Chapter

The fortified settlement at Tombos and Egyptian colonial strategy in New Kingdom Nubia

If you want to read the PDF, try requesting it from the authors.

Abstract

This book illustrates the state-of-the-art in settlement archaeology in Northeast Africa. As reflected in the title "From Microcosm to Macrocosm: Individual households and cities in Ancient Egypt and Nubia", both a micro-approach introducing microhistories of individual sites according to recent archaeological fieldwork incorporating interdisciplinary methods as well as general patterns and regional developments in Northeast Africa are discussed. This combination of research questions on the micro-level with the macro-level provides new information about cities and households in Ancient Egypt and Nubia and makes the book unique. Architectural studies as well as analyses of material culture and the new application of microarchaeology, here especially of micromorphology and archaeometric applications, are presented as case studies from sites primarily dating to the New Kingdom (Second Millennium BC). The rich potential of well-preserved but still not completely explored sites in modern Sudan, especially as direct comparison for already excavated sites located in Egypt, is in particular emphasised in the book. Settlement archaeology in Egypt and Nubia has recently moved away from a strong textual approach and generalised studies to a more site-specific approach and household studies. This new bottom-up approach applied by current fieldwork projects is demonstrated in the book. The volume is intended for all specialists at settlements sites in Northeast Africa, for students of Egyptology and Nubian Studies, but it will be of interest to anyone working in the field of settlement archaeology. It is the result of a conference on the same subject held in 2017 as the closing event of the European Research Council funded project AcrossBorders at Munich.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Article
Previous research of 87 Sr/ 86 Sr variability in human dental tissue from the Nile Valley has shown diversity in bioavailable strontium across the landscape. Local ranges, determined from faunal sampling, have been suggested for several sites in Nubia, including Tombos (Third Cataract, Sudan). This study builds on previous research by testing human and faunal dental enamel samples from three sites in the Third Cataract region: Tombos, Hannek, and Abu Fatima. The addition of Abu Fatima and Hannek into the assessment of the Third Cataract region brings new temporal and socioeconomic juxtapositions that can shed light on migration and locality in Bronze Age Nubia. Two faunal samples, a sheep from Abu Fatima and a horse from Tombos, had 87 Sr/ 86 Sr values that were consistent with the previously established local Third Cataract strontium range. Seven of the 29 human samples tested for Abu Fatima are suggestive of non-local origin and consistent with the Second Cataract region. One of the four individuals tested from Hannek may have migrated to the region from Egypt or the Second Cataract region. Lastly, four of the 30 samples from Tombos indicate possible non-local origin; the 87 Sr/ 86 Sr values may suggest Egypt, the Second Cataract, or the Fourth Cataract as places of origin. These findings suggest complex human migration networks were present in the Nile Valley during the Bronze Age. We support the continued examination of migration using strontium while acknowledging that further research needs to be done.
Chapter
In this chapter, I synthesize the practice theory and methodological approaches discussed in Chapters 1– 4 by presenting a case study from Ancient Nubia. These data are the product of my dissertation as well as several additional years of excavation and research. I have been working in Nubia, modern northern Sudan, for more than 10 years and have direct experience excavating and analyzing the data presented here. In addition to the excellent degree of preservation due to the extremely arid environment, Nubia has had several instances of major sociopolitical change, which likely impacted day-to-day life. For example, the Egyptian Empire colonized Nubia twice, Nubia conquered Egypt once, and there were also several interactions with populations to the south. In short, there is plenty of fodder for a bioarchaeologist interested in daily life.
Chapter
This final chapter will summarize the previous chapters and discuss the potential for additional research. The methods I have proposed in Chapters 3 and 4, and demonstrated in Chapter 5 only represent a selection of the techniques bioarchaeologists can use to address day-to-day life. Other areas that need additional research include: collaboration between archaeology and bioarchaeology, bioarchaeological methods, and anthropologically oriented research. Bioarchaeologists have had access to many of these lines of evidence, but have yet to be conceptualized as components of everyday life. Like activity and diet, various types of data can elucidate the experience of the individual and the community. Two areas of bioarchaeological research that have begun to question lived experience include osteobiographical approaches and the bioarchaeology of care. Both of these fields have considered life events and social identities that would have framed everyday experience; however, these studies typically do not examine entire groups or communities, but rather focus on a single person. Furthermore, these approaches do not frame their research in terms of everyday experience, but rather address it peripherally. This book presents an argument for why studies of day-to-day practice are important in anthropological research and how bioarchaeological studies can contribute to this dialogue.
Article
The British excavations of Mycenae in 1954 were conducted with research grants from the American Philosophical Society and Bollingen Foundation and with contributions from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, the British Academy, and the British School at Athens, under whose auspices the work was carried out. The Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton has again provided an ideal base for preparing the material for publication. The work began on June 21st and ceased on August 16th, but the next days up to August 21st were spent in studying and photographing the finds and transporting them to the Nauplia Museum. As before, the inscribed clay tablets and the carved ivories were taken to the National Museum at Athens, to the Director of which, Dr. Karouzos, we owe our best thanks for his friendly help, and the other finds to Nauplia. The staff of the excavation, in addition to my wife, who again took charge of the records, and myself, consisted of Lord William Taylour of Trinity College, Cambridge, Mrs. R. Stillwell, Miss Elizabeth Wace of Newnham College, Cambridge, Mr. T. Leslie Shear, Jr., of Lawrenceville School, Miss Mary Pym of Girton College, Cambridge, Mr. Herschel Shepard of Princeton University, who was architect, Miss B. Kistruck of Edinburgh University, and Miss Helen Higson of Newnham College, Cambridge.
Article
Through the concept of entanglement, archaeological indications of cultural identity and skeletal evidence of biological and geographic interaction are used to explore the development of the Nubian polity who ruled as the 25th Dynasty of Egypt (Napatan period, ca. 750–656 B.C.E.). In this article, we examine the ways in which cultural and biological linkages affect the political, social, and cultural trajectories of the political entities in the ancient Nile Valley. Early studies of political developments in this region have often focused on Egypt, ignoring the aspects of power formation that may have developed independently and the long tradition of established local institutions in Nubia. The present research uses evidence from the site of Tombos, located in Upper Nubia, to investigate the processes of identity formation and population composition during the Egyptian colonial occupation and the subsequent rise of the Nubian Napatan polity. We address the impact of Egyptian and Nubian immigrants on the political developments, finding strongest support for the influence of Nubian-Egyptian communities established in colonial times on the character of the Napatan polity. [cultural entanglement, Egypt, 25th Dynasty, Tombos, mortuary practices, state formation].
Article
Professor Smith uses Nubia as a case study to explore the nature of ethnic identity. Recent research suggests that ethnic boundaries are permeable, and that ethnic identities are overlapping. This is particularly true when cultures come into direct contact, as with the Egyptian conquest of Nubia in the second millennium BC. By using the tools of anthropology, Smith examines the Ancient Egyptian construction of ethnic identities with its stark contrast between civilized Egyptians and barbaric foreigners - those who made up the 'Wretched Kush' of the title.
Article
For the most part, the ceramic assemblage at Askut and the other Nubian fortresses tracks well with pottery from Egypt, and it is clear from the ubiquitous presence of pottery made from marl clays that ceramic vessels were regularly imported from Egyptian workshops in both Upper and Lower Egypt. Large-scale pottery production of Nile Silt vessels, however, is attested during the Middle Kingdom in the Nubian colony at both Mirgissa and Serra East. Wasters and unfired fragments of Nile Silt vessels from Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom contexts in the Southeast Sector at Askut demonstrate that smaller-scale production also existed in the colony. Additionally, a ceramic potter's wheelhead, the actual flywheel/throwing surface as opposed to the wheel's stone pivots, was recently identified from the late Middle Kingdom (Thirteenth Dynasty) deposits, the only one attested from Pharaonic Nubia and only the second from a Pharaonic Egyptian context. This evidence points towards a complex system of production and distribution that included industrial workshops at major sites complemented by localized production on a much smaller scale to meet local demand. Ceramic production on the scale seen at Askut would serve modest community needs for the fortress and perhaps the surrounding area in a multi-scalar system of ceramic production.
Reconstructing Pharaonic Architecture in Nubia: The Case Study of SAV1, Sai Island. Contributions to the Archaeology of Egypt, Nubia and the Levant 3
  • I Adenstedt
Adenstedt, I. 2016. Reconstructing Pharaonic Architecture in Nubia: The Case Study of SAV1, Sai Island. Contributions to the Archaeology of Egypt, Nubia and the Levant 3. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press.
Untersuchungen im Totentempel des Merenptah in Theben Bd. IV. The Pottery. Beiträge zur Ägyptischen Bauforschung und Altertumskunde 17. Mainz am Rhein
  • D A Aston
Aston, D.A. 2008. Untersuchungen im Totentempel des Merenptah in Theben Bd. IV. The Pottery. Beiträge zur Ägyptischen Bauforschung und Altertumskunde 17. Mainz am Rhein: Philipp von Zabern.
Egyptian Pottery of the Late New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period (Twelfth -Seventh Centuries BC): Tentative Footsteps in a Forbidding Terrain
  • D A Aston
Aston, D.A. 1996. Egyptian Pottery of the Late New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period (Twelfth -Seventh Centuries BC): Tentative Footsteps in a Forbidding Terrain. Heidelberg: Heidelberger Orientverlag.
The Survey of Memphis IV. Kom Rabia: The New Kingdom Pottery. Egypt Exploration Society Excavation Memoir 93
  • J Bourriau
Bourriau, J. 2010. The Survey of Memphis IV. Kom Rabia: The New Kingdom Pottery. Egypt Exploration Society Excavation Memoir 93. London: Egypt Exploration Society. London: Egypt Exploration Society.
  • J H Breasted
Breasted, J.H. 1906. Ancient Records of Egypt, Vol. II: The Eighteenth Dynasty. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Les sarcophages en terre cuite: en Egypte et en Nubie de l'époque prédynastique à l'époque romaine
  • L Cotelle-Michel
Cotelle-Michel, L. 2004. Les sarcophages en terre cuite: en Egypte et en Nubie de l'époque prédynastique à l'époque romaine. Dijon: Faton.
Tombos and the Viceroy Inebny
  • W V Davies
Davies, W.V. 2008. Tombos and the Viceroy Inebny/ Amenemnekhu. Sudan & Nubia 12, 25-33.
Merymose and others at Tombos. Sudan & Nubia
  • W V Davies
Davies, W.V. 2012. Merymose and others at Tombos. Sudan & Nubia 16, 29-36.
The Fortress of Buhen: The Archaeological Report. Egypt Exploration Society Excavation Memoir 49
  • W B Emery
  • H S Smith
  • A Millard
  • Dixon
Emery, W.B., Smith, H.S., Millard, A. and Dixon, D.M. 1979 (eds.). The Fortress of Buhen: The Archaeological Report. Egypt Exploration Society Excavation Memoir 49. London: Egypt Exploration Society.
Preliminary Report on the Excavations at Sesebi (Sudla) and 'Amārah West, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1937-8
  • H W Fairman
Fairman, H.W. 1938. Preliminary Report on the Excavations at Sesebi (Sudla) and 'Amārah West, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1937-8. The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 24, 151-156.
Late Dynastic Pottery from the Vicinity of the South Tombs
  • P French
French, P. 1986. Late Dynastic Pottery from the Vicinity of the South Tombs, in: Kemp, B.J. (ed.), Amarna Reports III, 147-88. London: Egypt Exploration Society.
Innovation in the Decoration of Ceramics in the Mid-18 th Dynasty
  • C A Hope
Hope, C.A. 1987. Innovation in the Decoration of Ceramics in the Mid-18 th Dynasty. Cahiers de La Ceramique Egyptienne 1, 97-122.
Blue-Painted Pottery
  • C A Hope
Hope, C.A. 1982. Blue-Painted Pottery, in: Brovarski, E., Doll, S.K. and Freed, R.E. (eds.), Egypt's Golden Age. 225
Tombos and the Transition from the New Kingdom to the Napatan Period in Upper Nubia
  • S T Smith
Smith, S.T. 2008. Tombos and the Transition from the New Kingdom to the Napatan Period in Upper Nubia, in: Godlewski, W. and Łajtar, A. (eds.), Between the Cataracts: Proceedings of the 11 th International Conference of Nubian Studies, 27 August -2 September 2006. Warsaw: Warsaw University, 95-115.
  • S T Smith
Smith, S.T. 2017. Colonial Gatherings: The Presentation of Inu in New Kingdom Egypt and the British Imperial Durbar, a Comparison, in: Belgane, F. (ed.), Gatherings: Past and Present. Proceedings from the 2013 Archaeology of Gatherings International Conference at IT, Sligo, Ireland. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, 102-112.
Colonial Entanglements: "Egyptianization" in Egypt's Nubian Empire and the Nubian Dynasty
  • S T Smith
  • M R Buzon
Smith, S.T. and Buzon, M.R. 2014a. Colonial Entanglements: "Egyptianization" in Egypt's Nubian Empire and the Nubian Dynasty, in: Anderson, J.R. and Welsby, D.A. (eds.), The Fourth Cataract and Beyond. Proceedings of the 12 th International Conference for Nubian Studies. British Museum Publications on Egypt and Sudan 1. Leuven: Peeters, 431-442.
Colonial encounters at New Kingdom Tombos: Cultural entanglements and hybrid identity
  • S T Smith
  • M R Buzon
Smith, S.T. and Buzon, M.R. 2017. Colonial encounters at New Kingdom Tombos: Cultural entanglements and hybrid identity, in: Spencer, N., Stevens, A. and Binder, M. (eds.), Nubia in the New Kingdom. Lived Experience, Pharaonic Control and Indigenous Traditions. British Museum Publications on Egypt and Sudan 3. Leuven: Peeters, 615-630.
From Local to Global: The Extension of an Egyptian Bureaucratic Term to the Empire
  • A Spalinger
Spalinger, A. 1996. From Local to Global: The Extension of an Egyptian Bureaucratic Term to the Empire. Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur 23, 353-376.
Creating and Re-Shaping Egypt in Kush: Responses at Amara West
  • N Spencer
Spencer, N. 2014. Creating and Re-Shaping Egypt in Kush: Responses at Amara West. Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 6, 42-61.
Aniba II. Service des Antiquités de l'Egypte. Mission Archéologique de Nubie 1929-1934
  • G Steindorff
Steindorff, G. 1937. Aniba II. Service des Antiquités de l'Egypte. Mission Archéologique de Nubie 1929-1934. Glückstadt: J.J. Augustin.
The Gold of Kush: Two Gold-washing Stations at Faras East
  • J Vercoutter
Vercoutter, J. 1959. The Gold of Kush: Two Gold-washing Stations at Faras East. Kush 7, 120-152.