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Tomb of new pharaoh found

pharaoh tomb ancient egypt abydos

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35 replies to this topic

#31    scorpiosonic

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:25 PM

Reading Pre and early Dynastic now, if interested see:http://xoomer.virgilio.it/francescoraf/index.htm

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#32    kmt_sesh

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:25 AM

To scorpiosonic's point about the webmaster and his (her?) hesitancy to elaborate on certain dynasties, for many of the minor kings of the intermediate periods there is extremely little in the way of evidence. For our Senebkay of Dynasty 13, as an example, someone of this name was only theoretical in the past and only because a fragment of his titulary exists on the Turin papyrus. In another example, I can't recall the name of the king off the top of my head, but the only evidence for him is a single, crudely produced stela bearing his name and title.

It's important to remember that the very word "king" tends to be associated with great wealth and power, when in fact many kings of pharaonic Egypt were minor, regional players. They controlled not all of Egypt but only a fixed area, even if they called themselves "King of Upper and Lower Egypt." Senebkay was one of these. It makes the discovery of his tomb no less interesting, however.

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#33    scorpiosonic

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 04:24 AM

Agreed, and many opinions exist on how to interpret Hieroglyphs, esp the very early symbols.

Also, some Archaeologists do label (some of) them chiefs ruling chiefdoms, probably more accurate in PreDynastic Era.

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#34    kmt_sesh

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 04:10 AM

View Postscorpiosonic, on 24 January 2014 - 04:24 AM, said:

Agreed, and many opinions exist on how to interpret Hieroglyphs, esp the very early symbols.

Also, some Archaeologists do label (some of) them chiefs ruling chiefdoms, probably more accurate in PreDynastic Era.

Opinions are one thing but Egyptian hieroglyphs are well understood. Linguists still quibble over fussy parts of speech but the language and its scripts have been largely (not completely) deciphered. My own training is in Middle Egyptian, which is what most college students learn when pursuing degrees in ancient Near Eastern studies or Egyptology. When you have a command of this stage of the ancient glyphic writing, you're well equipped to translate inscriptions and texts from the Old Kingdom up until the New Kingdom, when the language is classified as Late Egyptian. My training in Late Egyptian is not as polished but I still don't usually have much trouble translating material from the New Kingdom and much of the Third Intermediate Period. It's when I encounter the script as written in the Late Period, Ptolemaic Period, and later where I personally find more stumbling blocks.

It's helpful that even in the New Kingdom many scribes used the more archaic form of Middle Egyptian, which was considered a time of artistic and literary renaissance by them. Senebkay lived in the Second Intermediate Period. Below is his name (you can see the cartouche in this image below the winged sun disk):

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The sun disk and duck to the left of the cartouche spell sA-ra, "Son of Re." This became a standard part of the royal titulary back in Dynasty 4 and is instantly recognizable. As for the name Senebkay (snb-kA.i), I would translate it as "My soul is healthy" (snb = "health"; kA.i =  "my soul"). Pretty straight forward. I admit names and titles are standard practice for any student, but at present it's all I have to go by for Senebkay. I've yet to see photos of more inscriptions from his tomb.

As for the earliest periods, I agree the inscriptions can be tricky. We have a stela at the Field Museum which dates to around the time of Djoser, and it's not so much the glyphs as their somewhat random placement that made it tricky for me to translate. I've worked on a small Dynasty 1 plaque in the collection of the Oriental Institute that was even trickier, and for that I confess I turned to professional translations for assistance.

It's mostly the hieroglyphs from prehistory, and specifically from Tomb Uj at Abydos, over which there is still a lot of debate. Dating to around 3300 BCE, these are the oldest-known hieroglyphs and there is still no universal agreement on their interpretation. I don't consider myself equipped to translate them.

As for regional rulers, this was more common than one might think. True, it's the hallmark of late prehistory, when the chiefdoms of the Nile Valley were slowly coalescing into a state, but it seems to be the way the state reverted whenever central authority weakened. So in the First Intermediate Period the most powerful governors of the various nomes were contending for control in violent civil war. In the Second Intermediate Period, we have the Hyksos in the north the Theban princes in the south (and now Senebkay and his Abydos chiefdom). And in the Third Intermediate Period, the Libyans divided up Egypt and ruled it as a collection of chiefdoms; probably the only Libyan pharaoh who unified all of Egypt was Sheshonq I in Dynasty 22. All of these periods were times of local rulers and rival dynasties.

I'll shut up now. Sorry I droned on so long. I was in the mood to write and UM seems pretty quiet this evening.

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#35    kmt_sesh

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 04:12 AM

LOL I just reread my post and see that my opening sentence sounds a bit b****y. That's not how I meant it to seem but I'll let it be.

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#36    scorpiosonic

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 05:52 AM

No apology necessary, every bit helps. I've read most of your blog and some posts here, and envy your ability to read/understand the glyphs. (I was thinking this thread was dead, and the forum is slow.)

"As for the earliest periods, I agree the inscriptions can be tricky......
It's mostly the hieroglyphs from prehistory, and specifically from Tomb Uj at Abydos, over which there is still a lot of debate. Dating to around 3300 BCE, these are the oldest-known hieroglyphs and there is still no universal agreement on their interpretation. I don't consider myself equipped to translate them....."


I've had my nose buried in the link mentioned above, (extensive and very informative) and my earlier meaning was mainly for those Pre Dynastic symbols, (referred to there as Dynasty "00" and "0")....it's also tricky for the Pre Dynastic experts to translate. Mostly a lack of material to compile a workable knowledge base to begin from, and very little agreement among those experts. (That site has recommended/referenced a huge list of books on interpretation and dating of artifacts alone.) Also, I think to much emphasis on finding a starting point for "the unified Egyptian state"....w/ Narmer, etc.

Just a hobby for me, I feel I've grasped these more easily than the Late Egyptian glyphs, (partly a lack of study effort on LE) as they are generally simpler in design, and a smaller alphabet overall.

And all goes back to earlier point in thread, Egypt was not always completely unified thru out it's history, w/ one 'ruler of two lands.'

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