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  • Egypt Ancient, epigraphy
    to dealings with Asia the chronic goal of Egyptian territorial ambitions Historic records persisted under the following two dynasties with particular articulateness in the reign of Pepi I third king of the 6th dynasty c 2325 c 2150 BC then subsided until a modest reemergence in the Theban Middle Kingdom of the 12th dynasty 1938 c 1756 BC Another silence shrouded the period of the Hyksos kings c 1630 c 1523 BC broken only subsequently by such retrospective revulsion at the memory of barbarian domination as that in Queen Hatshepsut s 1479 58 BC temple inscription at Istabl Antar in Middle Egypt The golden age of historical recording began in the 15th century BC with the central rulers of the 18th dynasty notably Thutmose III and Amenhotep II and III Thutmose s annals on the walls of the temple of Karnak describe 20 years of ceaseless military activity in Asia some 16 campaigns in all and are supplemented by stelae from Armant in Upper Egypt and Gebel Barkal near the Fourth Cataract as well as by lists of conquered lands at Karnak Similar material continued in the reigns of Amenhotep II and III in the latter s case importantly supplemented by the cuneiform correspondence with foreign powers Mitanni Arzawa etc which was subsequently stockpiled and archived by Ikhnaton in his transitory new capital where it lay buried to await the modern excavators of Tell el Amarna Ikhnaton s religious preoccupations he changed the official religion to the worship of the sun god Aton and political apathy led to the loss of many of Egypt s Asian possessions Records of Ikhnaton s short lived son in law Tutankhamen at Thebes 1332 23 BC make recantation and restoration for the heresy Tutankhamen s successor the warlord pharaoh Horemheb left boastful accounts of

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  • Egypt Ancient, epigraphy
    of the land by Mentuhotep II who reigned 2061 2010 BC The early rulers of the dynasty attempted to extend their control from Thebes both northward and southward but it was left to Mentuhotep to complete the reunification process sometime after 2047 BC Mentuhotep ruled for more than 50 years and despite occasional rebellions he maintained stability and control over the whole kingdom He replaced some nomarchs and limited the power of the nomes which was still considerable Thebes was his capital and his mortuary temple at Dayr al Ba rî incorporated both traditional and regional elements the tomb was separate from the temple and there was no pyramid The reign of the first 12th Dynasty king Amenemhet I was peaceful He established a capital near Memphis and unlike Mentuhotep de emphasized Theban ties in favor of national unity Nevertheless the important Theban god Amon was given prominence over other deities Amenemhet demanded loyalty from the nomes rebuilt the bureaucracy and educated a staff of scribes and administrators The literature was predominantly propaganda designed to reinforce the image of the king as a good shepherd rather than as an inaccessible god During the last ten years of his reign Amenemhet ruled with his son as co regent The Story of Sinuhe a literary work of the period implies that the king was assassinated Amenemhet s successors continued his programs His son Sesostris I who reigned 1962 1928 BC built fortresses throughout Nubia and established trade with foreign lands He sent governors to Palestine and Syria and campaigned against the Libyans in the west Sesostris II who reigned 1895 1878 BC began land reclamation in Al Fayyûm His successor Sesostris III who reigned 1878 1843 BC had a canal dug at the first cataract of the Nile formed a standing army which he used in his campaign against the Nubians and built new forts on the southern frontier He divided the administration into three powerful geographic units each controlled by an official under the vizier and he no longer recognized provincial nobles Amenemhet III continued the policies of his predecessors and extended the land reform A vigorous renaissance of culture took place under the Theban kings The architecture art and jewelry of the period reveal an extraordinary delicacy of design and the time was considered the golden age of Egyptian literature Second Intermediate Period The rulers of the 13th Dynasty some 50 or more in about 120 years were weaker than their predecessors although they were still able to control Nubia and the administration of the central government During the latter part of their rule however their power was challenged not only by the rival 14th Dynasty which won control over the delta but also by the Hyksos who invaded from western Asia By the 13th Dynasty there was a large Hyksos population in northern Egypt As the central government entered a period of decline their presence made possible an influx of people from coastal Phoenicia and Palestine and the establishment of a Hyksos dynasty This marks the beginning of the Second Intermediate period a time of turmoil and disunity that lasted for some 214 years The Hyksos of the 15th Dynasty ruled from their capital at Avaris in the eastern delta maintaining control over the middle and northern parts of the country At the same time the 16th Dynasty also existed in the delta and Middle Egypt but it may have been subservient to the Hyksos More independence was exerted in the south by a third contemporaneous power the Theban 17th Dynasty which ruled over the territory between Elephantine and Abydos The Theban ruler Kamose who reigned about 1576 1570 BC battled the Hyksos successfully but it was his brother Ahmose I who finally subdued them reuniting Egypt The New Kingdom With the unification of the land and the founding of the 18th Dynasty by Ahmose I the New Kingdom 1570 1070 BC began Ahmose reestablished the borders goals and bureaucracy of the Middle Kingdom and revived its land reclamation program He maintained the balance of power between the nomarchs and himself with the support of the military who were accordingly rewarded The importance of women in the New Kingdom is illustrated by the high titles and position of the royal wives and mothers The 18th Dynasty Kings Once Amenhotep I who reigned 1551 1524 BC had full control over his administration he was co regent for five years he began to extend Egypt s boundaries in Nubia and Palestine A major builder at Al Karnak Amenhotep unlike his predecessors separated his tomb from his mortuary temple he began the custom of hiding his final resting place Thutmose I continued the advances of the new Imperial Age and emphasized the preeminence of the god Amon His tomb was the first in the Valley of the Kings Thutmose II his son by a minor wife succeeded him marrying the royal princess Hatshepsut to strengthen his claim to the throne He maintained the accomplishments of his predecessors When he died in 1504 BC his heir Thutmose III was still a child and so Hatshepsut governed as a regent Within a year she had herself crowned pharaoh and then mother and son ruled jointly When Thutmose III achieved sole rule upon Hatshepsut s death in 1483 BC he reconquered Syria and Palestine which had broken away under joint rule and then continued to expand his empire His annals in the temple at Al Karnak chronicle many of his campaigns Nearly 20 years after Hatshepsut s death he ordered the obliteration of her name and images Amenhotep II who reigned 1453 1419 BC and Thutmose IV tried to maintain the Asian conquests in the face of growing threats from the Mitanni and Hittite states but they found it necessary to use negotiations as well as force Amenhotep III ruled peacefully for nearly four decades 1386 1349 BC and art and architecture flourished during his reign He maintained the balance of power among Egypt s

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  • Egypt Ancient, Hatshepsut
    short time Hatshepsut presented herself as the young king s regent but sometime in Thutmose III s first seven years she ordered herself crowned as pharaoh and adopted a Horus name a royal name limited to kings and the full pharaonic regalia including a false beard also traditionally worn only by the king An essential element of Hatshepsut s success was a group of loyal and influential officials who controlled all the key positions in her government Emphasizing administrative innovation and commercial expansion Queen Hatshepsut dispatched a major seaborne expedition to Punt the African coast at the southernmost end of the Red Sea Gold ebony animal skins baboons processed myrrh and living myrrh trees were brought back to Egypt the trees to adorn the foreground of the Queen s famous Dayr al Ba h ri temple in western Thebes She also received large quantities of tribute from Asia Nubia and Libya The numerous products of trade and tribute were partially devoted to the state god Amon Re in whose honor Hatshepsut undertook an extensive building program She claimed that she restored the damage wrought by the Hyksos earlier Asian kings during their rule in Egypt In the temple at Karnack Thebes she renovated her father s hall introduced four great obelisks nearly 100 feet 30 m tall and added a fine chapel At Beni Hasan in Middle Egypt she built a rock cut temple known in Greek as Speos Artemidos Her supreme achievement was the splendid temple at Dayr al Ba h ri Designed as a funerary monument for Hatshepsut and her father it contains reliefs that record the major events of her reign She also cut a large tomb for herself in the Valley of the Kings another strictly pharaonic prerogative Its burial chamber was intended to lie behind

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  • Egypt Ancient, Hieroglyphics
    is impossible to know exactly how they pronounced hieroglyphic texts When speaking they may have expressed vowel sounds to distinguish various words that in writing look identical Ideograms could represent either the specific object written or something closely related to it For example the hieroglyphic symbol of a pair of legs might represent the noun movement When combined with other glyphs the symbol could represent the verb to approach or the concept to give directions The Egyptians usually constructed their hieroglyphs by putting phonograms at the beginning of a word followed by an ideogram which is called a determinative when used in this fashion The determinative specified the category to which the word belonged such as motion words or animal words and clued the reader in on the intended meaning Following are several examples of hieroglyphs with the sounds s and r that combine phonograms and determinatives When speaking the Egyptians might have differentiated between these words by adding vowel sounds for example by saying sor ser or sur Because they did not write vowels however they used the determinatives that appeared to the left of the phonograms to specify each word s meaning Writing phonograms and determinatives in different combinations enabled the Egyptians to develop thousands of words without having to create a single distinct glyph for each thing action or concept USING HIEROGLYPHS The ancient Egyptian word for hieroglyphs literally translated as language of the gods indicates their importance Priests used hieroglyphs to write down prayers magical texts and texts related to life after death and worshiping the gods When preparing their tombs many people had autobiographies and hieroglyphic guides of the afterworld written on the surfaces of tomb walls and on the insides of coffins The Egyptians believed that these texts helped guide the dead through the afterlife The use of hieroglyphic inscriptions was not limited to religious purposes Civil officials used them to write royal documents of long term importance to record historical events and to document calculations such as the depth of the Nile River on a specific day of the year The Egyptians also used hieroglyphs to decorate jewelry and other luxury items They carved the symbols into stone or wood and incised or cast them in gold silver and other metals They painted hieroglyphs on various surfaces sometimes putting down simple figures in black ink and other times using detail and bright colors Occasionally artists carved semiprecious stones or rare woods into hieroglyphic shapes and then inlaid them into walls or pieces of furniture HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT A standardized form of hieroglyphs developed rapidly in the earliest years of Egypt s Early Dynastic Period 2920 BC 2575 BC Little change in the system took place during the following 2 600 year period of Egyptian civilization Hieroglyphs were very time consuming to create so the Egyptians developed a cursive script called hieratic in the early years of hieroglyphic use The characters of the hieratic script were based on the hieroglyphic symbols but they were simplified

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  • Egypt Ancient, IKHNATON
    the older gods The struggle eventually rendered Thebes intolerable to the young revolutionary He broke with all the old priesthoods and began a drastic persecution to make Aton the sole god of the empire not merely in the king s own thought but in very fact As far as their visible and external manifestations were concerned this extermination of the old gods could be and was accomplished Even the word gods the plural of the common noun god was carefully expunged from the monuments In the tomb of Ramose his father s old prime minister a tomb still surviving in the Theban cemetery Amenhotep IV s emissaries hewed out the word gods no less than nine times clearly indicating their intentions notwithstanding three untouched occurrences of the word which escaped their notice and which we still find in out of the way corners of this marvelously sculptured tomb The persecution of Amon was especially severe and to day the splendid monuments of Thebes are still dotted with unsightly holes where the hated god s name once stood The young iconoclast was even involved in the expungement of his own father s name Amenhotep for it contained the name of the hostile god Living as he probably was in his father s splendid Theban palace the wreckage of which is still visible he finally brought himself to disfigure its sumptuous wall and ceiling decorations with unsightly blemishes where he blotted out his own father s name With regard to his own name he was himself in the same embarrassing predicament bearing as he also did the illustrious throne name Amenhotep meaning He in whom Amon is content The king therefore cast off his old name with all its traditional associations of power and splendor and chose another of similar significance Ikhnaton which means Aton is satisfied or He in whom Aton is satisfied The New Capital Akhetaton It is evident that this terrible revolution violating all that was dearest and most sacred in Egyptian life and traditions must have been a devastating experience for the young sovereign Thebes became an impossible place of residence His father s palace was disfigured by his own hand and the towering pylons and obelisks of Karnak and Luxor were a continual reminder of all that his fathers had contributed to the glory of Amon and the old gods He therefore determined to forsake the capital and imperial residence of his ancestors In each of the three great divisions of the empire Egypt Nubia and Asia he built a city consecrated to Aton and in the Egyptian Aton city he took up his own residence He chose as its site a spacious bay in the Nile cliffs about 160 m above the Delta and nearly 300 m below Thebes He called it Akhetaton which means Horizon of Aton and it is known in modern times as Tell el Amarna The city thus established was designated as the real capital of the empire In the sixth year of his reign and shortly after he had changed his name we find the young king living in his new residence The evidence indicates that all that was devised and done in the new city and in the development and propagation of the Aton faith was the work of the king himself Everything bears the stamp of his individuality The men about him must have been irresistibly swayed by his unbending will for he was evidently not one to stop half way But Ikhnaton understood enough of the old policy of the Pharaohs to know that he must hold his party by tangible rewards and his leading followers enjoyed liberal bounty at his hands Thus one of his priests of Aton and at the same time his master of the royal horse named Eye who had by good fortune happened to marry the childhood nurse of the king states in his tomb inscriptions He doubles to me my favors in silver and gold The commander of Ikhnaton s army likewise says He hath doubled to me my favors like the numbers of the sand I am the head of the officials at the head of the people my lord has advanced me because I have carried out his teaching and I hear his word without ceasing My eyes behold thy beauty every day O my lord wise like Aton satisfied with truth How prosperous is he who hears thy teaching of life Although there probably was a nucleus of men who really appreciated the ideal aspects of the king s teaching such inscriptions make it evident that many were not uninfluenced by the loaves and the fishes A beautiful cliff tomb hewn in the eastern cliffs by royal craftsmen at the king s command was the Pharaoh s most welcome demonstration of favour to each one of his followers The walls of such a tomb chapel bore fresh and natural pictures from the life of the people in Akhetaton the new capital particularly incidents in the life of the dead man and preferably his intercourse with the king Thus the city of Akhetaton is now better known to us from its cemetery than from its ruins Throughout these tombs both in relief and inscription the nobles take delight in reiterating the intimate relation between Aton and the king Over and over again they show the king and the queen standing together under the disk of Aton whose enveloping rays terminating in hands descend and embrace the king s figure The nobles constantly pray to the god for the king saying that he came forth from thy rays or thou hast formed him out of thine own rays and interspersed through their prayers were numerous current phrases of the Aton faith which had now become conventional replacing those of the old orthodox religion which it must have been very awkward for them to cease using On State occasions instead of the old stock phrases with innumerable references to the traditional gods every noble who would enjoy the king s favour was evidently obliged to display his familiarity with the Aton faith by a liberal use of these new allusions The source of such phrases was really the king himself and something of the teaching whence they were taken so often attributed to him is preserved in these Amarna tombs as we now commonly call them Hymn to Aton Among the fragments of the Aton faith which have survived in these tombs are two hymns to Aton the longer and finer of which is worthy of being known in modern literature The king himself probably wrote it In the following translation the effort has been chiefly to furnish an accurate rendering The headings of the strophes are insertions by the present writer intended to make clear the arrangement of the subject matter especially striking because it is identical with that in Psalm civ of the Old Testament which is many centuries later NIGHT When thou settest in the western horizon of the sky The earth is in darkness like the dead They sleep in their chambers Their heads are wrapped up Their nostrils are stopped And none seethe the other While all their things are stolen Which are under their heads And they know it not Every lion cometh forth from his den all serpents they sting Darkness The world is in silence He that made them resteth in his horizon DAY AND MAN Bright is the earth when thou risest in the horizon When thou shinest as Aton by day Thou drivest away the darkness When thou sendest forth thy rays The Two Lands Egypt are in daily festivity Awake and standing upon their feet When thou hast raised them up Their limbs bathed they take their clothing Their arms uplifted in adoration to thy dawning Then in all the world they do their work DAY AND THE ANIMALS AND PLANTS All cattle rest upon their pasturage The trees and the plants flourish The birds flutter in their marshes Their wings uplifted in adoration to thee All the sheep dance upon their feet All winged things fly They live when thou hast shone upon them DAY AND THE WATERS The barques sail up stream and down stream alike Every highway is open because thou dawnest The fish in the river leap up before thee Thy rays are in the midst of the great green sea CREATION OF MAN Creator of the germ in woman Maker of seed in man Giving life to the son in the body of his mother Soothing him that he may not weep Nurse even in the womb Giver of breath to animate every one that he maketh When he cometh forth from the womb on the day of his birth Thou openest his mouth in speech Thou suppliest his necessities CREATION OF ANIMALS When the fledgling in the egg chirps in the shell Thou givest him breath therein to preserve him alive When thou hast brought him together To the point of bursting it in the egg He cometh forth from the egg to chirp with all his might He goeth about upon his two feet When he hath come forth therefrom THE WHOLE CREATION How manifold are thy works They are hidden from before us O sole God whose powers no other possesseth Thou didst create the earth according to thy heart While thou wast alone Men all cattle large and small All that are upon the earth That go about upon their feet All that are on high That fly with their wings The foreign countries Syria and Kush The land of Egypt Thou settest every man into his place Thou suppliest their necessities Every one has his possessions And his days are reckoned The tongues are divers in speech Their forms likewise and their skins are distinguished For thou makest different the strangers We may conjecture that this hymn partially reproduced above was a fragment from the ritual of Aton as it was celebrated from day to day in the Aton temple at Amarna Unhappily it was copied in but one tomb in the others we have a miscellany of current quotations and stock phrases which made up the knowledge of the new faith as it had been apprehended by the scribes and painters who decorated these tombs It is our misfortune that the fragments of the Aton faith which have survived to us in the Amarna cemetery our chief source have thus filtered mechanically through the indifferent hands and the starved and listless minds of a few petty bureaucrats on the outskirts of a great religious and intellectual movement The New Universalism Nevertheless in this great hymn the new universalism of the empire finds full expression and the royal singer sweeps his eye from the far off cataracts of the Nubian Nile to the remotest lands of Syria He was looking beyond the nationalism which had prevailed for over 2 000 years and he was consciously endeavoring to displace it by a world religion Irrespective of race or nationality he bases the universal sway of God upon his fatherly care of all men alike He calls Aton the father and the mother of all that he has made and the hymn which we have just quoted above is very explicit in its insistence that Aton s fatherly care of all men entirely disregards diversity of speech or difference in color To the proud and exclusive Egyptian he points to the all embracing bounty of the common father of humanity even placing Syria and Nubia before Egypt as he catalogues the divisions of his empire Ikhnaton had gained the conception of a world lord in two aspects first as the creator of the natural world and second as a benevolent father actively concerned for the daily maintenance of all his creatures even the meanest His hymns are the earliest known expression of deep emotion in the recognition of divine goodness and benevolence Mingled with it is an almost ecstatic rapture in the thought of the all enveloping light in which he saw revealed both the beauty and the goodness of the natural order It reminds us of Him who bade us consider the lilies The picture of the lily grown marshes where as another hymn tells us the flowers are drunken in the intoxicating radiance of Aton where the birds unfold their wings and lift them in adoration of the living Aton where the cattle dance with delight in the sunshine and the fish in the river beyond leap up to greet the light the universal light whose beams are even in the midst of the great green sea all this discloses a discernment of the presence of God in nature and an appreciation of the revelation of God in the visible world such as we find centuries later in the Hebrew psalms and especially in our own poets since Wordsworth While the creative power and the benevolence of his god were very explicitly affirmed by Ikhnaton our sources do not show us that he had risen from a discernment of the beneficence to a conception of the righteousness in the character of God nor of his demand for this in the character of men Nevertheless there is in Ikhnaton s teaching as it is thus fragmentarily preserved in the hymns and tomb inscriptions of his nobles a constant emphasis upon truth such as is not found before or since The king always attached to his name the extraordinary phrase living in truth and that this phrase was not meaningless is evident as we discern the character of his daily life To him living in truth meant sincere acceptance of the daily facts of living in a simple and unconventional manner never before seen in the life of a sovereign and quite impossible of harmonization with the outward pomp and splendor of an oriental emperor For him what was right and its propriety was evident by its very existence Even in public he divested his daily round of those outward and formal observances which his royal ancestors had observed for 2 000 years Thus his family life was open and unconcealed before the people even in intimate manifestations of family affection He took the greatest delight in his children and appeared with them and the queen their mother on all possible occasions as if he had been but the humblest scribe in the Aton temple He had himself depicted on the monuments while enjoying the most familiar and unaffected intercourse with his family and when he drove in his chariot to the temple to carry on its formal service the queen and the daughters she had borne him likewise drove thither through the acclaiming multitudes and shared with the king the temple service All that was natural was to him true and he never failed practically to exemplify this belief however radically he was obliged to disregard tradition Effect of the Revolution on Art These revolutionary changes in religion and in the position and character of the head of the State were not confined to theology statecraft or palace proprieties They unavoidably affected also the art of the time and it was the intention of Ikhnaton to modify art in accordance with his regard for truth His chief sculptor Bek appended to his title the words whom his majesty himself taught It is evident that the artists of Ikhnaton s court were taught by him to make the chisel and the brush tell the story of what they actually saw The result was a simple and beautiful realism that saw more clearly than any art had ever seen before They caught the instantaneous postures of animal life the coursing hound the fleeing game the wild bull leaping in the marsh for all these belonged to the truth in which Ikhnaton lived The exalted divinity which for untold centuries had invested the Pharaoh s person with inviolable sacredness was stripped away without hesitation Ikhnaton s artists represented him as they saw him in attitudes of parental affection as he fondled his little daughters or even as the object of the wifely solicitude of his queen as she stands in his presence in affectionate concern for his needs Such is the lovely scene on the back of the famous palace chair preserved to us in the tomb of Tutankhamun For the first time in the history of art the subject of a great composition was a human relationship and to depict it the artists of the day shook off the shackles of immemorial tradition The monuments of Egypt and even the furniture and equipment of daily life bore what they had never borne before a Pharaoh depicted in the natural and unaffected relations of life and completely liberated from the rigid and conventional posture demanded by both the traditions of court propriety and by the venerable teachings of the State theology regarding the divinity of the sovereign It is in this extraordinary art which we commonly call the Amarna school or Amarna art that the revolution of Ikhnaton is most clearly disclosed as the earliest known age of spiritual emancipation Loss of the Empire A man wholly absorbed in a revolution like this found little time or inclination to devote any attention to the critical state of the empire For three generations the royal house of Egypt had stood in close relations to the kings of Western Asia and especially the kings of Mitanni on the Upper Euphrates had given their daughters in marriage to the Pharaoh Supported by such alliances Ikhnaton failed to appreciate the gravity of the new movements which were transforming the political situation in Western Asia In the north the expanding power of the Hittites gradually absorbed all the Pharaoh s vassal States in Syria while in the south i e in Palestine the incoming mercenary bands of nomads were steadily taking possession of Palestine which the Pharaohs had held for

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  • Egypt Ancient, Imhotep
    and more dubious achievements in medicine the arts and other fields He was one of few ancient Egyptians born outside of royalty who later was raised to a godlike rank Born as a commoner near the ancient city of Memphis located along Nile River south of modern day Cairo Imhotep rose to become an influential official sculptor and carpenter in Zoser s court Records also indicate that he was an important priest and scholar The Step Pyramid of Zoser Imhotep s greatest achievement was undoubtedly the erection of the pyramid complex at Sakkara the world s first large scale stone building In ancient Egypt large structures were built as funeral monuments for Pharaohs and their family Before Imhotep s time such tombs were covered by large low rectangular buildings called mastabas At Sakkara however Imhotep designed the first pyramid a structure that featured a mastaba topped by six tiers each of diminishing size He surrounded this 200 foot tall monument which has become known as the Step Pyramid with a elaborate building complex that included temples a burial chamber sculptures of Zoser and pavilions Much the expansive stone complex was connected by a system of underground passages The Step Pyramid and some of the surrounding stone buildings which were built around 2630 B C still stand today archeologists are working to restore more of the complex The design and successful construction of the complex helped inspire the Egyptians to built larger and more elaborate pyramids in later centuries Though designing and building the Step Pyramid were certainly great feats Imhotep s name has also been tied to other monumental and far less certifiable achievements Later Egyptian kingdoms celebrated the famous architect s skills as a poet sage physician and religious leader Boosted by his impressive posthumous reputation Imhotep was deified

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  • Egypt Ancient, Kamose
    third of Egypt In his third year the Hyksos Egyptian border lay at Cusae near modern Asy ut in Middle Egypt while a separate kingdom held Nubia south of the First Nile Cataract Although his kingdom had peaceful relations with the Hyksos Kamose dissatisfied with ruling only part of Egypt decided on a war of liberation With a fleet and desert tribal troops from Nubia he made a surprise attack against the Hyksos southernmost stronghold Continuing his northward march Kamose showed no mercy to Egyptians who had made accommodations with the enemy He also claimed that his fleet captured Hyksos ships laden with weapons and that he sailed past the Hyksos capital itself in the eastern Nile River delta where he taunted and insulted the enemy king About 100 miles 160 km downstream from Cusae he captured a Hyksos messenger en route to Cush in the modern Sudan who was carrying a missive urging the Kushite prince to attack Egypt from the rear Completely undaunted Kamose sent a detachment to seize the important Ba h riyah Oasis and so thwarted his foes As the campaign season ended he returned jubilantly to Thebes defeating rebels who had risen behind him Kamose

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  • Egypt Ancient, Law
    and appointed magistrates as part of his legal duties In a legal proceeding the plaintiff was required to bring suit The tribunal then ordered the defendant to appear in court if a point of law seemed to be involved in the dispute Scribes employed in the legal system supplied procedural information legal advocates did not represent the parties Both parties spoke for themselves and presented any pertinent documentary evidence Witnesses sometimes were called but usually the judge ruled on the grounds of the documents and the testimony of each party The judgment included recommendations for preserving the written record of the trial possibly the main reason why many of these documents are extant Although masculine primogeniture dominated in some periods of Egyptian history there are records of property being divided equally among the children male and female Even with masculine primogeniture the other children and the surviving spouse usually received a share of the estate The usual law of succession could be circumvented by a special unregistered document a parent for example could favour a daughter by guaranteeing her rights over the family property Legal judgments pertaining to the family and rights of succession clearly demonstrate that women as well as men were granted full rights under the laws of ancient Egypt Women owned and bequeathed property filed lawsuits and bore witness in court proceedings without the authority of their father or husband The working class also had some legal rights even slaves were allowed to own property under certain circumstances Property transfers and contractual agreements were conducted as if they were the same type of legal transaction Rental of slaves for example was regarded as a sales agreement Work was often bartered for various commodities The individual parties were allowed to determine restrictions and guarantees in their transaction concerning

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