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Article

L. Glynne Davies

(b Amsterdam, Feb 24, 1897; d London, July 16, 1954).

Dutch archaeologist and cultural historian. After studying at the University of Amsterdam and under Flinders Petrie at University College, London, he directed the Egypt Exploration Society’s excavations at Akhenaten’s city of Amarna, (Tell) el- and elsewhere (1925–9). He was Field Director of the Iraq Expedition of the Oriental Institute of Chicago from 1929 to 1937 and conducted excavations at the Assyrian site of Khorsabad and in the Diyala region; the latter made an important contribution to knowledge of the art of the Sumerians, particularly of their architecture and of the Early Dynastic period (c. 2900–2500 bc). He held professorships at Chicago, Amsterdam and London and was Director of the Warburg Institute from 1949 to 1954. In 1954 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy and he was also Corresponding Member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences.

Frankfort was a scholar of immense range, insight and artistic sensibility, with an abiding concern for the interrelations of the cultures of the ancient Aegean, Egypt and Mesopotamia, and he was instrumental in defining a structure for the integrated study of early Near Eastern civilizations. It was characteristic of his approach to see artefacts as works of art that could lead to a deeper understanding of ancient cultures, rather than merely as sources of historical data: his ...

Article

Barry Bergdoll

(b Cologne, June 15, 1790; d Paris, Dec 31, 1853).

French architect, writer and archaeologist of German birth. In 1810 he left Cologne with his lifelong friend J. I. Hittorff for Paris, enrolling at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1811 under the tutelage of the ardent Neo-classicists Louis-Hippolyte Lebas and François Debret. But from the beginning Gau was exposed to a wider field of historical sources, first as assistant site architect under Debret on the restoration of the abbey church of Saint-Denis (1813–15) and then from 1815 in Nazarene circles in Rome, where he met the archaeologist and philologist Barthold Nieburh (1776–1831), who arranged a scholarship for him from the Prussian government and a trip through the eastern Mediterranean. In Egypt Gau undertook an arduous trip down the Nile to visit and record the monuments of Nubia, which he published as the lavish folio Antiquités de la Nubie. He noted assiduously every trace of colour on the remains, just as he was to do in ...

Article

Ian M. E. Shaw

Ancient Egyptian site on the east bank of the Nile near Nag Hammadi, where a ripple-flaked flint knife dating to the Late Predynastic Period (c. 3000 bc; Paris, Louvre, E. 11517) was discovered, an important piece of evidence for the crucial formative phase of Egyptian civilization. The knife was purchased by the French Egyptologist Georges Bénédite in 1894; its original archaeological context is uncertain. Its handle, carved from a single hippopotamus tusk, is decorated on both sides with finely engraved representations in a style that is considered to be more Syrian or Mesopotamian than Egyptian. One face of the handle bears a representation of a variety of wild animals, including two lions held apart by a man wearing a long robe and unusual headgear. Both the costume and the distinctive motif of a man between two beasts are Mesopotamian in origin. The other side has scenes of hand-to-hand fighting between foot-soldiers and a naval battle: both the naval scene and the human ‘hero’ figure between lions are similar to those depicted in the ‘decorated tomb’ at Hierakonpolis. The conflict on the Gebel el-Arak handle is between two different types of boat: the familiar crescent-shaped Egyptian papyrus skiff and another type with an almost vertical prow. It has therefore been suggested that the decoration on the knife-handle records a specific military encounter between Egyptians and Near Eastern (or perhaps Libyan) invaders; the wild animals and battle scenes, however, should perhaps be interpreted more loosely as an indication of the widespread conflict that preceded the establishment of a unified Egyptian state....

Article

Jürgen Osing

[Gabal al-Silsila]. Ancient Egyptian site on a mountain ridge of the Upper Nile valley, c. 65 km north of Aswan, directly bordering the river. It is famous for its immense sandstone quarries (open and in galleries), the largest of which are in the east. These supplied the material for many temples in the region of Thebes, from the 18th Dynasty (c. 1540–c. 1075 bc) to the Roman period (30 bcad 395). The sandstone here is very solid and of excellent quality, and it could be quarried easily and in inexhaustible quantities. Shipping was equally easy. In the quarries there are many royal stelae (especially of Amenophis III and IV and Sethos I), commemorative tablets of officials, and innumerable Egyptian and Greek graffiti and quarry marks that attest to those activities. Many graffiti on the west bank date back to the Middle Kingdom and the 11th Dynasty (...

Article

Elvira D’Amicone

[Arab.: ‘the two mountains’; anc. Egyp. Inerti: ‘the two hills’; Gr. Pathyris]

Ancient Egyptian site c. 28 km south of Luxor on the west bank of the Nile, which flourished from Predynastic times (4th millennium bc) to the Greco-Roman period (c. 332 bcad 395). Excavations carried out between 1910 and 1937 by the Museo Egizio in Turin uncovered an extensive Predynastic period necropolis that yielded quantities of Naqada II (c. 3500– c. 3000 bc) types of black-topped ceramic ware, small schist statues of bearded male heads, and a unique textile fragment painted in red, black and white with scenes from a hippopotamus hunt. The oldest temple of Hathor known in Egypt was constructed at Gebelein during the 3rd Dynasty (c. 2650–c. 2575 bc), and worship of the goddess continued at the site into the Roman period. Reliefs and votive objects from the sanctuary are now in the Museo Egizio, Turin. Extensive First Intermediate Period (...

Article

Philip J. Watson

[Dayr al-Gabrawi]

Site in Egypt, c. 5 km north of Asyut, that was the necropolis of the governors of the 12th Upper Egyptian nome in the 6th Dynasty (c. 2325–c. 2150 bc). The nomarchs and other important officials were buried in two groups of rock-cut tombs. The earlier, northern, group comprises 104 tombs, although very few of these preserve any trace of decoration. In time the necropolis was moved eastwards, and this led to the formation of the more important southern group of 52 tombs. The tombs of Ibi and Djau are large and fully decorated, while seven others preserve the names of their owners. The tomb of Ibi (no. 8) has a rectangular chamber, which originally had two square pillars, with a deep niche in the back wall. In addition to the main burial pit there were two others, one of which was intended for Ibi’s wife. The upper parts of all walls are covered in plaster decorated with paintings. The walls to either side of the doorway depict Ibi fishing and fowling; the shorter side walls contain a biographical text, agricultural scenes and a procession with dancing girls; on the back wall are more agricultural scenes and depictions of craftsmen at work. The niche contains false doors, lists of offerings and prayers. Some of the scenes were reproduced in the 26th Dynasty (...

Article

Ghirza  

R. J. A. Wilson

Site of Romanized Berber settlement on the banks of the Wadi Ghirza, 240 km south-east of Tripoli, Libya. The site consists of 38 buildings from the 4th and 5th centuries ad, some still preserved up to a height of 7 m. Half a dozen of them are in the form of impressive castle-like structures, two or three storeys high, with interior courts; this type of farm building, once thought to have had a quasi-military role, is typical of the Tripolitanian pre-desert area from the second half of the 2nd century ad onwards. Smaller houses are either single-roomed or have two or three rooms set end to end. One building is a Semitic-type temple probably dedicated to Baal, with an open court and rooms ranged around it. Cisterns, two wells and rubbish middens have also been identified, the last showing that barley, figs and many other crops were present. The settlement seems to have been occupied until the early 6th century ...

Article

Giza  

Dominic Montserrat

[anc. Egyp. Ineb hedj]

Egyptian governorate just west of Cairo, site of a major royal necropolis of the Old Kingdom capital of Memphis. The necropolis, containing the 4th Dynasty (c. 2575–c. 2465 bc) pyramid complexes of Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus (see Pyramid, §1) and their associated satellite burials, is divided by a broad wadi into two areas: the higher plateau, with the pyramid complexes, Great Sphinx and mastaba fields, and other private tombs on an escarpment to the south-west. Although Giza’s period of greatest importance was during the Old Kingdom (c. 2575–c. 2150 bc), the site underwent revivals in the New Kingdom (c. 1540–c. 1075 bc) and the Saite period (c. 664–525 bc). Most of the tombs were robbed in antiquity, and much of the original casing of the monuments has been quarried away, considerably altering their appearance. In the late 20th century the site has come under threat from rising ground water, which is slowly destroying the monuments....

Article

(b Stockholm, Nov 11, 1882; reg 1950–73; d Hälsingborg, Sept 15, 1973).

Swedish ruler, collector and archaeologist. He was educated at Uppsala University, where he studied history, Nordic archaeology and Egyptology, and in his youth assisted in archaeological expeditions in Sweden, Greece, Italy and Cyprus. In 1907 he began to collect Chinese art and was soon attracted to the early periods, the area in which his collection eventually became pre-eminent. In 1908 he met the foremost scholars and collectors of Chinese art in London and then helped to plan a large exhibition of Chinese art at the Kungliga Akademien för de Fria Konsterna (Royal Academy of Fine Arts), Stockholm, in 1914. The following year he met Erik Nyström, Professor of natural history at Taiyuan University, who purchased items for him in China. His collection was also enriched from 1916 with the help of Orvar Karlbeck, the Swedish railway engineer active in China. Other Chinese pieces were purchased or presented to his collection during his journey to East Asia in ...

Article

Hawara  

R. J. Leprohon

Egyptian site in the Faiyum, an oasis 80 km south-west of Cairo. Located at the site is the pyramid of Ammenemes III (reg c. 1818–c. 1770 bc), a ruler of Egypt in the 12th Dynasty. Dieter Arnold’s excavations (from 1976) have shown that Ammenemes III’s first pyramid at Dahshur had become unsuitable for burial and that another pyramid was therefore erected in the Faiyum, an area in which the King took particular interest. Only the inner mud-brick structure of the pyramid remains, the outer stone casing having been removed over the centuries. Adjacent to the pyramid was a mortuary temple, the plan of which was so elaborate that the Classical writers referred to it as the Labyrinth. So little of this has survived that the building can be understood only through Classical descriptions. When the archaeologist Flinders Petrie discovered the entrance to the pyramid in 1889...

Article

Nabil Swelim

[anc. Egyp. Iunu; Bibl. On; now Tell Hisn]. Site near Cairo, Egypt. It was the capital of the 13th Lower Egyptian nome (administrative province) and a cult centre of the sun-god in its various guises (Re, Atum, Khephri). The symbol of Heliopolis was the benben, the precursor of the pyramid and obelisk, which represented the primeval hill on which the sun first rose. The oldest monolithic benben found at Heliopolis dates to the 6th Dynasty (c. 2325–c. 2150 bc). An obelisk of Sesostris I (reg c. 1918–c. 1875 bc) still stands on the site; two other obelisks of Heliopolitan origin—‘Cleopatra’s needles’—are now in London and New York. Remains of a temenos wall and chapel reliefs testify to the city’s importance as a religious centre as early as the Early Dynastic period (c. 2925–c. 2575 bc). Imhotep, who bore the title ‘Greatest of seers’ and served in Heliopolis under the 3rd Dynasty (...

Article

Egyptian site c. 15 km west of Beni Suef. The city of Henen-nesut was known in the Greco-Roman period (332 bcad 395) as Herakleopolis Magna because of the identification of the local ram-headed god Harsaphes with the Greek Herakles. However, it first rose to prominence as the national capital during the First Intermediate Period (c. 2150–c. 2008 bc), when the Herakleopolitan 9th and 10th dynasties ruled Egypt. The city also flourished during the Third Intermediate Period (c. 1075–c. 750 bc), when it became an independent princedom. The site was excavated by Edouard Naville (1890–91), Flinders Petrie (1904) and the Spanish Archaeological Mission under the direction of J. López from 1966.

The earliest remains, in a necropolis of the First Intermediate Period, consist of an important group of tombs belonging to prominent officials. These are decorated with polychrome reliefs depicting offering-bearers and scenes of rural life, as well as stelae of the false-door type (...

Article

Ancient Egyptian site on the east bank of the Nile, c. 30 km south of el-Minya. A Greco-Roman redevelopment of the pharaonic town of Khmun, it is now marked by a mound of ruins c. 1.5 km in diameter, adjacent to the modern settlement of el-Ashmunein. The town was occupied from the Old Kingdom (c. 2575–c. 2150 bc) to the Coptic period (4th–7th century ad). In pharaonic times it was a nome capital and the chief cult centre of Thoth, god of writing and wisdom. Thoth was later identified with Hermes, hence the Greco-Roman name of the city; its earlier name of Khmun means ‘City of the Eight’ and refers to the eight gods who figured in the local creation myths.

In the centre of the town was a large Temple of Thoth, constructed in the New Kingdom (c. 1540–c. 1075 bc), principally in the reigns of ...

Article

Ancient Egyptian burial site at Saqqara. Hesyre (fl c. 2620 bc) lived at the time of Djoser, holding the offices of Overseer of Royal Scribes and ‘greatest of physicians and dentists’. His tomb, to the north of Djoser’s pyramid, was excavated by James Quibell (1911–12); it was an imposing structure of mud brick, the superstructure of which was 43 m long. The substructure was immensely deep, descending 21 m, with rooms on three levels, including storerooms in which pottery, stone vases and a clay sealing of Djoser were found. The offering chamber, a long interior passage, stretched across the whole eastern face of the mastaba, according to the custom of the time. The inside of the chamber was decorated with wall paintings, including matting designs, scenes of cattle, human figures (in situ) and a crocodile (Cairo, Egyp. Mus.). This inner corridor also contained paintings of stone vases and of storerooms stocked with oils, weights and measures, furniture and cult-stands of pottery and alabaster. The unique representations of furniture, such as beds, parallel actual objects found in tombs of the 1st Dynasty (...

Article

Dominic Montserrat

Tomb at Giza (see Giza §1) lying south of the causeway of the Great Pyramid and containing the secondary burial of Queen Hetepheres I, the wife of Sneferu (reg c. 2575–c. 2551 bc) and mother of Cheops (reg c. 2551–c. 2528 bc). Her original burial, probably in the funerary complex of Sneferu at Dahshur, had been plundered, and the remainder of her funerary furniture was moved to this well-concealed tomb comprising a small, undecorated chamber at the bottom of a shaft over 30 m deep. When the tomb was excavated by George Reisner in 1925, the Queen’s alabaster sarcophagus was empty—presumably her body had been destroyed by tomb robbers searching for jewellery—although the quartzite canopic box containing her mummified viscera was found. The tomb contents were in chaos, with objects piled upon each other in the narrow chamber, and the numerous wooden artefacts had decayed and shrunk; it was only through Reisner’s painstaking excavation that the deposit was saved....

Article

Peter Lacovara

[anc. Egyp. Nekhen; now Kawm al-Ahmar]

Ancient Egyptian site, midway between Luxor and Aswan, on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Kab, el-. Hierakonpolis is the source of many of the most important monuments and artefacts of the Predynastic and Early Dynastic periods (c. 6000–2575 bc). Extensive remains of Predynastic settlement and a number of Predynastic cemeteries are scattered along the edge of the low desert to the west of Kawm al-Ahmar, covering an area of about 3 sq. km. The site as a whole has been excavated by a number of different expeditions, including those of J. E. Quibell and F. W. Green (1896–7), John Garstang (1907), J. De Morgan and A. Lansing (1935). The most important monument of the Predynastic period, Tomb 100 or the ‘decorated tomb’ (dating to the Naqada II period; c. 3200 bc), was found by Quibell’s expedition. The exact location of the tomb is now lost, but it was a mud-brick lined underground chamber (...

Article

T. W. Potter

[now Annaba, Arab. al-‛Annāba; formerly Bône]

Site in Algeria that flourished from c. 200 bc to ad 430. It lies close to the Mediterranean coast on flat ground, nearly at sea-level, between two low hills. The town once possessed an excellent harbour as well as a fertile hinterland. It probably began as a Phoenician settlement, but the site has yielded few finds earlier than c. 200 bc and virtually no structures earlier than a great sea-wall of c. 40 bc. Hippo was a Numidian royal centre before being annexed by Rome in 46 bc. It developed in an unplanned way; having received municipal status under Augustus (reg 27 bcad 14), it was promoted to colonial status only in the 2nd century ad. However, extensive white marble quarries lay within its territory at Djebel Filfila, near Skikda, 80km to the west. These were almost certainly developed under Juba II, ruler at Iol Caesarea, 25 bc...

Article

Nigel Strudwick

[Arab. al-Kāb; anc. Egyp. Nekheb; Gr. Eileithyiaspolis]

Ancient Egyptian site that flourished particularly during the New Kingdom (c. 1540–c. 1075 bc). El-Kab is located approximately 80 km south of Luxor on the east bank of the Nile, opposite ancient Nekhen (see Hierakonpolis). As at Nekhen, there are remains from the beginning of the historical period (such as the Predynastic drawings on the Rock of the Vultures) and also traces of a Palaeolithic culture. The site was first excavated by James Edward Quibell in 1897–8, and it has been in the Belgian archaeological concession since the 1930s.

Nekheb was the cult centre of the vulture-goddess Nekhbet, the protective deity of Upper Egypt, and it must have served in early historic times as the religious centre opposite to the administrative centre of Nekhen. These towns were part of the 3rd Upper Egyptian nome, the location of the capital of which varied. In the New Kingdom this honour was held by Nekheb....

Article

Kawa  

R. G. Morkot

[Egyp. Gem-Aten]

Site of a large town in Sudan, on the east bank of the Nile in the fertile Dongola Reach, 5 km south of New Dongola. The earliest known monuments were set up by Tutankhamun (reg c. 1332–c. 1323 bc), although the town may have been founded in the reign of Amenophis III (reg c. 1390–c. 1353 bc) or Akhenaten (reg c. 1353–c. 1336 bc). Only the main temples have so far been excavated. A small temple (designated ‘A’) was built by Tutankhamun; it associates the King with the god Amun as ‘lion over the south country’, in the form of a ram-headed sphinx.

The main temple (‘T’) was dedicated to the Gem-Aten aspect of Amun; it dates to the reign of the Kushite pharaoh Taharqa (reg 690–664 bc), but it may have been built on the site of an earlier, 18th Dynasty temple. ...

Article

Kerma  

R. G. Morkot

Site of Kushite town in Sudan, on the east bank of the Nile south of the third cataract, that flourished c. 2150–1500 bc. Kerma was first excavated by G. A. Reisner from 1913 to 1916. Reisner interpreted the remains as evidence of an Egyptian trading settlement, which eventually degenerated due to the admixture of the Egyptian and local populations. Reisner’s views are now discounted and the site of Kerma is recognized as the chief centre of a major Kushite culture. In the 1980s the excavations of C. Bonnet uncovered a town site and added to our understanding of the monuments already studied by Reisner.

The site is dominated by a huge mud-brick structure (52×26 m), the Western Deffufa, which is internally almost solid and still preserved to a height of some 19 m. Inside, a narrow stairway led to the now lost upper region. It dates to the Kerma Classic III phase (...