Episode 39: The Wealth of Asia

Nubkaure Amenemhat II (Part II): Wealth and Splendour

Egypt is prospering around the year 1927-1910 BCE. In the early years of his reign – contemporaneous with his building projects (episode 38) – the king begins launching expeditions to lands outside Egypt.

Trade missions to and from the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine) bring wealth and exotic goods into Egypt. Goods even arrive from as far afield as southern Turkey and the Aegean Sea, finding their way into the temples being built or renovated by the king.

Nubkaure’s reign is remarkable for the archaeological finds of alTod that give testament to the foreign wealth entering the kingdom. This wealth goes to fund a number of building projects.

The king’s name also becomes associated with the Great Sphinx of Giza, thanks to Egyptologist Ludwig Borchardt and a few fringe authors today…

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The reach of Nubkaure’s contacts (direct and indirect).

An Asiatic trade deputation or migration (Source: the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology Classroom – Brown.edu).

The al-Tod Treasure (Source: the Louvre Museum, Paris).

The al-Tod Treasure (Source: the Louvre Museum, Paris).

The al-Tod Treasure (Source: the Louvre Museum, Paris).

The al-Tod Treasure (Source: the Louvre Museum, Paris).

The pylon of Nubkaure’s temple at Hermopolis (Source: Sebastien Polet).

Transporting a statue (possibly of Nubkaure), from the tomb of Thoth-Hotep at Beni Hassan (Source: Emhotep).

The family-tree of Beni Hassan (as far as I can figure it out).

The Tanis Sphinx of Nubkaure Amenemhat II. (Source: Wikipedia).

Bibliography:

Wolfram Grajetzki – The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. 2006.

Nicolas Grimal – A History of Egypt. 1994.

Ezra S. Marcus – “Amenemhet II and the Sea: Maritime Aspects of the Mit Rahina (Memphis) Expedition.” Egypt and the Levant vol. 17 (2007) – Free Download (Academia.edu)

K.R. Maxwell-Hyslop – “A Note on the Anatolian Connections of the Tod Treasure” Anatolian Studies vol. 45 (1995) – Read Free Online (JSTOR)

Lawrence E. Stager – “Port Power in the Early and the Middle Bronze Age: The Organization of Maritime Trade and Hinterland Production.” Studies in the Archaeology of Israel and Neighboring Lands in Memory of Douglas L. Esse. 2001. – Free Download (Oriental Institute, University of Chicago)

Metropolitan Museum News – the Colossal Statue of Amenemhat II.

Reshafim.org – the biography of Thoth-Hotep.

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