Three Hundred Years of Death: The Egyptian Funerary Industry in the Ptolemaic Period, Maria Cannata provides a detailed survey of the organisation of the necropolises and the funerary workers, as well as their role in the practical aspects of the mummification, funeral, burial, and mortuary cult of the deceased, in Ptolemaic Egypt (332-30 BC). The author gathers together and synthesises hundreds of the original textual sources, as well as the relevant archaeological sources, on the organisation of the funerary industry and its practitioners, revealing important regional and chronological variations overlooked in studies focusing on a limited geographical area, a shorter timeframe, or a smaller group of documents.
Toponymy on the Periphery, Julien Charles Cooper conducts a study of the rich geographies preserved in Egyptian texts relating to the desert regions east of Egypt. These regions, filled with mines, quarries, nomadic camps, and harbours are often considered as an unimportant hinterland of the Egyptian state, but this work reveals the wide explorations and awareness Egyptians had of the Red Sea and its adjacent deserts, from the Sinai in the north to Punt in the south. The book attempts to locate many of the placenames present in Egyptian texts and analyse their etymology in light of Egyptian linguistics and the various foreign languages spoken in the adjacent deserts and distant shores of the Red Sea.
Visualizing Coregency, Lisa Saladino Haney explores the practice of co-rule during Egypt’s 12th Dynasty and the role of royal statuary in expressing the dynamics of shared power. Though many have discussed coregencies, few have examined how such a concept was expressed visually. Haney presents both a comprehensive accounting of the evidence for coregency during the 12th Dynasty and a detailed analysis of the full corpus of royal statuary attributed to Senwosret III and Amenemhet III. This study demonstrates that by the reign of Senwosret III the central government had developed a wide-ranging visual, textual, and religious program that included a number of distinctive portrait types designed to convey the central political and cultural messages of the dynasty.
Byblos in the Late Bronze Age, Marwan Kilani reconstructs the “biography” of the city of Byblos during the Late Bronze Age. Commonly described simply as a centre for the trade of wood, the city appears here as a dynamic actor involved in multiple aspects of the regional geopolitical reality.
By combining the information provided by written sources and by a fresh reanalysis of the archaeological evidence, the author explores the development of the city during the Late Bronze Age, showing how the evolution of a wide range of geopolitical, economic and ideological factors resulted in periods of prosperity and decline.
Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant series publishes volumes from the Harvard Semitic Museum. Other series offered by Brill that publish volumes from the Museum include
Harvard Semitic Studies and
Harvard Semitic Monographs,
The second volume of
Excavations at Mendes furthers the publication of our archaeological work at the site of Tel er-Rub’a, ancient Mendes, in the east central Delta. Mendes is proving to be one of the most exciting sites in the Nile Delta. Occupied from prehistoric times until the Roman Period, Mendes reveals the nature of a typical Late Egyptian city, its distribution of economy, and demography. The discoveries reported on in this volume were wholly unexpected, and bear meaning fully on Ancient Egyptian history: these include the prosperity and size of the original Old Kingdom city, the major contributions of Ramesses II and Amasis to the monumental nature of the city, and the role of the city in the period c. 600–100 B.C. as an entrepot for Mediterranean trade.
Excavations at the Seila Pyramid and Fag el-Gamous Cemetery, the excavation team provides crucial information about the Old Kingdom and Graeco-Roman Egypt. While both periods have been heavily studied, Kerry Muhlestein and his contributors provide new archaeological information that will help shape thinking about these eras. The construction and ritual features of the early Fourth Dynasty Seila Pyramid represents innovations that would influence royal funerary cult for hundreds of years. Similarly, as one of the largest excavated cemeteries of Egypt, Fag el-Gamous helps paint a picture of multi-cultural life in the Fayoum of Egypt during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Excavations there provide a statistically impactful understanding of funerary customs under the influence of new cultures and religion.
L'Administration provinciale sous l'Ancien Empire égyptien, Émilie Martinet offers an innovative analysis of the provincial administrative structures and the stratification of the local elites in the Old Kingdom (2700-2160 BC) based on a critical study of sources and building on a database containing about 1500 titled individuals. She applies a comprehensive and novel approach which goes beyond the scope of prosopographical analysis and which includes all the hierarchy levels as well as the links between central administration and provincial administration. The exhaustive character of this study, the historical reasoning which is employed, and the development of a typology of provincial administrative structures and of a new terminology for the rulers of the provinces are among the major assets of this book.
The Representations of Women in the Middle Kingdom Tombs of Officials Ľubica Hudáková offers an in-depth analysis of female iconography in the decorative programme of Middle Kingdom non-royal tombs, highlighting changes and innovations in comparison to the Old Kingdom. Previously considered too uniform, the study represents the first systematic investigation of two-dimensional images of women and reveals their variability in space and time.
Hudáková examines the roles appointed to women by analyzing how they are depicted in a variety of contexts. Taking into account their postures, gestures, garments, hairstyles, size of the body, age as well as attributes and tools used by them, along with the scene orientation, she traces diachronic and diatopic developments and regional traditions in the Middle Kingdom tomb decoration.
English Explorers in the East (1738-1745). The Travels of Thomas Shaw, Charles Perry and Richard Pococke, Rachel Finnegan offers an account of the influential travel writings of three rival explorers, whose eastern travel books were printed within a decade of each other.
Making use of historical records, Finnegan examines the personal and professional motives of the three authors for producing their eastern travels; their methods of researching, drafting, and publicising their works while still abroad; their relationships with each other, both while travelling and on their return to England; and the legacy of their combined works. She also provides a survey of the main features (both textual and visual) of the travel books themselves.
Concepts in Middle Kingdom Funerary Culture presents a collection of archaeological and philological papers discussing how ancient Egyptians thought, and modern scholars may think, about Egyptian funerary practices of the early 2nd millennium BCE.
Targeting the concepts used by modern scholars, the papers address both general methodological questions of how concepts should be developed and used and more specific ones about the history and presuppositions behind particular Egyptological concepts. In so doing, the volume brings to the fore occasionally problematic intellectual baggage that have hindered understanding, as well highlighting new promising avenues of research in ancient Egyptian funerary culture in the Middle Kingdom and more broadly.
The Tomb of the Priests of Amun, also known as Bab el-Gasus, was uncovered in 1891 at Deir el-Bahari (Thebes). The site proved to be the largest undisturbed tomb ever found in Egypt, as there were found the intact burials of 153 individuals that lived under the 21st Dynasty (ca. 1069-945 BC). This outstanding find was subsequently divided in lots of antiquities and dispersed by 17 nations.
This volume presents the first comprehensive publication of the Italian Lot, kept in the Egyptian Museum of Florence. Besides the formal description of the objects, a critical assessment of the collection is provided regarding the reconstruction of the burial assemblages, the reuse of the burial equipment and the art historical examination of coffin decoration.
The Materiality of Texts from Ancient Egypt contains nine contributions from well-known papyrologists, Egyptologists, archaeologists and technical specialists. They discuss the materiality of ancient writing and writing supports in various ways through methodological considerations and through practical case studies from the early Pharaonic to the Late Antique periods in Egypt, including Greek and Egyptian papyri and ostraca, inscriptions and graffiti.
The articles in this volume present new approaches to the study of textual material and scribal practice, especially in the light of the ongoing development of digital techniques that uncover new information from ancient writing materials. The aim of the book is to encourage researchers of ancient texts to consider the benefits of using these new methods and technological resources.
The Notebook of Dhutmose Regina Hölzl, Michael Neumann and Robert Demarée document the surprising discovery and the contents of a papyrus scroll found in an ibis mummy jar in the Kunsthistorisch Museum in Vienna. The twenty-four columns of text constitute a unique notebook of the Scribe Dhutmose who is well-known as the author of administrative documents and a private correspondence. He was active as chief administrator of the institution responsible for the creation of royal tombs in Western Thebes at the end of the Ramesside Period, around 1100 BCE. The texts concern financial accounts relating to the acquisition of copper tools and weapons, but also private affairs like an inventory of his amulets and jewelry and a report about the robbery of his personal belongings.
One of the world's oldest treaties provides the backdrop for a new analysis of the Egyptian concept of
hetep ("peace"). To understand the full range of meaning of
Peace in Ancient Egypt explores battles against Egypt's enemies, royal offerings to deities, and rituals of communing with the dead. Vanessa Davies argues that
hetep is the result of action that is just, true, and in accord with right order (
maat). Central to the concept of
hetep are the issues of rhetoric and community. Beyond detailing the ancient Egyptian concept of
hetep, it is hoped that this book will provide a useful framework that can be considered in relation to concepts of peace in other cultures.
In the 12th Dynasty (ca. 1985-1773 BC) the Egyptian state sent a number of seafaring expeditions to the land of Punt, located somewhere in the southern Red Sea region, in order to bypass control of the upper Nile by the Kerma kingdom. Excavations at Mersa/Wadi Gawasis on the Red Sea coast of Egypt from 2001 to 2011 have uncovered evidence of the ancient harbor (
Saww) used for these expeditions, including parts of ancient ships, expedition equipment and food – all transported ca. 150 km across the desert from Qift in Upper Egypt to the harbor. This book summarizes the results of these excavations for the organization of these logistically complex expeditions, and evidence at the harbor for the location of Punt.
“[There] is no shortage of analysis relating to the Punt expeditions, much of which is likely to become the new ‘standard’ account of these voyages and of the huge logistical and ideological undertaking they represented. The volume will therefore be of immense value to scholars and students of ancient Egypt, and of ancient seafaring more generally.” - Julian Whitewright,
University of Southampton, in:
The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 48.2 (2019)
The Performative Structure: Ritualizing the Pyramid of Pepy I, Nils Billing investigates the ancient Egyptian pyramid complex as a performative structure, ritualized through the operative faculty inherent in monumental architecture, text, and image. The main body of research is given over to an analysis of the Pyramid Texts found in the pyramid of king Pepy I of the Sixth Dynasty (ca 2300 BCE). It is demonstrated that the texts were distributed on distinct space-bound thematic and ritual levels in order to perpetuate a cultic activity from which the lord of the tomb could be transformed by moving through the different chambers and corridors towards the exit. Just as the decoration program of the mortuary temple once delineated the ritual and ideological structure of the royal mortuary cult, the corpus of texts distributed in the pyramid provided a monumentalized performative structure that effectuated the perennial rebirth for its owner.
Amyrtaeus, only pharaoh of the Twenty-eighth Dynasty, shook off the shackles of Persian rule in 404 BCE; a little over seventy years later, Ptolemy son of Lagus started the ‘Greek millennium’ (J.G. Manning’s phrase) in Egypt―living long enough to leave a powerful kingdom to his youngest son, Ptolemy II, in 282.
In this book, expert studies document the transformation of Egypt through the dynamic fourth century, and the inauguration of the Ptolemaic state. Ptolemy built up his position as ruler subtly and steadily. Continuity and change marked the Egyptian-Greek encounter. The calendar, the economy and coinage, the temples, all took on new directions. In the great new city of Alexandria, the settlers’ burial customs had their own story to tell.
Writing is not the only notation system used in literate societies. Some visual communication systems are very similar to writing, but work differently. Identity marks are typical examples of such systems, and this book presents a particularly well-documented marking system used in Pharaonic Egypt as an exemplary case.
From Single Sign to Pseudo-Script is the first book to fully discuss the nature and development of an ancient marking system, its historical background, and the fascinating story of its decipherment. Chapters on similar systems in other cultures and on semiotic theory help to distinguish between unique and universal features. Written by Egyptologist Ben Haring, the book addresses scholars interested in marking systems, writing, literacy, and the semiotics of visual communication.
"With this publication, the author exemplified how a close familiarity with a subject enables research in areas of Egyptian society that had not been touched until now and how the resulting insight is presented properly." - Eva-Maria Engel,
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, in:
Bibliotheca Orientalis 76.1-2 (2019)
Auditive Räume des alten Ägypten Erika Meyer-Dietrich explores the sonic aspects of culture in the 18th Dynasty (1550-1290 BCE). Crucial to the transformation of an audio culture during the Amarna Period are the transfer of traditional sound patterns to new contexts and the position of the heard body in social spaces. Based on the iconography of sonic acting and the representation of urban places as auditive spaces in the rock tombs of Tell el Amarna she convincingly shows how, through sound sequences and the creation or omission of sounds, auditive spaces are given social and religious significance. Her work adds an important new aspect to the understanding of the Amarna Period, which until now has been studied mainly as a visual culture.
The Craft of a Good Scribe, Steve Vinson offers a comprehensive study of the Demotic Egyptian
First Tale of Setne Khaemwas (Third Century BCE), the first to appear since 1900. "First Setne" is the most important extant Demotic literary text, and among the most important fictional compositions from any period of ancient Egypt. The tale, which is by turns lurid, tragic and ultimately comic, deals with Setne's theft of a magic book written by the god Thoth himself, and subsequently Setne's punishment through a hallucinatory encounter with the ghostly
femme fatale Tabubue.
Vinson provides a new textual edition and commentary, and explores the tale's cultural background, its modern reception, and approaches to its interpretation as a work of literature.
The Medinet Habu Records of the Foreign Wars of Ramesses III is a new translation and commentary of the Textual record of Ramesses III’s military activity. As such it dwells heavily upon the inscriptions dealing with Libyans and Sea Peoples. Since the format is oral formulaic, the texts are scanned and rendered as lyric. The new insights into the period covered by the inscriptions leads to a new appraisal of the identity of Egypt’s enemies, as well as events surrounding the activity of the Sea Peoples. The exercise is not intended to dismiss, but rather to complement the archaeological evidence.
"The Sea Peoples ... still remain an everexpanding topic of scholarly research swimming in a sea of disputation.... Redford’s book will help all of us to understand better the phenomenon of the end of the Bronze Age."
Anthony Spalinger, University of Auckland,
Journal of the American Oriental Society 139.4 (2019)