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This brief interaction left a huge Egyptian influence on Kushite culture. The Meroitic god of procreation, Sebiumeker, was associated with the Egyptian creator god, Atum, and many of the pyramids in Kush were built along the design of those in Egypt.

Ramesses II

Besides the cultural similarities, both civilizations also shared trade routes along the Nile River. The Egyptian territories were further north and Kush stretched through the Nubia desert and into southern Egypt. Because the pharaohs refuses to tolerate trade competition from key routes in the South, the south they frequently encroached directly on Kushite lands in Nubian territories to secure strategic routes in the gold trade and the mines in Darahib, Qareiyat, and Umm Nabardi.

Meanwhile, in Kush, the shortage of fertile land caused problems. The winter cultivation season shitwi depended on the irrigation from the Nile River and spending enormous resources to create formidable water networks. However, the commercial strength of the Nubians started to decline starting around the fifth century before our era. As noted by A. Kush itself had always remained relevant in the international trading system as early as the third century BCE—one century after the sack of Egypt by Alexander the Great in BCE.

Trade was at the heart of the Kushite state, as was the case in the development of early states across Sudanic Africa.

Its merchants controlled the supply of goods including ivory, ostrich feathers, and wood to Egypt. The Kingdom was so prominent that many kingdoms of the ancient world depended on it for the supply of incense and gold. The Kushites traveled as far as the Persian Empire for trade. These high commercial activities fueled by a great demand for gold inspired the production of commercial grade iron tools in East Africa and perhaps similar innovations throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Kerma was the first capital of Kush. Prior to the pioneering excavations of Kerma in the s [9] and the remarkable study by archaeologist Charles Bonnet in the late s, most of what we knew about Kerma was from Egyptian records. According to recent archaeological excavations in Sudan, there are strong reasons to peg the economy of Kerma around crop cultivation, pastoralism and gold processing.

They served as the primary source of protein and calcium, which were necessary for survival in the warm and temperate Nubian climate. In the Winter, crops like wheat, barley, and millet almost exclusively served for household consumption although, the absence of profitable higher water-intensive crops might be due to the minimal supply of water during this period. Legumes including lentils and peas were easily cultivated for commercial purposes.

Kerma probably raised more cattle than most of its neighbors at this time. Traders sold their hides for weapon holster and clothing. Cattle also served other purposes in burial. According to Louis Chaix, the excavations at burial sites in Kerma showed that bucrania—the skull of a cattle often containing the horn—were placed facing the deceased in burial mounds and sometimes in large numbers as part of a departing ritual for the dead.

Its location as the midway city between Egypt, central Africa, and the Red Sea made it the center of the rich trade in ivory and ebony. The Kermise engaged in direct trade in these commodities with communities that stretched deep into central Africa. Kerma had a class of wealthy merchants who served as middlemen between the traders up north from Egypt and those from Central Africa.

It was probably through these trade engagements and local agriculture that the Kushites made their wealth. This sequence was found in several Egyptian words, including the words meaning "mirror", "floral bouquet", and "life". In art the symbol often appeared as a physical object representing either life or substances such as air or water that are related to it.

It was especially commonly held in the hands of deities , or being given by them to the pharaoh , to represent their power to sustain life and to revive human souls in the afterlife. It was one of the most common decorative motifs in ancient Egypt and was adopted by neighbouring cultures as an artistic motif. Since the late 20th century, in the Western world, the symbol has come to be used decoratively, as a symbol of African cultural identity, Neopagan belief systems, and the Goth subculture.

In ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic writing , the ankh was a triliteral sign: one that represented a sequence of three consonant sounds. The same consonants were found in the word for "mirror" and the word for a floral bouquet, so the sign was also used in writing these words. The Egyptologists Battiscombe Gunn and Alan Gardiner believed these objects to be sandal straps, given that they appear in pairs at the foot of the coffin and the accompanying texts say the objects are "on the ground under his feet".

Early examples of the ankh sign date to the First Dynasty c. Many scholars believe the sign is a knot formed of cloth or reeds, [8] as early versions of the sign show the lower bar of the ankh as two separate lengths of flexible material that seem to correspond to the two ends of the knot. Hieroglyphic writing used pictorial signs to represent sounds, so that, for example, the hieroglyph for a house could represent the sounds p-r , which were found in the Egyptian word for "house".

Commerce in Kushite Metropolises of Kerma, Napata, and Meroë

This practice, known as the rebus principle , allowed the Egyptians to represent things, such as abstract concepts, that could not be pictured. Allen , in an introductory book on the Egyptian language published in , assumes that the sign originally meant "sandal strap" and uses it as one of the major examples of the rebus principle in hieroglyphic writing. Various authors have argued that the sign originally represented something other than cloth.

Some have suggested that it had a sexual meaning. A problem with this argument, which Loret acknowledged, is that deities are frequently shown holding the ankh by its loop, and their hands pass through it where the solid reflecting surface of an ankh-shaped mirror would be. In , Andrew Gordon, an Egyptologist, and Calvin Schwabe, a veterinarian, argue that the origin of the ankh is related to two other signs of uncertain origin that often appear alongside it: the was staff , representing "power" or "dominion", and the djed pillar, representing "stability".

According to this hypothesis, the form of each sign is drawn from a part of the anatomy of a bull, like some other hieroglyphic signs that are known to be based on body parts of animals. In Egyptian belief semen was connected with life and, to some extent, with "power" or "dominion", and some texts indicate the Egyptians believed semen originated in the bones.

Therefore, Calvin and Schwabe suggest the signs are based on parts of the bull's anatomy through which semen was thought to pass: the ankh is a thoracic vertebra , the djed is the sacrum and lumbar vertebrae , and the was is the dried penis of the bull.

Commerce and Trade in Ancient Africa: Kush

In Egyptian belief, life was a force that circulated throughout the world. Individual living things, including humans, were manifestations of this force and fundamentally tied to it. Sustaining life was thus the central function of the deities who governed these natural cycles. Therefore, the ankh was frequently depicted being held in gods' hands, representing their life-giving power.

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The Egyptians also believed that when they died their individual lives could be renewed in the same manner as life in general. The pharaoh to some extent represented Egypt as a whole, so by giving the sign to him, the gods granted life to the entire nation. By extension of the concept of "life", the ankh could signify air or water. In artwork, gods hold the ankh up to the nose of the king: offering him the breath of life.

Hand fans were another symbol of air in Egyptian iconography, and the human servants who normally carried fans behind the king were sometimes replaced in artwork by personified ankh signs with arms.

Trade in Ancient Egypt - Egypt Trade

In scenes of ritual purification, in which water was poured over the king or a deceased commoner, the zigzag lines that normally represented water could be replaced by chains of ankh signs. The ankh may have been used decoratively more than any other hieroglyphic sign. Mirrors, mirror cases, and floral bouquets were made in its shape, given that the sign was used in writing the name of each of these objects.

Some other objects, such as libation vessels and sistra , were also shaped like the sign. The sign appeared very commonly in the decoration of architectural forms such as the walls and shrines within temples. In some decorative friezes in temples, all three signs, or the ankh and was alone, were positioned above the hieroglyph for a basket that represented the word "all": "all life and power" or "all life, power, and stability". Some deities, such as Ptah and Osiris , could be depicted holding a was scepter that incorporated elements of the ankh and djed.

Amulets made in the shape of hieroglyphic signs were meant to impart to the wearer the qualities represented by the sign. The Egyptians wore amulets in daily life as well as placing them in tombs to ensure the well-being of the deceased in the afterlife. Other Editions 3.


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Ancient Egypt Documentary: the Nubian Pharaohs of Egypt

More filters. Sort order. Oct 28, Lisa rated it really liked it Shelves: ancient-egypt , hearteyes , reviewed.

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Better known to the general public as Akhenaten's father and the Colossi of Memnon, Amenhotep III was one of Egypt's greatest pharaohs and his reign often seen as the golden age of the Ancient Egyptian civilisation. Yet very few books have been written about him, especially compared to the endless tomes on Akhenaten according to Dominic Montserrat , around 2, reference books alone.

Kozloff explores the reign, life and context of Amenhotep III. It's by far the most satisfying volume on Amenhotep III that I've read — it's personal, in depth and accessible. Kozloff writes in an easy, reachable and logical way, and it's clear she has a lot of affection for Amenhotep III. Her commentary on pieces of artwork can go on for a bit — I didn't mind this, but others might. The book is obviously well researched, though I wished a different style of citations had been used. In-text referencing or the use of endnotes or footnotes would have been preferable, so the exact reference can be easily located.

Instead, the citations used in each chapter are grouped into broad subject headings. That means, that if I was curious about a certain aspect discussed about the Amarna letters, I would have to go through all the references she cites under the "Amarna letters" heading in order to find that one specific, relevant reference. Some of Kozloff's assertions could be better explained i. On the whole, however, these are minimal and disappear once Amenhotep's life becomes more firmly documented.

The final chapter, which focuses on the Amarna period in light of Amenhotep III's reign, feels rushed and unfortunately under-researched. For example, she calls Horemheb Ay's "son in law", which is within the realm of possibility, but without any evidence. To see such claims in an otherwise well-researched book was felt a bit like a slap in the face. However, it's easy to forgive, or at least ignore. The Amarna period is very difficult to sum up in just one chapter, and it is just one chapter in an otherwise very good book.

It's also worth mentioning that Kozloff does have an interesting and perhaps unique take on the Amarna period - though, like all other Amarna theories, it's one that can't be proved. Yes, it has drawbacks and yes, my recommendation does come with caveats. But considering the alternatives — a book of academic essays or a very attractive, very heavily illustrated and very slim volume — it is the best biography of Amenhotep III currently available. Jul 28, S. Stevens rated it really liked it Shelves: amarna-period. Amenhotep III was probably the greatest builder in Egyptian history, a god-king who presided over one of his country's greatest golden ages.

Yet today he is remembered mostly as the father of the "heretic king" Akhenaten and the father-in-law of the legendary beauty Nefertiti. Kozloff's biography adds to the limited literature about this pharaoh. She cares deeply about her subject matter, referring affectionately to Amenhotep as "our king. One of them is that Amenhotep ascended to the throne as an adult rather than a child, as is commonly believed.


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  • Unfortunately, her main justification for her position is that during the latter half of his father's reign the Viceroy of Nubia literally, king's son of Kush was a man also named Amenhotep. The title is often shortened to king's son. Kozloff believes that this official called King's Son Amenhotep is also the king's biological son Amenhotep. Therefore, the prince must have been old enough to hold an important political office during his father's reign.

    However, she doesn't take into account that Amenhotep was a very popular name both inside and outside the royal family. She mentions multiple men throughout the book who shared the name. In addition, the recent CT-scan and examination of Amenhotep's mummy places his age at death as in his 50s. Given that he reigned for 38 years, this seems to be definitive proof that he was still a child or youth when he was crowned.