Egypt: Society in New Kingdom Egypt to the death of Amenhotep III Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Egypt: Society in New Kingdom Egypt to the death of Amenhotep III Deck (24):

Geographical setting, natural features and resources of New Kingdom Egypt and its neighbours

Most prominent feature→ Nile River (flows north from central Africa to Egypt and then out to Med sea)
Mediterranean formed Egypt’s northern border while Red Sea was Eastern boundary
West dessert formed natural barrier between Egypt and Libya
During floods, navigation became difficult due to rapids formed as river forced its way through region
3 seasons:
Inundation: Akhet, Emergence: Peret, Ploughing: Shemw
Duality: East and West banks, order in religion, E.g. Osiris vs Seth. Black land vs Red land

“Egypt is the gift of the Nile.” HERODOTUS (Greek historian)
There would be no Egyptian civilization without river
2 distinct geographical areas:
Lower Egypt: North. Rich lands of Nile Delta and Old Kingdom capital of Memphis
Upper Egypt: South of memphis to southern border at Aswan. Included New kingdom capital thebes, and the Valley of the Kings
Nile was important for irrigation for crop growing, transport, water for drinking/bathing, animal husbandry, mud for brickmaking, papyrus, fishing and fowling
Fertile, surrounded by lifeless desert and chaotic foreign lands
Cataracts (natural barriers of Nile) Mediterranean Sea to the North

From Egypt
Wide variety of natural resources; minerals, ores, stone, rock and food
Within borders→ rich deposits of gold (mined from earliest times)
Nile→ Agriculture, water source, transport, fishing and fowling
Food→ Ducks, Cattle, hares, Fish, Oils, vegetables grown, Honey, grains produced, Figs, fruits, grapes (wine)

From neighbours
Oases to the west→ provided valuable raw materials
Timber from cedar forests of Byblos (modern Lebanon)
Crete and Aegean provided pottery, jewellery and ignite of copper
Blue semi precious lapis lazuli stone from Afghanistan
Luxury goods such as panther skin, ostrich feathers came from region of Nubia (south of Egypt) used for priests
Spices, Ivory, Ebony
Relief from Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple, showing trade expedition to Punt. “Behold the load is very heavy...ebony and pure Ivory, apes, skin of southern Panther...the like was never brought before any King

Hymn to Hapi
Hapi reveals how Egyptians relied on the Nile
Hapi is the God of the Nile and sacrifices were made to him as Egyptians knew what would happen when he didn't come
“People's lives are changed by your coming”
“None can live without you.


Significant sites: Thebes, Valley of the Kings, Malkata

East bank of the Nile where the sun rose each day was for the living (City was gods first creation)
Here was Royal palaces, temples of Gods and villages of people
West Bank, place of setting sun was for the dead
For most of NK, Thebes (Waset) was the most important centre
Duality of east and west banks→ Ma’at

East Bank
East bank of the Nile at Thebes→ located 2 great temples of Amun (Luxor and Karnak)

West Bank
Site of the pharaohs mortuary temples (especially built to maintain cult of dead pharaoh in his afterlife)
Pharaohs tombs were close in VOK
Short distance was Valley of Queens
Short distance was village of Dier el- Medina (housed the workers who constructed nearby pharaohs tombs)

NK Royal necropolis (cemetery) Contained rock- cut tombs of 62 pharaohs of NK
Thutmose I is thought to have been the first pharaoh to construct a tomb for himself in VOTK
Consists of two main sections: Eastern and Western valley
Valley offered seclusion and degree of protection for funerary monuments of a dynasty devoted to Amun “the hidden one”
Symbolic appeal→ view across Nile from Thebes resembled hieroglyph Akhet meaning “horizon” (place of rising sun→ gave location a symbolic association with rebirth and renewal.)
Each morning the sun would rise over eastern cliffs (12 hours of wake and order to the waking world, in evening, Ra set towards cliffs in west)

Amenhotep III built a huge palace complex on West Bank of Thebes (for setting of King’s Sed-renewal festival)
Excavation revealed artefacts, rooms with decorated plaster floors, walls and ceilings
Many feature naturalistic scenes of plants and animals, decorative spirals
West of Thebes usually reserved for cemeteries


Roles and images of the pharaoh: concept of maat

Exercised absolute power over his subjects→ had both earthly and divine roles as provider and protector of his people
People revered him as King and representative of gods
Power came responsibility→ at all times; main role was to uphold maat
Chief priest of all religious cults→ made daily offerings to the gods in temples; rituals often delegated to high priests of gods and their attendants
Pharaoh was chief judge and supreme commander of the army

Authority of King shown by regalia or kingly dress
Could be recognised by headdress, symbols of authority he carried and other accoutrements (e.g. False beard, kilt, tail and weapons)
Number of representations of King became standard features of pharaonic iconography (way King was depicted in reliefs and statues)
Expansion of empire in period saw development of Royal military images known as “warrior Pharaoh” iconography
Typically show Pharoah hitting enemy with mace or attacking enemies in war chariots
Military image of Pharaoh was Sphinx (seated pose or trampling enemies)

According to creation myth→ world was in state of continual tension between order and chaos.
Primary duty of pharaoh was to maintain maat (harmony of universe and protect Egypt from forces of chaos)
Concept of maat embodied truth and justice
Abstract concept but personified as a goddess (usually depicted with ostrich feather on head)
Goddess controlled cycle of seasons and stars and relationships between Egyptian people and their gods


Roles of the vizier and members of the religious, administrative and military elites

Supervised work of other officials; Acted as king's deputy
Responsible for main departments of govt
All major officials reported to him (including managers of treasury, granary, state building projects, town mayors and provincial governors)
NK→ administration became complex and office of vizier was split into two
One controlled north
One controlled south (based in Thebes)
“He dispatches every official of the Royal domain...”Tomb of REKHMIRE (vizier of Thutmose III)
Duties included;
Maintaining law and order in civil cases, Supervising king's residence, Appointing and supervising officials , Supervising temple workshops and estates, Controlling public works

Many cults in Egypt for worship of different gods
Administered by overseer of prophets of all gods of Upper and Lower Egypt (position held by Chief Priest of Amun)
Temples were endowed by pharoahs with huge estates→ provided produce necessary for daily offerings to the gods and maintenance of staff (officials, priests, scribes, craftsmen)

Responsible for internal govt of Egypt (most important were viziers)
Overseer of Treasury→ responsible for taxation (paid in grain and cattle) stored in temple and state granaries for distribution in wages to officials and workers
Overseer of granaries→ supervised network of scribes who recorded intake, storage and distribution of grains and supplies
Other officials controlled judiciary (police)
Local district→ provincial governors, town mayors and lesser officials

Strict hierarchy headed by Pharaoh (advised by council made up of vizier and most senior military officers)
Main divisions were infantry and chariotry
Vital role of military in creation and maintenance of empire→ meant army leaders enjoyed high status and influence


Nature and role of the army

Professional standing force
Served as a focus for growing nationalism (stimulated by victories in the war of liberation over the Hyksos)
Provided important career path for men of ambition and talent
Chariotry division led by the Pharaoh
As it conquered neighbouring regions→ it incorporated foreign troops as auxiliaries
Conquered regions were controlled by garrison troops stationed st strategically located fort's; soldiers policed the local area collecting tribute and quelling any local rebellion
Naval contingents were used for transport and communications
Infantrymen were equipped with long and short range weapons. Most important was bow. Others included spears, lances, boomerangs
Used daggers, sticks and clubs for hand to hand combat.
Protective shields were made of wood covered with animal hide
Adaption of Hyksos military technology changed the nature of NK army.
E.g. Horse drawn chariot → new chariot corps gave army mobility in battle and in pursuit of enemies (chariot became distinctive symbol of warrior Pharaoh)
Body armour used and adopted curved swords

Infantry were recruited from conscripts and volunteers (spear men, bow men, axe bearers, club slingers, scouts, spies and messengers)
Chariotry were elite unit in army→ distinguished men of high birth, used as strike weapons ahead of infantry
Captives were bound, led by ropes around neck in front of pharaoh's chariot or put to work in mines
During peacetime→ garrisons of soldiers left in towns and fortresses, colonists settled on farms, mercenaries in resident cities, soldiers acted as bodyguards for the King at festival time, employed in public works, accompanied on trade and mining expeditions

Travel and transportation
Desert marches by infantry, Navy was used to ferry army up and down Nile and to transport men and supplies to Asiatic capital cities (E.g. Byblos for campaigns against Syria)

Decision making and tactics
Pharoah ultimate authority, Councils of war with generals, Frontal attack on enemy position, led by chariotry Use of siege tactics to force surrender

Spoils of war
Slaves, Grain and livestock, Weapons and armour, Luxury items

Treatment of the defeated
Slaughter→ hands or genitals cut off to keep tally of the dead, Taking of hostages or captives (e.g. Children of enemy leaders) Execution of rebel leaders, Mutilation and display of bodies as deterrents


Roles and status of women: Royal and non Royal

Woman’s role and status in NK depended on husband or close male relative
Some royal women had own tomb, but rare , most buried in tombs of male relatives
Dynastic roles was to maintain royal line of succession by providing heirs (kings had many wives)
Most important royal women were queens, wives or mothers of pharaoh
Religious role of queen as consort was to provide female principle that complemented the pharaohs relationship to male gods. E.g She was the hathor to his Horus
Duties of god's wife of Amun→ included important rituals enacted within temple of karnak→ major precinct of Amun
Political role unclear→ traditionally wife of dead king acted as regent for new pharaoh when he was too young to rule in his own right
Still other wives were foreign princesses whose diplomatic marriage to the king cemented relations between Egypt and neighbouring powers
Egyptian princesses were never sent away as bridges for foreign rulers→ demonstrates Egypt’s superiority over its neighbours

2 main groups→ upper class and commoners
Women of upper class→ did not generally take part in same sort of activities as male relative, but were expected to remain at home and manage domestic affairs
Reliefs from tombs→ Indicate activities included weaving, caring for animals, producing crafts items as well as baking, brewing, cooking
Servants available to women of this class
Bringing up children occupied a large amount of their time→ But had advantages of wet nurses and nannies

Little info on lives of women of lower class; Usually referred to as ‘mistress of the house” → meant housewife
Women of this class→ probably occupied with household tasks of raising children, preparing foods, weaving cloth and other physical tasks
Worked in the fields, on regular basis or at least in times of harvest or when extra labour was required
Some Egyptian women of New Kingdom were slaves, known only to use through documents that record the sale


Scribes, artisans and agricultural workers

Workers made up majority of population; Highest ranking of class were scribes→(literate members of society)
Included secretaries and clerks→ jobs were to keep careful records(especially matters relating to tax and state administration)
Skills of scribes were essential to running of government
Wrote letters, despatches, surveyed and, measured eight of crops to assess taxes. Census, items of tribute and trade, measured and recorded gold supplies in temples, recorded allocation if equipment and rations to royal tomb workers

Other skilled workers included artists and craftsmen (sculptors, carpenters, jewellers)
Influx of wealth into Egypt→ increasing need for trained artists and craftsmen with skills and imagination to meet demands of:
Kings massive building projects, dedicated luxury gods to gods, filled tombs with finest funerary objects
Upper classes→ tastes became more sophisticated, lifestyle more opulent, tombs more elaborate
Army equipment. E.g. chariots, weapons
Hierarchy of craftsmen; royal sculptors and goldsmiths at the top
Most favoured in group were those that worked in the Kings tombs

Majority of pop were unskilled workers, occupied mainly in agriculture (mainstay of Egyptian economy)
Peasant was backbone to society; all other classes depended on farmers for their survival
Sometimes conscripted to work on buildings and major water and land management schemes
Other unskilled workers; animal herders and fishermen and servants of nobility→ prepared food and wine for banquets, performed as musicians, singers and dancers and waited on their superiors
Temple servants carried out similar duties in the cults of the various gods


Importance of the Nile: agriculture, animal husbandry, transport

Crucial to development of economy→ agriculture depended on inundation
Food production most important economic activity
Fertile land bordering Nile also supported large herds and flocks of livestock
Nile was highway and main means of transport of goods between many of the towns and villages of Egypt

Economy depended on agriculture from earliest times
After each inundation→ govt officials re-established old boundaries that had been swept away, created new dykes, measured land areas for next planting season
Silt deposited each year by Nile was fertile, but sometimes irrigation by hand was necessary
Shaduf helped this→ mechanism to transfer water from Nile to fields under cultivation (Beam, balanced on supporting tower, with bucket in one end and stone as counterweight.) Bucket was dipped in the river then swung around and emptied into irrigation ditch
E.g. Tomb scene painting showing a shaduf in the New Kingdom
Akhet (Inundation) → July-Oct: Workers relieved from field work, most work done on temples
Peret (Springtime) → Nov-Feb: Ploughing and sowing crops, emergence of plants in main growing season,
Shemu (harvest) → March- June: Harvesting, threshing and winnowing of grain, grain storage

Livestock supplied meat, milk, hides and dung for cooking fuel. Oxen used for ploughing
Domesticated animals raised for food (pigs, sheep, goats)
Archaeological source of the inspection of cattle from the tomb of Nebamun, an 18th dynasty nobleman→ depicts cattle and how they were used in agriculture

Nile was main highway of Ancient Egypt (goods transported between major ports)
Heavy building stone (limestone, granite) transported on barges
E.g. Hatshepsut's mortuary temple at Dier el Bahri; scene of the transportation of a pair of obelisks from Aswan to Thebes
Facilitated domestic trade between villages and towns


Economic exchange: barter and taxation

Main form of economic exchange involved sophisticated barter system (used scale of value)
Main standard used for small transactions was copper, and basic unit was one deben
Value of any exchangeable commodity was expressed as a number of copper deben
E.g. One coffin valued at 25 deben → buyer would have tendered goods (goats, pigs) to this value
Economy depended on the distribution of raw materials and produce, including imported goods and locally produced commodities (barley, cattle, wine, linen)
Goods were redirected by the Royal storehouses as wages to officials, priests, artisans

Agricultural and other produce was carefully measured, countered and recorded by scribes
Govt granaries where grain was stored were essential to economy→ in absence of money currency, agricultural yield formed basis of tax system
Tax collection was most important task carried out by central administration
Conducted by treasury officials accompanied by scribes, and policemen carrying sticks
Tax calculated on heat of annual inundation
Addition to agricultural produce→ officials assessed trees, ponds, canals, herds, flocks and the yield from hunting and fishing
Egyptians careful accountants and tax evaders were severely punished
Tomb scenes depict assessment of produce and collection of taxes by scribes
Sometimes farmers beaten for tax evasion
“He is beaten savagely.” LANSING PAPYRUS
Any produce left after tax, farmers could barter in markets
Once the taxes were paid,mt here was very little left for farmers basic needs
Cheating on taxes was overcome by measuring height of crops and assessing amount of tax payable before crop was harvested.


Impact of empire: booty, tribute and trade

Military Scribes kept inventory of plundered goods taken back to Egypt after successful campaigns
Pharaohs proudly included lists of booty in victory stelae and temple pylons to advertise their success
Annals of Thutmose III records some booty taken after surrender of Megiddo:
“living prisoners: 340. Hands:83…One fine coat of mail belonging to the enemy.”

All goods coming to Egypt from foreign countries referred to as inw→ means “things brought”
Egyptians didn't always distinguish between goods that came as a result of conquest, diplomacy or trade
Conquered towns became vassals of Egypt, and were required to pay an annual tribute or tax
Tribute through conquest→ Annual taxes levied in conquered towns and cities. E.g.timber, copper, lead from vessel towns in Syria
Tribute through diplomacy→ Diplomatic gifts exchanged with neighbouring powers. E.g. Gifts accompanying diplomatic marriages between Amenhotep III and princesses from Babylon and Naharin
Tribute through trade→ Products acquired through commercial exchange. E.g. Ivory from Syria, Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan

One of most important results of creation of empire→ development of diplomatic relationships with neighbours
Rulers of Mitanni and Babylonians recognised Egypt’s influence in region and exchanged gifts of gold and other valuables with the pharaohs→ Egyptians portrayed such gifts as tribute
Peaceful trading missions often followed conquest and diplomacy
Many scenes in tombs of important officials show columns of men bearing foods to be presented to the pharaoh or his officials
E.g. In tomb of Rekhmire (vizier of Thutmose III) shows Minoans dressed in typical kilts carrying distinctive Minoan pottery vessels→ Crete never conquered so scene probably depicts peaceful trading mission

Foreign trade conducted through barter system (usually royal missions on behalf of king or great cult temples)
Merchants and soldiers followed in footsteps of soldiers and new and exotic goods made their way into Egypt from places a far away as Afghanistan and babylon
Expedition to punt during reign of Hatshepsut→ ships returned from Punt with exotic goods such as incense trees, gold, ebony, elephant tusks and panther skins


Crafts and industry: wood, stone and metal

Goldsmiths→ hammered gold and gold foil into shape to make ritual vessels, shrines, and jewellery
Jewellers→ brazing to fit lapis lazuli, carnelian, turquoise, faience beads into gold, drilling into stone beads with bow drills to make collars, earrings and bracelets
Portrait sculptors→ producing statues of kings and gods with bronze chisels and diorite polishers
Metal workers→ smelting ingots of copper and tin (bronze) in large furnaces and pouring material into moulds to make temple doors, mirrors and weapons
Carpenters→ working in cedar, ebony, meru woods with axes, pull saws, adzes, chisels and bow drills to produce coffin sleds, shrines, furniture and chariots
Leather makers→ soaking hides in jars of oils, stretching them over a board, hammering and scraping until the oil is absorbed into the skin and cutting out shapes for sandals, satchels, helmets and quivers
Craftsmen of Dier el Medina→ given better rations, supervised by vizier, equipment from govt warehouses, water, laundry etc→ worked 8 days in 4 hour shifts, returned to family for 2 days→ careful records
Tombs paintings show range of industry→ but not all stages of manufacturing are shown, tomb artist was selective in his choice of activities and techniques


Technology: tools, building materials, techniques and construction

Beginning of 18th dynasty→ known for exquisite craftsmanship and decoration
Process for construction of tombs--. When King commissioned building, everyone rejoiced→ would be employed, better access to rations and supplies
Once site chosen, plans drawn up and quarrying began
Stonemasons use copper and bronze spikes→ pounded with wooden mallet→ split the rock→ limestone debris removed from site in baskets→ Deposited on the Valley floor
Plasterers followed→ smoothing down walls
Draftsmen outline layout of text and pictures in red ink→ mistakes or improvements marked in black by master draftsmen
Sculptors and painters followed→ some stone did not favour reliefs so scenes were painted in plaster surface→ where carving was possible, sculptors used bronze chisels→ reliefs were then painted
Tools: Chisels, copper/bronze spikes, shovels, brushes, ochras for colour, mallet,


Gods, goddesses, cults and priesthoods including Amun -Re, Osiris

Centered around family (temples called homes or mansions)
Revered animal headed deities (numerical groupings. E.g.Dyads; 2→ Endless duality)
Strong links between God and Pharaoh's

Each major god; associated with cult temple (centre of worship)
Some became wealthy; cultivation of land/trade, mining → managed by priesthoods

Cult of Amun-Re
Most important god (chief god of state religion)
Temple at Karnak→ higher status than other cults; priesthood became powerful

Cult of Osiris
Originally fertility god→ after murder and dismemberment; became god of underworld (chief God of dead)
Features of cult were important NK burial practices→ mummification, funeral, Opening of Mouth Ceremony

Called ‘servant of the gods’
High Priest; full time worked closely with pharoah, often held role of vizier
Second Prophet; in charge of agricultural estates, livestock
Appearance; ‘ritually pure’ → heads/bodies shaved, circumcised
Temples; not for public practice; priests prayed to Gods, not deliver sermons to civilians
Each temple/priesthood followed own customs and practices;no central system of religious belief
Priesthood of Amen→ Most important, controlled rich establishments, Pharaoh's right hand


Festivals: Opet, Beautiful Feast of the Valley, Heb-Sed Festival

Occurred in Inundation (flooding) → lasted 27 days
Included 2 mile journey from Karnak to Luxor Temple→ particular focus on god Amun
Ensure prosperity and sustainability for the next year
Celebrate relationship between state god Amun and their pharaoh→ Pharaoh was regenerated (powers of Amun believed to pass onto his living son) → maintained kingship
Hatshepsut enthusiastic; had resting stations built between places→ Relief in Hatshepsut's Red Chapel; depicting a wayside shrine she built
Scenes of festival featured on colonnade of Luxor Temple

Beautiful Feast of the Valley
Amun statue placed on ceremonial boat and carried to Nile; statues accompanied by pharaoh's→ journey across Nile to necropolis (cemetery) Food offered for a feast
Shrines then taken to mortuary temples of deceased pharaohs where procession ended;rituals for dead ancestors performed
Public could visit and walk through VOK

Known as renewal of Kings→ oldest feast festival ; celebrated by the king after 30 years ruling and repeated every 3 years after→ represented ritual reenactment of unification of Egypt
Celebrate continuing rule of pharaoh
Amenhotep III had three festivals → His tomb scene shows the first festival;


Myths and legends: Creation myth, Osiris myth

No one central creation myth; all different variations, depending on location→ 4 main myths (Heliopolis. Hermopolis, Memphis, Thebes)
All have some elements of primeval waters/ mound or lotus flower
Originally transmitted through oral tradition→ But in New Kingdom more were recorded down
Sig for religion→ Gods and goddesses associated with creation; kept world in order.
Temples considered point at which creator God came into existence, and were considered mirrors of universe. E.g. Temple of Luxor by Amenhotep III to Amun→ symbols of lotus on columns
Sig for death→ Symbolic of rebirth; observed in new days, seasons etc
Conveyed messages about life and power of the spoken word (essence of being)
Death observed in myths, as before origin, there was just lifeless waters and creation allowed life to form.
Tomb paintings depict creation myths and gods and goddesses associated→ symbolising cyclical nature of life and beginning of new life in afterlife
Sig for burial→ Little known about specific funerary practices incorporating creating myths
Symbols associated with origin of universe frequently in tomb scenes
Originally people buried with representations of primeval mounds on top of graves→ practice changed by New Kingdom
A. Spencer (historian) → suggests representation of primeval mound wa sin sarcophagus standing on block of stone in tomb, → important in resurrecting body in afterlife, due to appearance of life from original mound described in creation myths
Bowl from 18th dynasty; Sig→ bowl’s blue colour represents water (source of creation) and lotus symbolism

Seth jealous of Osiris attention; invited him to banquet and locked him in coffin;threw into Nile
Isis searched for body; performed ritual spells for protection
Re sent Anubis (god of embalming) and Thoth to help prepare and bandage his body→ form first mummy
Horus avenge father Osiris; battle Seth→ H declared rightful king
Hope for afterlife→ offerings to Gods, judgment
Duality in Osiris’s order vs Seth’s chaos
Associations to the gods and goddesses and role in their rituals, beliefs (mummification and afterlife)
Reflects proper burial, spells for safe travelling of the Akh of Osiris (Isis) à Book of the dead
Mummification was refashioned to a corpse of an (OK) à mummiform similar shaped to that of the image of Osiris, à capabilities of “Osiris rebirth”
Akh of pharaoh = associated with other gods and would become one with Osiris
Wrapping the body à Anubis
Prayer, mourning, blessings, spells


Funerary customs: rituals and texts: afterlife concepts, mummification

Herodotus is only written record; 3 types of mummification (based on status and wealth)

Book of the Dead
Made available to public at start of NK→ used for protection and safe passage to underworld
Collection of spells, hymns, passwords, images
Found on tomb walls, papyrus scrolls→ Depicted “Opening of the Mouth” and “Weighing of Heart” (previously only on papyrus) Tomb of Sennefer
Am Duat
Reserved for pharaohs royals (sometimes favoured nobles)
Focus on journey of Ra through 12 regions of underworld (corresponds to each hour of night)
Ra is reborn in morning as the rising son; hope for rebirth in deceased
Commonly Found in VOK in royal tombs→ royals had guide for realm of dead
E.g. In Amenhotep III burial chamber→ decorated with complete Am Duat

Afterlife known as “Field of Offerings”
Belief that humans possessed a ka (life force that left the body at death) and ba (spiritual characteristics unique to the person)
Tools and food placed in tomb→ to use in the afterlife
Afterlife was a reflection of world they had left; with blue skies, boats for travel and gods/goddesses
Amulets given→ powers of protection, healing and good fortune

Ritual→ dead body embalmed and wrapped; ensured safe journey to afterlife (took 70 days)
Egyptians believed spirit only could live forever if body was preserved forever
Royal and wealthy classes→ only could afford mummification
Religion important; ceremony and prayer involved in ensuring body prepared for afterlife
Priests played roles in every step (wrapping mummy, placing internal organs in canopic jars, blessing entrance of tomb at funeral)
Embalming body
Body cleansed with Nile water→ ‘rebirth”
Essential that heart left inside the body (for entrance ot afterlife)
“They...draw out the brain through the nostrils.” HERODOTUS
Wrapping and burial
Procedure took 15 days; ensured body preserved for journey into afterlife
Heart scarab (important amulet over heart) → aided weighing of the heart ceremony
In NK→ most mummies contained in a sarcophagi


Temples: architecture and function: Karnak, Luxor, Dier el-Bahri

Approx 200 hectares in Thebes→ Most important religious centres in 18th Dynasty
Contained 3 major sacred precincts to Amun-Re→ smaller temples dedicated to Ptah, Opet and son of Amun-Re
Shrines, obelisks, chapels, statues, altars and stelae
Heart of the temple→ sanctuary (contained golden statue of daily offerings to Amun)
Hatshepsut describes temple of Karnak as: “The holy hill of the beginning”
Large sacred lake behind sanctuary
Major rituals of Amun’s cult conducted→ focus of daily offerings to Amun

Along Nile→ Mainly work of Amenhotep III; “Three quarters constructed by a single king.” HAYES
Opet shrine→ Maintained relationship of king with Amun
Aligned with Karnak temple→ for grand Opet procession
Building unfinished at end of Amenhotep’s reign→ built on by later pharaohs
Decorated with stone→ scenes and hieroglyphics on the walls and columns
In ancient times→ would have been surrounded by mud brick houses, shops and workshops

Temple built for Queen Hatshepsut,built against cliffs (limestone)
Special group of mortuary priests offered prayers, food incense on behalf of dead King and Queen
Funerary rites performed
Central part of temple→ avenue lined with trees and statues of queen→ Source: Kneeling,standing Hatshepsut statue
Shrine to Anubis→ God of underworld
Reliefs in temple; different to standard sacrificial scenes→ Expedition to punt, myth of the divine birth of Hatshepsut


Tombs: architecture and decoration: Thebes

Royal tombs plans complex; wall decorations→ texts painted on walls
NK pharaohs built tombs in hills of Luxor → feared for safety; thought protect from tomb robbers (VOK is safer and secret)

Rock cut hollowed out of limestone cliffs
Series of passageways and staircases leading to burial chamber, pillared halls.
Well shaft→ carry away flood waters and deter robbers
Burial chamber containing mummy of King in sarcophagus
Decorative features such as funerary texts painted on walls→ depictions of King in the company of gods also popular
E.g. HATSHEPSUT TOMB→ Entrance type was a staircase; fit for a king
Way the tomb was built suggests 2 burials; 5 corridors
Decoration→ soft shale walls meant it was unsuitable for decoration but mortuary texts written on wall

Also rock cut but were smaller and different structural features
Typical tomb was T shaped structure(entrance courtyard leading into vestibule)--> short corridor connected to chapel
Shaft descended from chapel to burial chamber
Wall paintings depicted daily life occupations (agriculture scenes and craftsmen)


Art: sculpture, jewellery and wall paintings

NK; rapid development in art; from contact with foreign lands (trade→ new ideas and material)
By time of Amenhotep III→ Egypt experiencing ‘golden age'

Big statues were beautiful in this age
E.g. 20 m high sandstone statues of Amenhotep III known that flanked entrance to his mortuary temple
Sculpture was functional rather than decorative→ statues mainly placed in temples where their purpose was to receive offerings, and in tombs where they provided a dwelling place for the ka of the deceased
New types of statuary introduced in period was stelophorous and naophorous
Stolephorus→ image usually a male is combined with stela which is inscribed with a hymn to the sun god→ such statutes often placed over entrance of Theban nobles tombs
Naophorous→ image always male but often in form of a block statue is combined with shrine
To create 3D statue→ artists started with block of stone on which guidelines were drawn on each side-- sculptors chiseled along guidelines until figure began to emerge→ rarely was figure freed completely from its stone block (egyptians didn't carve out space between arms and torso, or between the legs)
Lower part of seated figures usually remained attached to the seat→ less likely to break
E.g. Ceramic fish from reign of Amenhotep III; yellow and white combed decoration to show fish scales.

Earliest significant evidence of Jewellery in NK comes from tomb of Queen Amenhotep→ tomb equipment included items such as ceremonial inlaid axe, golden daggers and flies of valour (important military decoration)
Pharaonic necklaces often contained important religious symbolism depicted in semi-preciou stones
More ornate bracelets worn by royalty were gold and precious stones otherwise made from beads and string; several worn at a time from wrist to elbow
Earrings were worn by both sexes after time of Hyksos period
Rings could be used to seal royal documents and popular amuletic motifs were scarabs and animals
“Gold was the favoured metal for jewellery” FREED, EGYPT'S GOLDEN AGE

NK wall paintings found in royal and non royal tombs; designed to serve the tomb owner in the afterlife
Theban tombs of noblemen contain rich variety of scenes of daily life→ include colourful depictions of life on the Nile and in others officials can be seen receiving or inspecting foreign tribute brought into Egypt from neighbouring states
Funerary ritual scenes include funeral procession and the Opening of the Mouth ceremony
Most popular themes in Theban tombs shows deceased hunting- either fowling and fishing in the papyrus marshes or chasing game in the desert E.g. Scene from the 18th dynasty tomb of Menna depicting the popular themes of fishing and fowling in the marshes

Balance and symmetry:clear outlines and simplified shapes, scenes with figures arranged in horizontal rows
Proportion: Horizontal and vertical guidelines in surface of wall
Perspectives: Shoulders are seen from the front, and torso and hips are presented in three quarter view showing head, arms and legs in profile, almond shaped eye is drawn as looking directly at viewer. Flat features pools or water) painted from above so birds or fish within can be clearly seen
Scale→ size is clear indication of status, tomb however is usually the largest figure to emphasis his status, wives, family members, servants, natural and architectural detail are usually shown in smaller scale.


Writing and literature: love poetry, Papyrus Lansing: Be a scribe, Wisdom Literature: The instruction of Ani

Genre only developed in NK→ Egypt exposed to new people, exotic ideas from abroad
Some titles are called songs; suggests they were intended to have been recited→ likely thy would have been performed at banquets of nobility
Each poem contains stanzas alternating between male and female speaker
Themes; Longing for loved one, catalogue of lover’s physical charms
“My heart flutters hastily when I think of my love for you.” BE STILL MY HEART

Only small elite could read/write→ all officials began career with scribal education (essential to administration)
Scribal education→ copying out written exercises, learning long passages
Example of scribal text where a teacher offers advice to young scribe
“Put the writings in your heart, and you will be protected from all kinds of toil. You will become a worthy official.”

WISDOM LITERATURE: The instruction of Ani
Instruction literature→ taught moral values and how to live happy, prosperous life
Variety of teachings→ humility, patience, trust in gods rather than material wealth
Instruction of Ani was believed to have been written in 18th Dynasty→ Ani was a scribe in the palace of Queen Ahmose- Nefertari and gives advice in standard form of a father to his son
“Take a wife while you are young; that she make a song for you.”


Daily life and leisure activities

Highly stratified society→ social position important
Few exceptions but it determined a person’s occupation and all other aspects of daily life
Members of pharaoh's court enjoyed life of relative luxury without needing to work for living
Scenes on tombs of wealthy elite show spared no expense for quipping tombs for afterlife, tombs adorned with personal belongings, clothes, furniture etc
Everyday living conditions evidence for working class very lacking→ see them depicted at work in tombs of nobles they worked for→ but tombs designed to show wealth and status of tombs owner so evidence of occupations and work is shown, but material conditions of lives and attitudes can only be guessed at

Board games, big game hunting, fishing and fowling, gymnastics and athletics, archery, boxing and wrestling, stick fighting, singing, dancing and feasting
Hunting→ sport of kings and courtiers
NK tombs depict bird hunts in marshes of delta and remaining marshlands of Upper Egypt
For ordinary citizen, leisure activities probably took place in evenings after work, on days off and on many public holidays of calendar
Some leisure time was probably spent in inns, beer houses and brothels→ activities referred to in the INSTRUCTION OF ANI


Food and clothing

Healthy diet (fertility of soil) Staples were bread, beer, fish
All social classes→ great beer drinkers; wine also popular but expensive. Excuses for not coming into work in Dier el Medina→ was brewing beer
Upper class; meats, veg, cakes, wine
Lower class; Bread, beer, fish, fruit
Fish→ used to pay wages, taxes (scenes in temples show abundance)
Fond of game (ducks, geese, pigeon) hunted down with nets and in marshes
Fruits and veg available (onions, melons, grapes, dates, garlic, leeks)

Indicator of rank→ wealthy afforded finest materials
Men and women→ white linen garments
18th dynasty progressed; more elaborate garments (previously kilts and close fitting dresses)
Men and women→ wore human hair wigs and simple sandals
Working men and women; wore simpler clothes→ men in fields bare chested
Surviving clothes in tomb; likely their very best to be buried in; not typical clothes


Housing and Furniture

Typical villa→ High walled garden with pool, lighting in small windows (minimised hot sun)
Officials in towns→ pillared rooms, servants quarters, grain silos on roof
Wealthy egyptians→ reception rooms, bathrooms (covered in stone slabs)
Typical workmans house→ 2-4 rooms, cellars for storage, additional living space on flat roof

Chests stored personal effects (did not use wardrobes)
Quality→ dictated by social status→ only wealthy could afford imported timbers (local common)
E.g. From Tomb of Hatnofer and Ramose→ 18th Dynasty; chest and linens. Whitewashed wood,



Agricultural and domestic
90% of pop
Farmers, Herdsmen, Fishermen, Gardeners, Water carriers, Servants Papyrus Lansing

Stone vessel makers, Potters, Glass Workers, Carpenters and cabinet makers, Tanners and saddlers, Spinners and weavers, Jewellers, Artists and painters, Sculptors

Dancers, Singers, Musicians, Prostitution

Administrative and State
Viziers, Overseers, Scribes, Soldiers, Sailors, Priests