Elephant (pharaoh)

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Elephant (maybe read as Pen-abu [1] ) is the provisional name of a Predynastic ruler in Egypt. Since the incarved rock inscriptions and ivory tags showing his name are either drawn sloppily, or lacking any royal crest, the reading and thus whole existence of king "Elephant" are highly disputed.

Prehistoric Egypt period of earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt

The prehistory of Egypt spans the period from the earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period around 3100 BC, starting with the first Pharaoh, Narmer for some Egyptologists, Hor-Aha for others, with the name Menes also possibly used for one of these kings. This Predynastic era is traditionally equivalent to the final part of the Neolithic period beginning c. 6000 BC, and corresponds to the Naqada III period.

Ancient Egypt ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

Ivory material derived from the tusks and teeth of animals

Ivory is a hard, white material from the tusks and teeth of animals, that consists mainly of dentine, one of the physical structures of teeth and tusks. The chemical structure of the teeth and tusks of mammals is the same, regardless of the species of origin. The trade in certain teeth and tusks other than elephant is well established and widespread; therefore, "ivory" can correctly be used to describe any mammalian teeth or tusks of commercial interest which are large enough to be carved or scrimshawed. It has been valued since ancient times in art or manufacturing for making a range of items from ivory carvings to false teeth, fans, dominoes and joint tubes. Elephant ivory is the most important source, but ivory from mammoth, walrus, hippopotamus, sperm whale, killer whale, narwhal and wart hog are used as well. Elk also have two ivory teeth, which are believed to be the remnants of tusks from their ancestors.

Contents

Identity

The proposed existence of Elephant is based on Gunter Dreyer's and Ludwig David Morenz's essays. They are convinced that Elephant was a local king who ruled at the region of Qustul. According to Dreyer, Elephant's name appears in incised rock inscriptions at Qustul and Gebel Sheikh-Suleiman, where the hieroglyphs are put inside a royal serekh. On ivory tags found at Abydos, the Elephant appears without any other royal crest. Dreyer sees a cube-shaped throne seat and a walking elephant beneath it and reads Pen-abu ("Great one from the (throne) seat"). [2] Morenz thinks alike but is highly uncertain about the reading of the name. He prefers to use the neutral provisional name "King Elephant". Alternatively, he proposes a rhinoceros as a royal animal. Morenz points out that it became a remarkable fashion during the Naqada III epoch to choose dangerous and unpredictable animals (such as lions, crocodiles, elephants and rhinoceroses) for building up royal names. [3]

Ludwig David Morenz is German professor in Egyptology at the University of Bonn. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig and Habilitation from the University of Tübingen. His fields of research include the origins of Egyptian writing, Ancient Egyptian literature, ancient Egyptian society, and Renaissance and Baroque-era European studies on ancient Egypt.

Qustul archeological site in Egypt

Qustul is an archaeological cemetery located on the eastern bank of the Nile in Lower Nubia, just opposite of Ballana near the Sudan frontier. The site has archaeological records from the A-Group culture, the New Kingdom of Egypt and the X-Group culture.

Serekh

A serekh was a specific important type of heraldic crest used in ancient Egypt. Like the later cartouche, it contained a royal name.

Other egyptologists, such as Peter Kaplony and Toby Wilkinson, are not so sure and propose different readings. Whilst Wilkinson sees a throne seat and the hieroglyph for "border", Kaplony sees a seat and a stand full of wine jars, the sign for "praised". Kaplony also mentions that the name of a certain 1st-dynasty palatinate named Hor-Sekhentydjw was also written with the wine-jar holder symbol. He believes that the name of the palatinate was created out of King Elephant's name. [4]

Egyptology Study of Ancient Egypt

Egyptology is the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, architecture and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the 4th century AD. A practitioner of the discipline is an "Egyptologist". In Europe, particularly on the Continent, Egyptology is primarily regarded as being a philological discipline, while in North America it is often regarded as a branch of archaeology.

Peter Árpád Kaplony was a Hungarian-born Swiss egyptologist.

Toby Wilkinson English egyptologist

Toby A. H. Wilkinson is an English Egyptologist and academic. He is the Head of the International Strategy Office at the University of Cambridge, a fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and was previously a research fellow at Christ's College, Cambridge and Durham University. He was awarded the 2011 Hessell-Tiltman Prize.

Reign

Elephant might have ruled during the early Naqada III epoch. His tomb is unknown. [5]

Naqada III Last phase of the Naqada culture of ancient Egyptian prehistory

Naqada III is the last phase of the Naqada culture of ancient Egyptian prehistory, dating approximately from 3200 to 3000 BC. It is the period during which the process of state formation, which had begun to take place in Naqada II, became highly visible, with named kings heading powerful polities. Naqada III is often referred to as Dynasty 0 or the Protodynastic Period to reflect the presence of kings at the head of influential states, although, in fact, the kings involved would not have been a part of a dynasty. They would more probably have been completely unrelated and very possibly in competition with each other. In this period, those kings' names were inscribed in the form of serekhs on a variety of surfaces including pottery and tombs.

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References

  1. Günter Dreyer: Umm El-Qaab. Band I: Das prädynastische Königsgrab U-j und seine frühen Schriftzeugnisse. In: Archäologische Veröffentlichungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts Kairo (AV), vol. 86, von Zabern, Mainz 1998, p. 177.
  2. Günter Dreyer: Umm El-Qaab. Band I: Das prädynastische Königsgrab U-j und seine frühen Schriftzeugnisse. In: Archäologische Veröffentlichungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts Kairo (AV), vol. 86, von Zabern, Mainz 1998, p. 179.
  3. Ludwig David Morenz: Bild-Buchstaben und symbolische Zeichen. Die Herausbildung der Schrift der hohen Kultur Altägyptens (= Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis, vol. 205). Fribourg 2004, ISBN   3-7278-1486-1, p. 114 & 118.
  4. Peter Kaplony: Die Inschriften der Ägyptischen Frühzeit, vol. III (= Ägyptologische Abhandlungen (ÄA), vol. 8). Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1963, p. 8.
  5. Ludwig David Morenz: Bild-Buchstaben und symbolische Zeichen. Die Herausbildung der Schrift der hohen Kultur Altägyptens (= Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis, vol. 205). Fribourg 2004, ISBN   3-7278-1486-1, p. 91.