Djoser’s Step Pyramid is the first monumental work in dressed stone and the first Egyptian pyramid, and his pyramid complex brought together funerary elements, such as tombs and enclosures, that were originally separate edifices, setting the pattern for centuries to come. Last week the Em Hotep group shared their explorations of this architectural icon, which we have gathered here for your enjoyment and education.
Egyptologist Barbara Adams was the Co-Director of the Hierakonpolis Expedition, originally recruited from the Petrie Museum for her enthusiasm and encyclopedic knowledge of the site and the history and work of those who have dug there. Last week we asked the Em Hotep BBS crew to share their own encyclopedic knowledge about this diva of Egyptology and her remarkable work at this site, ancient even by Egyptological standards.
One of the fun things about running a website like Em Hotep is that you get to see behind-the-scenes things, like the queries people are entering into search engines to find Em Hotep. The vast majority are terms and questions you would expect for an Egyptology website, but some questions can seem a little off the wall, until I think back to my own early interest in ancient Egypt and the questions I used to ask. So some friends recommended I answer them. Some might make you chuckle, some might make you think. But either way, it should be a fun read. The answers will be brief, so don’t expect to get any research done with this article, just pour a cup of coffee and enjoy.
Special thanks goes to writer and artist Ben Morales-Correa, who operates both the All About Egypt and BMC PhotoArt Tutorials websites for suggesting that I take these questions seriously and answer some of them, as well as Donna Elliot who suggested that this might even be a good idea for a chapter in a book, also an idea I rather like…
Do you have a favorite Egyptian queen? Or would you like to learn a little more about what queenship meant in ancient Egypt, and how it differed from other types of monarchies? Of if you are just looking for some really nice photography, yet again the crew at Em Hotep BBS delivered the goods.
A selection of queens plus three queens who were kings, the wives of Mentuhotep II, cats and queens, Picton’s Petrie Pieces, recommended reading, and lots of interesting fun Egyptological facts – Just the thing for a cold winter night!
Tags: Ahmose-Meritamun, Ahmose-Nefertari, Ankhenespepy II, Arsinoe III, Ashayet, Atumneferu, Bintanath, Cleopatra VII, Hatshepsut, Kawit, Khentkawes I, Mentuhotep II, Mutemwia, Nebetnehet, Nefertiti, Nefret II, Nefru, Queens, Sobeknefru, Tausret, Tiaa, Tiye
This week’s Digest is dedicated to the American Petrie—George Andrew Reisner. Inside: Khafre’s Valley Temple, Menkaure’s complex, Hetepheres’ “tomb”, Reisner in Nubia, fantastic artifacts, tons of photography and a special supplement by Yvonne Buskens on finding online textual resources.
With the holiday season in full force, we thought it would be good to spend a week with the Em Hotep BBS folks looking at ancient Egyptian feasts and festivities. Inside you will visit an Egyptian feast, with its menus and entertainment; we learn about some of the major holidays such as Opet, the Beautiful Feast of the Valley and heb sed jubilees; we look at music and dance; sacred processions; getting drunk good and proper; more.
This week Em Hotep BBS, our daily Facebook presence, took up the subject of Hathor—the beautiful, the bovine, and the beastly. Herein we explore her temples, we examine her iconography, and we appreciate her art. There is a museum hop, suggested links and good reads, plus the wonderful photography.
Em Hotep Digest is a new weekly installment to Em Hotep. If you haven’t joined us yet on Facebook, Em Hotep BBS is the semi-topical daily discussion where professionals and amateurs come together to share and discuss our mutual passion: Egyptology. The Digest is a compendium of the weekly goings-on at the BBS. This week the topic was W. M. Flinders Petrie.
More than 150 Facebook pages and groups dedicated to Egyptology—who knew there were so many? If you are looking for amazing photography, formal and informal chats with Egyptologists, current and ancient news, or just a good place to hang out with like-minded people, this list should get you started. Organized by subject and annotated.
Tags: Ancient Egypt
The more we learn about Hierakonpolis, the more likely it seems that during the Naqada II Period this ancient township was the capital of a province that reached well beyond its immediate boundaries. While it may be too early to call it a kingdom—we don’t know if the position of chieftain was hereditary or not—it was certainly headed in that direction.
Had consolidation been emphasized just a little more, and a tighter grip exercised over the northward expansion, Hierakonpolis might have become the capital of a united Egypt 500 years earlier than Narmer (Andelkovic, 2011, p. 29). As it turned out, expansionism during Naqada II was more about the gradual assimilation of Lower Egypt, and consolidation was focused on three cities rather than just one—Hierakonpolis, Naqada, and Abydos. But the roots of royalty were firmly established at Naqada II Hierakonpolis.
Last weekend I had the unique opportunity to attend Derbycon 2.0, a conference for the computer security industry. I learned some important things there, such as always keep your computer’s operating system, firewall, and antivirus software updated with the latest security patches unless you want your desktop to become a Roman orgy for malicious hackers!
But mostly it was a chance to reunite with some old friends from a field I worked in many moons ago. It was also a chance to check out some of the new technology, especially 3D printing, which I have long suspected has some applications for artifact restoration and replication.
The unification of Egypt is credited to Narmer, the traditional first king of a unified Egypt, who extended his pharaonic mace from his capitol at Hierakonpolis to smite the backward villages of Lower Egypt and rein them in to southern ways.
Well, maybe not exactly.
The unification of Egypt was a process, not a historical event that can be neatly situated into a single time and place, much less a single person. But one thing is for certain, that process began to take recognizable shape at Hierakonpolis and the earliest roots of that development began with the Badarian culture. As we shall see in this article, the Naqadian people would build on the material culture of the Badarians, mostly through innovation and improvement of existing types, and this process would plant the seeds for pharaonic Egypt first at Hierakonpolis. But as sometimes happens, we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Tausret: Forgotten Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt is a collaboration between Richard Wilkinson, who is Regent’ Professor of Egyptian Archaeology and Director of the Egyptian Expedition at the University of Arizona, and some of the most recognizable names in current Egyptology.
Written for a general audience, but with all the details a specialist looks for in a good book, Tausret is one of those books that will teach you about Egyptology while entertaining you with an adventure. But it’s not the sort of swashbuckling adventure you might get with, say Belzoni. It’s more of a detective story, spread out over a lot of detectives.
It would be easy to think that the ancient Egyptians, for all their amazing accomplishments in the arts and sciences, were morbidly obsessed with death. After all, what do you think of when you imagine ancient Egypt? The Pyramids: tombs. Tutankhamun: a golden mummy. Valley of the Kings: a cemetery.
But the truth of the matter is that the Egyptians were obsessed with life, and they fully expected it to continue on the Other Side. Just as we work, save, and invest for our retirement today, the ancient Egyptians prepared for their eternal retirement amongst the gods. Most of the art and artifacts connected to this planning, what we would call the funerary tradition and/or architecture, was considered to be the machinery of the afterlife, the tools and rituals required for the care and feeding of a departed spirit.