Archive for the Nubia Category

History – Egyptology – Archaeology – Race and its Unimportance to me

Posted in Akaluka, Amenardes, Amenardis, Amenardus, Amenirdas, Amenirdies, Amenirdis, Amenirdis the Elder, Amenirdis the Great, Amonardis, Amonardus, Amonirdas, Amonirdies, Amonirdis, Amounirdies, Amunardis, Amunirdies, Amunirdis, Ancient Egypt, Archaeology, Black Supremacy, Color, Colour, Differences, Egypt, Egyptology, History, Khaneferumut, Kush, Kushite, Kushite Dynasty, Kushite Princess of Nubia, Kushite Queen, Kushites, Misr, Nubia, Nubian, Preposterous, Race, Religion, Similarities, Uncategorized, White Supremacy on February 12, 2009 by www.Amunirdis.net
I wouldn’t class myself as being particularly naïve but I’ve been a bit shocked whilst researching online at the lack of basic human decency and the attempts to ‘claim’ history for either one side, or the other, of the race debate.
 
When I dedicated my sites to Amenirdis I, I did so knowing that she was black – an ancient Kushite Princess with an enormous level of power politically and religiously. The fact that Amenirdis was black is irrelevant to me. What is so important is the amazing woman that she was – her lineage and her history, however confusing that may be at times for someone in the twenty-first Century trying to piece together her history.
 
By default, I found myself embroiled in an online conversation recently regarding race, black supremacy & white supremacy. It very quickly became obvious to me that supremacists of either ‘variety’, especially where ancient Egyptian history was concerned, were both as bad as each other.
I don’t wish to have my view of history tainted by the likes of either ‘type’ of supremacist not least because their attitudes to history and its facts (however vague at times) appear to be claimed by one ‘side’ or the other as trophies of some description. Ridiculous.
 
To those supremacists, of either ‘type’, I would suggest that you put away your personal agendas and look at ancient Egypt for exactly what it was – a wealth of wonderful and diverse peoples of varying different skin colours who all added to the magnificence of Upper and Lower Egypt.
 
I live in Luxor – within its wonderful modern-day diverse culture and I see the ‘modern Egyptians’ struggling with race, colour and religious differences, just as the ancient Egyptians did – some things don’t change 😦
 
Whilst I do not wear rose-tinted spectacles regarding the wars, the invasions and the barbaric cruelty of some periods of ancient history (no more obvious than in the present day!), I would like to think that I have a fairly balanced view of the ‘colour issue’. For me that issue is irrelevant when trying to gain an insight in to the way that people of ancient Egypt lived, ruled, loved and died. History has no colour and to suggest otherwise is, to me, preposterous.
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Meroe Kush Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt – Gebel Barkal – Nuri – El Kurru – Meroitic Kushite Period

Posted in Amon Temple, Axum, Gebel Barkal, Jebel Barkal, Kashta, Kerma, Kurgus, Kurru, Kush, Kushite Period, Meroë, Meroitic, Napata, Nubia, Nuri, Piankhi, Piye, Ptolemaic, Roman Egypt, Sanam, SCN with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2009 by www.Amunirdis.net
Meroitic Kushite Period – Meroe – Kush – Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt – Gebel Barkal – Nuri – Kurru

“The Meroitic Kushite period is named after the royal burial ground at Meroe, situated between the Fifth and Sixth Cataracts. In the third century BC the royal cemetery was moved there from Napata, though Meroe had long been one of the major centers of the Kushite state. This move coincided with the arrival of Greek culture in Egypt, following the country’s conquest by Alexander the Great. The resulting Graeco-Egyptian culture influenced the Kingdom of Kush giving its later phases a distinctive character. This was in contrast to the preceding Napatan period, which was influenced by the Pharaonic Egyptian culture. The Kushite kingdom prospered from control of the trade routes along the Nile valley from Central Africa to Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt, particularly after the 2nd Century when the camel was introduced to Africa and there was a flourishing of caravan routes across the continent. Its position gave Meroe access to trading outlets on the Red Sea. The kingdom also had the resources needed for the smelting of iron: ore, water from the Nile and wood from acacia trees to make charcoal.
In 24 BC, soon after Rome had taken Egypt from Anthony and Cleopatra, the Kushites invaded Lower Nubia, attacking and plundering Syrene, Elephantine and Philae. From there, they push on to Thebes and defeated its Roman garrison. Strabo reported that the Kushite Queen “enslaved the inhabitants, and threw down a statue of Caesar”. A bronze head of Augustus was unearthed in excavation at Meroe in 1912, and can be seen in the British Museum.
The Roman general Aelius Petronius was dispatched into Nubia. He met and defeated a Meroitic army and drove on to Napata, which was said to have been captured and destroyed, and its inhabitants enslaved. The Kushites sent envoys for negotiations at Samos Island and concluded a peace treaty. Kushite tribute was suspended and a permanent ambassadorial position was established between Meroe and Roman Egypt. The Romans withdrew to Maharraka, which established Roman control of Lower Nubia. The peace treaty endured for three centuries, with special emphasis on Red Sea trade, even into the Indian Ocean. Curiously, in Stabo’s account it was noted that the Merotic queen, Kandake Amanirenawas, was “a very masculine sort of woman and blind in one eye.”
By A.D. 300-350, Meroe was largely abandoned due mainly to environmental pollution. The smelting industry had poisoned the soil. Trees had been cut down and the resulting erosion had washed away the topsoil thus reducing the ability to feed the population. In A.D. 350, the Christian King Ezana of Axum defeated Meroitic forces, and the Meroitic period ended. The Meroitic written language has never been translated.”


http://dba.spearhead1944.com/Meroitic/MeroiticKushite.htm
[Retrieved on 11 February 2009]

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Harwa TT37 Grand Steward High Priest Doorkeeper in the Temple of Amun

Posted in Akhamenerau, Amenardes, Amenardis, Amenardus, Amenirdas, Amenirdies, Amenirdis, Amenirdis the Elder, Amenirdis the Great, Amirtaios, Amirteo, Amirto, Amnirdis, Amnrdis, Amon, Amonardis, Amonardus, Amonirdas, Amonirdies, Amonirdis, Amoun, Amounirdies, Amun, Amun-Ra, Amunardis, Amunirdies, Amunirdis, Amyrtaeus, Amyrtaios, Amyrtée, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Egyptian, Assasif, Black Pharaohs, Blogs, Deir el-Bahri, Divine Adoratice of Amun, Divine Adoratrice, Doorkeeper, Doorkeeper in the Temple of Amun, Dynasty, Egypt, Egyptian, Egyptian History, Egyptian Queen, Egyptological Research, Egyptologist, Egyptologists, Egyptology, el-Assasif, Epigraphy, Gods Hand, Gods Wife, Gods Wife of Amun, Grand Steward, Great of the Greats, Great Royal Wife, Habu, Harwa, Harwa’s Tomb, Hat neferu Mut, Hat Nefru Mut, Hat-nfrw-mwt, Hatnefrumut, Hieroglyphic, Hieroglyphics, Hieroglyphs, High Priest, High Priest of Amun, Karnak, Karnak Temple, Kashta, King Kashta, Kush, Kushite, Kushite Princess of Nubia, Kushite Queen, Luxor, Luxor Egypt, Mariam Ayad, Medinet, Medinet Habu, Montuemhat, Mummies, Mummification, Mummified Remains, Mummy of Amenardis, Mummy of Amenirdis, Mummy of Amunirdis, Museum, Museums, Napata, Noble, Nobles, Nubia, Nubian, Nubian Kingdom, Nubian Queen, Padiamenipet, Padiamenope, Padiamenopea, Peshuper, Petamenofi, Petamenophis, Pharaoh, Pharaohs, Piankhi, Pie, Piye, Precinct of Amun, Priest, Princess of Nubia, Pye, Queen Amenirdis, Queen Amunirdis, Queen of Egypt, Queen Pebatma, Royal Name, Royal Queen, Shabaka, Shabaka Neferkare, Shabaka Stone, Shabaqo, Shabitko, Shebitku, Shepenupet, Shepenwepet, Steward of the Divine Votaress, Sudan, Taharqa, Taharqo, Temple of Amun, Temples, Theban, Theban Priest, Theban Tomb, Thebes, Third Intermediate Period, Throne Name, Tomb, Tombs, TT, TT33, TT34, TT37, TT404, Twenty Fifth Dynasty, Two Lands, Upper Egypt, Waset, West Bank, www.Amenardis.net, www.Amenirdis.net, www.Amunirdis.net, XXV, XXV Dynasty with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2009 by www.Amunirdis.net

Harwa: “Great of the Greats”.

Harwa was an important man in ancient Egypt. He was an important figure in the life of Amenirdis I of ancient Egypt’s XXV Dynasty. He acted as the ‘Chief Steward’, or ‘Grand Steward’ for Amenirdis I, as God’s Wife of Amun and also whilst Queen Amenirdis served as Divine Adoratrice.
Additionally, he held the title (as High Priest) of “Doorkeeper in the Temple of Amun”.

Born in to a family of Theban Priests, Harwa held high office in Thebes (modern-day Luxor) with great responsibility to Amun and God’s Wife of Amun, the Divine Votaress, Amenirdis I. He was son of the “Lady of the House”, Nestaureret, and of a Priest attached to the temple of Amun in Karnak, Padimut son of Ankhefenamon.

His tomb is located in el-Assasif, part of the Theban Necropolis, near to Deir el-Bahri and is known as TT37 (Theban Tomb 37) which has been under archaeological examination for some years (14+) and currently not accessible to the public.

Harwa HieroglyphsThe tomb of Harwa (TT37) displays important features of a man holding such religious, spiritual and political power. Scenes and texts – at least those engraved in the principal axis of the monument – can be read as part of a description of the Egyptian man’s journey from his daily life to the Netherworld, passing through the ultimate experience of death and beyond. Each part of the monument concurs to document a different step of the path leading to eternal life.

The tomb (TT37) is large and in the “Osiris Hall” there is a wall relief describing the moment of the death where Harwa is shown ‘between worlds’, and separated from his physical body, with Anubis holding one hand. Harwa then exists in two (or more?) dimensions simultaneously – in the Land of Osiris and still in the land of the living, just.


Harwa’s tomb shows the moment of death in its supreme glory and Harwa continues to be shown ‘in the middle’, almost in a ‘freeze-frame’ reliefwith both his Ka and Ba ‘conscious’ (possibly his Akh + Ren + Shwt), ‘present’ and aware of their ‘state’ i.e. Harwa’s Ba – or possibly his Shwt or Ren – is shown as young and healthy whilst his Ka and physical form is as it was before the ‘freeze-frame’: corpulent, bald/ing and approximately 60 years old.

Alternatively, could the ‘freeze-frame’ relief depict the split-second when the Ka, Ba, Akh, Ren and Shwt ‘meet’ prior to the ‘magical’ departure to the different realms?
We will never know exactly why this complex scene is shown but it was most certainly important to Harwa and the explanation could possibly be beyond the understanding of our modern-day thought processes.
For the ancient Egyptians everything exists also in its complementary form. Nothing existed isolated, only for itself. The function/s was always intertwined with their universe, with Netjer and with Man.

 

This relief is highly unusual in ancient Egyptian scenes and whilst the above is purely personal conjecture, there is little doubt that Harwa was ‘more than a mortal’ given his almost ‘pharaoh-like’ status and titles.
Harwa was not only a dignitary holding vast powers but the ruler of Upper Egypt, ruling on behalf of the pharaohs of the twenty-fifth Dynasty, along with God’s Wives of Amun et al. This conclusion is supported by a limestone ushabti (shabty), discovered in TT37 during 1997, showing Harwa holding in his hands the crook and the flail i.e. the regalia – characteristic emblems of pharaonic royalty. A further ushabti is kept in the Egyptian collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

 

Could it be that Harwa had numerous ‘Kas’, similar to the pharaohs of ancient Egypt?
Could the ‘freeze-frame’ be indicative of Harwa’s status as a ruling, ‘semi-royal’ noble?
Any further ideas, suggestions or comments would be most welcome – please e-mail me: Research@Amunirdis.net

 

A ushabti (shabty) of Harwa from TT37 – [image link].
More information and images from Harwa’s tomb – [link]

 

As an aside: I find it interesting that the tomb of Akhamenerau – TT404 (Theban Tomb 404) – is adjacent to TT37, the huge tomb of Harwa. Akhamenerau was “Chief Steward of the Divine Adoratrix Amenirdis I (Amunirdis I) and Shepenupet II (Shepenwepet II)” and, obviously, held office under these two powerful God’s Wives of Amun. It seems strange to me – though I’m no scholar – that Akhamenerau ruled at this time (though I can find no dates for Akhamenerau) and that placement of TT404 was so very close to TT37. Was this significant in itself, as – possibly – with the adjacent placement of the tombs of Montuemhat (TT34) and Petamenophis (TT33)? I would suggest so.
Did Amenirdis I and Shepenupet II’s rule of Upper Egypt overlap…?
Coregency for a few years before Amenirdis died?
Did Harwa hold Office under both God’s Wives of Amun…?
Amenirdis I ‘adopted‘ Shepenupet II and the latter obviously held Amenirdis I in high regard (see Medinet Habu, Chapel of the Adoratrice Amunirdis I) or did Akhamenerau live long enough to serve – and rule – under both God’s Wives of Amun?

 

Montuemhat and Petamenophis’ Theban Tombs
Montuemhat (TT34) served the Nubian Kings Taharqa and Tanutamun (Tanutamani, Tanwetamani or Tanutamon) as Fourth Prophet of Amun, Mayor of Thebes and Governor of Upper Egypt in the XXV dynasty.
[Bust of Montuemhat]
[Statue Group of Montuemhat and His Son, Nesptah]

Petamenophis (TT33) (Padiamenope, Padiamenipet, Petamenofi or Padiamenopea) served as Chief Lector Priest during the XXV to XXVI dynasties.

[Limestone fragment of tomb relief]

[Serpentine ushabti]

 

 

In Harwa’s Tomb (TT37), a text well-engraved on the southern wall of the passage leading to the First Pillared Hall enumerates his good deeds having recourse to the most typical phraseology of the Egyptian “ideal biography”. It is Harwa himself who is speaking. He tells the visitor to the tomb:

“I gave bread to the hungry man, clothes to the naked man”.

This phrase is pivotal in the connection between Harwa and Queen Amenirdis I as, on the reverse (and base) of the famous alabaster statue of Amenirdis I, there is a well-carved series of hieroglyphs which say:
“I gave food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothes to the naked man.” (the full translation can be found Here…)

 

I have not seen a connection made anywhere regarding these two series of hieroglyphs – online or offline. I believe that this connection hasn’t yet been made by the scholars but the importance of the similar phrases is amazing to me.

Harwa held the position of “Grand Steward” for about forty years from the time of Piankhy, serving under Nubian pharaohs Shabaqo or Shabaka (713-698 BCE) and Shebitqo (698-690 BCE), until the reign of Taharqo or Taharqa (690 – 664 BCE).
Coincidentally, Amenirdis I is said to have served as God’s Wife of Amun, Divine Adoratrice (or Divine Votaress) and “God’s Hand” for approximately forty to forty-six years.
[Taharqo (or Taharqa) was the uncle of Amunirdis.]
 

It is my personal belief that Amenirdis I and Harwa had a close ‘royal’ relationship and ruled ‘together’ (in various roles) from ancient Thebes at approximately the same times in ancient Egypt.

During the 1997 archaeological campaign in Harwa’s tomb (TT37), a limestone ushabty (or shabti) was unearthed showing features which shed new light on some aspects of the role played by Harwa inside the Theban administration. It is a typically mummiform funerary statuette of the XXV Dynasty but it holds in his hands the crook and the flail, that is to say, the regalia, the characteristic emblems of the pharaonic royalty.

As far as it is known, it is the only example of non-royal ushabty displaying such characteristics.
Furthermore, in the Chapter VI of the Book of the Dead engraved on the body, Harwa is mentioned as “Great of the Greats”.
These evidences should point out that Harwa had more power than the one deriving from his role and that he can be considered as the co-governor of the Theban region on the behalf of the Nubian King alongside the Divine Adoratrice, Amunirdis I.
Also the vastness of his tomb and the high number of his statues can support the hypothesis that Harwa was the most politically influential person of the State; stretching to the First Cataract (a graffito signed by him has been found at Nag’esh Sheikh, near Aswan). 

If this assumption is confirmed by further excavations, then the positions of Montuemhat and Petamenophis will have to be reconsidered. They chose in fact to place their tombs east and west of the tomb of Harwa as if they attributed a high reverence to him and considered him a sort of ancestor. Does this also apply to Akhamenerau in TT404 and Peshuper (tomb location unknown at this time)? In this frame one has to ask: is it possible to speak of a “dynasty” of functionaries governing the Theban region with the consent of the Nubian kings? If this proves to be true, then, as they did not belong to the one family nor did they share the same titles and position, what was the mechanism of succession of these functionaries? No-one yet knows the answer to that question or the countless others raised by the life, works and tomb of Harwa, Grand Steward in the Precinct of Amun.

Many questions are raised merely because of the surviving evidence belonging to Amenirdis I and Harwa et al., but there are some issues which are quite clear:

Upper Egypt was ruled well under the governance of these two mighty figures (and others) and for forty to firty-six years, approximately, Upper Egypt was relatively peaceful (as opposed to the XXIII to XXIV Dynasties political and religious unrest and turmoil) whilst Pharaoh Shabaka (Amunirdis I’s brother) ruled from Memphis. Even after the death of her brother, Amunirdis I remained in control and acted, along with others, answering the State’s needs on many levels. Order was temporarily restored and both Amunirdis I and Harwa played a major role in ancient Egypt at that time.

Brooklyn Museum: Dig Diary – http://digdiary.blogspot.com/

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“An end and a beginning

On March 23, 2007 the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art opens at the Brooklyn Museum. To celebrate the opening and the accompanying exhibition, “Pharaohs, Queens and Goddesses”, we decided to devote the last posting of the 2007 season at the Mut Precinct to some of the female figures, mortal and divine, associated with the site.

Hatshepsut being crowned by Amun-Re and granted life and dominion by the goddess “Great in Magic”, from the reconstructed Red Chapel in the Karnak Open Air Museum. An early 18th Dynasty temple at Mut dates to the reign of this woman who ruled as king.

“God’s Wife of Amun” was an important female priestly title in Thebes. In the 1st millennium BC it was usually held by a sister or daughter of the reigning king, each God’s Wife adopting her successor. They became so powerful that they were able to have themselves represented in roles normally played by the king.

In scenes of goddesses suckling humans, the human is normally the king, with the scene representing the transfer of life and power. Yet in this scene in the Chapel of Osiris-Ruler-of-Eternity at Karnak, not only is the God’s Wife of Amun, Shepenwepet I, being suckled, she is also wearing 2 Double Crowns, something shown nowhere else in any period.

In her funerary chapel at the temple of Medinet Habu, Amunirdis makes offerings to Amun and Hathor. The presence of funerary chapels to mortals within the sacred grounds of a temple is rare until the Third Intermediate Period, a time when God’s Wives of Amun flourished.

Intangible concepts could also be represented as goddesses. In a scene commemorating an important military campaign by Sheshonq I of Dynasty 22, the goddess “Victorious Thebes”, carrying a mace, an axe and a bow, drags conquered cities (shown as bound prisoners with the city names enclosed in cartouches representing fortified walls) to be slaughtered.

Upper and Lower Egypt were represented as the goddesses Nekhbet (right) and Wadjet. Scenes of the king flanked by these protective deities are common in all periods of Egyptian history. This one comes from the Mut Precinct’s Ptolemaic Chapel D.


Keeping Mut and Sakhmet happy was a main function of the Mut priesthood. In this scene from the Mut Precinct’s main entrance the king (holding Hathor-headed sistra) and two priestesses play music to Mut and Sakhmet to amuse them and keep them contented.


Two busts of Sakhmet in the Mut Precinct. Sakhmet angered could release disease and disaster on Egypt. Contented she could control these forces, which is why she is a goddess of health and healing as well as of death and destruction.


These 3 reliefs of Mut span a period of several hundred years. On the left is a relief from Amunirdis’s funerary chapel at Medinet Habu; in the center a relief from the chapel of Osiris-Ruler-of-Eternity at Karnak; and on the right a relief in Chapel D at the Mut Precinct. In all three scenes Mut appears in her usual guise of a human wearing the Double Crown.

And finally, a stela of a king offering to Mut that we uncovered in 2006. While the stela is uninscribed, it is entirely possible that it dates to the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, showing that Mut continued as an important goddess even after Egypt’s conquest by Rome.

Richard Fazzini
Director, Mut Expedition”