Friday, June 20, 2008

More re: Ancient Egyptian administrative building, silos unearthed in Edfu


When grain was currency
"Ancient Egyptian administration is mainly known from texts, but the full understanding of the institutions involved and their role with towns and cities has been so far difficult to grasp because of the lack of archaeological evidence with which textual data needs to be combined," says Nadine Moller, assistant professor at the Oriental Institute of Chicago University and head of the archaeological mission in Tel Edfu. At Tel Edfu, Moller says, the mission has uncovered what is considered to be a downtown centre, a community located half way between the modern city of Aswan and Luxor. Tel Edfu was also a rare example where almost 3,000 years of ancient Egyptian history are still preserved in the stratigraphy of a single mound.

"These monuments were found at the core of the ancient community as grain was a form of currency at that time, while the silos functioned as a sort of bank as well as a food source," Moller said, adding that the size of both the silos and administration buildings shows that the community was apparently a prosperous urban centre.

"Grain, which was usually barley or emmer wheat, was used as food and medium of exchange. One form of payment was the monthly ration of grain," Moller said.

The columned hall was the place where the scribes would possibly do the accounting, the opening and sealing of the containers, and receive letters.

The period when the administrative centre was in use is the time in history when Egypt lost its political unity and a small kingdom developed in Thebes which controlled most of Upper Egypt. During this period one can see an increase in connections between the provincial elite, such as the family of the governor, to the royal family at Thebes who were keen on strengthening bonds through marriage or by awarding important offices to these people.

See the above link for more

No comments: