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)
c. 3400 BC–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
King  
 c. 3400 BC
Scorpion I (first)
 c. 3150 BC
Narmer (last)
History 
 Established
c. 3400 BC
 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 الصعيد, Egyptian Arabic pronunciation:  [es.sˤe.ˈʕiːd] , locally:[es.sˤɑ.ˈʕiːd]; Coptic : ⲙⲁⲣⲏⲥ) is the southern portion of Egypt and is composed of the lands on both sides of the Nile that extend downriver between Nubia and Lower Egypt in the north.

Contents

In ancient Egypt, Upper Egypt was known as tꜣ šmꜣw, [2] literally "the Land of Reeds" or "the Sedgeland" [3] It is believed to have been united by the rulers of the supposed Thinite Confederacy who absorbed their rival city states during Naqada III and its unification with Lower Egypt ushered in the Early Dynastic period. [4] Both Upper and Lower Egypt became imbedded within the symbolism of the sovereignty in Ancient Egypt such as the Pschent double crown. [5] Upper Egypt remained as a historical distinction even after the classical period.

Geography

Upper Egypt is between the Cataracts of the Nile beyond modern-day Aswan, downriver (northward) to the area of El-Ayait, [6] 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.

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. [7] The patron deity was the goddess Nekhbet, who is depicted as a vulture. [8]

By approximately 3600 BC, Neolithic Egyptian societies along the Nile had based their culture on the raising of crops and the domestication of animals. [9] Shortly after 3600 BC, Egyptian society began to grow and increase in complexity. [10] 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. [10] 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. [10]

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. [10] Warfare between Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt occurred often. [10] During his reign in Upper Egypt, King Narmer defeated his enemies on the delta and united both of the kingdoms of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt under his single rule, [11] which endured throughout Dynastic Egypt.

Dynastic Egypt

For most of Egypt's ancient history, Thebes was the administrative center of Upper Egypt. Upper Egypt was represented by the tall White Crown Hedjet , and its symbols were the flowering lotus and the sedge. Its patron deity, Nekhbet, was depicted by the vulture. After unification of the two kingdoms, the patron deities of both Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt were represented together as the Two Ladies , to protect all of the ancient Egyptians, just as the two crowns became united throughout the dynasties that followed.

After its devastation by the Assyrians, the importance of Egypt declined. Under the Ptolemies, Ptolemais Hermiou took over the role of the capital city of Upper Egypt. [12]

Medieval Egypt

In the eleventh century, large numbers of pastoralists, known as Hilalians, fled Upper Egypt and moved westward into Libya and as far as Tunis. [13] 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. [14]

20th-century Egypt

In the twentieth-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 [16] [17]
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. [18] 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 [19]
16 Ma-hedj Herwer?Hur? Oryx [19]
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. [15]

Related Research Articles

Pharaoh Title of Ancient Egyptian rulers

Pharaoh is the common title now used for the monarchs of ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty until the annexation of Egypt by the Roman Empire in 30 BCE, although the term "pharaoh" was not used contemporaneously for a ruler until Merneptah, c. 1210 BCE, during the Nineteenth dynasty, "king" being the term used most frequently until the middle of the Eighteenth Dynasty. In the early dynasties, ancient Egyptian kings used to have up to three titles: the Horus, the Sedge and Bee (nswt-bjtj), and the Two Ladies or Nebty (nbtj) name. The Golden Horus as well as the nomen and prenomen titles were added later.

In Egyptian history, the Upper and Lower Egypt period was the final stage of prehistoric Egypt and directly preceded the unification of the realm. The conception of Egypt as the Two Lands was an example of the dualism in ancient Egyptian culture and frequently appeared in texts and imagery, including in the titles of Egyptian pharaohs

Wadjet Ancient Egyptian snake-headed goddess, symbolizing Lower Egypt

Wadjet, known to the Greek world as Uto or Buto among other renderings including Wedjat, Uadjet, and Udjo, was originally the ancient local goddess of the city of Dep. It became part of the city that the Egyptians named Per-Wadjet and the Greeks called Buto, which was an important site in prehistoric Egypt and the cultural developments of the Paleolithic. There was also a Per-Wadjet in Upper Egypt.

Buto Archaeological site in Egypt

Buto, Butus or Butosus was an ancient city located 95 km east of Alexandria in the Nile Delta of Egypt. What in classical times the Greeks called Buto stood about midway between the Taly (Bolbitine) and Thermuthiac (Sebennytic) branches of the Nile, a few kilometers north of the east-west Butic River and on the southern shore of the Butic Lake.

Nekhbet Ancient Egyptian goddess

Nekhbet was an early predynastic local goddess in Egyptian mythology, who was the patron of the city of Nekheb. Ultimately, she became the patron of Upper Egypt and one of the two patron deities for all of Ancient Egypt when it was unified.

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.

Narmer Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Early Dynastic Period

Narmer was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Early Dynastic Period. He was the successor to the Protodynastic king Ka. Many scholars consider him the unifier of Egypt and founder of the First Dynasty, and in turn the first king of a unified Egypt. A majority of Egyptologists believe that Narmer was the same person as Menes.

Second Dynasty of Egypt

The Second Dynasty of ancient Egypt is the latter of the two dynasties of the Egyptian Archaic Period, when the seat of government was centred at Thinis. It is most known for its last ruler, Khasekhemwy, but is otherwise one of the most obscure periods in Egyptian history.

A nome was a territorial division in ancient Egypt.

Early Dynastic Period (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.

Djer

Djer is considered the third pharaoh of the First Dynasty of ancient Egypt in current Egyptology. He lived around the mid-thirty-first century BC and reigned for c. 40 years. A mummified forearm of Djer or his wife was discovered by Flinders Petrie, but was discarded by Émile Brugsch.

Pschent Ancient Egyptian crown

The pschent was the double crown worn by rulers in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians generally referred to it as sekhemty(sḫm.ty), the Two Powerful Ones. It combined the White Hedjet Crown of Upper Egypt and the Red Deshret Crown of Lower Egypt.

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 from approximately 3200 to 3000 BC. It is the period during which the process of state formation, which began 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. In this period, those kings' names were inscribed in the form of serekhs on a variety of surfaces including pottery and tombs.

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.

The Thinite Confederacy is an Egyptological term for a hypothesized tribal confederation in ancient Egypt. It is thought to have preceded the full unification of Upper Egypt c. 3100 BC. The leaders of the Thinite Confederacy were most likely tribal nobles. Based at the city of Thinis, the Thinite Confederacy would later be incorporated into the combined state known as "Upper and Lower Egypt".

El Sheikh Said Ancient village and burial site in El 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.

Middle Egypt Section of land between Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt

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.

El Kab Archaeological site

El Kab is an Upper Egyptian site on the east bank of the Nile at the mouth of the Wadi Hillal about 80 kilometres (50 mi) south of Luxor. El Kab was called Nekheb in the Egyptian language, a name that refers to Nekhbet, the goddess depicted as a white vulture. In Greek it was called Eileithyias polis, "city of the goddess Eileithyia".

Saʽidi Arabic

Ṣaʽīdi Arabic, also known as Upper Egyptian Arabic, is a variety of Arabic spoken by the Ṣaʽīdi people in Upper Egypt, a strip of land on both sides of the Nile river that extends between Nubia and downriver (northwards) to Lower Egypt. It shares linguistic features with both Egyptian Arabic and the Quran's Classical Arabic. Dialects include Middle and Upper Egyptian Arabic.

References

  1. Ermann & Grapow, op.cit. Wb 5, 227.4-14
  2. Ermann & Grapow 1982, Wb 5, 227.4-14.
  3. Ermann & Grapow (1982) , Wb 4, 477.9-11
  4. Brink, Edwin C. M. van den (1992). The Nile Delta in Transition: 4th.-3rd. Millennium B.C. : Proceedings of the Seminar Held in Cairo, 21.-24. October 1990, at the Netherlands Institute of Archaeology and Arabic Studies. E.C.M. van den Brink. ISBN   978-965-221-015-9.
  5. Griffith, Francis Llewellyn, A Collection of Hieroglyphs: A Contribution to the History of Egyptian Writing, the Egypt Exploration Fund 1898, p.56
  6. See list of nomes. Maten (Knife land) is the northernmost nome in 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.
  7. Bard & Shubert (1999) , p. 371
  8. David (1975) , p. 149
  9. Roebuck (1966) , p. 51
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 Roebuck (1966) , pp. 52–53
  11. Roebuck (1966) , p. 53
  12. Chauveau (2000) , p. 68
  13. Ballais (2000) , p. 133
  14. Ballais (2000) , p. 134
  15. Brice (1981), p. 299
  16. Rice 1999, p. 86.
  17. Wilkinson 1999, p. 57f.
  18. Shaw 2000, p. 196.
  19. 1 2 Grajetzki (2006) , pp. 109–111

Bibliography

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