Special Sub-Topic: The "Hidden One" and His Worshippers
|The Egyptian god known as the "hidden one" had the goose as a sacred bird. Who was he?|
Amon (or Amun or Amen). Amon was an obscure god of the minor city of Thebes until the middle kingdom when he and his city became very important. He was known as 'he who is hidden' and was a god of the wind and air but later took over aspects of other gods particularly the sun god Re and the fertility god Min. His more common sacred creature was a horned ram.
Meretseger (or she who loves silence) was the cobra goddess whose realm included the Valley of the Kings in Thebes.
|What was the insulting demand the Hyksos pharaoh Apepi or Apophis (1585-1542 BC) sent to the Theban ruler Seqenenre Tao II?|
Seqenenre should keep his sacred hippopotami quiet as they were disturbing Apepi's sleep (they were about 650 kilometres away). There is no account of Seqenenre's response but his mummy had numerous wounds that match Hyksos battle-axes and had started to decay before it reached the embalmers. History gives us no details of any battle, but according to inscriptions in the 3,000 years of Egyptian history no king ever lost a battle.
The dates I give are from Baines and Malek's Atlas of Ancient Egypt (despite the fact that I prefer the new Chronology which could knock over 300 years off some dates)
|The Egyptians had a canal linking the Nile and the Red Sea.|
t. The easternmost of the seven arms (at one time were twelve) of the Nile probably used to flow into the Red Sea through the Wadi Tumilat into the Bitter Lakes and then south to the Red Sea. The Tumilat canal seems to have become repeatedly obstructed and re-dug. By the late Old Kingdom (Pepi II c. 2200 BC) the northern part of this waterway was not navigable anymore. By the Middle Kingdom the southern part of this route had become blocked too. It was possibly restored during the twelfth dynasty and was seemingly navigable during the reigns of Hatshepsut (c. 1460 BC) and Rameses III (c. 1190 BC). In Hatshepsut's reliefs at Deir el-Bahri the same ships as are depicted sailing the Red Sea are afterwards shown on the Nile in the quay of Thebes (and carrying supplies of drinking water). Hatshpsut would probably have boasted about an overland journey to a Red Sea port.
Later Necho (c. 670 BC) started a canal, which Darius the Persian completed. It was claimed by Herodotus that two triremes could go side by side driven by oars and that more than 120,000 workers had died. The canal, 140 km long and 50 metres wide, was opened amid great ceremony in 500 BCE. Diodorus (1st century BC) describes the canal as having been re-excavated and being very active in the time of Ptolemy and it remained a major traffic artery for two centuries more. Occasionally, parts of the canal were blocked by sand. (Emperor Trajan had it cleared).
|Who is the "odd man out"?|
Tuthmosis II (1492-1479 BC). Tuthmosis is the only man. The others are women who are believed to have ruled Egypt. Nitiqret was the last ruler of sixth dynasty (and so of the Old Kingdom) but there is no archaeological evidence for her existence.
Sobekneferu was the last ruler of the twelfth dynasty. She was the wife (and possibly sister) of Amenemhat IV). She ruled for about three years and is the first female ruler for whom there is definite evidence. Her name means beauty of Sobek (the crocodile god).
Nefertiti is believed by many scholars to have ruled under the name of Smenkhare.
Merneith may have been queen during the first dynasty (c 2800 BC)
|When did the term Pharaoh start to be used for the ruler of Egypt?|
New Kingdom (1550-1070 BC). In Egyptian the title was per-aa which means "great house". The is similar to talking of Downing Street to mean the British prime minister or the Sublime Porte (gate) for the Ottoman court. The biblical use for earlier rulers is an anachronism. It originally just referred to the palace administration and later came to refer to the ruler. The first known pharaoh was Tuthmosis I (1504-1492 BC)
|The form of the royal titulary was established in the middle kingdom. How many sections was it in?|
Five. The sections were -
1)Birth name (usually introduced by the epithet 'Son of Ra') - the name he was born with and which we commonly know them by. Calling a pharaoh by it is a bit like calling the first president of the USA George I.
2)Horus name (or for a brief period in the second dynasty the Seth name) which was written in the serekh - a stylised building. Before the fourth dynasty this was usually the only name.
3) Nebti or two ladies. The two ladies are the cobra goddess Wadjet of the delta and the vulture goddess Nekhbet of Upper Egypt.
4) Horus of gold
5) He of the sedge and the bee - the throne name by which his contemporaries would know him. The sedge and bee are symbols of upper and Lower Egypt.
|Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem "Ozymandias" was inspired by a shattered colossal statue. Whom had it shown?|
Ramesses II. I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
-- Percy Bysshe Shelley
The name Ozymandias derives from Ramesses's throne name Usermaatra. The poem is inaccurate as there is more of the statue (which probably weighed 1,000 tonnes) than legs and head and it is in the Ramasseum temple not open desert.
|Who is the only king whose tomb was found intact by modern archaeologists?|
Psusennes I (21st Dynasty 1040-992 BC). Psusennes's tomb was excavated at Tanis in the delta by Pierre Montet between 1939 and 1946 (when other matters were distracting people).
The tombs of three other near contemporary kings and several important people nearby had been disturbed but still had a considerable quantity of contents. Tutankhamen's tomb was robbed twice quite soon after his burial. There is an account of the robbing of Sobekemsaf's tomb in about 1124 BC by Amun-Pnufer and seven accomplices. Nubkheperre Intef's tomb was robbed in about 1827AD. It seems it was very poor compared with Tutenkhamen's or Pseusennes's.
|Which of these words is derived from ancient Egyptian (via Greek)?|
Ebony. "Pyramid" comes from the Greek for "wheat cake"! Presumably these cakes were pyramid shaped.
Other words possibly derived from Egyptian include: sack, gum (originally used only for acacia gum) and lily (originally any type of flower). The wood the Egyptians called ebony is now known as African black wood. Ebony (both the wood and the word) seems to have come to Egypt from further south.
|The burial place of Shepseskaf (last king of the fourth dynasty and successor to the builder of the smallest Giza pyramid) was not a pyramid although the Egyptians sometimes described it as a pyramid. What shape was it?|
Sarcophagus (or shrine). Baines and Malek describe it as a "sarcophagus", other authors as a shrine.
The precinct of Netjerykhet's step pyramid - he does not seem to have been known as Djoser before the new kingdom - is a model palace.
In my opinion the bent pyramid of Sneferu looks like a benben stone.
|Who built the last known royal pyramid in *Egypt* i.e. excluding the later Nubian ones?|
Ahmose I - 18th dynasty - first king of the new kingdom (1550-1525 BC). Pepy's reign lasted 96 years - he was a child when he became king and a centenarian when he died.
Ahmose's pyramid at Abydos had a core of loose stone and sand so almost disappeared when the casing stones were stolen. It was originally 100 cubits (52.5m) square. Like all pyramids it was part of a complex that in this case included a shrine to his grandmother queen Tetisheri.
I said the last known pyramid as pyramids are still being found!
|The Instructions of Dua-Khety (also called 'The Satire of the Trades')dates from the Middle Kingdom. Which of these summaries of a trade is incorrect?|
If the carpenter makes a mistake he could cut off his own foot with his adze. The text was used as a writing exercise. It is either a humorous description of crafts or a method of persuading the student of the advantages of being a scribe. All he actually says about the carpenter is that it is hard, poorly paid work.
|Which of the Ptolemaic (Macedonian) rulers (330-30BC) is believed to have been the first to speak Egyptian?|
Cleopatra VII (51-30 BC). This is the famous Cleopatra of the Shakespeare play. etc. It seems she was a good linguist speaking nine languages (but not Latin).
|Which of these was *not* found at the city of Hierakonpolis (originally called Nekhen, now called Kawm Al-ahmar), which flourished during pre dynastic and early dynastic periods (up to about 2700 BC)?|
The first obelisk. The initial excavation of Hierakonpolis was poorly recorded so the location of the painted tomb and the location of the main cache has been lost.
The first obelisk was quite short and built during the fifth dynasty at Abu Gurab. Most of the large obelisks we think of today date from the new kingdom.
The temple was of mud brick and timber but shows features which developed into the temples we are now familiar with.
It has been suggested that the Scorpion mace head (which is big even for a two handed weapon) was an ornamental stand for a pole (possibly a standard).
|The earliest known life size statue of a human (from 3500 BC) was found at Hierakonpolis. It had been almost totally reduced to chips but one part was still recognizable. What part was it? In view of the damage statues often incur this survival is somewhat unusual.|
Nose. In many damaged statues the nose is the first bit to go. Nekhen is a remarkable place - In addition to the things in the previous question there are other firsts such as two ceremonial burials of elephants. See the web site for the excavators - www.Hierakonpolis.org
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