermediate Period 94 Middle Kingdom literary refl ections 94 Historical critique 95 5 The Middle Kingdom (ca. 2055-1650) 97 5.1 Sources and Chronology 98 5.2 Kings and Regional Elites 100 Reunification and the 11th dynasty 100 The start of the 12th dynasty and the foundation of Itj-tawi 101 Provincial powers in the early Middle Kingdom 103 Royal interference in the provinces 104 Administrative centralization 106 Royal power in the 13th dynasty 107 5.3 Kings as Warriors 108 The annexation of Nubia 112 5.4 Egypt in the Wider World 114 The early Kingdom of Kush 114 The eastern desert and Sinai 115 Syria and Palestine 117 The world beyond 117 Rhetoric and practice in foreign relations 118 5.5 The Cult of Osiris 120 5.6 Middle Kingdom Literature and Its Impact on Egyptian Culture 121 6 The Second Intermediate Period and the Hyksos (ca. 1700-1550) 126 6.1 Sources and Chronology 127 6.2 Avaris: The Multiple Transformations of a Delta City 128 A history of Avaris 128 Cultural hybridity 129 Other immigrants 131 6.3 The Hyksos 131 The name Hyksos 131 Hyksos origins 132 Egyptian cultural influences 132 Political history 134 The 14th and 16th dynasties 135 Hyksos rule in Palestine? 135 6.4 Nubia and the Kingdom of Kush 136 The independence of Lower Nubia 136 The Kingdom of Kush 136 Kerma 137 The extent of the Kingdom of Kush 140 6.5 Thebes in the Middle 141 Royal tombs 141 Seqenenra Taa 142 Kamose's war 143 6.6 The Hyksos in Later Perspective 144 Queen Hatshepsut 144 The gods Ra and Seth 145 Manetho and Josephus 147 7 The Birth of Empire: The Early 18th Dynasty (ca. 1550-1390) 151 7.1 Egypt in a New World Order 154 7.2 Sources and Chronology 155 7.3 Egypt at War 157 War and society in the New Kingdom 157 The "war of liberation" 159 The annexation of Nubia 161 Wars in western Asia 164 7.4 Egypt and the Outside World 167 7.5 Domestic Issues 169 Royal succession 169 Hatshepsut 171 Royal mortuary customs 175 New Kingdom bureaucracy 177 Building activity in the early 18th dynasty 180 8 The Amarna Revolution and the Late 18th Dynasty (ca. 1390-1295) 184 8.1 An International Age 186 The Club of the Great Powers 187 The administration of Syria and Palestine 189 The rise of the Hittites 191 A failed marriage alliance 191 8.2 Amenhotep III: The Sun King 192 Amenhotep III's divinity and his building projects 193 The king's family 196 The king's court 197 8.3 From Amenhotep III to Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten 199 8.4 Akhenaten 200 Theban years (years 1 to 5) 200 Akhetaten (years 5 to 12) 202 Turmoil (years 12 to 17) 206 Akhenaten's successors 206 8.5 Akhenaten's Memory 209 9 The Ramessid Empire (ca. 1295-1203) 213 9.1 Domestic Policy: Restoration and Renewal 215 Sety I 215 Rameses II 216 9.2 International Relations: Reforming the Empire 219 Wars in Syria 219 Egyptian-Hittite peace 222 A new imperial structure 223 Foreigners in Egypt 225 9.3 Rameses's Court 227 Officials 227 The royal family 230 9.4 A Community of Tomb Builders 233 10 The End of Empire (ca. 1213-1070) 240 10.1 Problems at Court 242 Sety II and Amenmessu 242 Saptah and Tausret 243 Sethnakht 244 10.2 Breakdown of Order 245 Tomb robberies 245 Workers' strikes 247 10.3 The Decline of Royal Power 247 10.4 Pressures from Abroad 250 Libyans and Sea Peoples 250 The end of the international system 255 10.5 End of the New Kingdom 256 11 The Third Intermediate Period (ca. 1069-715) 260 11.1 Sources and Chronology 261 11.2 Twin Cities: Thebes and Tanis (the 21st dynasty, 1069-945) 264 Thebes 265 Tanis 267 The concordat 269 11.3 Libyan Rule (22nd to 24th dynasties, 945-715) 272 Centralization and diffusion of power 272 The God's Wife of Amun 274 11.4 The End of the Third Intermediate Period 276 Nubian resurgence 276 Saite expansion 278 12 Egypt in the Age of Empires (ca. 715-332) 283 12.1 Sources and Chronology 284 12.2 The Eastern Mediterranean in the First Millennium 286 12.3 Egypt, Kush, and Assyria (ca. 715-656) 290 Military incidents 290 12.4 Egypt, Greeks, and Babylonians (656-525) 295 Greek-Egyptian relations 295 Military activity 299 12.5 Recollections of the Past under the Kings of Kush and Sais 300 12.6 Egypt and Persia (525-332) 304 Domination and resistance 305 Mixing cultures 310 13 Greek and Roman Egypt (332 BC-AD 395) 316 13.1 Sources and Chronology 317 13.2 Alexandria and Philae 319 Alexandria 319 Philae 322 13.3 Kings, Queens, and Emperors 325 The Ptolemies 325 Queen Cleopatra VII 327 Roman Egypt 328 13.4 Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians 329 Administration 329 Culture and religion 332 13.5 Economic Developments: Agriculture, Finance, and Trade 336 13.6 The African Hinterland 338 13.7 The Christianization of Egypt 341 Epilogue 344 Guide to Further Reading 346 Glossary 358 King List 362 Bibliography 368 Index 387

About the Author

Marc Van De Mieroop is Professor of History at Columbia University. He is the author and editor of numerous publications on the Ancient Near East and ancient Egypt, including A History of the Ancient Near East, ca. 3000 - 323 B.C., 2nd edition (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), The Eastern Mediterranean in the Age of Ramesses II (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007) and King Hammurabi of Babylon (Wiley-Blackwell, 2005).

Reviews

This Historywill probably be most valuable to readers newto the subject or to non-specialists interested in aspects ofEgyptian culture and in need of historical context. (Antiquity, 1 January 2013)

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