This paper presents the overview on the study of Middle Palaeolithic cultures and Late Plaeolithic cultures alongside Nile River Valley from Sudan to Upper Egypt. After the Nubian salvage campaign, many Palaeolithic assemblages were found within the context of the Nile silt sediment that gave them correct age. Many prehistoric investigation shed new light on the Palaeolithic cultures and societies there. Many fruits of the research deserve special attention because they not only offer excellent data on Plaeolithic assemblage there but also they give us some important clue to understand social condition in the Palaeolithic age.
In this paper, the Thebes-Armant region on the west bank of the Nile is examined in terms of its geographical, cultural, social, political and economic aspects during the period of early Egyptian state formation. During the period, the Thebes-Armant region remained basically a ruraV pastoral area with village level communities, located between the large settlements that functioned as the centers of major polities. The region was culturally and socially included in or largely influenced by the communities centered at Naqada from the beginning of its Predynastic history. Later in the middle of Naqada II, the region was integrated into a larger polity, probably that of Naqada, and lost any political independence. Owing to its geographical location at the terminus of the desert roads leading to the Western Desert and the Abydos region via Hiw, dwellers of the Thebes-Armant region may have benefited from better communication with inhabitants of these areas, though positive evidence for this is not apparent from the poorly known cemeteries in the region.
Enormous achievements have been accomplished by preliminary seasons and two phases of long term intensive conservation work on the wall paintings of the royal tomb of Amenophis III in the Valley of the Kings carried out from March 2001 to March 2004. The actual conservation work was undertaken by an international team of Egyptian, Japanese, and Italian conservators, adopting and improving their idea and techniques. Most of the walls accomplished to recover bright polychrome colors after cleaning, articulating the outstanding technique which can be only attested in the prestigious tombs of the prosperous reign of this king. Another successful achievement was the involvement and training of young local conservators from Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) in the project. The results of this comprehensive project is highly esteemed and appreciated by the local authorities, and it should be underlined that the method and international organization employed in the conservation project of royal tomb of Amenophis III can be applied to many Theban monuments as a model to prevent the further loss of the World Cultural Heritage in the Luxor region.
In this paper, the author focuses upon the scientific analysis on four vitreous artifacts with the names ofAmenophis III and his queen that are stored in Nariwa Museum. The aim of the research is to find out a geographical trait of these four tested artifacts. The use of Synchrotron Radiation X-ray Fluorescence analysis (SR-XRF) at SPring-8 enabled us to fingerprint the rare earth elements (REE) and heavier elements. The result of the analysis gave us information such as the distinctive use of copper and cobalt as a blue colorant, the latter was mostly used for the better-quality pieces. Since neither cobalt nor antimony bearing ores are not attested in Egypt, there is a possibility of using imported minerals. Also, a series of REE is detected from some objects. An analysis on Egyptian sands and Mesopotamian sands reveals that a series of REE are not obvious in Egyptian sands, but apparent in the latter. Since REE reflect geographical characteristics, we may be able to give a tentative hypothesis that some of the examined artifacts were made in Egypt with imported ingredients. This analysis yielded a possibility toward regional characterization of vitreous materials, which may eventually leads to reveal the international trade relationship during the mid New Kingdom.
I will introduce the temples in the Kharga Oasis that are known to have worshipped the Theban god Amen. This indicates that the principal god Amen or Amen-Ra temporarily moved from Thebes, the traditional religious centre in the Nile Valley, to the Kharga Oasis where he had a strong influence. The evidence shows that the Persian kings in the 27th Dynasty, especially Darius I, discontinued construction activity in Thebes and instead built some huge structures in the Kharga Oasis. This, combined with the fact that the institution of “the God’s Wife of Amen” disappeared from Thebes at the same time, possibly indicates a large-scale migration of people from Thebes to the Kharga Oasis. Such a migration created a unique Amen adoration in Kharga and Darius I willingly allowed the worship of Amen because Amen was a sun god with a ram’s head ― much like the Persian Royal family's own motif.
Focusing on the results of the archaeological investigations at Akoris and the nearby quarry at Zawiet Sultan, the author explores the political position of Middle Egypt between Thebes and Alexandria under the Ptolemaic rule. The discovery of the huge amount of Mediterranean amphorae of the second century BC suggests that the export of local limestone to Alexandria and the import of Greek commodities to Akoris played an important role to foster the close economic relationship between this rural community in Middle Egypt and the Ptolemaic capital. Moreover, the Greek and demotic graffiti recently found at Zawiet Sultan also demonstrate that such relationship had already been established well in the mid-third century BC. These circumstances, on the other hand, must have caused the deterioration of the relationship between Middle Egypt and the traditional religious centre of Thebes, which is reflected in the decision of a local elite to maintain a firm alliance with the Ptolemaic court during the great uprising in the South.
This paper aims to clarify the development of material culture, focusing on the cultural context of the Roman-Byzantine period. The village site at Deir al-Shalwit, seemingly known as Tricomia, was formed around the temple precinct and flourished during the first to third centuries bordering on the area of Jeme and Thebes Diospolis to the north. However archaeological evidence shows that its religious affiliation with the Armant region to the south were influenced by the Montu-Buchis cult, which overshadow ritual aspect of the finds. The analysis of the pottery assemblage imply another feature of daily life, in which a latent inclination to the Mediterranean mode is quite apparent indicated by the repeated imitation of vessel form, shaping, surface treatment and decoration techniques, though actual scarcity of the influx of red glossy ware blurs this tendency. On the other hand, even at the religious breaking with the rise of Christianity, the pre-formed class-structure of the pottery assemblage was maintained through a consistent influence from the Mediterranean world. But some ritual groups might have disappeared leading to a transformation in the type-structure level occurred, as is represented in the water jug. It is at this point that Qullas with Coptic decoration became dominant, which flew to the Early Islamic period.
The aim of this paper is to attempt to offer a more plausible interpretation of the Demotic property contracts called s‘nḫ-documents, by re-examining the concept of the key word “s‘nḫ.” S‘nḫ-documents, which existed at least from 522 BC until AD 21 in Egypt, have generally been interpreted as “annuity contracts,” whose purpose is to ensure that a husband will support his wife within matrimony and even in the case of divorce, provided that her property, known as “s‘nḫ,” is under his control.
However, this explanation remains somewhat questionable because of the following three points: (1) The key term “s‘nḫ” itself does not seem to have been sufficiently examined by scholars. (2) Even though the clauses concerning the wife's subsistence occur also in matrimonial property contracts where “s‘nḫ” is not referred to, the s‘nḫ-documents alone are looked upon as “annuity contracts.” (3) This interpretation conflicts with the idea that a man supported his wife as a matter ofcourse at that time.
Through reconsidering the meaning of the word “s‘nḫ,” the present study concludes that the wife’s s‘nḫ in the s‘nḫ-documents might be income-generating property where the “usufructuary right” is given to her for her living and the term does not depend on whether she made a contract with her husband or not. Accordingly, the s‘nḫ-documents could be interpreted as a deed where the main concern is to guarantee her the sure return of her s‘nḫ property from her husband. Furthermore, an attempt to re-situate the clauses discussing the wife's subsistence shows the possibility that the emmer and the silver which are to be given to her by her husband are the fine which he has to pay if he fails to return her s‘nḫ on the day she sets.
The so-called Christian Orient can be characterized both by its unity which is manifest from the existence of its lingua franca (Greek in antiquity, and Arabic from the Middle Ages down to the present), and by its multiple cultural interactions which can be best seen in the way various literary works were transmitted from one language into another. From both points of view, the case of the Life of Macarius, which is preserved in various languages of the Christian Orient, deserves special attention, especially because its Greek version seems to derive from its Arabic version, as the present article shows.
Qāytbāy (r. 1468-96) and Qānṣūh al-Ghawrī (r. 1501-16), the two most prominent sultans of the late Circassian Mamluk period, donated substantial properties such as agricultural lands, houses, caravansaries, public baths, etc. as religious trusts (waqf; pl. awqāf). C. F. Petry regards their activities as a “financial policy” intended to secure a private source of revenue independent of the traditional state financial system against the political and economic crisis of the times. However, it must be noted that the preceding sultans had also striven to hold private and waqf properties. It is necessary to comprehend the meaning of their “financial policy” from the point of view of the historical development of the sultanic private financial affairs. It seems that the sultans developed their own resources because of practical necessity due to fundamental problems of the state and the political structure in this period.
From this aspect, this paper examines the process by which Barqūq, the first sultan o f the Circassian Mamluks (r. 1382-89, 90-99), accumulated property and its background, using narrative and archival sources. Consequently, the following facts have become clear: firstly, Barqūq held various kinds of private and waqf properties, and thus the Diwān al-Amlāk wa-al-Awqāf wa-al-Dhakhīra, the special office having charge of them, headed by an ustādār, was established; secondly, holding those properties was helpful for him in operating a government in the midst of political instability and the malfunction of the traditional state machinery; thirdly, he accumulated the properties by both fair means and foul, such as the diversion of state property, confiscation, istibdāl (exchangeof waqf properties), etc. Subsequently, the role of the sultan’s property in the political and financial spheres grew in importance throughout the Circassian Mamluk period.