Episode 89: Lords of the Desert


In 1414 BCE, a man named Nebi led a convoy of soldiers and convicts out into desert wastes of the Sinai Peninsula. They went in search of copper; along the way, they revealed new stories from middle- and lower-class Egypt. We explore.


Direct Download (Save As mp3)



One of Nebi’s two canopic jars (Björkman 1974)


Gun Björkman, “Neby the Mayor of Tjaru,” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, 1974.

Betsy M. Bryan, The Reign of Thutmose IV, 1991.

Andrea M. Gnirs, “Coping with the Army: the Military and the State in the New Kingdom,” in Ancient Egyptian Administration, 2013.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Great episode. I enjoy it when we get away from the one percent of antiquity and travel among the unwashed masses. :-} A question though, I know the Egyptian maritime tradition is not strong, but In looking at the map I wonder why they did not travel at least part of the way by boat?

    1. DominicPerry says:

      Hi Thomas 🙂

      It is entirely possible that they did sail part way by boat; unfortunately no record has survived of it. In Nebi’s case, the departure point of Tjaru suggests a mostly overland route. Had he been leaving from Memphis, they almost certainly would have travelled to the coast, and then sailed from there.


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