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i
The
Study of the Ancienr
Near Easr
in the Twenty-First
Century
The william Foxwell Albright
centennial
conference
edired by
Jennoro
S. Coopen and GIENN M. Scswnnrz
Winona Lake, Indiana
EISENBRAUNS
1996
,ffi
I 7ltAR
p97
Contex tualizing Egyptian
Representations
of Sociefy
and Ethniciry
JoHN
BarNps
On Ancient Near Eastern ldeology qiil
Society
The study of ideologyl in the Ancient Near Easr has made progress in its appli-
cation to numerous categories of source material,
and it has gradually
.o,.,. a b.
accepted that few ancient sources are free from ideological
bias and overrones.2
The
principal advances in this area have .o-. in the analysis of ancienc sourccs rhat were
designed explicitly ro persuade, whether they be royal inscriptions,
works of art, or
letters and correspondence.
Mario Liverani3 in particular
has clarified remarkably
Authot's flore: This
Paper
was written for a session on "Ideology,
propaganda
and National Conscious-
ness" and is concemed with these topics in the order named. The last main section, on ethnicity and
related questions, studies only one aspect of its general theme but in rather more detail than the oth-
ers' Because of the vast scope of the subject matter, my trearmenr of each ropic is.quite limited and
inevitably focused on elite, high-cultural materials.
The Albright Centenniai Conference, which broughr together specialists in various areas and
disciplines, itself exemplified important points I wish to m"ke. t am very grateful indeed to
Jerry
Cooper for the invitation to attend and to him and Glenn Schwartz fo,
-riing
rhe evenr ,u.h
"
,,r.-
cess' I should also like to thank Christopher Eyre, Richard Parkinson, and.Anrhony
Leahy for com-
nlenting on drafts and David o'Connor and Antonio Loprieno for making several rvorks available to
me' This paper was written before I had access to Mario Liverani's
preltige
and irrerest (see n. 3),
which is relevant as a whole to the topics I discuss. I have added ,orn. ..d..rr.es to this important
work, but I have not been able ro presenr a susrained dialogue with it.
Abbreviations are generally those of rhe Lexikon der Agyptologie; refcrences are selective. Dates fol-
low Rolf Krauss' Sotfrfu- und Monddaten: Studien zur astronomisclrcn ttnd teehrtischen Chronologie Alt-
agyptens (HAB 20; Hildesheim: Gerstenberg, 19g5).
1. I cannot present definitions for ideology rnd propaganda
here; my usages are inrended to be
conventional.
2. In response to a question posed during the conference, I should make clear that the archaeo-
logical record is biased like the textual and artistic but ofren in differenr ways. If it were nor biased, it
would also be unrevealing for the study of ancient civilizations.
3. For example, M. Liverani, Three Amarna Essays (tranr Matthew L.
Jaffe;
Sources and Mono-
graphs on the Ancient Near East 1/5; Malibu, Calif.: Undena,1979);..Rib_Adda,
giusto sofferente,,,
Altorientalisthe Forschrlngen 1 (1974) 175-205; contribudon
to I canali tlella propaganda nel mondo antico
(ed. Marta Sordi; Vita e Pensiero; Milan: Universiti Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 1976) 22-26;
prestige
and Interest: lnternational Relations in the Near East ca. 1600-1100 o.c. (History of the Ancient Nelr
East/Studies 1; Padua: Sargon, 1990).
339
t
3.+0
John
Baines
the correspondence
and treaties
betweerr
rulers
of different
ancient
Near Eastern
culrures,
as well as conrriburingl
much ro understanding
the ideorogy
of individual
ancient polities'
He has shown
that, despire
its constituiive
role in ancienr
interna_
tional relations,
the correspondence
cannot
be read as presenting
rhe realiry;i;;;.
relations
in any straightforwarcl
way- He has d.-onr,."i.o"ri"r',n.
ideological
modes
of argument
and expectations
of writers
and readers
led them
to misunderstand
one
another:
ideology
was as much
a sr.rbject
of negotiati."
;;; talking past rhe other
side in the ancient
Near East as in any other period
or place.
A co'rparably
decisive
clarification
has come fronr Peter Machinist,a
who has explored
interrelations
be-
tween
Assyrian
royal
propaganda
and rhe image
of Assyria
in the Hebrew
Bible.
For single
curtures,
rittre
anarysis
has cha'ged
views
as decirivery
;;l;.;;.r,
and the reasons
for this slower progress
are not hard to see. Single cultures
display
their diversiry
less than competing
ones.
Generations
of scholars
rvere
concerned
with
reconstructing
the outlines
of history-dynasties,
synchronisnr,
"l;A;;;;
regions,
and so forth-and
only graduaily
turned
to the in"tyri,
o[ the soLrrces
as
docunrents
and as representatives
of genres.
An-rong
the earriest
Egyptological
con_
tributions
in this area was Alfred Hermann,s
study
of a genre
of roval inscription
that he termed
the'royal
story'(Korrigstroveile)-5
subrequJnr
work,'orably
by Erik
Hornung,r'applied
corrrparabre
methods
to the presen,rrion
of thc *r"
*'u*ro"*,
king perforr'ed
his office, de'ronsrraring
thar the ,.;;;;;;
.;;;r; ;;:ffi;
subordinate
to the exigencies
oF a role in maintaining
the .or',ror.7
A vital aspect
of these studies
has been, the discovery
that cosmology
played
a cenrral part in the
Egyptian
enactmenr
and presentadon
of historical
.u.rro'"ni
in the configuration
of
the rnonu'rentar
space
wirhin
which the king,s ,..,l. ;;;';"ri,r.o.
Trris
has been
studied
especially
by David
O'Connor.s
Examples
such as these illustrate
two approaches
that have proved
fruitful
and
have so far yielded
only a small part of their potencial:
rhe integration
of material
-l'
ll Machinist' "Assyria
and its Image in the First Isaiah,',J.{os
103 (19ti3)
7rg_37
5. A. Hernrann,
Dic iig-yptisclrc
Kdni.gsnovellc (LAS
1{); Gliickstadt:
Augnstin,
l93ti). No satiSfac_
torv Enqlish equivalent
fbr his cerrn has been found.
6' For exanrple'
E' Hornung,
ceschichte
als Fcst: zuei vortriige
zum cesclilclttsbiltt
derfrrihen
Mensch-
leir (Libelli
246; l)annstadr:
wissenschaftliche
Buchgesert.r,"n,'rqeaj;Lortr"a
in his ce,sr der
pha-
raonenzeit (Zurich:
Arremrs,
.l99g)
r47-63;
Engrish:,rcrea.into
Intage: ir*ri;;'
^nr,ent
Egyptian Thought
(trans'
E' Bredeck;
New York: Timken, tggz) i+l-ocridem,
"politisch.'pl.n,.ng
und Realitit im alten
Agypten,"
Saeculunr
22 (197'I)
4g-5g;
Jan
Arr-r.,r,,
..politik
zwischen
niru"t ,r,'a Ol;;;';;r.d;
politischen-
Handelns
im pharaonischeir
Agypten,"
'saecurnm35
(19g4)
g7-L14.
7' Philippe
Derchain.has
exemplified
ihis point cogently,
while remarking
rhat the image of rhe
king he described
existed
in its pu.est form exclusively
in the tempre sanctuaries
of the Greco-Roman
period: "Le r6le du roi d'Egypte
dans le maintien
d-e l'ordre cosmique,',
Le pouuoir er Ie saeri,by Luc
de Heusch et al' (Annales
du centre d'Etude des Religions
l; Brussells:
Univlrsit6
Libre de Bruxelles,
Insriut
de Sociologie,
1962) 61_73.
'+eJJe!J'
vr'vs
8' For example,
D' o'connor, "Beloved
of Maat, the Horizon
of Re: The Roval
palace
in New
Kingdom
Egypr," in Ancient
Egyptian Kingship (ed. David
o,connor
""0
o""r#Ti;.'#;:i;;
contextualizing Egyptian Representations
of society and Ethnicity
341
within a broad context, whether this is a sociery or complex of societies, or a the-
oretical context, model, or comparative schema; and the intensified analysis of
sources as Sources-studies of genre and discourse. The former is holistic, both
within Near Eastern studies and in the broader specrrum of scholarly disciplines.
The latter, which is complementary; addresses detailed evidence while drawing on
comparable methods and applying them to different rypes of source material. Both
need to cross boundaries between disciplines, and in this conrext the ancient Near
East has a role in contributing to broader theory as well as utilizing it.
Another implication of Liverani's work is that to interpret an ideology is not ro
interpret a realiry but to model a construction of realiry. Ideologies and realities are
plural. The sophisticated materials that presented ancienr ideology created a distance
from the realities to which they related. There are different ideologies, boch within
a sociery and between societies.
'While
those of different societies are evidenr, rhe
varying ideologies of single societies tend to be masked by the elite dominance of
the more-or-less public record, which is what is chiefly available for study.
Gctrre arrd Source
The study of genre and of the nature of source material continues to conrribute
crucially to the understanding of ideology and is an akernarive to focusing directly
on ideological questions. The implications of this approach go beyond the sources
thenlselves to the societies that created them. A basic premise is that the group for
whom the ancient documents, monuments, and works of art were produced was
small and often not well integrated into the sociery. In many societies (not including
Egypt until quite late periods), rulers spoke a different language from the ruled. The
uses to which writing was put were specialized;e ancient written genres had their
own organization and character, which must bc comprehended. Expansion in the
subject matter and range of use of representational
art and writing was gradual. It
cannot be taken for granted that any genre should appear in one culture simply be-
cause it occurs in many others. Interpretations need to be modeled in the social and
oral contexts in which the material originally belonged, in addition to rhe require-
ments to site that material within genres. Although many ancient sources present
themselves to us as unique, few will have been unique in antiquiry.
Leiden: Brill, 1995) 263-300; and idem, "Mirror of the Cosmos: The Palace of Merneptah," Fragments
oJ a Shattered Wsage: The Proteetlings of the International Symposirun on. Ramcsses the Crear (ed. Edward
Bleiberg and Rita Freed; Monographs of the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology 1; Memphis:
Menrphis State
(Jniversity,
1991
[1993])
167-98. O'Connor is preparing a book entirled City and Cos-
mos in Ancient Egypt.
9. For one aspecr, see
John
Baines, "An Abydos List of Gods and an old Kingdom use of
'lexts,"
Pyramid Stutlies and Other Essays Presented to I. E. S. Edwards (ed.
John
Baines et al.; Occa-
sional Publications 7; London: Egypt Exploration Sociery 1988) 124-33.
342
John
Baines
There is an interplay
berween
approaches
that address,
on the one hand, genre
and the s,",.,s of preserved
sources in ancient
society
and, on the other hand, con_
clusions
that can be reached
by identifyirrg
irrconrirtencies
and contradi.;;*
i;
ideology'
Aspects of ideology
that lie at the margins
of central
concerns
may point
to significant
anomafies
and show what the ,oor..,
ignore.
As is onry too weil
known,
things are ofren ignored
by official
media pr..irfly
because
they are at once
important
and unwelcome.
on another
level, new genres
sometimes
incorporate
forms that seem to fit rather poorly with those which
existed
hitherto.
Indications
of this soft may show that there was concern with a topic rhat is otherwise
little
known;
such a concern
may have long preceded
its registration
in available
sources.
Although quesrions
of genre and of rhe record,s
consistency
h;;;-i;;;;..;
identified,
they have nor been sufiiciently
exproited.
Too ofren,
scholars
have
tended to accept
what the ancient sources
,"y
"l-or,
at face value
and to become
champions
of ancient rulen
and the social
order that served th.--rrth;;
lil;
those who claim to be reincarnations
of peopre
in antiquiry
who were mostly
kings and queens
in their previous
existences.
For a fuller comprehension
of the
social
order and of the spread of its varues,
it is necessary
,, ;";ot;;.;,";;;:
charitable
approaches
to the rulers with more charitable
app.oaches
to the ruled
and to those whom the rulers tended to ignore
and omit from the pubric record.
Modeling
Ancient
sources and the societies That
protluced
Them
A difficulry
encountered
in compensating
for limitations
of the evidence
is rhar
of working
against the grain
of the sources
*a g"p, among
them in order to inves_
tigate whether
alternative
ideologies
-...
pr.r.rrr
within
single societies.
It is more
difficult stiu to study the ideologies-o,
.rr., gain direct i,oidence
of the exist_
snss-ef
sectors of society
that were not ,ho-o
on the official
*""r-.",r,'rn.
creation
of which often
came close to monopolizing
a state,s or a peopre,s
resources.
Nowhere
is this difficulry
more acute than in Egypt,
where
;.'";;;;;r;;_
work, the interesrs
of scholars and of the public,
"rrait.
topography
of the land itself
combine
to make the discovery
of new materiar
rare and
"o.r...r,
with these ques_
tions often slight'
Relevant evidence
is so sparse that advances
are as likely to. come
from new methods of anaryztngthe
implications
of the dominant
ideorogy
as from
the identificacion
of new sources.
This is nor to deny the significance
of archaeology
for these questions.
Excava_
tion has brought
fundamental
discoveries,
such as the presence
of the
palestinian
Middle Bronze
Age culture in the Egyptian
Delta in the late Middle Kingdom
(ca. 1800-1600
n.c.E.). "Hyksos"
rulers late in the period
commissioned
wall
paintings
in a Minoan or generic
east-Medirerranean
style for a public
building.
10
10' Known principally
from excavations
directed by Manfred Bietak at Tell el-Dabca;
see, for e-x_
ample' his "Avaris
and Piramesse:
Archaeological
Explorarions
in rhe Eastern Nile Delta,,,
proceedings
of the Bitish Aademy
65 (1979)
225-90; ideri,
,.tgypt
and canaan during the Middre Bronze Age,,,
Contextualizing Egyptian Representations of Society and Ethnicity 343
But archaeological fieldwork in itself contributes only indirectly to the interpreta-
tion of ideology, into which such an advance needs to be integrated; the fact that
the discovery occasioned surprise points to overconfidence in comprehension of
ideology and of how it relates to "realiry." This episode illustrates how little is
known of ancient societies outside the administrative and cultural elite, which may
have extended to five percent of people; for many periods even the elite is little
known.
llGaps
in evidence are often as significant as, or more significant than,
what is preserved. If they are not taken into account, models based on fragmentary
evidence, which may be adequate for homogeneous small-scale societies, can be
seriously misleading for large and complex ones.
12
While it may prove almost im-
possible to relate the accessible ideology of the elite to the broader sociery it is
necessary to bear constantly in mind that ideology may not be representative of a
complete society's views and that in some way it will have been created against the
background of a much larger social group whose belieG are nearly inaccessible.
Even at less than five percent of the population, the ruling elite in Egypt num-
bered ten thousand or more. Interpretive chariry has tended to see these people as
a homogeneous group who were concerned to govern effectively and to sustain
the social order. Recruitment is said to have been through merit not birth and, in
principle, open. This picture would flatter the most enlightened democracy. While
there was some meritocracy and its virtues were often claimed, the claim is not
likely to be correct in any simple sense. Rather, it is an ideological fiction. There
were hierarchies of knowledge and access to religious and other privileges both
within and probably outside the elite.r3 These hierarchies may have been the most
overt and acceptable among many manifestations of competition and exclusion in
the exercise and control of power. Less restricted uses of power included the van-
dalization of monuments of people's enemies or of those who fell into disfavor; this
was common in all periods. An improved model of the group who produced the
sources, incorporating these hierarchies and exclursions, emphasizes how little of
B,{SOR 281 (1991) 27-72. For the wall paintings, see, for example, M. Bietak et al.,
"Neue
Grab
trngsergebnisse aus Tell el-Debce und'Ezbet Hilmi im ostlichen Nildeltr (1989-199 l)," Agypten und
Levante 4 (1994) 9-80, with comments by Dominique Collon (pp. 81-88) and Nann6 Marinatos
(89-93). See also W. V. Davies and Louise Schofield, eds-, Egypt, the Aegean, antl the Levant: Intercon-
ncctions in the Second Millennium ac (London: British Museum, 1995).
11. This figure multiplies one percent, as a rough proportion of the literate (John Baines and
C.
J.
Eyre, "Four Notes on Literacy," CM 61
[1,9831
61,-96), by a small factor for their family mem-
ben. Since many literate, as subordinate scribes, hardly belonged to the ruling group, the calculation
probably overestimates the group's size, while the multiplier may allow too tnuch for the part played
by family members in political life.
12. A corollary of the marginal status of evidence for the general constitution of ancient societies
has been that it attracts those who work on the margin of the discipline and often idenrify issues that
have eluded the more conventional.
13. See
John
Baines, "Restricted Knowledge, Hierarchy and Decorum: Modern Perceptions and
Ancient Institurions,",l,4 RCE 27 (1990) l-23; Kjell Rydstr<im, "fuy-s{t3 'In Charge of Secrets': The
3000-Year Evolution of a Tit1e," Discussions in Egyptology 28 (1994) 53-94.
344
John
Baines
themselves
they showed to the world and to us-
1a
This reserve
relates
also to the
question
of propaganda
(below,
pp. 353-60).
It should
nor be assumed
that per_
suasion would
occur in an open context,
where
evidence
for it is easily found;
most of it will have been oral.
'Qaps
in evidence
can best be identified
in relation
ro strucrures
and models.
These are devised on the basis of analogies
and generalizations
that may precede
detailed
investigation.
Approaches
based on theoretical
construcrs
have only gradu-
ally gained
acceprance
in ancient Near Easterr,
,.rrot.rJio.-
tn.r, increased
cur_
rency has led to major advances
in understanding
and will surely lead to more.
Models are important
in overcoming
uncontrolled
interpretation,
especially
in
historical
reconstruction.
Most of what happened
in ancieni
Near Eastern history
can never be known or even usefully made the object
of specularion
(the
,"-.
"p_
plies' for example,
to classical
Greece). The use of
"
th.o..tical
framework
avoids
the pitfalls
of arguing from guesses
abour
morivarions
and other such imponder_
ables. Both frameworks
and openness
to comparative
approaches
alow interpreta_
tions to be tested and more generally
controlled.
scholars also need to exploit as much
evidence
as possible
in relation
to any
problem.
often, whole
categories
have been omitted,
the most striking
among
these being art' Architecture
and representational
art were fundamental
in ancient
Near Eastern
civilizations,
perhaps
most of all for Egypt. In their original contexrs,
Egyptian
historical
inscriptions
are almosr all integratei
i.rro works of art, often in
a subordinate
position.
The works of art were i' t.r.., set in an architectural
con_
text that has roo often been ignored in interpretation.
t5
works of art and architecture
obey rules of decorum
that arso probably
in_
formed
ceremonial
life and the conducr of king and elite, ror*ing
an overarching
framework
within which individual
elements
acquired
and presenred
meaning.16
Decorum,
and the conventions
of a bureaucratic
society centered
on royalry
formed
a background
that could be taken for granted
in composing
much
of the artistic
and literary
record. Apart from the subordination
of histo.y"to
cosmic and literary
imperatives,
the context of art and decorum
relativized
the slgnificance
of individ-
ual events by setting the work, created for the gods, the king, and posteriry
over
14' Compare wolfgang Helck, Zur verwaltung des Mittleren und Neuen Rekhes (pA 3; Leiden:
Brill' 1958) 534-47'
His later works, such es Pofitlche
cegensiitze i^ ottrn igyptnr (HAB
23; Hildes-
heim: Gentenberg,
1987), present these issues less well.
15' For these anistic aspects' see
John
Baines, "on the Status and
purposes
of Ancient Egyptian
Art," Cambndge
ArchaeologiealJournal
4 (lgg4)
67_94.
16. on decorum,
see Baines, "Restricted
Knowledge";
idem, Fecundity Figures:
Egyptian
per-
sonifieation
and the lconorogy of a cenre (warminster:
Aris * lhillips,1,ggr
27j405; see also, quite in_
dependent
but closely congruent'
Jorgen
Podemann
Ssrensen, "Divine
Access: The so-called
Democratization
of Egyptian Funerary Lit.r",.r.. as a Socio-cultural
process,,,
Tlrc Religion oJ the An-
cient Egyptians:
Cognititte
luyt:!":
and
popular
Expression (ed.
Gertie f"$""a,
Borex 20; Uppsala:
Almquist
& Wiksell, lg1g) l}g-25
Contextualizing Egyptian Representations of Society and Ethnicity 34s
v
t1*."
'$
*',
s
gr
"''.F:
,.\. "
f
_t l
""-
:]
li'
!: .
f\l
,,.1 -
'l
Figure 1. Wall with the gifts of Thutmose III to Amon-Re and, in the base area, rhe be-
ginning of his annal inscription. Rephotographed from Gusrave
Jequier,
Les temples mem-
phites et thibains, des origines i la XVIile dynastie (LArchitecture
er la Ddcoration dans
I'Ancienne Egypte 1; Paris: Albert Moranc6, 1920) pl. 47. context:
pM
II, zded.,97 (zs2).
and above the single occasion that might have prompted its consrruction. In this
perspective, it may be surprising how many individual evenrs of the immediate past
these works of art commemorated and to what degree they were "objective"
in
doing so. In comparison,
'Western
artistic traditions are generally much less con-
cerned with recording present achievements.
Context: New Kingdom Historical Records
An instance of the significance of decorum, illustrating both the possibilities of
interpretation and its limits, is the inscription containing the annals of Thutmose
rrr (1479-1425
n.c.n.) in the temple of Amon-Re at Karnak (fig. 1).17 The rext is
17. Text: Kurt sethe, urk. rY:3 (1907) 645-756; context:
pM
II (2d ed; 1.972) 97-98; additional
photograph of context: R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, Les temples de Karnak (Paris: Dervry, 1982)
vol. 2, pl. 147l. pa*iaI translation: Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings
(3 vols.; Berkeley: Universiry of California Press, 1973-80) 2.29-35.
346
John
Baines
among
the most important
from
the New
Kingdom,
but it has hardly
been srudied
in relation
ro its inscriprionar
conrext.
The
;;il;il;';;o
in the base area of
the north
walr by rhe barque
shrine in the heait
of ,i.,.-pr..
The
main registers
above
conrain
a figure
of the king presendng
to the god .""'"r"r.a
images
of a vast
range
of gifts
of temple
furnishings,
including
ir.-r"o.
the ,."1. of obelisks.
The base area in inner
room,
of tempre,
of ,hr, period
is mostry
uninscribed-
The placement
of this inscription
can be interpreted
in t*o
ways. First,
if the rosr
barque
shrine
beside
th. t.*t r.r.mbled
i,, predecesror,
d..orrted
under
Hatshepsut
(ca'
1473-145g
CI-c.r.),
it will have had oft..irrg
u."r..,
i., its base area,
above
a
niche-facade
plinth pattern
commonly
found
o., ,r"o,
bases.
ls
This reatment
com_
presses
a maximum
meaning
in a single context,
so that
the barque
shrine
and the
surroundjng
room
almost
constitute
f t.-pl.
-*ithin
a temple.
Second,
the place_
ment
both declares
the great
significance
of the campaigns
recorded
in the annals
and relegates
them
to a suitably
subordinate
p"rirl;;'i;?;;;;."
* Amon_Re
and
the king's gifts
to him'
le
The position
was not an innovation.
Thutmose
followed
Hatshepsut,
for whom
a very long text was carved
both
near the sorar sanctuary
of
her morruary
tempre
at Deir el--Bahri
and in the lower
regrsters
on her barque
shrine,
which
he demorished.20
Hatshepsur,s
poorry
p..r.rr.l
text legitimized
her
usurpation
of power
by referenc. 'ro
.r.r-.ro.r,
orr.r.,
(or
..marvels,,)
Amon-Re
had granted
to her; they
may have been as vital
to
her reign_if
in a different
way-as
Thutmose's
text was to his. Tl
the king's
rerationship
to rhe
sods:
he
d'.il:J;r.I ;lf,l.T:j,:
1:1.'",:r
if he is a femare
u,u,p.,,
.,,ai*
,.;;r;l;;;;
iil#i::,ffi_
l;JTilTl',
his successful
rule,
in this case his ."-p"igrrr,
back to the god
who vouchsaGd
the
victories..Moreover,
the positioni.rg
of the texts presents
royar
achievements
as a
ilffi$::
?: tff,r^,.
_.1;::"
giving
rhem
additio,,"r
l,"r,,.
whle pracing
This last point
relates
to a further
consideration:
in the base area, the texts could
in theory
be read.
So
.the
pracemenr
might
h.tp
ro
;;;a"; message
and hence
have
significance
for the texts'
possibre
"rr"ro,
;,
;r;;;d'., a signrficance
re_
affirmed
by their
central
rocatio'in
the temple.
n.rt to r-t"t. th. macter
thus is at
once to negare
it: only ofticiants
in temple
rituals
had access
to the room
wh.ere
the inscriptions
were
carved,
and few peopre
could.
read t i.r.*rrpnr;
it would
have
taken
hours to read rhe
text on the *"tt,
".ra
a potentiar
spectator
wourd
not have
had a powerful
ramp
and sufticient
time next ro th. t.-pi.,,
barque
shrine,
quite
18. Pierre Lacau et il., (Jne-chapelle
d,Hatshepsout
i Karnak(SAE;
Cairo: IFAO,
1977_79)
69_92. 19' This prominence
of grfts to the god
-;
;. compared
with rhe amount
of space in the an_
nals taken up with enumerarions
or uo"rylrr,"
fi'a"
t3*.*.,
"r.
;;;i;;;Egyptian craftsmanship.
20' Lacau etal''chapelled'Hatshepsout,szllii.Forthedatingof
rtur*or.trejectionof
Hat-
shepsut'
which
is still not resolved,
,..'P.t..
t o.ir*.
The Monuments
of senenmtt:
probrems
in His-
torical
Methodol,ogy
(London:
Kegan
paul
International,
lggg)
46_65.
Contextualizing Egyptian Representations of Society and Ethnicity 347
apart from the fact that the later sections of Thutmose's inscription could only be
read from a ladder. The texts can be termed propaganda only if a different context
can be posited in which they, or knowledge of their existence, location and con-
tent, were more widely disseminated. Such contexts are possible. The existence of
duplicates in a generally poor record suggests that many royal inscriptions may have
been set up in duplicates in numerous temples,2l and although this dissemination
would not ensure that there was ready access to them, the process of inscription
would have resulted in relatively widespread awareness of their existence. There
probably also were public proclamations of the king's deeds. Like other texts, the
annals exploit rhetorical devices which imply that such displays could have occurred.
Some of these devices play on restricted knowledge, as when it is said that a full ac-
count of some details of the siege of Megiddo exists on a leather roll in the temple
archives.22 There need not be a close connection between the form in which the
king's deeds were proclaimed and the textual record inscribed in the temple, but
their content would have to be comparable.
Two other implications of the problem of audience are relevant here. First, al-
though kings appeared publicly in procession and displayed their conquests and
their relations with the gods,23 many of these displays must have been addressed
chiefly to the ruling elite. As with so many aspects of Egyptian-and other-cul-
tures, a message of these displays to the rest of sociery may have been that such
events were too important for people so low-ranking as themselves to participate in
chem. It may, then, be mistaken to search too hard for a centripetal, integrating
function for these texts and for the broader persuasion they could have exerted.
The second point, which is more important, leads back to the status of art. The
inscription and its placement on the wall form part of an artistic and religious
whole whose legitimizing implications are to a great extent internal. The meaning
of these immensely significant central products exists in relation to a continuing ar-
tistic tradition.2a Wherher they were widely disseminated might have been almost
21. See examples cited by Edward Bleiberg, "Historical Texts as Political Propaganda during the
New Kingdom:' BES 7 (1985-86) 5-13, esp. 11 n. 34. I do not agree with Bleiberg's assumption
that the outer areas of temples were accessible to those who wished to read inscriptions; in any case,
many inscriptions would hardly have been decipherable from the ground.
22. The lost preceding clause probably stated that the full account was too long to accommodate
in rhe inscription: IJrk. IY:662,5-6; Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian ljterature,2.33 with n. 9.
23. David O'Connor
("Beloved of Maat") has a valuable discussion of New Kingdom examples.
The displays of defeated enemies recorded for Amenhotep II, in which he transported the living and
dead bodies of leaders and displayed them on city walls (if there really were such things at Napata),
are the other side of these celebrations. See Peter der Manuelian, Studies in the Reign of Amenophis II
(UliB Z0; Hildesheim: Gentenberg, 1987) 50, 52-53,72-73.
24. Irene W'inter's important article,
"Royal Rhetoric and the Development of Historical Narra-
tive in Neo-Assyrian Relie6"
(Studies in Visual Communication 712
[1981]
2-38),. rather neglects this
aspect of a continuing tradition. The extent to which artistic change is an internal matter for artists
can be seen also in European Renaissance and Baroque traditions.
348
John
Baines
^a
?-t
1.:-2
F=
-';iir,;..
Figure
2. Sery
I receiving
tribute
from
Asiati,
exterior
wall
of the
Great
Hypostyle
Hall at
c pnnces
and attacking
Shasu
nomads;
north
production:
rpi*"oti.
s ttrwetr
-r"t
o Ft-t,t^ n,.
'lt":fj.ph:tograph
by
John
Baines.
Lil-;;-
ili5ff
;,'fiT,,'"i::?;;:l;,i!;,!:iii-iiii'^i;;'H?"[:,,[1'3'i1;;:Jlil::
complex
composirions
can hardly
have
been
used
in ,h.i.
l;;:.;ttfJ,;.
_tllT
irrelevant'
In this penpective,
the weaker
form
of dissemination
I suggest,
that
some
peopre
courd
have
known
the placement
and content
of the texts
rather
than the
texts
themserves,
would
be sufficie.rt
to sustain
their
status.
This role
of works
of arr can be'lusrrated
from
the reign
of sery r (r291_r27g
n'c'e')
in the vast
expendirure
on tt. tirrg,r-tempre
at abydos
and his tomb
in the Valley
of the
Kings,
as we' as especially
i., to ,ro*t
,"u;;;;o.nring
his military
:ilti.?Xj:.::j:,:::.,"1i:
:,.",
Hypo,ryre
Ha[
at Karnak
(f,s.
2).2s
rhese
25' Abydos:
Amice
M. carverley
and
Myrtle F. 8101e,
lre,Temrte
of King
sethos I at Abydos (ed.
Alan H' Gardiner;
4 vols.;.Londo.,,
Egypi E;pil;."
,:.,_.r,
, aon*,tr,*rsiry
of chicago
press,
1e33-ss).
romb:
Erik
Homuns,
4'rb;;;';;!raoh
seii 1 (z;J;.;;._*
& winkrer,
1ee1).
Hyposryre
Ha': Epigraph,:
,:*Jr,.
rhe Baukh,i,r1,
"y
y,r,
i,) i," ii,t)"io,n
,or,
chicago:
rhe
71:X,;:,:;,;::::,|]ifI
"",:!:::ll.f
i:F;:..,r,,..o.a,,
see wlriamJ
Murnane,
rhe Road,o Kat".,"
1
i
t
I
'
A Histoicat
rnterpretation
or the Baute
n iii"i
iir;!::i';:;"::itlfrLn;:"H
,:;:";::f:!::h
';i';::;i':'
^i"',:::,^:":;i:i:;a;:::i;:,:^I'*r'.c,
,..
"1-^:;;;;.*.*..
-Franwon
A,es,
Faber
& Faber,
1951)
iti-+t,which
is valuable
o":"t'nto"onol
Att of the Aneient
Near r^r
rr."J""t
pite shortcomings
in approach.
contextualizing Egyptian Representations of society and Ethnicity
349
the message of the king's achievements. The Karnak temple complex would have
been accessible to relatively few,26 Thebes was nor the political
or population
cen-
ter of the country, and their placemenr high on the walls would not have allowed
a detailed reading (rhe dado in fig. 2 is more than z m high). The same question
of
access, in comparison with the cultural significance of works, affects such more
public productions as medieval ltalian fresco cycles: many of these also are too high
on the wall and too dimly lit to be easily seen.
The existence of the reliefr of Sety I makes it unlikely that the dearth of major
campaign inscriptions from his reign is due entirely ro chance. It seems rather that
he chose to use this medium, perhaps because of its cultural significance and despite
its limited direct potential for propaganda. The reliefs are imporrant as works that rec-
oncile the discordant tendencies of the late 18th Dynasry as well as integrating specific
events with the generality of the king's role and his actions for the gods in a new way.
The significance of this form continued in the reign of Sery's successor Ram-
esses II (1279-1213
n.c.e.), who celebrated the Battle of
eadesh
in elaborate
compositions inscribed in several temples (figs.
3-a). Unlike Sery Ramesses also or_
dered the inscription and dissemination of extensive texts that acted as a foil for the
reliefr.27 Literary copies of the later New Kingdom show that these texts were not
restricted to the temple context but reached a rather wider social group-although
it cannot be known how far their message spread through society (as is true of ear-
lier royal inscriptions that entered the literary tradition). The reliefs themselves
mark a development from those of Sery I in being more formalistic in composition
and more clearly symbolic in organization. Roland Tefnin'has shown in an impor-
tant analysis that the texts and reliefi recording the battle are complementary, each
with its own merhods and rhetorical forms.28 This complementariry is a general
characteristic of Egyptian relief that must be taken into account in interpretation,
but the
Qadesh
compositions add an extra layer of discourse.2e Apart from these
26. Latge temple complexes were evidently more widely accessible than individual structures, bur
the majoriry of indications of unofficial presence, such as graftiri attesting to a cuir of relie6, is post-
New Kingdom; see Claude Traunecker, "ManiGstations
de pi6td personelle i Karnak," BSFE 85
(1979) 22-31; idem, "une pratique magique populaire dans les temples de Karnak," La magia in
Egitto ai tempi ilei
faraoni
Atti conuegno internazionale . . . 1985 (ed. Alessandro Roccati artd Alberto
Siliotti; Milan: Rassegna Internazionale di Cinematografia Archeologica: Arre e Narura Libri, 1987)
221-42. More research is needed in this area.
27. Texts: Kitchen, Ram. Ihscr. ll (1979) 2 (list of sources), 3-147; study: Thomas von der'Way,
Die Text-Ilberlieferung Ramses' II. zur
Qade!-Schlacht:
Analyse unil Strul<tur (HAB 22; Hildesheim: Ger-
stenberg, 1984).
28. R. Tefnin, "Image, 6criture, rdcit: A propos des reprdsentations de la Bataille de
Qadesh,"
GM
47 (1981) 55-78. On the interpretation of the
Qadesh
record, see also
Jan
Assmann, "Krieg und Frieden
im alten Agypten: Ramses II. und die Schlacht bei Kadesch," Mannheimer Forum 1983-84: 175-231.
29. Williarn Kelly Simpson ("Egyptian Sculpture and Two-Dimensional Representation as Pro-
pagmdt,"
JEA
68
[1982]
271 with n. 37) notes this interplay almost with surprise but gives a rather
literal explanation. The article he cites by Roland Tefnin, "Image et histoire: R6flexions sur l'usage
350
John
Baines
-t
j..||ffiH'
de I'image
egvptienne"
lcar
s+lro
Figure 3'
pylon
of the remple
of Luxor, viewed
from
the north; photograph
by
John
Baines'
The
eadesh
reliefs are on the upp.. p".i;;
.J;,;."""'
compositional
points,
coror frequently
presents
almost
discrete
meanings,
and irs
widespread
loss restricts
significantly
*h"t ."r, be known
about works
of art.30
The relie*
of Sery I and
Ramesses
II cannor
have
had a simpre
propaganda
pur_
pose,
because
in their
finished
form they
were
not accessible
enough
to render
such a purpose
meaningful
(see
fig. 3 for the pracing
of one ,.rrio.,
of the
eadesh
relie{i,
high
on the pylon
wall at Luxor;
fig. +, the deta1,
is ar a height
of about
8 m)' Their
iconography
and composition
are, however,
designed
to convey
a
maximum
of persuasive
meaning,
so that che question
of who
they might persuade
remains'3'
Their
immediate
audiences
were two: (1)
the members
of the elite con_
The fundame"'"I
-T1,-:1
Erich winter (IJntercuchungen
zu den iigyptkchen
Tbnpelreliefs
der giechisch-nimisehen
Zeit
ID1AW
98; Graz, vienna, and cologn'e:
H.r-r.rn
f,Jt uo, Nachfolger,
196g]) demonstrated
the degree
of elaboration
possible in th..aesig'
of seemingly
ordinary
compositions.
30' see Patrik
Reuterswerd,.studiei
zur Polychymie
tler
plastik
I: Agypten(Stockholm
srudies in History of An 3/1; Stockholm:
Almqvist
a wiksell, 195g);
Baines, Fecundity
Figures, 1.39_42,3s7_gg.
31' on this r differ from Bleiberg ("Historicar,.:o..:,
d.ri;;J;;;aganda,,)
and Simpson ("Egyptian
Sculpture
and Two-Dim.rri'or"l
Repr.rent"tion,,),
both of *hom
seem ro assume
with_
,.$l]|illltr.R:T,
the works would have been sufncien;r;;;;;;;;;;,.
for their propaganda
Contextualizing Egyptian Representations of Society and Ethnicity 351
Figure 4. Detail of the
Qadesh
reliefs on the pylon at Luxor; photograph by
John
Baines.
cerned with the creation, execution, and interpretation of works of art, that is,
those who maintained the
"Great
Tradition" encompassing the closely integrated
strands of artistic and literary creation; and (2) the gods. In a broader sense, rhe au-
dience was also posteriry for whom the possibiliry of reading the text or vierving
the reliefs might not have been considered specifically. Another interpretive srrar-
egy, related to the general understanding of ritual and comparable forms of action,
is to view the works as being "performative."
By their existence they enact a com-
munication or, in the case of ritual reliefs in temples, an action, so that they are
selGsufficient.32 This is not the same as saying that they had a literal magical or re-
creative function-a problematic interpretation that is widespread in the literature.
There is a temptation not to take the gods seriously as an audience for works
dedicated to them and thus to interpret the motivations for constructing the monu-
ments and choosing particular forms for them as resulting solely from human ma-
nipulation and being addressLd to humans. Although some inscriptions and reliefi
in temples, such as the record of the selection of Hatshepsut as king by her father
32. See Philippe Derchain, "A propos de performativiti: Pensers anciens et arricles rdcents," GM
110 (1989) 13-18. This is an area in which interpretations have been far too literal. See the valuable
article of Erhart Graefe, "Die Deutung der sogenannten 'Opfergaben'
der Ritualszenen igyptischer
Temple als
'Schriftzeichen,"'
in Ritual and Sacrifce in the Ancient Near East (ed.
Jan Quaegebeur;
OLA
55; Leuven: Peeten, 1993) 143-56.
3s2
John
Baines
Thurmose
r (ca'
14g3-14g3
0-c.8.),"
-:r:be
fabrications,
and
much
else in tempre decoration
may
be equally
tot..*.d
with
legitimations
*ithin
the
human
social order,
the gods
shourd
not be dircou't.j
;
;.il;;;;,r:
{f.ptrans berieved
in the
gods'
Texts
say repeatedly
that sociery
consists
of th. godr,?.
deceased,
the
king, and humanity,3a
and,this
formura,to,ra
be grven
d".;;;;
If the
creation
of the temples
and their
decorarion
had been
.*.iir.,
i" b;-;;
and deception,
rhese institutions
would
hardly
have
endured.
I have pursued
the
contextual
imprications
of these
New
Kingdom
conrpositions
at length
in order
ro suggest
how an
"pp.o".r,
;r;;;
:;il
and through
the
sys_ tem
of artistic
decorum
can
enhance
the
meaning
of the whole
and lead
to a per_ specrive
that
moders
that of rhe actors.
tn.r.
"r-.
-;;
il" such
an approach cannot
do' In particular'
it gives
little
access
ro politicar
motivarions
that led ro mili- tary
campaigns
and
other
historical
actions
or to the discussions
preceding
either
rhe policy
or the record
of the events.
Least
of all does
it give
any insight
into rhe events
*,'rym::'J:':,:;:il':J::"*ffi'k;;:"#i;nr,eror*.;;";
one advantage
of this approach
is that
it takes
evenrs
as being
culrura'y
and historically
constructed,
,o irr",
the aim of interprer"riorr
l.rr.s
to be simpry
a
search
for "what
happened"-an
approach
that
may not be productive.3s
Much
ul-
timately
fruitless
speculation
t
",
g;;
inro
examining
motirrations
of ancient
rulers. Such questions
need
the rypes
Jr ,o.rr..
marerial
availabre
to the
modern
hisro_ rian-and
even
when
the
materiars
are availabre,
success
i, ,ro,
grr"."nteed.
w.here something
that
looks
a littre
like such a source
is preserved,
as with
rhe retter
of Amenhotep
rr (1426-1400
n.c.E.)
on a srera
of the
*.ipi.;;;;ersaret,36
the pubric setting
of the piece
distinguishes
it f.o-
the private
""i
,"ir"r"r
materials
of later eras
and civilizarions
that
qred
writing
in different
*"rr.-;;;r,
wolfgang
Herck was
correct
to say that
Che sources
hide
rh
th eir co mp e ri ri o,, C, p ower,
and
hence
..', :"Jil
;i:lr.n:
T:;t
#.jl"rffi
:
their
inconsisrencies,3T
but his implied
"t-
t' using
this
srraregy
may
be una*ain_
rr
o'J;it3l[1.iil,']i';?'"
et Bahai
/r1(London:-Egypt
Exproration
sociery
n.d.) pls.
56-64;
pM
?4 r-- r^- r,
tdon,1972)
347_48,I,
(16)_(21).
34'
see
Jan
Assmann,
or rcaiu ai
1"ir"r'irriy:__!iy
kosmogmphischer
Begreittext
zur reur4ischen
sonnenhymnik
in thebanischen
ltyrry""r"a
cruirr,riiroalK
7; chicist'iJ,
a.rgrrri.,,
rg70)
59.
35' compare
Anthonv.John
spai"g..,
,a;p r)rr
-"t
,n,
u,tn)ir")^irii
,t the Ancient
Egyptians
IJilt}.i'fl;:,,T,".'"'
v"t'
u"i""'irfn*"5tzr
237-41.."'.;,;;;;;;;, ,s
prestrge
and rnterest
is
36' Wolfgang
Herck, "Eine
stere des Vizekcinigs.
wr-itt,,,JNES
14 (1955)
22_31 .
..
37. w. Helck, "Zur
Lage der egyprir.rr.,
C.*ir.f,or.rrr.iUu
^u,,i
^irr,r"
o* Vierten
Internationalen
Agyptorogenkongresses,
Miinchin
llesls*Ji."
"*
^irru,o,*.rr."
r"i*.
u.rn*.
o, Hamburg:
Helmut
Buske,
1991) 7-8,
ciring the Nitocts
ar*ffi;;
of 656 s.c.e.,
where
wha tur progress
{iom the nofth
to Thebes
.";";;;;;;
been that,
because
,h. drr
ir p*trnted
as a peace-
Either
the dates
are manipulated
1".
r"-" p"rp"r.
o, th.lou-ey
was ar
-".ltt
are too compressed'
a military
maneuver.
rext:
Ricardo
a. c"*"Jf;rhe
Niiocasi.;il;.;rJ#T,iTtii_l?i
-
Contextualizing Egyptian Representations of Society and Ethnicity 353
able- The basic goal of reconstructing a historical skeleton is vital, but attempts to
create a modern-style political history of Egypt or of the ancient Near East are best
transmuted into cultural and socioeconomic approaches.
As with many studies of artistic material, the inrerpretation of the annals of
Thutmose III presented here raises the question of how far it models an actors'
persPective, or how far it partakes in general iconological strategies and addresses
inherent semiotic features of the works that might not have been perceived by
their creators and their ancient audience. This issue is significant, but it can hardly
be resolved, and interpretation could not progress if it were the principal focus of
attention. It is, however, desirable to distinguish between interpretations that claim
an actors' perspective and ones that claim validly to draw out the meaning of the
material, often in consonance with specific modern theories. In the foregoing
analysis, I have attempted to indicate which of these approaches applies to particu-
lar aspects of the argument; for the most part, I have been attempting to recon-
stnrct an actors' perspective.
Propaganila anil Hierarclry
I have indicated difticulties with the notion of propaganda in relation ro temple
reliefl and inscriptions. Since propaganda necessarily implies an audience and the
identifiable audience in temples was small, it miy have limited application to a so-
cial group such as the ancient Egyptian elite.38 Whereas the temple inscriptions
pose this problem most acutely, stelae, on which the majoriqv of "historical"
texts
were inscribed, are iconographically more self-contained and by implication could
have stood in more public places. Such monumenrs as the Poerical Stela of Thut-
mose III,3e which conrains a strophic laudatory speech of Amon-Re recounting the
king's exploits to him and presenting Amon-Re's own part in them, would not
make sense if they did not have an audience beyond the king himself. Yet this ex-
ample, together with the
Qadesh
inscriptions of Ramesses II and the historical nar-
rative of Kamose, the latest pre-New Kingdom king,a0 suggests a diflerent path of
dissemination from the broadly popular. The Kamose texts passed over into literary
tradition, as did those of Ramesses II. The Poetical Stela points ro the strongly lit-
erary character of the speeches of gods and hymns to gods preserved especially
38. For penetrating comments, which I nevertheless think extend the range of the concept unduly,
see Liverani, Prestige and Interest,26-29. Among quite useful studies rhat do not ask the question about
audience is Alan B. Lloyd, "Natfonalist Propaganda in Ptolemaic Egypt," Historia 31 (1982) 33-55.
39. PM II, 2d ed-, 94, 771; convenient illustration: Kun Lange and Max Hirmer, Egypt (4th ed.;
London; Phaidon, 1968) pl. 145. Translation: Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature,2.35-38.
40. Labib Habachi, The Second Stela of Kamose (ADAIK 8; Gliickstadt: Augustin, 1972): H. S.
Smith and Alexandrina Smith, "A Reconsideration of the Kamose Texts," ZAS 103 (1976) 48-76.
354
John
Baines
from
the New
Kingdom,
but reaching
back
to earlier
periods.+r
New
Kingdom
royal
inscriptions
with
these
speech.r'for-
a compact
lradition,
showing
rhat a
tightly
defined
repertory
of such forms
existed.
az
The wider
conrext
of these
texts
remained
within
the elite; they
moved into
the s,,eam
of tradition
but did not nec_
essarily
spread
to large
numbers
of people-a3
The same restriction
holds
for imaginative
lirerarure,
but with
additional
difti_
culties.
The titre of Georges
posener,s
important
;;,
iirar"rrn
er poritiEte
dans
l'Egypte
de la XII' dynastie,aa
announced
that it studied
*h"t
-"y
be termed
propa_
ganda,
but his focus
on poritical
aspects
of literature
was almost
at che expense
of
its literary
aspects.
while some
of ,h. ,.*r, he analyzed
can meaningfuily
be seen
as political
propaganda
because
they relate
,o , .tor.ty
;ila
political
context,
others
that
assert
Egyptian
values
do so in a subtle
and indirect
way.+5
The literary
corpus
and the group
who produced
it were too small
and too closely
involved
with
the rulers
for directly
subversive
literature
to be produced
and to enter
a continuing
tradition.
This audience
was arso highly
cultured;
the opinions
of its members
are
not likely
to have
been swayed
by crude persuasion
or moralizing.
Furthermore,
many of the texts thar are oft.r,
.l"i-ed
to have propaganda
as their
intent
have
subsequently
been dated
to periods
later than
th. .rr.rrtr"to
which
they were
held
to relate'
These
redatings
do not make the interpreradon
of them as propaganda
impossible,
but they
do prace
the texts'
meaning
in the more general
context
of the
41. On the speeches,
see
Jan
Assmann,
,,Aretalogiea,,
LA I
Og75) 425_34:for
hymns,
sce nu_
merous publications
of Assmann;
anthology:
Agyptische
Hymnen
und cebete(Die
Bibliothek
der Alten Welt: Der AIte Orient;
,"*::\:Artemis,
f 6iSf.-illp"ront
lite,ary
srudy of prayers:
Gerhard
Fecht,
Lir_
eratische
Zeugnisse
zur
"pers\.nlichen Friimmilgkeit';
ir| agypr*,
Anaryse
trer Biispiete
aus dett ranessiclischen schulpapyi
(AHAW;
Heidelberg:
c".r winr.. unio,..rirdtrrr..lrg,
1965).
som. te*tr, such as the stera
of Amenmose
with the g..at
hym' to osiris
6i.r,i.irr,, anruii
rgypii"i;;,rr"ture,2.B,t_86)and
rhe
stela of Baky with
its complex
meditarions
rar."r"a* Varille,
,.La
i!i. a,,
-yr,ique
Bdki,,, BIFA,
54
fi"tL:?#how
a marked individualiry
i', .r,"i..
or
-"t.;rt
".'a
or.l.orl,
in religious
orienra-
42. Nicolas-Christophe
Grimal (les
ternres de L
clna-ulte
dAtexandre
[M6loires de rAcaddmie
or, ,1,{!l^!ofJ"({,:r;:r:::{::;::f
,,:r:rd;::{:::;!
rie Narionale,
19861 449-66)
presenrs
th. p"rr"g.r-i'larer
New Kt"gd.;;;:riptions
that paraller
rhe Poetical
Stela.
r rew r\rrrBuurrf
lns'
43' There is a problem
of the definition
of literature
here: rhe broad view
considers
to be
,.litera-
ture" all well-formed
monumenlal
and papyrus
texts thar .;;;;&;;;."-"or
t..ai,ion (exemplified
by Lichtheim'
Ancient
Egyptian
Literatire)';
narrower
definidons
.".";;
only imaginative
fiction, rnstructions'
and related genres (as in the featments
of Loprien"
i., ,rrir'"oi"rrre
and R. B.
parkinson,
"Teachings'
Discounes
and rhres from the Middl;
lnqa'om,"
iiaii,
i"ii"m
studies[ed.
Stephen
"o5|:;iilf;:T;.
l?*lli;ll?
tssq er_tii1Boih
penpec,i,,.,
",.
i"iia in different
contexrs;
44' Posener'
Littltature
et po.litique
dans t'Egypte
de Ia XI(. dylastie(Bibliothdque
de l,Ecole
des Hautes Etudes
307;
paris:
champion,
195-0.
poserr..:,
".g,r;.rrts
built on e"rli.r *orl
of Adriaan
de Buck. 45. For commenrs,
see
John
Baines,
..tnt..pi.tiog.Sin"h.,,,/81
;;
irirrl
,r, Stephen
euirke,
"Review
of A. Loprien
o, Topos unir Mimesis:
zir^-a*uoarr
in der iigyptischen
Literatur,,,
Discussions
in Egypnlogy
16 (1990)
92;
parkinson,
"r.".hirg.,
oir"orr.r.,
and Thles,,,
102 with n. 44.
Contextualizing Egyptian Representations of Society and Ethnicity 355
use of the past.a6 If intended, propaganda must have been conveyed by hidden al-
lusion, little of which can now be recovered. Since the texts survived any period in
which they could have had propaganda significance, their literary and educational
worth, and perhaps their general i.ncorporation of centripetal values, secured their
later retention.
In the case of the Story of Sinuhe, propaganda for the 12th Dynasty king Sen-
wosret I (1918-1875 e.c.r.), which the work is often assumed to propound, or
even the possibiliry that the text was a coded announcement of a political am-
nesrya7 become meaningless if it was composed after the end of his reign. A rather
later dare of composition is likely, borh because works of literature are rarely set in
the present and because the opening lines are probably best read as referring in
parallel to the two kings, Amenemhat I and Senwosret I, as deceased.as The text
could nonetheless promote the cause of the dynasry as a whole or of later kings as
worthy successors to the great predecessors whom it names. Part of the appearance
of propaganda may, however, be negated by genre and context. A crucial passage
often cited here is a eulogy of Senwosret I that the fugitive Sinuhe addresses to a
nomadic chief who has saved his life.+e The chief counters this tactless piece of
rhetoric with the dry comment:
Egypt is indeed fortunare in the knowledge that (Senwosrer I) is flourishing.
(But) you are here.
You rvill be with me. What I do for you is good.5t)
Much of the eulogy's significance may be in the text's incorporation of a wide range
of literary genres in its narrative structure; this particular inclusion is ironic and in
part perhaps is managed for genre purposes. A eulogy of a king occurs in an "auto-
,biography"
as early as the 5th Dynasty (ca.2450 B.c.E.).5r A close parallel for
Sinuhe's set piece is a cycle addressed to Senwosret II[,52 while part of the Loyalist
Instruction, a generalized praise of kings and advice to ofticials, was related to
Amenemhat III and inscribed on an "autobiographical" stela of a contemporaneous
high official.53 The eulogies probably derive from a context of performance, perhaps
46. See
John
Baines, "Ancient Egyptian Concepts and lJses of the Past: 3rd-2nd Millennium
n.c. Evidence," Who Needs the Past? Indigenous Values and Archaeology (ed. Robert Layton;,One World
Archaeology; London: Unwin Hyman, 1989) 131-49-
47. For example, He1'ck, Politische Cegensiitze,3T with 91 n' 55'
48. Roland Koch, Die Erziihlung des Sinuhe (BAe 17; Brussels: Fondation Egyptologique Reine Elisa-
beth, 1990) 3. I owe this point to Richard Parkinson, and revise my opinion, "Interpreting Sinuhe," 38.
49. Translarion: Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, 1.225-26'
50. Koch, Die Erziihlung des Sinuhe,40, lines 1-8.
51 . Alessandro Roccari, La litttrature historique sous lAncien Empire tgyptietr (LAPO; Paris: Editions
du Ce4 1982) 97-98.
52. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, 1.198-201.
53. Georges Posener, L'Enseignement Loyaliste, sagesse hgyptienne du Moyen Empite
(Centre Hist.
Phil., EPHE, I\f section II: Hautes Etudes Orientales 5; Geneva: Droz, 7976); see his p' 15 for parallels
356
John
Baines
ln court
life
or in royal
progressions
throu
in
Sinuhe
i,
";;
"?,r,ii
r"._t
,;;;;.jlj:":.Tffi:J,}ffi:jl:,,:i::Iil:
than demonstrating
any
simple
p."p";;;;
intent.
-
The
Story
of the
Eloquen, p."o.riii
the
text
*,
"
p.oa,r.t
or th.
nrnJrorn
*,;;lT
Ilr.J:
the literar
view
that
influenced
interpretations.
The
rro,"r,
now
dated
ro rhe
*roo:'|:1
setting,
rong
This
composirion
is a comprex
discourse
".
.;i,
;r.;,
#;i:::i';i:lT:L; be seen
as propaganda
for
"
p""r.rrf",
kirrg,
b,r,
,."ai.rg,
",
!.o'"r"r.da have
been
il:T::LtfiT'h?
f.'Hl,"jlt'+-".";;"'
;#:,,s
,ha,
i, is direc,ed
menrioned,
r,"ir.r"
thar
texrs
;;; ;;r"_;ttft
:ff;i:?inii:*::*f
::::
likely
to have
been
preserved
i., tr"jitiorr;
kings
"rra
,n.o"rupporrers
would
not
have
fa'ed
ro
norice
their
impric"ri""r.-w_rr.r.
"-r.*,,,
..rrr."iof
royarry
as in the
;:::J'*-:::;lii:T:;l:1$
"e*
or n.o,l,
o'*',n
"
miri,ary
officer,
Middle
Kingdom
royar
inscripdons,
Gw
of
which
have
been
accessible
for
study'
relate
more
clearly
to the
iorrruiirry of propaganar.
it.
mosc
unusuar
are
the
earliest,ss
the texts
of
S.rr*orr.t,
,ro_
Elephantinern
"rra
Tod,60
the latter
containing
a highly
corored
description
"irlr.
a..",
"r
ri. toJa
,.*pt.
and
narrar_
il:,:l..
i:ili?#::::,'*lt:'"Tl,J::,:::t
_!'*'.,",,..".e
or vio,ence
and
p rorotyp
e. rn comf,
arisr.,,i,.
-u,
i;;;;;'il::'#;T
T:.i:;t:y
;.flT,;:
T
#
I
I
I
*"i,"i:i:,ftr.f;.Tffi
";,I:,:,;,,,:J"ji_'7,{:{,ri:",an, (oxrord:
Griftich
,,,,,,,"*,
,nn,,,
'",.'l;
ff:-.ilL;l*f ,
*in;#;;:
$;1]
-ith
rererences;
idem,
..
rhe Date
or the
56'
w' K' Simpson,
"rrt.,poliri."r
u"ii""'""l"f
the
Eloquent peasanr,.,
cM r20 (1gg1) g5_gg.
57' For references'
see
parkinson'
"i.]Jil:,tiscourses
#il;:rili
5**u,, for a reconsruc_
tion
of rhe narrarive,
see Emma
g*"".rri.;r.,"',attagyptirrt,
*rrr*"'1rrr'ed.;
Munich:
Diederichs,
1989)
l7B-79,321-22.
For-rhe
s.r..ril._i"r..
u",r.r,
..aonceprs
rnd
Ur., of rhe
past..,
58' The
earrier
srerae
of the"lt*
drr"*r'iheban
king
*ilffi;";tef
are nor distinctively
'ii;;r:!:^y,;::;;To;'i;:#',",#jr::i:';!*::,::'
,ii,,i.""tilot[/"),u,,,.
Zeugnisse
der ,
l
Men tuhotep,n
J a-.n.-
r,1i,,.i_,."
o.o.tl
;..#'; H::1il:,:t-70-
F,"g-.n,,
or Nebhepetre
. -^l?
WUfgang
Hetck,
,.Die
Weihins.f,in"
i.
*"1!*
2!
Antal ee-ii.
:sostris'
I. am
Saret-Tempel
von
Elephantine,,,
60'
wolfgang
Herck' "politische.spannunge"
,1
l..g,."n
des
Minreren
Reiches,,,
Agypten,
Dau,rcr
und
wander:
svmposium....oktob.er
rpsz
rJJ'ra"r8;.M-ainz:;;;*_,
irrry
or_rr,
Donard
B.
$it3;r#;,T,1Jl;.ilrt.n
or s.nwo,,itl
"li
*r, ,r,i
or,*1"
,,i.,*-.,,
in Nubia
and the
,* ;iai,:
iira;';;
('|xT'ilj,]nnotl38-55;
c' Barbotin.'olJ'tiu*i:i-'in,..ip,ion
de sdsostris
contextualizing
Egyptian Representations
of society and Ethnicity
357
served on the 18th Dynasry Berlin Leather
Roll, which includes exrensive
self-
praise of the king, sits more easily with later traditions.6r
The rather later text of the Semna-Ljronarti
srelae of Senwosret III (1g36-lBlB
n'c'e') is strongly literary, deriving in large part from instruction genres and in-
cluding a word-for-word
parallel with the Insrruction
of
ptahhotep.;2
Although its
message of standing firm on the frontier and keeping
the Nubian enemy i., co.r_
tempt and subjection had practical significance
ro, tt,. Egyptian occupying force,
the text seems best suited to edifying the elite, perhaps in pa.t the local officer
class, rather than the soldiery. As christopher Eyre remarks, there is no reason to
suppose that it was read for these purposes from the stelae themselves, which may
well'not have been readily accessible; there p$bably were papyrus copies that
would have been used for insrruction, perhaps as much in Egypt
",
on the Nubian
frontier. The propaganda
side of the text may thus be subsumed in the more gen-
erally literary purpose of transmitting culture and values.
A similar transmission
of complex values associated
with attitudes to foreigners
and the internal manipulation
of power occurs in the Instruction
for Merikare,63 a
literary text that.probably
belongs to the same general period.
Merikare emphasizes
the harsh responiibilities
of governmenr
and discusses the necessiry of reconciling
factions; the work is far more critical, and in a sense pragmatic,
than royal inscrip-
tions and other literary texts.
The coherence of the stream of high-culrural
written tradition emerges srongly
both from monumental inscriprions and from literary and religiou, ,.*,I np intL-
pretive approach through genre and through modeling the social group producing
the record is crucial. If the restrictions on the dissemination
of written material are
taken into account-even
allowing for rhe proclamation
of royal exploits-the po-
tential of propaganda
appears limited. The hierarchical
character of sociery .o-.,
to the fore; spreading propaganda beyond the elite may have been of little concern.
The means by which the position of the elite was legitimized in the eyes of those
outside it are largely unknown.
61. Translations: Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, 1.115-18; R. B.
parkinson,
Voices
Jrom
Ancient Egypt: An Anthology of Middle Kingdom Writings (London:
British Museum, 1991) +O-+l;
Philippe Derchain, "Les ddbuts de I'Histoire
[Rouleau
de cuir Berlin 3029]," RdE 43 (lgg2) 35-4:.,
argues for an 18th Dynasry date. If the text is early, ir is the oldest exampl. of
".'roy"l
,rory" i.,
Alfred Hermann's sense (Die Agyptische Kdnigsnovelle).
62' Christopher
J.
Eyre, "The Semna Stelae:
Quoration,
Genre, and Functions of Lirerature,"
Studies in Egyptology Presented to Miriam Lichtheim (ed. Sarah Israelit-Groll;
Jerusalem:
Magnes, 1990)
134-65, esp. p. 138.
63. Translation: Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, 1.97-109; Wolfgang Helck, Die LehreJr'ir
Ki)nig Metikare (KAT;
.Wiesbaden:
Harrassowitz, 1977); Gun Bjcirkman, "igyptology
and Historical
Method," otSu 73 (1964) 9-33, remains valuable. As with the Tale of the lloquerri
p.rrrn,,
-..,y
authors have dared Merikare to its historical setting during the 9th/10th Dynasry.
358
John
Baines
rmaginative
senres. rhar
rater
"p;.",
i;-";ff;iff
#.T:ffilt::ir;: posed.6a
The principar
assertions
or royt
"rra
.tt.
.o.,;r;;;"_
the
ord
Kingdom
are
morruary
monuments
and
the reliefr
o...r"r*'ri.rir,
.orrr.ying
an
over_
whelming
messase
of royal
,.,d,
to , t.rr.1
."r;;;:;;r;.;:;r.
rn rhis
sense,
rhey
are propaganda
for the
state
and
for the
coheren..-of
itr."*r""
of this
life and
the
nexr'
rhe
impact
of which
t r.rt
t" ii o^rl
!.
-"ri"-p-p"g"rrairtic,,
reliefr
are
those
treating
foreigners
(r..
;i;,"'*,r.
,Ur,_rr),
but
th.y
h"rre
rhe
same
limita_
rions
as New
Kingdom
temple
-r..tiJt""r, being
accessrbl.
to Gw
and
not
easily
;:::'r::fTnlT*'
widespread
'o"L"l fo.m
(although
analogies
can
be round
in
;ft*1;"",ffi
L{:ri*f;lffi
H*i*i{',T'ffi
#iff
*
the
mortuary
sphere.
Both
the
.rrorr''r-'.rr*
and
the
palermo
not concerned
with
limited
range
of ideological
.o.r..-r.--^'rrr
a'o
[ne Palermo
Stone
present
only
a
,".JT5ff::T::',:ffi.J;1";,ff""s
of persuasion,
this
does
nor
mean
rhat
speech'performance,andarchiterr"...;"t;;;trrtt::::."r1y;T:;:i3;H::i
attested
in nonroyal
biographies,
and in the
ensuing
Finr
Inre
:ilT"'-.".i"1k"i
j**,**l:;:fi
k:..:H::i$.;,:i.i:I
period
when
the
range
of use,
"e
*.,rr"*
li: 1,_,r.0,
fo,
o,f,..
g';:il;:Ti*: sequendal
texts'
67
The
appear
of these
,rit.rot,
was
narrowe.
th-"n
th"t
of later
imagi_
native
texts,
and
this
exclusivra,
*",
i.rghtened
by resrictic
common
in any
sociery,
knowledge
and
i1 availabiliry
*...;;;rr.::"ff;::rrfi.;
and
were
subject
ro religious
r".,.r-a*'lorhat
holders'rao.,.ir,
office
were
among
those
who
had
access
ro arcane
mareriars.
*
1i,
ort",*iir"rr,
;, rerigious
concexts
conrrasrs
with
the rargely
securar
image
oF
ord
*,n*oor_
no"'J"rar
monumenrs,
em_
'tJ
;'.'.T*ru,j:*'
:--:";::tli
the p ubric
record,,
i r i, p resen
ted
S in ce
This
interpreradon
shourd
be compared
with
evidence
from
the
old
Kingdom,
naffi":#:'TfiT".:::::::;;
*.*
rewer
and
works
or riterature
in
i n p re
-
Ne r'v
Ki nsdom
tit.""ri.,'i
n :;;#f..
-,ff
::ffi
::;:,ff::ill.
ij:;:
L-;-'T;h;il*:r
t;;i::;:;^,:,;:::!
:::^-,i1
'o:"ji:,:,
Das
Grab
a,s vorschu,e
der Li,_
::1tu:,ir.n.alten
Agypr.n."
t*n1
r)i
dorii,ru,';.',""
und
ldentitlt:
Das
Grab
als vorschule
de'r Lit_
(ed.
Aleida
Astmann
et al.;
Munich:
Fink- 1ss.
^^t'l::'::Archao_hgie
der literarisclrcn
rcoo,*unii*inn
(ed.
Aleida
As'mann
., ,r.; rur,i"i.i:
;;';"i;;.r':"o::'!'
Archiiologie
tler titerarischen
rcoo,*unii*inn
erarure:
Ancienr
r.*t,
,nd
##:1,.,*;JTflji:ii:
*. ;;#JI'"f
i1o.0",",
Egypcian
Lit_
eratu re :
f.ln
: *::',.,"**i::l :' ::"i'
ili *"'i;,T:'::".
H
Ti i- r r"'o
"'
edge and
Ora.,
ffuf.."ol.,
"f
'.1;
?j)T,iil'ill1:?
,r;*:.::i:;:,:i!:'_;;i:;:\,rn:
';';::,
B..k,
v.r
j:
Kn.w,.
sophical
Sociery j,g8g)
47_1 41
the American philosoohic
.
^
rol,rce
book,
vol.
1: Knowl-
41.
.
al Sociery
t84;
Philadelphia:
American philo_
--!qr vvLrsLy'
IY6V)
+/-741,.
- --t
^"
r, r rruauclPlli
11,
al. classic
example
is the inscriptions
of Ankh
ristication
ln pro-o,in'g
th.irr,rb;"..-p----,
-^..,-,
.tto
(probably
9th
Dynasry),
';::';::;:;;i:3;;;;:i:,:Uij:'rii::xi':'lE!,'ffi'J?i[,lll?ffi,X];l];11
,:],";,,:':::
^"i1:':;!';;?:::!t^:{;ii"#"1'il;:fi,;;'JT?l;fiffi:'#','J."1,?*.l:;il.l,;;j;z:#:
Egyptian
9]' l*
Baines,
*Abvdos
Lisr of Gods.',
68.
See Baines,
,.Resdcted
Knowledge.,,
Contextualizing
Egyptian Representations
of Society and Ethnicity
359
numbers
of the elite, whose tombs had a "secular"
character,
may have participated
significantly in religious life and hence in resrricted knowledge.
Hierarchies of knowledge
are in one sense the reverse of propaganda:
they assert
that only those who know matter, and ostensibly
they do ,rot seek to disseminate.
But the rwo are in no way incompatible.
Every ,o.i.ry and social group
needs
means of persuasion,
and propaganda in one group or context can go together with
restriction in another. In Egypt, as elsewhere,
people also used the fact of their re-
stricted knowledge
as display without divulging
what it was they knew. Most old
Kingdom examples of this phenomenon
are, probably by chance, in the nonroyal
sphere- From the New Kingdom, bur most likely composed in the Middle King-
dom, comes the text describing the king's role in the solar culr,6e which d.rror., i"t,
central stanzas to asserting that the king "knows"
numerous things about the course
of the sun and its significance (while revealing
little of what he knows), showing
that he is indispensable
to human and divine order. Until the late New Kingdori
the text was inscribed
only in inaccessible
places, so that the prestige the king,s
knowledge
gave him was indirect: only the privileged
could know that he had this
special knowledge and most of them did not have access to its characterization,
still
less to its content- Knowledge about knowledge
was a set of Chinese boxes. What
the king and the small circle of people supporting
him knew did not bring material
advantage: the message was that through knowredge
the king was the guarantor of
order and should be accorded due honor and service. The function of the knowl-
edge was deeply serious, for it was central to maintaining
the cosmos.
Much of the significance of these hierarchies of knowledge was in the pro-
claimed broader integration
of human sociefy with the gods through the privileged
group at the apex of sociery among whom the king was paramount.
yer
norhing
demonstrates
that this
"propaganda"
was widely disseminated.
Wider dissemination
may have occurred, or these Iegitimarions
may have underpinned
the elite,s own
sense of its proper position more than they exerted a wider appeal.
The role of propaganda
needs to be evaluated in the contexr of improved models
of the elite as well as improved understanding of the function and genres of the writ-
ten and monumental materials through which the elite and its propaganda can be
studied. Work in the 1950s and 1960s led to the opening-up
of the sourc€s to more
complex readings and initiated the strategy of questioning
the superficial intent and
honesry of the record and examining its configuration in a structured fashion. Those
readings have needed refining through social, literary, and art-historical analysis.
They should also be extended to later periods, including
the Greco-Roman, which
have seldom been a focus of this kind of research.T0
Thus, propaganda
has not
69. Text and analysis: Assmann, Kdnig al: Sonnenpriester; translarion: Parkinson, VoicesJrom Ancient
Egypt,38-10.
70. Grimal, Les termes de la propagande, is a collection of material rather than an analysis, while
Greco-Roman sources have tended to be seen from a Classical penpective (but see Lloyd, "Nationalist
360
John
Baines
proved
to bc the mosr nowcrfi,l
"-^1.,,:.
L e u ri s tic,,"r
u. i,
;.::
H: *lj:"},lT:
: ;:.r.fi
;,:*::r:j?il[il;:
: I there
is every
reason
to think
that they
would
have
recognired
th. phenomenon.
Both
in contexts
where
there
would
have
been
such recognition
and for rhe
broader
,.JT"*;:H:]*
of the record's
nature,
the
notion
or-prop"g"'da
wll continue
Nation
and
Ethnicity
Insofar
as propaganda
relates
to an ideology
that is propounded
and transmitted
by a whole
curture,
it has a focus
at the
boundar.,
u.r*..r,
one culture
"rra
,nJ next,
ber'uveen
one ser of varues
and
others
th"t
might
;;";r."
rhem.
These
are ideological
concerns
of societal,
curtural,
and
national
self_definicion.
To identifi'
a range
of ideorogie,
"rrj
,o.i"r
rypes
is nor to recover
a sociar
real_ iry but ro nrodel
images
of
"
,o.i.ry
from
a number.i;;;
richer
and
more varied
image
or an ancicnt
society
i, lik;^;:';:'.tjllii';"lij;,$
than a schematic
one,
but
"rry
,..o.rrrruction
that
may
be in prospect
is stiil filtered
by the projections
of the actors,
who were
mosr
ofren
outsrde
rhe groups
they por_ trayed.
These
linritations
do not make tl
anv ress
worthrvhle
Here as ersewhere,
j'ff;:l;ifil'ffr;1'J'ffiT:l
that "the
truth"
is often
n6t the goal
of research,
has been
llo,,
,o take
roor
in an_ cient
Near
Eastern
srudies.
Models
can be recovered
from
the sources
more
readily
than direct
evidence
for varying
social
groups.
In Egyptian
ideologr,
il ;;;;1,"".,
society
resembles
the complexiry
of the
ordered-cosnros,
which
is shot
through
with elemenrs
of the uncreated
world'71
By analogy'
those who
were
not included
rvithin
the normarive
image
of'the
.or116q-grr"t
ir, thor.
who either
were
not ethnrc
Egyptians
or rvere
excluded
on some
other
grounds-would
belong
with
the .,.r.r.rr.a
world.
while
this equation
may
have helped
to coerce
social
integr"rion,
,ro,
a' of society,
and especially
nor rhose
marginarized
by the equation,
w'l
have subscribed
ro it. It is nonerheless
striking
how
often Egyptologists
have
accepted
visions
of this sort*fbr
example,
equating
rhe presence
of ethnic
foreigners:"
il;;
wirh
disorder,
and
decline'72
By conrrasr,
william
y
Adams,
whose
work
is Ir,
".r.r.rr,
Nubia,
em_
und
Mensch nach
dtn ;ounrlui,.,a"__-,,."---,.-._7,
rvJrlrvrt.r rranve
sources
see Eberhard
Ofto,
Co//
!::;,:;';;;
i,i'*i,'lo,,ifll,|,ili,',{ff:,i;:;iy,::"!:l?:;i;^*:::,Ar:::i:Ji;,,y;r;W:;":!;
winter, "Der
Herrscherkuit
in'a.r,
egvpri,.h;{il+Fi},,.-H:1,
knriiische
Asypte, (ed,.
Herwig
Maehler
and Volker
Michael
Soo.t",
Mninz uo.,
Zabern,
1976) 1,47_60.
r,.,,,11;.'ff;:'":::iffi'"':,f;lTli;.f".1Ti1,."ff"i:Xy,*:)i;:::ll
,,, o,, anr! ,t,e Many
-72'
A not untypical
exampre
is Redford, "rn.
roa lnscriprion
oi's..,*orr.,
I,.. -16;
Redford
'Ti#if#'r#1T:::,:?.:,:'"
texts as
",.duing
".,ur.,'il-,r,..*,,
r,ro"
Kingdom
to
..rhe
contextualizing Egyptian Representations of society and Ethnicity
36r
phasizes the baleful effect of Egypt on surrounding populations.
T3
These judgments
are no more than a matter of perspective
and personal preference.
I illustrate here approaches to filling gaps and conrradictions in models of soci-
ety, exploring thc definition of identities and of ethniciry.
The Over-Defned Nation State and lts Cultturc
The point of departure for a uniform Egyptian ideology r.vas the formation of a
state by conquest or by rapid assimilation of people and territory over a larger area
than any other polity of the time.Ta Before the state formed, there was no such en-
tity as Egypt, but its unity was a dominant idea for later periods, including ones
of political fragmentation. At the outset, the state must have encompassed people
of varying culture, ethniciry and probably language.T5
The creation of a state and
culture involves forging an ideology and an identiry that will underpin its uniry
creating a collective "self" that implies a collective "other,'n
u'here the other is of-
ten axiomatically diverse and the self unitary. Neither of these processes need be
the same as forming a civilization or culture: many major civilizatioris and cultures
are not unified and consist of numerous states or other polides. Nor are culture
traits coextensive with states or perhaps even civilizations. From Bell Beakers in
prehistoric northern Europe to MacDonalds,
there have been material culture
conrplexes that have spread ov€r vast areas without seeminglv bringing ideological
uniformiry or indeed any orher nrarked sameness. Whar is striking in Egypt is the
strong convergcncc of these two processes.
The establishment and elaboration of an identiry for a stare or civilization tends
to be shielded from the investigator's vicw, because the state has an overriding interest
in presenting its unity as self-explanatory and unquesrionable. For archaeologically
recovered civilizations, furthermore, the period of formation rnay be followed by
rapid expansion that almost physically obliterates whar went before.
It is dcsirable to probe this identiry and how it is formulared. [n these areas the
interest of the actors was often almost obsessive, yet the evidence lies on the mar-
gin of the record and of modes of presenting ideology. whar was marginal in one
sense was central in another, because it contributed to defining the center.
In Egypt, the internal and external peripheries of sociery cannot e4sily be stud-
ied archaeologically. Few settlement sites of diverse character are accessible, and the
73. This is a persistent theme of his Nul'ia: Corridor to Afica (London: Allen Lane, 1977).
74. For the period, see
John
Baines, "Origins
of Egyprian Kingship," .4ncient Egyptian Kingship
(ed. David O'Connor and David P Silverman: PA 9; Leiden: Bnll, 1995;
()5-156;
Barry
J.
Kemp.
Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Ciuilizatfoa (London:
Routledge and Kegan Prul, 1989) 19-63; W'erner
Kaiser, "Zum verdnderten Bild von der Entstehung des gesamtdgyptischen Sraates," MDAIK 46
(les(D 287-e9.
75. The absence of dialect from written texts of most periods is sympromatic of the centralizing
emphasis of Egyptian culture. There were numerous dialects in the spoken language, bur they hardly
affected rhe wrirten high-cultural tradition.
362
John Baines
mortuary
sphere,
which
has produced
th e do mi na",
s;".,1,, rr,.
.*,._"i
ffiiii*::,X
iffi*Li
;iffi,T,:,
rhar'
excepr
fot *:or:,.:1r*.
t"Jt*.lo,r,
A-G.o,rp
.utr.r..
disappeared
ar rhe
srarr
of the,
dynastic
period,77
there
is
'rit.
,r."rUy
with
which
to
ture'
At the
norrhern
exrreme
of the .",r"r','.-*J.I:':
compare
Egyptian
cul-
;*T:'tjr
;f;jrt*:l*nt:"[",i:li,'
i;H,
d::i Hn:
group
living
in this
environment
and ,;o-
*ot'
periods,
were
a partly
assimilated
car texts.78
ir,.
a., that
this
rrd;;::Ti:;:::fH,::iffi
T1#
:im
record
and
nothing
in archaeologr
tr trrli."rive
both
J,rr!
il*.urties
of character_
izing
the population
of Egypt
t"'"ii
trr aspecrs
and
of rhe reticence
of the
officia,
sources' yet,
despite
the
barrenness
or inhospitabre
;;r;;
oi rr, ,,r.ro,rndings
and
Irs
ostensible
hostility,ro
outsiders,
Egypr
was
open
to immi
il:[T::'::L',,::,:f
'"ffi.":j*::J-'n*"..''l#.,fl::T
j:;:::'":",::
.
In anothe',.r0..,
t"ror.".-;ffT'#"ffi:H"hed
in studyins
concep_
tions
of self
and
o,h..
u.."rr.
irr-om-.i"I
rdeorogy
was
aggressively
uniformitarian
and
evidence
for
cultura,
ot*t*rrl,
*"rre.
These
asp..r,
JJ*urrre
with
a high
lever
of politicar
uniry
to form
a p,ruii.,iltr",
different
,r"-
,i.
Ies
tightry
defined
and
uncenffalized'
civ.llization
of t;;;;"*ia,
which
,.-"ir,,
nonetheless
currur_
;i1"if"'#'##;::::'
t"tu'1................;
^"'ii,,iou,
o,n-...,,..',,',r,",
ru.,oporamia
was
trarized
o
o*..
',*.il'J;:f
; :::.:ff
:JJi:,ffi::i:::.:?:il:,:l
i;
more
rigid
and
comprehensive
a.fi,rrtion
of
curture
,ir",,
*i, possible
in
Meso_
*'J:: ;H.':ffiff
:H':.':
J:*'"'
or t"'ti,,g
i.o.',",,.,..,
civlization,
are in
many
-"r,
.i-"r,
porar
opposrr.r.
o"t"o" features'
Egypt
and
Mesopotamia
Egyptorogsrs
have
t.nd.d
,"
ir.r.",
aynastic
Egypt
as a singre
culture
beronging
to a single
ethnic
group,
speaking
"
,r.,gr.
,".*r""*r*
li"nit,.*
a singre
ser of
shared
values.
The
assumption
of such
lnifor-r.i
."-.,
io_
t"kirrg
an elite
record
as reflecdng
".r.ierrt
ro.irr.."liry
fairly
directly
,.rr.rr'"
realiry
existed,
it
Hl1i:li1;:
lnT:::::.,rj1a;J,n.
.r,.
Despite
the skewed
nature
or the
record,
it is also
crear
thar
th. i^-pli."tilil;#;:H:ffi:*";:i:
76'
For possible
aooro4shg5'
see
Janet
E' Richards,
lIortual'
vaiability
and
socia!
Dffirentiation
in
,, o ol;
K, :.?*"f:::,
0,"
_ L,",".^*l
)i ill.,",r,
*, ia, t ee2). 77'
The
mosr
irnportanr
materiar
h.,. i, s.,.;'!lt]J,:1fi1,!li?r.'*,
^_",ouo
Royat
Cenrctery
at
,Yjff'ffi1',1llil.i#oT'To
or chicago,
o-ri.l,,r
r",,i,",.
*,oLiloliition
3: Excavarions
be_
1e86).
-
-'^- ""e
Sudan
Frontier;
chicago:
o"."i"i
ffi;;.
iilil
.r"-.^iry
of chicago,
Axiat
Age Civitizationjts;.;.'.i'
*-;,:-"::::t:]t':'*'
in Mesopotamia;'
The
19g6)
183-202,
srr-ri
S' N' Eisenst"at,
nlngh;*,on,
N.y:
Sute
Univers:.
rigins
antl Diuersity
of
try of New
york press,
F
'a
:
contextualizing Egyptian Representations of society and Ethnicity
363
elite. The most striking feature of what can be said about the non-elite
of the most
highly centralized periods is that they left few material remains distinctive
of their
social or regional group and, indeed, left lirtle record of any kind of their own ex-
istence, in contrast with their service to central and elite undertakings.
They were
virtually proletarianized
and, when not in their largely unrecoverable
villages, lived
in conditions of almost industrial uniformiry
and cultural anonymity.
s0
Yet this drab picture cannot adequately
reflect society: the constraints of deco-
rum and of preservation of sources exclude too much. The dominance of the cen-
tripetal culture of unified periods can be compared with the rather greater diversity
of the decentralized intermediate periods.
Continuities berween the Old Kingdom
and First Intermediate Period, for example, suggest that old Kingdom sociery in-
cluded as wide a range of people as the intbrmediate
period, but few
..foreigners,,
acquired the resources to create monuments.
sl
The fact that some material can be
identified suPports the assumption that ethniciry
and not just
the presence of for-
eigners, could occur in any period. Awareness of such discrepancies and variations
will contribute to more adequate models of society.
The Defnition of Dffirence: Libyans on Early Monuments
The definition of the cosmos was incorporated in an iconography in which any
complete monument could represent a microcosm and, hence, both exempli$, the
cosmos and extol its vah;es. The focuses of the cosmos were the king and the gods.
"Monuments"
varied in scale from quite modest-sized objects, such as the crucial
set of votive pieces dedicated in temples around the beginning of the dynastic
period,82 to complete decorated buildings. The interior of any temple showed ex-
clusively "native"
material, but the outside depicted the king's mastery of order
against encroaching disorder. Palaces almost certainly had a similar symbolism. Dis-
order was identified with the non-Egyptian world and from the beginning was
presented in rerms of foreign people. Internal "hisrorical"
action within Egypt, in
the modern sense of central policy and the treatment of dissent, was seldom
80. See
John
Baines, "Literacy,
Social Organization and the Archaeological Record: The Case of
Early Egypt," State and Society: The Emergenre and Development of Social Hierarchy and
politieal
Centrali-
zation (ed'.
John
Gledhill et al.; One World Archaeology; London: lJnwin Hyman, 1988) 204-9. For
specialized production at one of the few excavated provincial sites of the period, see Marie-Francine
Moens and'W'ilma Wetterstrom, "The Agricultural Economy of an Old Kingdom Town in Egypt's
West Delta: Insights from the Plant Remains,"-/NES 74 (1983) l5g-73.
81. Occurrences on nonroyal monuments, including one of the Early Dynastic Period, are listed
by Hannes Buchberger, "Zum
Ausllnder in der altigyptischen Lirerarur: Eine Kritik," WdO 20-21
(1989-90) 25-26. For a useful survey of evidence for foreigners, see Edda Bresciani, "Lo straniero,"
L'uomo egiziano (ed. Sergio Donadoni: Rome and Bari: Laterza, lgg}) 235-6g.
82. See
John
Baines, "Communication and Display: The Integration of Early Egyptian Art and
Writing," Antiquity 63 (1989) 471-82. The approach of l?hitney Davts, The Canonical Tiadition in
Auient Egyptian Art (Cambidge:
Cambridge University Press, 1990) is problematic in many respects;
see my review in Antiquity 65 (1991) 170-71.
364
John
Baines
Figure
5a.
Libyan/Cities palerte,
obverse:
Cairo
Museum
CG 14238.
Drawing
by Manon
Cox.
side
are fi gures
or embrem",i.,"y;,;;;,'il;*
ffi:":ifillll.li;:il37
recorded,
presumably
because
the
country,
Las
deemed
well
ordered
when
the
::::'i:
i'1l"1#
jr':;:
:*i'i'ilr1d 11
s ord e;
"
i *'
*' i ar i mp o si'ci o n o f
The
earriest
pictoriar
monumenrs
t;
Jj;i,t*'#ffiT'1,;;J::r,;.
,*"
.*
vealing
menrions
of "Libyal'*
*"-.r"r,
to."rio.,,
i;"-;;"
proposed
for the
;:'?:;
;T;TJil:
*:TT#i'#1i::y:r,"
;. ;;
"i"",,,
wi,h
assurance
or
the
menrions
i, o.,
"
,.r'i,t
fr.tt.
.r
illJ":;;';it-**:.t*i:I.J;,?*
11?,?;
ff;l? ll."T:i':,,:::;i,
;;
rrom
a mlitary
campaign
on rhe oth""
83' For implications
of this attitude
toward
historicar
rexrs,
see above, p.
356. There
are severar
exceptions
among
New
Kingdom
ntr.a."i'r.*r,'u",
,r,.r.-ro"';;#;.5.,
as being
achieved
bv
$i;piid::l:?
ffi::
:*
n5;ltlT
;t,o,he,h.one,..,".i,,*
r"hn
Baines
.,ri,*l
"'"l1ortj1':T'n'
pA
s, Leiden:
Br'r,
1ee5)
,-oil"t
Egvptian
Kingship
r'a' o"uia
"HJ;t;
,,. il;rilil"i:fftffi:
a"'n.'vl.'ip,'i'*:":1"-.
Nores
on the Libyans
o-f the
ord Kingdom
i?:T*::i;?:",1_,fi
i:.::;:;:,fl
:,y,7;,";;:,t;;.*ltlil;i:,.1*;Lki.:T;
Contextualizing Egyptian Representations of Society and Ethnicity
Figure 5b. Libyan/Cities Palette, reverse: Cairo Museum CG
14238. Drawing by
Marion
Cox.
object is an ivory imitation cylinder seal (fig. 6) showing King Narmer, perhaps the
last king before the 1st Dynasry, in the form of the catfish hieroglyph that writes his
name. rvielding a club to smite Libyan enemies.
The palette has three registers of cattle, donkeys, and sheep, with two registers
of trees beneath them and the hieroglyphic group
lhnw'Llbya'
at the right-hand
edge. This word thus appears to characterize the "landscape:' of trees rather than the
animals above, but the animals might be plundered from the landscape, or the
Prod-
ucts of rhe trees-which may be oil- or fruit-bearing species-could
be part of the
plunder. The latter point raises little difticulry but the animals are herd animals seen
in the Egyptian environment,
so they might belong within it rather than outside;
the same could then apply to the trees. Thus, this mention of
thnw
does not nec-
essarily refer to a place outside EgyPt, and it has often been suggested that this
palette and similar monuments document an expansion of the Egyptian state rather
than a campaign abroad.ss Both explanations are possible, and it is probably not
85. For example, Siegfried Schort, Hferoglyphen:
(Jntersuchungen
zum
(Jrpsrung
der SehriJt (AA'WLM;
.Wiesbaden:
Steiner, 1.gil) 24, 19-27.The reading of Manfred Bietak ("La naissance de la notion de
ville dans I'Egypte ancienne:
(Jn
acte politique?" CRIPEL 8
[1936]
32) misinterprets the conventions
of decorum under\ing the composition.
366
John
Baines
s$
?
\-)
Figure
6. Ivory
imi
yl.-.,, o*C;l
fi'ffiin
#*ll'
3::'_f1.,*1."y3]i,
main
cempte
urawrng
by
Michdle
Germon
Rilev.
seal
of
E.3915;
deposit.
worth
attempdng
to. resorve
the
questi.on,
because
the palette
may
not
record
a
iff:ru:f'j.ll':'n'i ""
id';i;;;',,",.-..,,
or domin",,ce.
A*empts
ro iden-
of formation
of rhbased
on rhe
assumprion
that
,h.;t;;.;elonged
to the
period
generations
earlier
e Egyptian
state'
a process
which
i, ,ro-
generally
placed
some
presence
of
"
,.hnffil,,iirlr?"j|'rxn"'
i' lo
'o*.
..r"p.in
*o..
notabte
is the
ove r a re gi o n b y dep ic tin g
1
t,
""
a tr*
;;.'i
llll;l:::
ffi
:#,;l;:":H;ml This
lack
of exoticism
is, however,
h;
ro assess.
Unlike
iate,
Egyprian
depictions
but
like
much
in
w€srern
*r,
;;'o;;.1.,-",
simpry
represenr
a Iocation
ou,tside
Egypt
in the
same
form
in which
o'n;;;:n:
,rr.
.r""*ri*."rd
be depicted.
The
;i[l,T::il
Tffi.i
;'nfl
o*;*;;'
rb*ig"-
.;;;
;;.,"*,h
e ra c,,ha,
The
sear
is similarry
org".rized
in reglsrers
that
are
cur
at an angre
by the
club
hetd
bv the
catfish.
Berr."th
rr,.
."riri'i,
,t.
*-a
;;;;.'in...
regisrers
show
,tfil,!H::i;:n-
miniarure,."t.-i,,r,.
-o,.
o.o,i."lioi.
incruded,
but
the
1*b:,,"'."0,'".,,:i{'ri:'J':#:X.:::i::ilfr
X..il;1,;;lj*}U:X
three
figures,
perhaps
redupricating
ilr.
;.ri..,
of pr,rJirr.
arrrt.
foreign
figures
Contextualizing Egyptian Representations of Society and Ethnicity
in the iconographies of many societies, these are not grotesquely distorted but are
quite close in form to figures of Egyptians of the same period.86 They lack strong
ethnic features.
Two features of these objects may be singled our: their relatively domestic pre-
sentation of Libya and Libyans; and their classificatory characrer.
The contrast between this undistorted representation
of Libyan enemies and ex-
treme conceptions of foreigners in other sociefies may relate more generally to a so-
ciery's modes of verbal and visual representation and to its relations with the world
outside. "Realistic"
representational forms are characteristic of well-established civi-
lizations, and the tendency to develop them signifies more than just
technical
accomplishment.8T Extremes of distortion are known from small-scale and self-
contained societies. A classic example of verbal conceptions in ethnographic litera-
ture is the Lugbara of Uganda, who conceive of symbolic reversals of the normal
human form as one moves away from their world, so that those who reside a couple
of days' journey
away walk upside-down.88 Like the Egyptians, the Lugbara mainrain
ordinary relations with those whom they encounter from outside and can thus sepa-
rate ideological conceptions from everyday experiences.
on these objects the Libyans appear as people defined as not being Egyptian by
being shown in subjection, almost more than they seem ro be foreigners. Some
eiements in Libyan iconography, such as the penis sheath,8e have parallels among
Egyptians of rhe period, so their costume alone cannot prove that they are foreign.
They are also shown in well-ordered forms in which Egyptians also might be
shown-as if they were incorporared among Egyptians as defeated but accepted,
rather than as enemies. An enduring analogy for such a status is the treatment of
native Egyptian 'subjects' (rfujt), people who are presented neither as enemies nor
as foreigners.eO on the Scorpion Macehead, roughly conremporary with the Lib-
yan Palette, the 'subject5' x1e
5hown as lapwings suspended by the neck from the
86. The late 18th Dynasty Memphite tomb of Haremhab presenrs markedly contrasted rypes of
Egyptians and foreigners: the Egyptians are suave and almost dandified, while the foreignen have
strongly cast, wrinkled features. Even here, however, there is little distorcion in depicrion. See Geoff-
rey Thorndike Martin, The Memphite Tomb of Horemheb, Commander-in-Chief of Ti.rtcankhamiln I: The
Reliefs, Insuiptions, anil Commentary (MEES 55; London: Egypt Exploration Sociery 19d9) pls. 78-117.
87. Compare the argument from Egyptian representational art:
John
Baines,
"Theories
and Uni-
venals of Representation: Heinrich Schdfer and Egyptian Art," Art History 8 (1985) 1-25.
88.
John
A. Middleton, "Some Social Aspects of Lugbara Myth," reprinted tn Myth and Cosmos:
Readings in Mythology and Symbolism (ed.
John
A. Middleton; Garden Ciry N.Y: Natural History
Press, 1967) 47-61.
89. See
John
Baines, " lAnkh-sign, Belt and Penis Sheath," &{K 3 (1975) 7-24. To the Egyptian
examples cited there should be added numerous ivories and other objects from the beginning of the
dynastic period.
90. For example, Christine Favard-Meeks, "Le Delta igyprien jusqu'i
la fondarion d'Alexandrie,"
S/K 16 (1959) 62-63. Her view of rhe rftjt as marginal inhabitants of the Egyprian cosmos is prob-
lematic, but this could be part of the meaning of the term.
368
John
Baines
Figure
7.
Macehead
of King
Scorpion,
Oxford,
Ashmolean
Museurr Marion
Cox.
e ---'rtv't' varurur
nsnmolean
Museum
E.3632;
drarving
by
i":T'":':::;T:',,1:
Y#::::,'i:i:::
,"j.]T,
s1,ds
(ng
7)
e,
La,ers,a,ues,
il:j" i' ;::.-:1,
j1.
-t'.f
Pr'.
"*,a
.
".t*
: ; ;;?'T-
ffi
, :l
,*;;*: :ly",,ni"..o
'"
lJ;i"*
l,;ili":,,"?:;;
Hj*:":':: ic on o grap
hi.
s.h.
m.. L,
. o
-p,.i
;;;' ;;'
;#
i:
il:T-JHI"
1""'.Tt ::^'." . i : king'"
^."r-
c,,L:^^.-
-r
Y .r
ot"*,,::l
::l-'ects,
tfe
Libyans
";;;;;
mirdty.
ance
over
the
*::.li'"':::i:1.,
incrusion
., ."rool";;;;
."._ies
is nrsr
lr.::X:::.::i:.n"...,,.".*.]lJffi
#.ff ::'n::ir:#:L,";,'|:
*Tfi
:,IJlfi::::i:,TilK::r:*::.q:'ffi
*Til:ffiTjll:ii'ff,1,::
of standards
is preserved).
The
Nine;"*r;;;.t;:
t;dir*;,U:n:flit
'#;:
:::.i:ililt:#:::iii,:tiilil*il::.,1t:ffi;:I,il,,::,*:..-:ltl:r
Er_".Ede,
.Zu
NAI,L//- to.r- , .
^-
,1
NAWG
1'e63:1:
ros-ri
For
a new
ot,.*J""'""ffH"il;:i'r*r::.;i.:x*,xxt
macehead,
see
patrick
Gauthier
*a neriJ"'n4rJ.rrrR.yn.r, ..La
t6te de m
archlo^-Nij
5 (1995) g7-127.
----tt-rteynes, "La
t6te de massue
du roi
Scoqpion,,;
rr{{;.llil'ililTifii*,t
,}i'?'J]'
rhe step Pvrumi,t
(SAE,
Excavations
at saqqara;
cairo:
rm-
93.
Eric
Uphill,
..The
Nine
Bows,,,J
EOL Ig (1965_66)
393_420.
Contextualizing Egyptian Representations of Society and Ethnicity 369
A full listing of their names is not known before the reign of Amenhotpe III
(ca. 1360 n.c.e.), but their iconography occurs on rhe statue of Djoser just
cited,
where they are placed under the king's feet, in an image repeated endlessly in later
periods. There is no reason for thinking that the list of the
"bows"
changed radically
between early times and the New Kingdom. The full list includes Upper and Lower
Egypt, as do some lists of regions either dominated by or bringing offerings to rhe
king, who is thus shown with even his own country in crude subjection. This pe-
remptory assertion of the king's dominance is most prominent in iconography, while
the image projected in texts is generally less fierce; this discrepancy lies partly in the
characters of the different media. The violent aspect was probably advantageous as
something from which he could graciously depart. It was also in harmony with the
vision that order and disorder pervaded and threatened the ordered cosmos. Egyp-
tians and foreigners were surely aware that it was schematic and not realistic.e+
The Libyan features on the palette are probably cosmographic insofar as they are
placed in the lower part, where marginal elements were norrnally shown. The treat-
ment is at the same time strongly classificatory, with the listing of booty' on the pal-
ette, while the inclusive composition of the seal is so closely comparable with 5th
Dynasry and later temple reliefs of Libyan captives (fig. 8)
ot
that the latter may use
the same basic schema, which survived as late as the end of the dynastic period,
when it featured in the western quadrant of schematic circular representations of the
cosmos.e6 The temple reliefs include animal boory depicted and enumerated, as well
as totals of numbers of captives, and thus fuse the content of the palette and the seal.
The "family" of the chief trampled by the king have Egyptian-seeming names, and
the Libyan group has the Egyptian name h3tjw-'.
Among representations of enemies brought in subjection by the gods to the
king,"7 the set piece of the Libyans is the most powerful definition of where the
Egyptians sited the boundaries of their world: at. an almost arbitrary point close to
themselves, where they could know and inventory what they subjected and/or re-
jected, even if it was similar in character to themselves. As with the annals of Thut-
mose III, a reading of the Libyan relie{b that integrates them into a classificatory
context and into decorum does not lead to the comprehension of a particular
event: the same statistics and names of captives were inscribed whenever the relief
94. Variations in the presentation of foreigners in different sources and contexts are taken into
account throughout Liverani, Prestige and Interest.
95. This point has often been commented on. See, for exampie,
Jean
Leclant, "La'famille libyenne'
au Temple Haut de P6pi ler," IFAO: Liure du Centenaire 1880-1980 (ed.
Jean
Vercoutter;
=
MIFAO
104
U980])
49-54. The most informative version is that of Sahure: Ludwig Borchardt et al., Das Grab-
denkmal iles Kiinigs SaShu-Re' II: Die Wandbiller (Ausgrabungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft in
Abusir 1902-1908 7; Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1913) pls. 1-3. For the 25th Dynasty scene of Taharqa, see
n. 141 here.
96.
J.l.Cldre,
"Fragments d'une nouvelle repr6sentation 6gyptienne du monde," MDAIK 16
(1es8) 30-46.
97. Borchardr, Das Crabilenkmal des Kdnigs Sa3f;u-Re'Il,pls. 5-7, again preserves the best examples.
37A
./r
a"f,i,
'm
AA
TO
m
)tm
[l0i,il
AA
m
6'tu(
+
r
--1
.+
fvvl
o
ll
I
IL
u
,:\
Lr
-l
(t
.(
)
t7s o fvv'l
:\
ilrIl
8/
AH
\\'
'r}{'-J
t-
*lJ
G'C
t\\
<-.'t?+k
'\q.filililEEffiffigtxi
t..
_)
trilE
u\
#*'b-€fil
4
,',fl ,'.^t
,^-F\\1;);
ffiff
t',
I-
Itr
t4
'$,
sr
.(.t\
contextualizing
Egyptian Representatians
of society and Ethnicity
371
composition
was used. These figures are in any case suspect, like most records of
captives and boory.
This presentation
of Libyans is not the only depiction of foreigners
on royal
monuments
of the old Kingdom. Scenes of ships coming to Egypt, in rhe same
basic context as the Libyan relief!, show foreign crews, who were probably
a com_
mon feature of sea travel.es These scenes demonstrate
that neither relations with
peoples from outside nor depictions of them were necessarily adversarial.
Other Images of Ethnic Croups
The presentation of Libyans can be related to cosmography,
particularly in the
minute description of the natural world recorded in the Chamber of the Seasons of
the solar temple of Neuserre, with its awareness of movemenrs inro and out of
Egypt-t' It is also connected with the treatment
of enemies in the Execration Texts
written on figurines and pots for a ritual of destmction, fint attested from the later
Old Kingdom.ro0
Cosmographic presentation, however, also incorporates
a model of human soci-
ery and in the desire to neutralize all conceivable
enemies the Execration Texts in-
clude all secors of Egyptian as well as orher humaniry. The rl3jt,subjecrs' form a
pair with the pct, a designation for the elite group that may originally have referred
only to the ruling group and have had an ethnic or kin significance. The existence
of this opposition suggests that the Egyptian state, like many orhers, could at first
have been ruled by a group that presented itself as erhnically distinct-although
that
group, too, mosr probably originated within the borders of the united Egypt.'ut
Any such distinction quickly lost its meaning, but the two terms remained in use.
They entered the ideological sphere and remained common in idealized represen-
tations oF the cosmos, together with a third term hnmmt, conventionally rendered
98. See Manfred Bietak, "Zur Marine des Alten Reiches," Pyrumid Studies and Other Essays
pre-
sented to 1.-€' S. Edwards (ed.
John
Baines et al.; Occasional Publications 7; London: Egypt Explora-
tion Sociery 1988) 35*40.
99. Elmar Edel and Steffen Wenig, Die
JahreszeitenrelieJs
aus dem Sonnenheiligtum des Kiinigs
Ne-user-Re (Staatliche
Museen zu Berlin, Mitteilungen aus der Agyprischen Sammlung 7; Berlin
[East]:
Akademie, 1971). See also n. 91 above.
100. Abdel-Moneim Abubakr and
Jiirgen
Osing, "Achtungsrexte
aus dem Aften Reich," MDAIK
29 (1973) 97-133:'32 (1976) 133-85. Recent study: Yvan Koenig, "Les rextes d'envoritement de
Mirgissa," RdE 41 (1990) 101-25.
101' This possibiliry is distinct from the old hypothesis of a
"dynastic
race," which was said ro
have conquered Egypt around the beginning of the dynastic period.
Figure 8 (opposite). Libyan Tribute of Sahure, from his mortuary temple at Abusir; Cairo
MuseumJE 39531; Borchardt eta1., Das crabdenkmal des Kiinigs Sa3htrRec II, pl. 1; draw-
ing reduced by Marion Cox.
372
John
Baines
'sun
peopre'.
The three
form
a quasi-nryrhologlal
descripdon
of the peopres
of the Egyptian
cosrrros,
excluding
,ro,r-Egyprirnr.
ihr,
highl;.on.r.nriorr"lized
division presencs
a plural
conception
of sociery
as against
che
more
f
terms
as rmtw'the
people
(of
Egypt)'.
requent
usage
of such
A conrparabre
and positiu.
.rrrrifi..rto1"l
the peopres
of thc world
is given
icon_ ographic
form
in rhe underworld
Book
of G"tes"
*t i.n di;.,
humaniry
into
the lour
categories
of 'humans
(Egyptians),
Asiatics,
Nubians,
"rrJ
a,urr.rr.,
r{)2
As in the Exccration
Texts,
this listing
i, geographi."ily
o.g"nir;:"il;;
alnrosr
inverse
order to the normal
sequence
of the .r.ainri
points,
which
usually
srarts rvith
rhe sourh.
r()3
The
Book
of Gates is generally
dated
ro the late
t8th,;;;r;
i;,,,:;:,::::r.;
when
it was first inscribed
in a royal
tomb,
and is assum.a'ro
u. influenced
by the "universalisr'"
of Akhenaten',
..rigion,
but rhere
i, ,r";;;;rary
connecrion
here. Both
the underlying
ideas
and th.-. book
may
be o16.r.
,,,r"
11,e inragery
oF thc passage'
which
describes
people
as the "flock"
of rhe
*oo,
,, knorvn
from
Middle Kingdo'r
texts'r"5
while
threads
of u'iversalisnr
.".,
-b.
traced
back
to the
old Kingdonr'106
I wo'ld
interpret
the variation
in attitudes
b.r*..n
the book
and
the Execration
Texts
as due to different
functions:
the
book
is cosnrographic,
and
cos_ mographic
sollrces
are often
ntore
nr.riversalistic
than
other
,-rr"r.ri.tr.
Although
the Execrarion
Texts
are not in thenrselves
propagandistic,
both
the
were
used
an d pubr ic crispravs
o r .ronl i n",r..".";;
;;;;;'r
* :*',.:,nifrtl;;
inrparted
propauancra
significance
to their
nressage,
as did the fact
that thc
under_ Iving
irrvenrories
rvere
corected:
thc cosrrrographies
lack rhis
dirrrerrsiorr.
The layout
of the longcr
Execrariorr
Texts,
rvhich
are extended
d.escriptive
cap_ tions
on large
figurines,
constitutes
an ordered
presentadon
of the cosnros
in a differ- enr spirit
lrorn
the Book
of Cares; the te:
and rhose
within
rhe country,
rornri,g
"
[iil:,':"t *f;?i:i.r:.:],:1ff;";
the
cosnrographic
classification
i,r
".tislic
conrposirions.
The rrames
of individuals
writte'
on figurines
frort
the sanre
cleposits
shor,v
a renrarkable
anrassing
of infor- nration
about
foreign
rulers,
probably
derived
fro'
lists and not n
contenrporaneous
conditions.
what seems
nor ro have
existed
,,-' ,T::,?
ffi:ar:r?
,-.".'J]i,,H1#;'iT:'_3;:
l','!r'_\ino,,,PJitrtt'tr
ttsJ.rsr,-lr.r
(AH
7-8;
Gencva:
Etlitions
de rreres_
l03. For rhis ordcrirrq
in
Senerll,
see Cleorges
l)osener,
..Sur
l,orientrti
cardinaux
chez les Egyptiens,,,.G
iiuir.qer
Vortrii.q,
iu,,,, qgyprlng.ischem
Kottoquir;::",:r,
::rrl;;
i;: :i;;r:,
1964 (ed.
Siegfried
Schotq
NAWG;
C.;rring.r,,
Vandenhoeck
& Ruprecht,
1965)
69_7g. r04' For the dating
of the
Anrdr-rrr
"nd"rh.
uoot oe cates, see ra*".i'0.
wenre,
..Mysricisnr
in
Pharaonic
Egypt?"JNES
+t (191i2)
175_76.,";
,;"
Jan
Assmann,
Rc uru! A
':::,"i'i:;:Y{:y:f
{'^i;;K,{,:;;,::A;,f;;('ffi"ill'il'f"i"',3;i;::;,:":;::;'ri::;:,[
105. Dierer
Mi.iIer,
.,Der
gure
ui;nr,:, zAs ii
ltneg e6_44.
*,.#'r;*:,t*iT?,
ff:il,.};::f
;X*g',",.'*ii*,.'
*,,i,*n
in Ancient
Esypt (ed
il..
i-'
i:.,
frt',
trei.
ffi
tr'
&
Contexnalizing
Egyptian Representations
of Society and Ethnkity
373
was any presentation
of foreigners or enemies in continuous
written language,
which
was not used for such literary
Purposes
at that date. The same formulas
continued
in use for many centuries and were elaborated
with bureaucratic
completeness.
They
include foreign peoples in the direction of all the cardinal points; Egyptians (.hu-
mans'
frrutwl)
of all basic categoies: pct, rit; male, intersexual,roz
"rr4-5rrr"le;
the
dangerous dead, a group known in Middle and New Kingdom sources and appar-
ently changing quite often in names listed in line with political conditions;
arj
"I
possible cvil actions, including evil dreaming.
The Execration Texts disptay the interpenetration
of the ordered and disordered
cosnlos' as well as the apparent paradoxes
of simulcaneous
concerns with the set-
ting of boundaries
and with the enumeration
of the world outside, and of a mixing
of the foreign with what was threatening within Egypt. The counterpart
of this
interpenetration
is the religious depiction of sources of disorder as inhabiting
both
the world beyond and the border, together with the ostensibly ordered cosmos of
Egypt itself. what the Execrarion Texts do not show is any pragmatic
acceprance
of the constitution of human society, as against its arrangem.n, inro fixed catego-
ries. For the underlying inventories of categories, people, and places and for ih.
rituals that mobilized them, such an acceptance
was probably irrelevant.
Essentially the same vision is conveyed by Middle Kingdom literary texts, from
the Instruction for Merikare and the Semn:r-tJronarti
stelae of Senrvosret III (see
p. 357 above) to the Instruction of Khety.
1"8
Verbal vignerres in these characterize
foreigners, including Nubians and Asiatic nomads, as well as nany groups of sub-
ordinate Egyptians whose miserable lot is conrrasted with rhat of rhe scribe. This
genre of literary miniaturc was seen by Peter Seibert (see n. 108) as deriving from
a "speaking
custom" and may supply the missing continuous counterpart to the enu-
meration and listing of thc reliefs and the Execration Texts. The late dare at which
this nraterial is found should be related to rhe probabiliry
that there was no written
inraginative literature before this period, while the rather stereoryped characrer of
the vignettes may suggest that they derive from an oral genre different from those
which contributed to other instruction texts and to narrative fiction. The instruc-
tions relate td monumental biographies, while much in fiction relates to instruction
and related genres. The Instruction for Merikare harmonizes rhe contemptuous view
of foreigners with general cosmographic conceptions by stating that Asiatics have al-
ways attempted to infiltrate into Egypt and always will, that they are always pushed
107. This term, often rendered 'castrated',
designates a male category with female aspects. Since
there is no good evidence for eunuchs in Egypt, I use a vaguer rendering, which is also that of
Georges Posener, cinq jgurines
d'enuorttement (IFAO BdE 101; cairo: IFAO, 19g7) 37-3g.
108. Woltlang Helck, Die Lehre des Dw3-!tj (2 vols.; KAT; Wiesbaden: Harrassorvitz, 1970); trans-
lation: Lichthetm, Ancient Egyptian Literature, 1..184-92; important srudy: Peter Seibert, Die Charakter-
istik: Untersuchungen zu einer ahagyptischen Sprechsitte und ihren Auspriigungen itr Folklore und Literatur I (AA
1 7; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1967).
back
but can
never
be de*ated.
l'e
The status
quo
needs
constant
defense,
but the text does
not suggest
that foreigners
are the uldmate;;;;r""ring
instead
a com_ plex
medintion
around
"
,r...Iryp.
*'!'rrd!L
Lrrrcar'
c
In another
sense,
literarnr.
ir^ centrar
to erite
a$itudes
to the
alien,
because many
texts,
especially
of the_New
Kingdom,
narrate
traver
abroad.and
encounters
with
foreigners.
The world
abroad
...",.,
a space,
different
from
that
of the past, where
other
narrarives
are sited,
with
,h.
;;;;;';;;;r,"".e
from
the
estab_ lished
order
and commenr
on it. The ster.oryp;;il;'#lr"rio'
Texrs
were
in_ appropriate
here'
The presentation
or ro..lgrr.rs
varies
;;;"
and
berween
these texrs,
from
the stock
figure
to the subtle
,har^rtrri"^tio.,
or an individual.
The texrs
rhat
exploit
these
possibilities
to
*r."r.rr-.n..;:';;.
]rori.,
of Sinuhe
and w'enamun'
are among
rhe
most brillianr
fsr^ny""
.o''p"rrrro"s.
They
pose
prob_ lems
of genre
because
they
are ar the limit
of
..realism.j
ii.,
n*.
repearedly,
but I believe
wrongly,
been
seen
as "factual"
texts
copied
as works
of literature
rather than
as original
literary
creations'110
Some
authors
of imaginative
literature
seem
to have pitted
cheir
medium
against
the rnost
powerful
stereorypes
in traditional
writ- ten,
and probably
oral, culture-which
is a diftbren,
;;:."
from
assuming
that those,
stereorypes
were
universally
held.
rL rrrarrer
The literary
presenration
of foreigners
has been
the center
of discussion
prompted
by Antonio
Loprieno's
Tbpos
und {fti*rrirt
Zum
Ausltinder
itt der iigyptischen
Litera- tur;ttI
both
book
and
discussion
illustrate
,h;r".r;;;
"..'..r.rr"nt
here.
In his analyses'
Loprieno
uses theoretical
approaches
derived
in part from
structuralism-
His methods
may pay
insufiici.rrt
"tt.ntion
to genres
within
literary
traditions,
but they
are valuable
not leasr
because
rr,.f
lrirrg
out rhe speciar
chara*er
of Sinuhe and
wenamun-
His conclusions
on the narure
of the social
group
that produced
rhe works
are
nor without
difficulties,
because
he wishes
,.1..".
iro
of
..bourgeoisie,,
in
Middle
Kingdom
sociery;
while
it is possible
;.;;;Jr.o
,".r",
differenti_
ation
in this period,
the concept
,irt,
u.i.rg
anachronistic.
The
study
is thus
theo_
;;
j':*'
;:T ::* :: :jiT"ti::fl':
.'^":
-'nl
",
o.'
"*
.
""..
# o
-,,n
m o deri n g th e
374
John
Baines
socierv
that produced
the
*o.kr.
crit,.,
1r..";:"i;;i'il."ili"r.TT:fr:,*:
,.,a|:'.t
Helck'
Die Lehre-ftir
Kt)nig
Merikarc.
$$rxxiv-xxxv: Lichcheim,
Ancient
Esyptia,t
Literature,
lllr":T:iitrh,fi:f"l;f:: 'E;,|ol!:.'n#,:!,::1.;d:.:
.! :,,1: l-.,.
or Sinuhe
"na
,r,. rheory
3iiffH:il*liil?1::n,H:^!:,.,,^i::,^it:11it;;;,.";;;':;{,;",,'};,::";'#;Ti:;t:f
ffi:r
""#'*l.X3T;y5lil;';iu
,;:roi
"["Ji"^"?,,u,,1,"y"!{,::;f#7"!':#::J;:],3:.f"i'.i.jX-
nens,
..La
mission
d,ounamon
en
phdnicie:
p"i",
i."-
ruu'urrdrrug
sruoy
ot wenamun,
see cuy Bun_
6 (1978)
1-16:
see
^r..-i.t*",-,
Dt-"*:-^
-.-t
r,,.
"l:-d':"
non-dgyptologue,"
Rivista a, srririrrit
u (t?::)
1-1ut':.
also Liverani,
prestige
and tn*rrr,,247_54.
1 11. A. Loprieno,
Topos und Minel*:
zu* aurn irrl in"i, u,.^,,..r-_ r !,-..,,
assowitz,
19gg): revie*. .),,i.L-
..D
^,-j-
in der iigyptischen
Literatur (lia
+s; Wiesbaden:
iHn:g'.;:f'ffiT:::::**::,'".":!,:';*,::,*#;;"iXo"ii,ii!:,,!{,ll;#:f*:;
*.*;:il';:fi
fl':il:;:,**:7',:;;;i..;,:ll{}".fi
:'ii,W;'iJ-;l?,'ffi
-ff
;:
:::;;:";,*;:1?:::.#nf
*1,::.:,,:..:";:'ff
'T::.t::"Y^',Y,!9^?i;ilSf
],,i,2,1,;
':,3:::
{:::;,'ffi;1;iiTupp'
o"'-r'"*':;:
ff;'[:#:H1f'1'"Yj{ffiT:|';!::^*:;,
Leuven:
Peeters,
i99 l) 209_1g
Contextualizing Egyptian Representations of Society and Ethnicity 375
incompetent to address the theoretical issues. The abstention from theory tends to
PelPetuate
the notion that knowledge of the material is sufficient basis for interpre-
tation and thus both to weaken the critics' case for their positions and to evade a
true comparison of interpretive strategies. What the critics also do not adequately
take into account is that works of literature create their own realiry and frame of
reference, so that the simple citation of counter-evidence from other contexts and
genres may be an inappropriate critical response. In his attention to the texts as lit-
erary compositions, Loprieno is more thart the equal of his critics.
The evidence for official classifications and stereoryped attitudes in lists and in
much literature contrasts strongly with what can be seen of interactions with for-
eigners both outside and within Egypt. In the late old Kingdom, Egyptians used
foreign troops from the sourh in military campaigns toward Palestinell2 and in
expeditions into the Easrern Desert and to the far south.
113
The
clw'{orcign-
speakers(?)' employed on these expeditions appear to have been ethnic southern
mercenaries settled in Egypt; they were managed by "overseers"
who could be lead-
ing members of the Egyptian elite.
'!7hile
the
c3w
are archaeologically invisible, some
of them probably attained a high status, as is evidenced for the First Intermediate Pe-
riod by a cemetery of Nubians, with stelae, at Gebeleinila and for the 11th Dynasry
by the Egyptian-language graffiti of the Nubian Tjehemau at Abisko in Lower Nu-
bia.
115
Similar status was very rare during the 12th Dynasry116 and the absence of
foreigners from the leading stratum is probably symptomaric of increased govern-
mental and elite control, as had been the case during the Old Kingdom. From the
12th and 13th Dynasties there is considerable evidence for contact with foreigners,
through conquest in the south and immigration, as well as possible political expan-
sion, in the north. Many names of people held in a rype of "workhouse" in the 13th
Dynasry are Asiatic.
117
The word
"Asiatic"
became a synonym for
"slave,"
and this
112. Inscription of Weni; translation: Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literatnre, 1.19-20. The sche-
nratic and comprehensive listing oF groups in the text does not inspire confidence in its literal accu-
racy as a record.
113. See Lanny Bell, Interpreters and Egyptianized Nubians in Ancient Egyptian Foreign Policy: Aspexs
o-f the Histttry of Egypt and Nubia (Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvanin, 1976). For the destination of
southward expeditions, see David O'Connor,
"The
Locations of Yam and Kush and Their Historical
Significance,"
,lz4
RCE 23 (1986) 27
-50.
114. Henry George Fischer, "The Nubian Mercenaries of Gebelein during the First Intermedi-
ate Period," Kush 9 (1961) 44-80.
115. Edward Brovarski and'W'illiam
J.
Murnane, "Inscriptions from the Time of Nebhepetre
Mentuhotep II at Abisko," Serapis 7 (1969) 11-33.
116. For an example, see K. A. Kitchen, "Non*Egyptians Recorded on Middle-Kingdom Stelae
in Rio de
Janeiro,"
Middle Kingdom Studies (ed. Stephen
Quirke;
New Malden, England: Sia, 1991)
87-90. with references.
117. On the institution, see Stephen
Quirke,
"State and Labour in the Middle Kingdom: A
Reconsideration of the Terrn
[nrt,"
RdE 39 (1988) 83-106. For the Asiatic names, see Georges
Posener, "Les Asiatiquer .tt Egypt. sous les XIIe et XIII'dynasties," Syia 34 (1957) 145-63.
376
John
Baines
is no doubt
symptomatic
of a common
social
status
of immigrants.
ll8
Outside
the Dela'
the archaeological
evidence
for ethniciry
in the
cemetery
record
is almost nonexistent.
l te
It has sometimes
been
assumed
that this
usage
of "Asiatic,,
is a fossil
and that the people
themselves
were
assimilated,
but ,h.
";;;;;rr"'i"r
rnu interpretation
is that there
is little
trace
of ethnic
dispray
of foreigners
settled
in Egypt.
wh'e
the Derta finds
of the
parestinian
Middre
B.oor.
Ag. c.rrtrrr.
-"y
u. ._aence
for a later
phase
of immigration
than
that visible
in the texts,
rhese
finds
show
a sertremenr
process
that was ar least initiany
peaceful
and thus
fit berter
-iri
"
La"ar
influx
of peopre
who increasingly
retained
their
culture
of origin,
rather
ti".,
"rrimllating
fully to Egyptian
ways,
than
with a sudden
invasion.
t;il;;;'ri.
.rr,"i.
chara*er
of the population
of Egypr,
incruding
these "Asiatics,,,
is p.ob"utf
irr"dequare,
just
as ritde is known
about
most of the ,o.irl
grorrps
portrayed
so unflatteringly
in the Instruction
of Khery
and about
the composiiion
oiurb";;;;";""*i,.T',--il;r,
ffi:
chieflv
have
lived-
The kings
of the 13th
ori^v-i1Ji*o
i."ore
bearing
foreign
names'
quite
apart
from
the
Hyksos
dynasry
that
followea
1J".
ro:o-1520
n.c.e.).
Ethnic
foreigners
must therefor.
h"rr. penetrated
th. ..rrtr"r
.tir. or the late
Middle
Kingdom,
although
there is no evidence
that
they
ao-irrrt.a
rt. Nothing
in naming
,
pa*erns
suggests
that they
exploited
their ethnic
id.ntiry
* nr. in the ruling
group.
Similarly,
graves
of the
Medjay "pan-Grave,,
.ult,rr.
from
the Second
Inrerme_
diate
period
and the
beginning
of the New
Kingdrrrr,
*i,.i-;;,;;,.a:::
throughout
Egypt
and as fa. sorrth
as Kerma
in
Sudan,r?0
show
how
an ethnic
and occupational
group
had become
accepted,
u", .ror-r"
o*'rr"a.,, of power.
These people
were probably
local
m....rr".i.,
and
militia.
t' ti.
N._
ri"gaom
rhey
be_ came "police"
and lost their
disrin*ive
-"r..r"t.,rir;;..';; wi.rr,.,
rheir
ethniciry
also disappeared
is unknown,
but the change
in their
macerial
culture
in a period
of strong
cenrrar
rure is characteristi.
or ,r,."egy;;;
;;.r,
",
ethnic
groups.
It
ilJJ
il,.j!:g
ifirf"ppearance
of the i"di;;;.;,
;;;;
curture
comprex
in
This
material
provides
evidence
for a wide
range
of attitudes
to foreigners
and
modes
of classi$zing
them,
as well
as different
,.J"r*.nr,
oirn.-
evidenced
by variations
in the
archaeological
record-
An additional
strand
is the presentation
of Asiatics
in major
Middlekingdom
provincial
tombs,,22
where
regionar
fearures
118'
wolfgang
Helck,
"sklave
n," rA 5.9g4-g6.
At the 1991
Intemacionar
congress
of Egyptol_
i3'.,iLlXl;-H,,1**,:sented
a p"p'.';'A,,",.n
in lllahun,li
J,l.-'".,*u,.
detal
on naming
I l9' This is reviewed
briefly
by Richards,
**,lorr-variability
antr sociar Dffirentiation.
,.".irnr;,.\..#ilf::
3;..,:.t
.;prannengrrbe..,:
u isss_ffi;l
il,i"l,tr,.ay pan_Grave
ceme_
121.
Guillemette
Andreu,
,.polizei,,,
LA 4.106g_71.
122. Beni Hasan, paindng
of
,a
noma{ic
f:l S..rp
"fo"ders:^for
example,
Claude Vandersleyen.
Das
alte Agypten (propvlien-Kunstgeschichte
1s; s.,ilrr,
propylden,
197s)
pri,.r;li
p. 303 (H.
G. Fischer).
contextualizing Egyptian Representations
of society and Ethnicity 377
are also {bund in a militia,
123
as well as stereotyped
emaciation in a desert herds-
man.l14 These people are in a sense local exotica, and the tomb owners are shown
demonstrating a benign interest in and interaction with the outside world, interest
of a kind normally reserved for royalry. New Kingdom sources include groups of
delegates from the Aegean in particular and records of visits ro Punt. The Aegean
delegates would have arrived in an Egypt where the royal palaces contained images
of foreigners bound and trampled underfoot, probably including some captioned as
coming from their own region.
125
Even though they could not have read the in-
scriptions, they would have been aware of the discrepancy berween the treatment
they received in person and in iconography. The greatest integration of complex at-
titudes to the other is in a different context, in the enumerarion of plants and fauna
in the sanctuary area of rhe Festival Temple of Thutmose lll at Karnak, where ma-
terial from rvithin and outside Egypt, the normal and the monstrous and exotic, are
shown together. The relie6 are in a register on the wall in which gifts and people
from outside the temple were normally depicted, but the occurrence of such material
in a sanctuary area, as here, has few parallels.126
These
Presentations
of foreigners and the foreign, which exploit in a specialized
way the almost universal interest in the exotic, contrast with the vast irlumbers of
foreigners shown in subjection,
127
whose presence documents the obsessive side of
classiflcatory concem with, and apparent rejection of, the world outside. It is not
meaningful to reduce this variation to any single conception of the other. Since
these questions lie at the margin of the record, the considerable volume of relevant
evidence is an index of their underlying cultural significance.
123. The
/3mw
of el-Barsha: Percy E. Newberry, El-Bersheh 1(ASE 3; London: Egypt Explora-
tion Fund, n.d.) pl. 15.
12'1. Aylward M. Blackman, The Rock Tombs of Meir II (ASE 23; London: Egypt Exploration Fund,
le15) pls. 3, 22.
125. For the palace context, see O'Connor, "Beloved of Maat." The assumption that the lists
could have included Aegean names is based on their presence in the mortuary temple of Amen-
hotep III: Elmar Edel, Die Ortsnamenlisten aus dem Totentempel Amenophk IIL (Bonner Biblische Bei-
trlge 25; Bonn: Hanstein, 1966). For a valuable new study of this material, see David O'Connor,
"EgyPt and Greece: The Bronze Age Evidence," Black Athena Reuisited (ed. Mary Lefkowitz and Guy
Rogen; Chapel Hill: Univeniry of North Carolina Press, 1995) 49-61.
126. Nathalie Beaux, le cabinet des cuiositis de Thoutmosis III: Plantes et animaux du 'Jarilin Bota-
nique" de Karnak (oLA 36: Leuven: Peerers, 1990) esp. pp. 314-'17. one might, however, cite the
classificatory interest in all aspects of nature evinced in the Chamber of the Seasons in the 5th Dy-
nasry solar temple of Neuserre: Elmar Edel and Steffen Wenig, Die
Jahreszeitenreliefs
aus dem Sonnen-
heiligtum des Kdnigs Ne-user-Re (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Mitteilungen aus der Agyptischen
Sammlung 7; Berlin: Akademie, 1974).
127. Recorded by Eduard Meyer in an enonnous photographic collection, for which see his
"Bericht iiber eine Expedition nach Agypten zur Erforschung der Darstellungen der Fremdv<ilker,"
SPAW 1.913:769-801.
378
John
Baines
Ideological
Ethnicity:
The
,,Libyan,,
peiod
It is not possible
to rreat
here ethnicity
in the
New
Kingdom
(ca.
rs20_1070
s'c'e-),
when
there
was immigration
on a considerabr.
,."i.
and foreigners
who
retained
their
ethnically
distinciive
namr
ology
attachi,,g
; the banished
Hyk,",'ff::i*.;l"i::::
ii"ff.l:n-
initially
marked
a srep
away from positive
""il;;;;#*r2e
A similar
char*
acrerization
occurred.il
the 2oth
Dynas,y,
*h;;;;.
i*'.i'rn.
end of the 19th
Dynasry
were
ascribed
in the Great
Harris
papyrus
of the reign
of
Ramesses
IV to
a 'Syrian'
who had
ruled the country.
130
I leave
aside
questions
associared
with this
period
and concenrrare
on ethnic
starus and identiry
at the end
of the New
King_
dom'
These
have
become
topical
again
with the publication
of Libya antt
Egypt
c 1300-7i0
scr3r
and an import"nt
f,r.p"r"rory articre
by Anthony
Leahy.
r;z
'Vhile
the pct could
ori'ginally
t"* u..rr'"r,
.thrri.'gro,rp
*no rured
Egypt,
there
is little
evidence
that
.rh.ri.'id.rrrities
were
exploited
for sociar
advancement
before
the 20th
Dynasry
*r,..,
-"nf
;;;;"",
arrived
in Egypt
during
and after the
incursions
of the rate
13th and
early 12th cent,rries.
Royal ,"l.nor"*r"r;.'.il:
conquered
Libyans
were assigned
to military
settlemenrr,
ih.
majoriry
probably
in
the north'
In this period
rheiraditional
bureaucracy
was in decline
and rhe impor_
tance
of the
m'itary
and the priesthood
was growing.
As rhe king,s
power
ress_
ened' these
rwo groups
b.."-.
dominant.
The rise
of Libyans
is thus
associated
with
major
changes
in power
structures
and is closely
.o.rrr..r.o
with the military.
During
the reign
of
Ramesses
XI (1 to!
_:^.
tozs
o.c.r.j,
tn. *itit".y
and the
priesthood
came
rogerher
in the person
of Herihor,
pr.;;u,
a ,ordier,
who took
128'
Nubians
tended
to assimilate
by taking
names associared
with rhe mler of the day; see
paul
John
Frandsen,
"Heqareshu
and the rr#r,
"?'?rrh-ori,
tqli
a ,",r'ir"t
"ru)5_10.
An example
of
an Asiatic is the vizier Aoer-el
of the later iarn oyn"r,y,
whose
tomb ar Saqqara
is bcing e.xcavated
bv
Alain-Pierre
Zivie'
See'rtit "nttn.-rr.r;;:.;;".s
rdcenres
d"n, I" to-b.
dAperia
a saqqerah.;.
CRAIBL
1989: 490-505'
In the Middle
*t"*i"-,
the Asiatics
",
,rr"r-,"r"-..e
almosr all given names
of Senwosret
II' the founder_-of
the
-*;,-;?;;;,
a common
name
of high_ranking
women
of rhe
period
(see
Luft,
..Asiaten
in Illahun,,).
129' This is visible in different
ways in rhe inscriptions
of Kamose (Habachi,
Tlrc Setontr Stera of
Kamose)
and in retrospective
attitudes
ro Hyt
",
rule,,p.ncip.alrr;;;;;;ur,
rvho crearly
manipu_
:il:.Jf"l*i.:r3:rff:;t,H;:.i*;/*n
H Gardiner,
"o""i..r,'c"pv
or the c;*,ip'...
130.
W. Erichsen,
*,
:^!:r::
i: Hierog;yphkche
Tianskription(BAe
5; Brussels:
Fondation
Egyp_
tologique
Reine Elisabeth,
.19.33)
91; for a ,ff; ; the passage,
see
Jean-Marie Kr'chten,
,.La
fin de
la XIXe dynastie
vue d'aor'is
la-section
'rriri"riq".;
du
papyrus
Harris I,,, Annuaire
de I,Institut
de
phi- lologie
et d'Histoire
orientates
et Slaues zs
firJijlauo.
131'
Libya anil Egypt c 1300-750
a. (ed.
Anthony
Leahy;
London:
SoAS
centre of Near and
Middle
Eastern
Studies and
Sociecy for rty."
sr"Ji..,
irtsoD.'Mr.i;#
follows
is based
on this
work'
especiallv
David
o'connor,
"rr'. nlr"..
ot t:.Tn:
(iio-;:;ry'i" ,t
"
Larer New
King_
dom"'pp'
29-113,
and Leahv, "Abvdos;;;lilt
"
period,,,pp.
155-200;
see arso n.132.
t. (l;;otitl;]
t*n" "The
Libvan r"ioa io igvpt:
An Essay
in Inteqpretati
on:. Libyan
studies
contextualizing Egyptian Representations
of society and Ethnicity
379
over the high priesthood of Amun in Thebes.l33
while Herihor,s name and that of
his wife are Egyptian, those of several of their children are Libyan. This pattern can
be interpreted in trvo ways: either Libyan names had acquired a starus that rendered
them attractive to ethnic Egyptians, or the parents were ethnic Libyans who bore
Egyptian names because of their prestige in traditional Egyptian culture but chose
Libyan names for their children, perhaps because they had become more generally
acceptable or because they had acquired a positive value. The idea that ethnic Egyp-
tians would take Libyan names is not very plausible, so the hypothesis that Herihor
was Libyan is more likely. This means that by this date an ethnic Libyan had reached
the highest status in sociery short of royalty.134 He probably achieved ofiice with ini-
tial support from Ramesses XI, even though he quickly became independent.
The
genealogical
succession from Herihor to later high priests is uncertain, but several
related 21st Dynasry holders of the office had riby"n names.r3s The,l"-. of rcipg
osorkon I (often
known as osochor) of rhe later 21st Dynasry is also Libyan.136
Thus, ethnic Libyans had penetrated the highest levels in Egyptian sociery in
Thebes in the south by the late 20th Dynasry. Evidence is spane in the north,
where Libyans were in general more heavily settled, but they were certainly in a
leading position by the later 21st Dynasry. Since the royal and high priestly families
were probably linked by marriage, the royal family may well have been partly or
fully Libyan before the time of the first king with a Libyan name (it is uncerrain
whether the dynasty consisred of a single ruling family). Most kings of the 22d-
24th Dynasties (designations
that cover more than three ruling houses) had Libyan
names and, during the 9th-7th centuries, holders of Libyan titles, principally
"Great
chief of the M(eshwesh)," came to be crucial in the .o.rnr.y,, increasingly
fragmented political life. Thus, while the center of Libyan settlemenr was in rhe
north, the elite was Libyan in much of the country.
Yet, despite this "Libyanization"
of the ruling group, these people cannor be
shown to have changed much in Egypt's 6ulguls-25 against its politics, where an
impact is supported especially by Leahy-and it is nor meaningful ro term rhem
simply "Libyans"
when they and their forebears presided over a marked revival of
traditional Egyptian culture in the earlier 22dDynasty (ca.945-ca.
g30
n.c.e.),137
133. For a detailed study of the following period, see K. A. Kitchen, The T'lird Intermediate
peiod
in Egypt (1100-650 B.c.) (2d ed.; Warminster: Aris &
phillips,
1986).
134. Herihor claiiryred a limited kingship at Karnak (see Marie-Ange Bonh6me, "Hdrihor
fut*il
effectivement roi?" BIFAoTg
[1979]267-83),
bur that does nor affect the issue here.
135- See Edward F. Wente, "Preface," The Tbmple oJ Khonsu I: Scenes oJ Khry Heihor in the Court
(OIP 100; Chicago: The Oriental Instirute, 1979) x-xiv.
136.
Jean
Yoyotte, "'osorkon fils de Mehytouskhd,' un pharaon oublid," BSFE 77-7g (1976-
77) 39-s4.
137. For example, decoration of the sed-fesdval hall of Osorkon III (formerly II) at Bubastis: Ed-
ouard Naville, The Festival Hall of Osorkon in the Creat Tbmple oJ Bubatis (1887-188, (MEEF 10; Lon-
don: Kegan Paul, Trench, Triibner, 1892). Following the lead ofJean Yoyotte, Leahy has discussed the
380
John
Baines
and by the 8rh century
B.c.E. they had resided
in Egypt
for up co 500 years (the
exrenr
of continuing
immigration
is unknown,
uurli'i,
likery
that it occurred).
Their forebears
had come
from a sociery
with ress highly
developed
social
and cul_
tural institurions
than rhose
of Egypt.
Unlike
the
Gr"eeks
in later
times, they
seem
ro have rehined
no more than a few words
of their r""g""g.r3s
or features
of their
culture
of origin.
Leahy suggesrs
thar changes
in burial
i.".t.,
in the 21st Dynasty
and later,
as well as the generally
reduced
revel
of p.orrirroo
ror the next worrd,
may
be signs
of Libyan
influence.
He is, however,
"*-.-"il*.""lties
in this proposal,
and the phenomenon
could
as wet be an inrern"r
E;p;;;;'deveropment.
He also
suggesrs
thar the ressening
of the distin*ion
u.r*..riiirrg,
".ra
other
members
of
the elite in this period
may be a
"Libyan"
a.r,.top-.r,r.ii,,
is prausible
for the
political
fragmentation
of the latest part of the p.riod,
but there are parallels
for a
reduced
status
for kings in the l3trrDynasry
"'ri-.
*l.n'rn.r.
is likely
ro have
been less influence
from
non-Egyptian
ethnrc
groups
since the ethnic
foreign
Hyk_
sos who imposed
their rure formed
a separate
dynasty
that was, unlike
the
..Libyan,,
rulers'
rejected
by its successors.
This slight social
r."airrg
.""t0 u. more generally
characteristic
oF periods
of weak rule.
It may be fruitful
to see the changes
of this period
more in terms
of a manipulated
ethnicirv
than of srrong
curtural
influence
fi-.;
;.
:.;t;;;:"group.
Ethnicity
had
become
a positive
marker,
enhancing
social
status and influence
in a rvay that it had
not done in earlier"periods,
but this does not necessarily
mean that the possessors
of a distinct
ethniciry
exhibited
a sffong
cultural
difference
r.on ort... *;;il;;
the elite' This
development
was surely fostered
by the military
power
base of the
Libyans,
in a sronglv
military
period.
politicar
.h;g.
*;;';;;.,
the influence
of a
military
group
that was primarily
Libyan
and was regionally
based; the sate retained
these
military
features
in post-Liby"r,
,i-.r-
The orhrr.nt.i
*o"ru;;;
;;";.ff;
traditional
culture in
the first millennium,
the priesthood
,o*.'rh.,
with the tempres
and their endowmen*,
was inherited
from
th.l"t.
New
Kirigdom.
rfhe ethnic
Lib_
yans penetrated
the priesthood
too, bur ro a lesser
degree
thln they penetrated
the
milicary
elite.
Apart from the Theban
priests
of the 21st Dynasry,
they
are evident
among priests
more in the north than the south.
Their
lesser prominence
in this
sphere
could relate to their not being integrated
into and ffained in traditional
cul-
ture'
These distinctions
might, ho*..r..,
have diminirn.i
""..'ri-.,
".J
,n.
''rirt'
had its own bureaucracy
and culture.
Leahy's
contribution
is valuable
particularly
in proposing
new interprerive
strate-
gies for this period
and in insisting
on the need
for a theoretical
framework
for in_
srgnsofanarchaizinganisdcrevivalinthelate8th."
change, 7so-s2s
u:.., ir,. Brue and ."0 ...*"ii:irJ";ibi\"{ir]:T'ffii:.T$?:l'::
Egyptian,
rarher than Libyan, sryles of much earlier times,
138' This is suggested
by the fact that Libyan ranguage (or
languages),
which is largely.unknown,
;X$t:l#"fined
to names; even ,,r,o., h"i littte i-p".i
,c", ii.-;iiur"n,,
period
and the early
contextualizing Egyptian Representations
of society and Ethnicity 381
terpretation. I differ from him in seeing ethnicity and the interplay
of social groups
as having more significance than "Libyan"
cultural inheritance.
A distinctiop i.,
"i-
proaches of this sort would not have emerged without the initial assumptions
that
the record should be questioned for whar it may hide and that the society may
have been more diverse than can easily be seen. The concept of ethniciry
and its
possible manifestations is derived from the social sciences; I suggest that another
application of the concept offers a clearer way of understanding
the developments
of this period. [t may also avoid two difficulties in Leahy's interpretation:
that
rather little in the high culture of the time points to specific Libyan influence; and
that any distinctive Libyan contribution would have had to be retained for many
generations after the people themselves had left their culture of origin. Ethniciry in
people of tribal origin may have been more significant politically than culrurally,
since high culture was entirely based on Egyptian tradition.
r3e
Ethniciry is an alternative ideology sited in a plural sociery. This ideology is,
however, limited in that it may not be deeply anchored in the wider culture or in
its cosmology. The emergence of a long-lasting
ruling group that exploited ethnic-
ity therefore marked a pluralization of elite political ideology, but not necessarily of
culture. The ensuing Late Period (664-332
n.c.e .), during which Libyan ethniciry
was finally suppressed, seems to have brought an overt recognition of the ideologi-
cal potential of ethnicity, probably coupled with the desire to remove from power
a group-from which the 26th Dynasty itself came-thar was not committed to
the centralized rule associated with traditional
Egyptian'culture.
r'r0
Ar least from
the reign of rhe 25th Dynasry king Taharqa (690-664),
Libyans were cast as ene*
mies on the monumenrs,
and Psammetichus I (664-610)
of the 26th Dynasry
although himself very probably of ethnic Libyan extracrion, seems to have taken
military measures against the Libyans.
l{l
Nonetheless,
the same period shows in-
creasing evidence for a pluraliry of ethnic groups, interests, and ultimately ethnic
strife. Some of this material is of a kind not preserved from earlier periods and
hence could suggest the presence of features that had been present during them
while leaving no identifiable evidence, but other elements are probably due to the
139. For an illuminating, theorerically-oriented study of ethniciry in Westem Asia, where the
phenomenon was probably more prominent than in Egypt, see Kathryn A. Kamp and Norman
Yoffee, "Ethnicity in Ancient'Western Asia during the Early Second Millennium n.c.: Archaeological
Assessments and Erhnoarchaeological Prospecives," B,4SOR 237 (l9g})
g5-104.
140. For the latest occurrence of a title including the rerm Meshwesh, see Robert K. Ritner,
"The End of the Libyan Anarchy in Egypt: P Rylands IX. cols. ll-r2,- Enchoria 17 (1990) 101-g.
141' Taharqa: relie6 at Kawa, M. F. Laming Macadam, The Tbmples oJ Kawa II: History and Ar-
chaeology of the Site (London:
Oxford University Press for Griftith Insritute, 1955) pl. 9; rhese repro-
duce the design known from the reliefs of Sahure (Borchardt
et al., Das Grabdenkmal des Kdnigs
Sa3hu-Re'II); stela west of Dahshur: Harrwig Altenmi.iller and Ahmed M. Moussa,
"Die
Inschriften
der Taharkastele von der Dahschuntrasse," Sz{K 9 (1981) 57-84 (no specific mention of Libya).
Psammetichus I: Hans Goedicke, "Psammetik I. und die Libyer," MDAIK 18 (1962) 26-49 (text
mentions a Libyan conspiracy).
382
John
Baines
tncreasing
integration
of Egypt in the
Near
Eastern
world
and
movement
of peoples
and colonization.
widespread
From
the latest
periods
there
comes an increasingry
negative
image
of foreigners
and other
culrures,
epitomized
in the proscription
or rrr.loa
Seth,
who had sym_
bolized
both the creative
disorder
of th. ordered
world
"rid
,t. desert
and foreign
lands,
but now was identified
as a reviled "Mede.,,
1a2
yer
this
material
is limited
and
in itself
rells us little
of Egyptian
rea*ions
ro foreign
,"*.'**r*
Egyptian
cemples
of the Greco-Roman
period
bear hardry
any evidence
of influence
from other
cur_
tures'
while
their scenes
of destruction
of ..r.-i.,
"r.
-".n--ore
schematic
than
those
of the New Kingdom.
In one ,.r,r.,
ch.i.;;;;;;
of tradition
is propa_
ganda,
yet
there arises
all the more strongry
the question
of audience,
because
the
world
of native
Egyptian
culture
and
of the temples
had
become
almost
serf_
conrained
and resrricred
to a still sma'er
group
than in."di;;;;;r,;;;;.;
people
could read
hieroglyphs.
The everyday
world
produces
ample
evidence
of
cultural
mixing,
.o-proJrir.,
"na
,rrrfirrg
ethniciry
with
the difference
that native
Egyptians
were the disadvantag.d
gro,rp.
Greek
papyrorogisrs
have tended
ro em_
phasize
how little
contacr
th..e
*a, berween
Egyptians
"rrd
G...k,
and how rittle
Greeks
assimilated
to the local culture.
1a3
This
.,rrr,
fi.rd cannot
be covbred
here.
Knowledge
of the- intelplay
of peopres
in Egvpt
in rater
""ri;;;'ri"-Ti.;.,
but the available
evidence
in...ar.,
continuallyr4a
and is more likely
than
earlier
periods
to surprise
with new sources.
In generar,
Iater periods
have left
a more
diverse
record
than earlier
ones, partly
because
of changes
in decorum
and the re_
laxation
of centrar
conrrol.
Fo, irr.r.,
such
as ethniciry
it is desirable
to use this
fuller
information
as a source
of models
and parailer,
io. int"rprering
earlier
evi_
dence:
The graduar
prurarization
of culrure
is not in doubt,
but despite
the real
differences
between
earrier
and rater times,
knowledge
of sociery
in the Greco_
Roman
Period
may help to construct
improved
models
for earlier
times.
ee'.1'r.1;','J;i*',
.f;J;",Sii{iirliio.n:
A stuttv of His Rote irr Eqvptian
.\rvthoto.qy
an,t Reti.qiort
143' This field is developing
rapidly'
see, for example,
Ethnieity
in Heilenistic
Egypt (ed.per
Bilde et al'; Studies
in Hellenistic
ciuirir"rio.,
:; a".rrr'rr,
.^"ty
uni.,r.oif
n..rr,
,nnrl,
Naphtali
Lewis, Creeks in Ptolemaic
Egypr (Oxford:
Clarendon,
iriq O_rrKoen
Coudria
^n,-itnniri,y
in
ptoleuaic
Egypt
(Dutch
Monographs
on Ancient
History
"r,a
Ar.f,".otogy
5; Amsterd"_,
t,.U.n,
19gg);
Roger S.
Bagnall, "Greeks
and Egyptians:
Ethniciry
s,"tus, ;nd
culture,,,
creopatra,s
Egypt: Age of the
ptoremies
(Exhibition
cacalogue;
Brooklyn:
rr,. n.".uf"
rvr*.u-,,rss
e1 x-zz;
Llfe- in a Murtieurturar
Societlr Egyptfrom
Cambyses
to Constantin_e,and
Beyond (ed.
Janet
H.
Joinson; Sadi
sr; Chicago:
The Ori_
ental Instirute,
1992);
csaba A. Lidr, rl*
p*itr^
o{Ethnie
bn;gr"rr'ori-iiZrerk
ood Demotic
oJfuiar Papyrifrom ptolemaic
Egypt (phD,
diss.,
U.rirr..riry-of
Cambndge,
in preparation).
144' For the Roman
3.itit9:
see Roger s. Bagnall,
Egypt in Late Antiquity(princeron: princeron
Univeniry
press,
1993);
v/illyclarysse.
;rgyfrr""i..iu.,
w.iting
cr*r.,r'iar
68 (1993)
rg6_201,; David
Frankfurrer,
"Review
of Bagnan,
ng:wi ir-;t,
Antiquity,,,
Eryn Mo-rzhrricar
Reuiew
5 (1gg4) 95-102;
idem' "Lest
Egvptt
ciry*Be Dei#ed:
n r1s,.i
rro'io*t'.rr'lrlrnl
egyp,i"r,
Response
ro
theJewish
Revolt (t 16_t17
c.e.),,,Journal
ofJe;isi
Studies
43 (1gg))
203_20.
I
Context*alizing Egyptian Representations of Society and Ethnicity
Conclusion
I have only sketched the topics of this paper. [n reviewing evidence for foreign-
ers, I have also suggested that more complex models of sociery should be con-
structed. For the rest, I have attempted to apply well-established modes of analysis,
in literature, iconography, and in the interpretation of the record through consid-
eration of the role of writing and literacy, and have tried to show how these can
yield improved understanding if appropriate questions are asked and diverse cate-
gories of material are addressed. An underlying premise has been that the products
of ancient ideologies are sophisticated artifacts of elite culture; these should repay
an unpatronizing analysis that brings to bear methods comparable with those used
on other complex arcifacrs of major civilizations. The chronological priority of the
Near East has tended to be an obstacle to informed analysis, because it has fostered
an over-evolutionary perspective. The Near East has often been seen as "p.."-
Classical or "pre"-biblical and has been valued for its legacy to other cultures more
than on its own terrns. These "Orientalist" attitudes are now fortunately in decline.
Here, for all its radical pretensions, the approach of Martin Bernal's Black Athena
perpetuates a dependent position in which the ancient Near East has been placed
in relation to the
'West,
ra5
while also negating methods of research that enable an-
cient Near Eastern studies to be seen on their own and allow the cultures of the
region to be analyzed as autonomous phenomena.
An essential and awkward prerequisite for studying ideology is an awareness that
access to all but the elites in these societies is limited. This is a necessary conse-
quence of their inequaliry especially in Egypt. Research into the composition of
complete societies, beyond the small percentage addressed in this paper, is as desir-
able for a full comprehension of ideology as for any other purpose. In the case of
Egypt, such research must look to environmental and other models and must make
the most of very sparse evidence, because of the unfavorable conditions for excava-
tion and survey of all but certain cemctery sites. There are more lacunae than
pieces of evidence, so that in a sense the gaps are the evidence: we should not be
too afraid of arguments from silence. New approaches to cemetery evidence are
also promising here.
146
No single approach is likely to transform understanding of ancient Near Eastern
ideology. While field discoveries in Western Asia may enlarge areas of knowledge
vastly or create new ones, this is less likely for Egypt, where a continuing enrichment
145. Martin Bernal, Black Athena: The Afroasiatk Roots oJ Western Ciuilization (2 vols. of 4; New
Brunswick, NJ.: Rutgen Universiry Press, 1987-91). It is thus surprising that vol. 2 carries a lauda-
tory comment by Edward Said, author of Oientalism (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978), on
vol. 1. For cornmentary see
John
Baines, "On the Aims and Methods of Black Athena," Black Atbena
Revkited (ed. Mary Lefkowitz and Guy Rogen; Durham, N.C.: Univeniry of North Carolina Press,
1996) 27'-16.
i46. For example, Richards, Mortuary Vaiabitity and Social Dffirentiation.
383
John
Baines
and new rypes of insights
from new techniques
can more rearisticaily
be expected.
Even without
these prospects'
the range of material
available
and of approaches
that
can be applied
to it-including
thoseihar
cannor
be anticipated-will
allow a con-
tinuing
refinement
and deepening
of interpretations.
Some categories
of evidence
have been lirtle exploited.
Thus, srudies
of kingship,
"
..;;.; r;*
; ;r;;;:
have seldom focused
on evidence
from the later
New Kingdom
and Late
period,
from
which the proportion
of accessible
but unpublish.d
J. unstudied
material
is
high'
t+z
Expansion
and consolidation
of interpretarion
can build on a mass of evi-
dence relaring
to problems
of ideology.
Despite
the range of detailed
work and specialist
areas within
their field, many
scholars
of the ancient
Near East retain a holistic perspective
on the ,..r.;;.r;;;
study' which is their single greatest
asset. This perspe.rirr.
i, made the more pow_
erful by the identification
of organizing
fearures
oi th. record,
among
;;;f
;;.
that I consider
significant
is decor,r-
i' Egyptian
material.
il ;ri.;'rrr".1;;
method
that is still only beginning
to yield its ..s.rlts
is the application
of models
and theories,
many derived from other disciplines.
There is a tension
between
holistic study
and separare
disciplines.
Ancient
Near
Easrern studies
do no-c constitute
a discipline.
Th.y o.. b.o.rih, togerher
tempo_
rally and geographically
by their object
of study,
and their lpproo.h
is eclectic.
whereas for better-known
civilizations
the_ contributing
disciplines
tend to keep a
distance
from one another,
this is hardly the case fo. th. ,rr.i.rr,
Near East. This
holistic pluralism
is crucial ro perceptions
of ancier,,
,o.i*i.,
and helps ro creare
more sober models of them, b,rt the corollary
is often a relatively
low level of theo-
retical sophistication'
This price is worth paying
for the materials
and perspectives
the societies
offer. Its principal
implicarion
is that
ancienr
Near Eastern
studies
must exist in interchange
with other fields.
The increasing
presence
of the ancienr
Near
East in wider
forums
of discussion
and research
,.rrrn*
,. ;;;
;;;.;;
awareness
of its role throughout
the humanities.
This standing
-ill
itr.li.;;;;;;
::_.1,11-T:.r
within
the field through
internal
dev.lopm.r,i
and through
cross_
IerUlrzatlon-
147' See now
(Jnula
Rtissler-Kcihler,
Indiuiduelle.Hahungen
zum iigyptisclten
Kinigtum
der spiitzeit:
Private
Quellen
uncl ihre Kit:i{s^wutu:rs
im spannungsf.etd
zwisc"hen
er*,i*lrg-"*a
Erfahrung(GoF
4:21;
.Wiesbaden:
Harrassowirz,
l_r^? :h"
r.r,i"*s Uyl,i.g.r,
Osing (OLZ
88
[1993J
486_89)
and Karl
Jansen-winkeln
(Bior
50
[1993]
595-604)
ao .,ot ao justice
to the book',s contributions.
see also
Diana A' Pressl' "Zur Krinigsideologie
der 26. Dynastie:
lJntersuchungen
anhand der
phraseologie
der Kcinigsinschriften"'
sAK 20 (lgga)
223-54. Anthony
Leahy is n"rrrrj"g
i book o' Aspects of saite
Kingship. For the Graeco-Roman
period,
see n. 70 here.