Lower Egypt

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Lower Egypt

ⲧⲥⲁϦⲏⲧ, ⲡⲥⲁⲙⲉⲛϩⲓⲧ
مصر السفلى
Unknown–c. 3150 BCE
Capital Memphis
Common languages Ancient Egyptian
Religion
Ancient Egyptian religion
Government Monarchy
Pharaoh  
 Unknown
Unknown (first)
 c. 3150 BCE
Unknown (last)
History 
 Established
Unknown
 Disestablished
c. 3150 BCE
Succeeded by
Early Dynastic Period (Egypt) Blank.png
Today part ofFlag of Egypt.svg  Egypt
Egypt adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Map of Lower Egypt showing important sites that were occupied during the Protodynastic Period of Egypt (clickable map)
Deshret, the Red Crown of Lower Egypt Deshret.svg
Deshret, the Red Crown of Lower Egypt
Map of Lower Egypt with its historical nomes Lower Egypt Nomes 01.png
Map of Lower Egypt with its historical nomes

Lower Egypt (Arabic : مصر السفلىMiṣr as-Suflā, Coptic : ⲧⲥⲁϦⲏⲧTsakhit) is the northernmost region of Egypt, which consists of the fertile Nile Delta, between Upper Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea — from El Aiyat, south of modern-day Cairo, and Dahshur. Historically, the Nile River split into seven branches of the delta in Lower Egypt. Lower Egypt was divided into nomes and began to advance as a civilization after 3600 BC. [1] Today, it contains two major channels that flow through the delta of the Nile River.

Contents

Name

In Ancient Egyptian Lower Egypt was known as mḥw which means "north". [2] Later on during Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Greeks and Romans called it Κάτω Αἴγυπτος or Aegyptus Inferior both meaning "Lower Egypt". Native Coptic Egyptian population carried on using the old name related to north – Tsakhit (Coptic : ⲧⲥⲁϦⲏⲧ) or Psanamhit (Coptic : ⲡⲥⲁⲛⲉⲙϩⲓⲧ) "Northern part", which they also divided into three regions – western part called ⲛⲓⲫⲁⲓⲁⲧ Niphaiat ("Libyans"), central part called ⲡⲉⲧⲙⲟⲩⲣ Badmur ("the one which bounds, girds") and eastern one called ϯⲁⲣⲁⲃⲓⲁ Diarabia ("Arabia"). [3]

Geography

In ancient times, Pliny the Elder, in Natural History (Book 5, chapter 11), said that upon reaching the delta the Nile split into seven branches (from east to west): the Pelusiac, the Tanitic, the Mendesian, the Phatnitic, the Sebennytic, the Bolbitine, and the Canopic. Today there are two principal channels that the Nile takes through the river's delta: one in the west at Rashid and one in the east at Damietta.

The delta region is well watered, crisscrossed by channels and canals.

The climate in Lower Egypt is milder than that of Upper Egypt owing primarily to its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. Temperatures are less extreme and rainfall is more abundant.

History

It was divided into twenty districts called nomes, the first of which was at el-Lisht. Because Lower Egypt was mostly undeveloped scrubland, filled with all types of plant life such as grasses and herbs, the organization of the nomes underwent several changes.

The capital of Lower Egypt was Memphis. Its patron goddess was the cobra goddess Wadjet. Lower Egypt was represented by the Low Red Crown Deshret , and its symbols were the papyrus and the bee.

By about 3600 BC, Neolithic Egyptian societies along the Nile River had based their culture on the raising of crops and the domestication of animals. [4] Shortly after 3600 BC Egyptian society began to grow and advance rapidly toward refined civilization. [1] A new and distinctive pottery, which was related to the pottery in the Southern Levant, appeared during this time. Extensive use of copper became common during this time. [1] The Mesopotamian process of sun-dried bricks, and architectural building principles—including the use of the arch and recessed walls for decorative effect—became popular during this time. [1]

Concurrent with these cultural advances, a process of unification of the societies and towns of the upper Nile River, or Upper Egypt, occurred. At the same time the societies of the Nile Delta, or Lower Egypt also underwent a unification process. [1] Warfare between Upper and Lower Egypt occurred often. [1] During his reign in Upper Egypt, King Narmer defeated his enemies in the Delta and merged the Kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt under his single rule. [5]

List of kings of the Predynastic Period of Lower Egypt

The Palermo stone, a royal annal written in the mid Fifth Dynasty (c. 2490 BC c. 2350 BC) records a number of kings reigning over Lower Egypt before Narmer. These are completely unattested outside these inscriptions:

Name
Hsekiu [6]
Khayu [6]
Tiu [6]
Thesh [6]
Neheb [6]
Wazner [6]
Mekh [6]
(destroyed) [6]

In contrast, the following kings are attested through archeological finds from Sinai and Lower Egypt: Double Falcon, Crocodile.

List of nomes

NumberEgyptian NameCapitalModern name of capital siteEnglish Translation
1 Inebu-hedj Ineb Hedj / Men-nefer / Menfe (Memphis)Mit RahinaWhite Walls
2 Khensu Khem (Letopolis)AusimCow's thigh
3 Ahment Imu (Apis) Kom el-Hisn West
4 Sapi-Res Ptkheka Tanta Southern shield
5 Sap-Meh Zau (Sais)Sa el-HagarNorthern shield
6 Khaset Khasu (Xois)SakhaMountain bull
7 A-ment (Hermopolis Parva, Metelis) Damanhur West harpoon
8 A-bt Tjeku / Per-Atum (Heroonpolis, Pithom) Tell el-Maskhuta East harpoon
9 Ati Djed (Busiris)Abu Sir Bara Andjeti
10 Ka-khem Hut-hery-ib (Athribis) Banha (Tell Atrib)Black bull
11 Ka-heseb Taremu (Leontopolis)Tell el-UrydamHeseb bull
12 Theb-ka Tjebnutjer (Sebennytos)SamanudCalf and Cow
13 Heq-At Iunu (Heliopolis)Materiya (suburb of Cairo)Prospering Sceptre
14 Khent-abt Tjaru (Sile, Tanis)Tell Abu SefaEastmost
15 Tehut Ba'h / Weprehwy (Hermopolis Parva) Baqliya Ibis
16 Kha Djedet (Mendes)Tell el-RubˁFish
17 Semabehdet Semabehdet (Diospolis Inferior) Tell el-Balamun The throne
18 Am-Khent Per-Bastet (Bubastis)Tell Bastah (near Zagazig)Prince of the South
19 Am-Pehu Dja'net (Leontopolis Tanis) Tell Nebesha or San el-Hagar Prince of the North
20 Sopdu Per-Sopdu Saft el-Hinna Plumed Falcon

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times (Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, 1966) p. 52-53.
  2. "TM Places". www.trismegistos.org. Retrieved 2019-11-16.
  3. Champollion, Jean-François (1814). L'Égypte sous les pharaons, ou recherches sur la géographie, la religion, la langue, les écritures et l'histoire de l'Égypte avant l'invasion de Cambyse. Paris: Bure. p. 5.
  4. Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times (Charles Scribner's Sons Publishing: New York, 1966) p. 51.
  5. Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times (Charles Scribner's Sons Publishers: New York, 1966), p. 53.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Breasted (1909) p.36