Weapons, Ideology and Identity at Kerma (Upper Nubia, 2500–1500 bc)

in Annali Sezione Orientale
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This paper would like to represent a first step in the direction of a more systematic and articulated study of the weapons and their meaning at Kerma and in the ancient Upper Nubian kingdom of Kush in the late 3rd–mid-2nd millennium bc. The main types of weapons recorded at Kerma and in other Kerma sites are described, their diachronic and synchronic distribution is outlined. The problem of their origin is discussed, as well as the social meaning that weapons may have had in Upper Nubia. The importance of military ideology and of weapons in the Kerma society is suggested, as well as their role in the identity building of the kingdom of Kush. Finally, the contribution that the study of weapons can provide for getting a more complete knowledge of the relations between Kush and Egypt is dealt with too.

Weapons, Ideology and Identity at Kerma (Upper Nubia, 2500–1500 bc)

in Annali Sezione Orientale

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References

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Figures

  • View in gallery
    Location of Kerma, of other sites and regions mentioned in the text, and of other major archaeological sites.
  • View in gallery
    Kerma classique swords and daggers from Kerma, ivory, wood and copper (?) (from Reisner 1923, pl. 50, 1).
  • View in gallery
    Kerma classique dagger from Kerma, ivory, wood and copper (?).

    trustees of the british museum, length 42 cm).

  • View in gallery
    Kerma moyen swords and daggers from Kerma, copper (?) and ivory (from Dunham 1982, pl. ib).
  • View in gallery
    Kerma moyen spear from Kerma, gilded copper (?), length of the spear 15,5 cm (from Dunham 1982, figs. 66, 28).
  • View in gallery
    Late Kerma ancien or Kerma moyen copper (?) axes from Kerma (a–c, from Dunham 1982, pl. XLc), and axes dating to the very end of the Kerma moyen early Kerma classique from Kerma (d–e, from Dunham 1982, pl. Ib).
  • View in gallery
    Stone ax heads from Kerma sites in Upper Nubia.

    Trustees of the British Museum, dimensions of the largest artifact 13,3×17, 4×1,9 cm).

  • View in gallery
    Flint asymmetrical blade with concave butt and convex cutting edge from a Kerma moyen assemblage of the settlement area at Kerma (from Bonnet 1986, fig. 8).
  • View in gallery
    Stone (a–c from Reisner 1923, pl. 39, 2) and faïence (d–e, from Reisner 1923, pl. 48, 2) mace heads from the Kerma classique sector of the cemetery at Kerma.
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    Grave going back to the end of the Kerma ancien phase with body in contracted position with a bow and a band perhaps with a feather on the forehead (from Bonnet 1982, fig. 16).
  • View in gallery
    Wood throwsticks made from branches or sapling found in the southern, Kerma classique, sector of the cemetery at Kerma (from Reisner 1923, pl. 51, 3).
  • View in gallery
    Uninscribed stelae from Buhen, in Lower Nubia, dating to Kerma classique times and bearing representations of the king of Kush with mace, bow and arrows (a) and of a Kushite king or warrior with bow and arrows and a prisoner (b) (from Smith 1976, pl. iii).
  • View in gallery
    Fly pendants from the Kerma classique sector of the cemetery at Kerma, ivory and gold (Reisner 1923, pl. 53, 1).
  • View in gallery
    Collars with two striding lions and flies of valor, used as military awards in the early 18th Dynasty represented respectively in Theban Tomb 200 [225] (a) and 92 [190] (b) (from Jéquier 1912, fig. 1–2); reconstruction of a faïence striding lion originally decorating the facade of the K ii royal funerary chapel at Kerma and going back to Kerma classique times (c, Photograph © 2016 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, dimensions 120×55 cm).

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