Upper Egypt

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Upper Egypt

ⲙⲁⲣⲏⲥ (Coptic)
ta shemaw [1] (Egyptian)
Άνω Αίγυπτος (Greek)
صعيد مصر (Arabic)
الصعيد (Egyptian Arabic)
Aegyptus superior (Latin)
Unknown–c. 3150 BC
Map of Upper Egypt showing important sites that were occupied during Naqada III (clickable map)
Capital Thinis
Common languages Ancient Egyptian
Religion
Ancient Egyptian religion
Government Monarchy
Pharaoh  
 Unknown
Unknown (first)
 c. 3150 BC
Narmer (last)
History 
 Established
Unknown
 Disestablished
c. 3150 BC
Succeeded by
Early Dynastic Period (Egypt) Blank.png
Today part ofFlag of Egypt.svg  Egypt

Upper Egypt (Arabic : صعيد مصرṢaʿīd Miṣr, shortened to الصعيدEgyptian Arabic pronunciation:  [es.sˤe.ˈʕiːd] , locally:[es.sˤɑ.ˈʕiːd], Coptic : ⲙⲁⲣⲏⲥ) is the strip of land on both sides of the Nile that extends between Nubia and downriver (northwards) to Lower Egypt.

Contents

Geography

Upper Egypt is between the Cataracts of the Nile above modern-day Aswan, downriver (northwards) to the area of El-Ayait, [2] which places modern-day Cairo in Lower Egypt. The northern (downriver) part of Upper Egypt, between Sohag and El-Ayait, is also known as Middle Egypt.

In Arabic, inhabitants of Upper Egypt are known as Sa'idis and they generally speak Sai'idi Egyptian Arabic.

In ancient Egypt, Upper Egypt was known as tꜣ šmꜣw, [3] literally "the Land of Reeds" or "the Sedgeland" [4] It was divided into twenty-two districts called nomes. [5] The first nome was roughly where modern-day Aswan is and the twenty-second was at modern Atfih just to the south of Cairo.

History

Hedjet, the White Crown of Upper Egypt Hedjet.svg
Hedjet, the White Crown of Upper Egypt

Predynastic Egypt

The main city of prehistoric Upper Egypt was Nekhen, [6] whose patron deity was the vulture goddess Nekhbet. [7]

By about 3600 BC, Neolithic Egyptian societies along the Nile had based their culture on the raising of crops and the domestication of animals. [8] Shortly after 3600 BC, Egyptian society began to grow and increase in complexity. [9] A new and distinctive pottery, which was related to the Levantine ceramics, appeared during this time. Extensive use of copper became common during this time. [9] The Mesopotamian process of sun-drying adobe and architectural principles—including the use of the arch and recessed walls for decorative effect—became popular during this time. [9]

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. [9] Warfare between Upper and Lower Egypt occurred often. [9] During his reign in Upper Egypt, King Narmer defeated his enemies on the Delta and merged both the Kingdom of Upper and Lower Egypt under his single rule. [10]

Dynastic Egypt

For most of pharaonic Egypt's history, Thebes was the administrative center of Upper Egypt. After its devastation by the Assyrians, its importance declined. Under the Ptolemies, Ptolemais Hermiou took over the role of Upper Egypt's capital city. [11] Upper Egypt was represented by the tall White Crown Hedjet , and its symbols were the flowering lotus and the sedge.

Medieval Egypt

In the 11th century, large numbers of pastoralists, known as Hilalians, fled Upper Egypt and moved westward into Libya and as far as Tunis. [12] It is believed that degraded grazing conditions in Upper Egypt, associated with the beginning of the Medieval Warm Period, were the root cause of the migration. [13]

20th-century Egypt

In the 20th-century Egypt, the title Prince of the Sa'id (meaning Prince of Upper Egypt) was used by the heir apparent to the Egyptian throne. [Note 1]

Although the Kingdom of Egypt was abolished after the Egyptian revolution of 1952, the title continues to be used by Muhammad Ali, Prince of the Sa'id.

List of rulers of prehistoric Upper Egypt

The following list may not be complete (there are many more of uncertain existence):

NameImageCommentsDates
Elephant End of 4th millennium BC
Bull 4th millennium BC
Scorpion I Oldest tomb at Umm el-Qa'ab had scorpion insigniac. 3200 BC?
Iry-Hor
Iry Hor name.jpg
Possibly the immediate predecessor of Ka.c. 3150 BC?
Ka [15] [16]
Ka vessel.JPG
May be read Sekhen rather than Ka. Possibly the immediate predecessor of Narmer.c. 3100 BC
Scorpion II
Kingscorpion.jpg
Potentially read Serqet; possibly the same person as Narmer.c. 3150 BC
Narmer
NarmerPalette-CloseUpOfNarmer-ROM.png
The king who combined Upper and Lower Egypt. [17] c. 3150 BC

List of nomes

Map of Ancient Egypt with its historical nomes. "Upper Egypt" is in the lower portion of the map. Upper Egypt Nomes.png
Map of Ancient Egypt with its historical nomes. "Upper Egypt" is in the lower portion of the map.
NumberAncient NameCapitalModern CapitalTranslation
1 Ta-khentit Abu / Yebu (Elephantine) Aswan The Frontier/Land of the Bow
2 Wetjes-Hor Djeba (Apollonopolis Magna) Edfu Throne of Horus
3 Nekhen Nekhen (Hierakon polis)al-KabShrine
4 Waset Niwt-rst / Waset (Thebes) Karnak Sceptre
5 Harawî Gebtu (Coptos) Qift Two Falcons
6 Aa-ta Iunet / Tantere (Tentyra) Dendera Crocodile
7 Seshesh Seshesh (Diospolis Parva) Hu Sistrum
8 Abdju Abdju (Abydos)al-BirbaGreat Land
9 Min Apu / Khen-min (Panopolis) Akhmim Min
10 Wadjet Djew-qa / Tjebu (Aphroditopolis) Edfu Cobra
11 Set Shashotep (Hypselis)Shutb Set animal
12 Tu-ph Hut-Sekhem-Senusret (Antaeopolis) Qaw al-Kebir Viper Mountain
13 Atef-Khent Zawty (Lycopolis) Asyut Upper Sycamore and Viper
14 Atef-Pehu Qesy (Cusae)al-QusiyaLower Sycamore and Viper
15 Wenet Khemenu (Hermopolis) Hermopolis Hare [18]
16 Ma-hedj Herwer?Hur? Oryx [18]
17 Anpu Saka (Cynopolis) al-Kais Anubis
18 Sep Teudjoi / Hutnesut (Alabastronopolis) el-Hiba Set
19 Uab Per-Medjed (Oxyrhynchus)el-BahnasaTwo Sceptres
20 Atef-Khent Henen-nesut (Heracleopolis Magna)Ihnasiyyah al-MadinahSouthern Sycamore
21 Atef-Pehu Shenakhen / Semenuhor (Crocodilopolis, Arsinoë) Faiyum Northern Sycamore
22 Maten Tepihu (Aphroditopolis) Atfih Knife

See also

Further reading

Notes

  1. The title was first used by Prince Farouk, the son and heir of King Fouad I. Prince Farouk was officially named Prince of the Sa'id on 12 December 1933. [14]

Related Research Articles

Buto Archaeological site in Egypt

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Lower Egypt northernmost region of Egypt

Lower Egypt 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. Today, it contains two major channels that flow through the delta of the Nile River.

Middle Kingdom of Egypt period in the history of ancient Egypt between about 2000 BC and 1700 BC

The Middle Kingdom of Egypt is the period in the history of ancient Egypt following a period of political division known as the First Intermediate Period. The Middle Kingdom lasted from approximately 2050 to 1710 BC, stretching from the reunification of Egypt under the reign of Mentuhotep II in the Eleventh Dynasty to the end of the Twelfth Dynasty. The kings of the Eleventh Dynasty ruled from Thebes and the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty ruled from el-Lisht.

History of ancient Egypt aspect of history

The history of ancient Egypt spans the period from the early prehistoric settlements of the northern Nile valley to the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC. The pharaonic period, the period in which Egypt was ruled by a pharaoh, is dated from the 32nd century BC, when Upper and Lower Egypt were unified, until the country fell under Macedonian rule in 332 BC.

A nome was a territorial division in ancient Egypt.

Early Dynastic Period (Egypt) period of Ancient Egypt immediately follows the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt

The Archaic or Early Dynastic Period of Egypt is the era immediately following the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt c. 3100 BC. It is generally taken to include the First and Second Dynasties, lasting from the end of the Naqada III archaeological period until about 2686 BC, or the beginning of the Old Kingdom. With the First Dynasty, the capital moved from Thinis to Memphis with a unified Egypt ruled by an Egyptian god-king. Abydos remained the major holy land in the south. The hallmarks of ancient Egyptian civilization, such as art, architecture and many aspects of religion, took shape during the Early Dynastic period.

Intef II Egyptian Pharaoh

Wahankh Intef II was the third ruler of the Eleventh Dynasty of Egypt during the First Intermediate Period. He reigned for almost fifty years from 2112 BC to 2063 BC. His capital was located at Thebes. In his time, Egypt was split between several local dynasties. He was buried in a saff tomb at El-Tarif.

Intef III was the third pharaoh of the Eleventh Dynasty of Egypt during the late First Intermediate Period in the 21st century BC, at a time when Egypt was divided in two kingdoms. The son of his predecessor Intef II and father of his successor Mentuhotep II, Intef III reigned for 8 years over Upper Egypt and extended his domain North against the 10th Dynasty state, perhaps as far north as the 17th nome. He undertook some building activity on Elephantine. Intef III is buried in a large saff tomb at El-Tarif known as Saff el-Barqa.

Merimde culture archaeological culture

The Merimde culture was a Neolithic culture in the West Nile Delta in Lower Egypt, which corresponds in its later phase to the Faiyum A culture and the Badari culture in Predynastic Egypt. It is estimated that the culture evolved between 4800 and 4300 BC. Merimde also refers to the archaeological site of the same name.

A Ṣa‘īdi is a person from Upper Egypt. Approximately 40% of Egyptians live in Upper Egypt, and "80% of Egypt's poverty is concentrated in Upper Egypt". Millions of Upper Egyptians have migrated to Lower Egypt for work opportunities.

Menat

In ancient Egyptian religion, Menat was a name of the goddess Hathor, and of a type of artifact closely associated with her, much like the sistrum was.

El Sheikh Said Place in Minya, Egypt

El Sheikh Sa'id is a small village in the Minya Governorate in Upper Egypt. Situated on the east bank of the Nile, it is named after a local Muslim saint buried in the area.

Ptolemais Hermiou Place in Sohag, Egypt

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Middle Egypt is the section of land between Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt, stretching upstream from Asyut in the south to Memphis in the north. At the time, Ancient Egypt was divided into Lower and Upper Egypt, though Middle Egypt was technically a subdivision of Upper Egypt. It was not until the 19th century that archaeologists felt the need to divide Upper Egypt in two. As a result, they coined the term "Middle Egypt" for the stretch of river between Cairo and the Qena Bend. It was also associated with a region termed Heptanomis, generally as the district which separates the Thebaïd from the Delta.

Ṣaʽīdi Arabic, also known as Upper Egyptian Arabic, is a variety of Arabic spoken by the Ṣaʽīdi people south of Cairo, Egypt, to the border of Sudan. It shares linguistic features with both Egyptian Arabic and the Quran's Classical Arabic. Dialects include Middle and Upper Egyptian Arabic.

Nubia region along the Nile river, which is located in northern Sudan and southern Egypt

Nubia is a region along the Nile river encompassing the area between Aswan in southern Egypt and Khartoum in central Sudan. It was the seat of one of the earliest civilizations of ancient Africa, as the Kerma culture lasted from around 2500 BCE until its conquest by the New Kingdom of Egypt under pharaoh Thutmose I around 1500 BCE. Nubia was home to several empires, most prominently the kingdom of Kush, which conquered Egypt during the 8th century BC during the reign of Piye and ruled the country as its Twenty-fifth Dynasty.

Segerseni Egyptian ruler

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Oryx nome

The Oryx nome was one of the 42 nomoi in ancient Egypt. More precisely, it was the 16th nome of Upper Egypt. It was named after the Scimitar oryx, and was roughly located in the territories surrounding the modern city of Minya in Middle Egypt.

Hare nome ancient Egyptian nome

The Hare nome, also called the Hermopolite nome was one of the 42 nomoi in ancient Egypt; more precisely, it was the 15th nome of Upper Egypt.

References

  1. Ermann & Grapow, op.cit. Wb 5, 227.4-14
  2. See list of nomes. Maten (Knife land) is the furthest north nome of Upper Egypt on the right bank, while Atef-Pehu (Northern Sycamore land) is the northernmost on the left bank. Brugsch, Heinrich Karl (2015). A History of Egypt under the Pharaohs. 1. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p.  487., originally published in 1876 in German.
  3. Ermann & Grapow 1982, Wb 5, 227.4-14.
  4. Ermann & Grapow (1982) , Wb 4, 477.9-11
  5. The Encyclopedia Americana Grolier Incorporated, 1988, p.34
  6. Bard & Shubert (1999) , p. 371
  7. David (1975) , p. 149
  8. Roebuck (1966) , p. 51
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 Roebuck (1966) , pp. 52–53
  10. Roebuck (1966) , p. 53
  11. Chauveau (2000) , p. 68
  12. Ballais (2000) , p. 133
  13. Ballais (2000) , p. 134
  14. Brice (1981), p. 299
  15. Rice 1999, p. 86.
  16. Wilkinson 1999, p. 57f.
  17. Shaw 2000, p. 196.
  18. 1 2 Grajetzki (2006) , pp. 109–111

Bibliography

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Upper Egypt at Wikimedia Commons