- Created by: Pinksoda
- Created on: 20-12-18 13:08
- Manetho's history = simple, assumes dynasties entailed 'simple passing of thrones'
- Egypt less culturally unified and centralised - cultural/political changes took place at different speeds in different regions. Gradual socio-economic change had more long term effects, e.g types of fabric.
- Also King's lists and non-Egyptian sources - e.g. Demotic circle good for D. 28-30 (lack on info)
- Relative dating - sequence dating of artefacts (Petrie - 1899).
- Absolute chronologies - calendrical/astronomical observations - smaller margin of errror
- Radiometric dating - measurement of radioactive decay to assign dates. - Prehistory benefitted from this.
- *Calendrical/radioactive assumed to be complementary to each other
Pre-History to History
Few Late Pre-dynastic artefacts (e.g. funerary stelae) - mark transition to unified statehood. Commemorate royal acts including King's death or obeisance to gods.
Event and ritual often intertwined - reliant on this confusion to some degree.
Palermo Stone (5th-Dynasty basalt stelae) - notes annals of Lower Egyptian Kings. Mythological rulers to Horus to human Menes to 5th dynasty.
Horizontal registers divided by vertical lines - indicates events in individual years in each King's reign. Confusing - Old Kingdom dates refer to biennal cattle censuses and not number of years King has reigned.
Events included cult ceremonies, taxation, sculpture, building, warfare and records of Nile inundations
King-lists, Royal Titles and Divine Kingship
Egyptians dated significant events in terms of the years since the last King's accession. Each king = new beginning practically as well as philosophically.
5 names for 1 ruler - 3 linked to role as a god, other 2 emphasised supposed division between Upper and Lower Egypt. Birth name and four other ones - can link to ideology.
Title Nesu-bit = complex meaning. Nesu signified Kingship itself and bit signified individual king. Combination of divine and mortal. Reason for King-lists = to show obeisance to predecessors.
Turin Canon (13th Cent. BC) = most informative list, reaches back to Menes & supports Manetho (break at end of 5th dynasty)
King-lists concerned with ancestor worship as a combination of the general and individual (e.g. living King regarded as synonymous with falcon-god Horus).
Role of Astronomy
Observations of heliacal rising of dog-star essential to reconstruction of Egyptian calendar.
Goddess Sophet = personification of dog star - cow with plant between horns (plant = year - linking dog star to solar year since early 3rd Milennium BC??)
Sothic rising - once every 1460 years (although wandering year - lose a day every 4 years). In sync 139AD - special coin issued at Alexandria. Rising records include 12th dynasty letter from Lahun and 18th dynasty Theban medical papyrus.
Not possible to be totally confident - separate local observations could have created a time lag for certain 'national' festivals
Took place since Middle Kingdom
12th dynasty - regents used separate regnal dates, leading to overlap ('double dates'), not present in New Kingdom.
Considerable controversy over whether they existed at all.
Main Chronological Problems
Unreliable of sources - e.g. original text and sources for Manetho's history unknown.
Some periods less documented than others - intermediate periods where social/political stability of pharonic period temporarily damaged (e.g. by civil war/invasion of foreigners)
3rd intermediate = most controversial. Study includes change in culture (ceramics/funeral equipment) & anthropological/iconographic/linguistic studies to link to Libyan ethic identity of 21st-24th dynasty rulers.
Basic historical divisions questionned culturally - e.g. Predynastic Naqada III pottery types used in early-dynastic period.
Do not know if change if just fashion. But definite connections between political and cultural change - e.g centralisation in Old Kngsom and local pottery types in 1st intermediate period.
Selective attention to cultural change causes problems as litle known about it in terms of stability - cannot draw effective contrasts
- Early funerary labels - history to date things
- Mobiliatary art (e.g. pallettes) primarily for commemorating universal acts undertaken by specific rulers.
Rituals and real events inseparable. King noting history as a side effect of prseving Maat (harmony) for deities.
History also has mythological, ritual and economic elements.