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Early Names

 
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ImhotepsAprentice
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:07 am    Post subject: Early Names Reply with quote

What is the early Old Kingdom Egyptian name for Nubia?
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Robson
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ta-Sety (Land of the Bow), I guess.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that in some of the early inscriptions they may have referred to specific regions in what we now call Nubia.

Harkhuf traveled south during the 6th dynasty and in his inscriptions he mentions traveling to Yam (or Iam).

Breasted mentions Yam, Irtet, Sethu and Wawat as regions in the south. There is mention of the Chief of Irtet, Sethu and Wawat.

See Breasted's Ancient Records (Google books) and do a search on Yam (or Wawat) and you will see several texts that refer to those regions.
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neseret
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is from a document I wrote as part of a museum education project on Nubia some years ago; much of the information is based upon online articles on Nubia, one written by Peter Piccione in the 1990's (which is no longer online), another online article by Bruce Williams of the University of Chicago, and from information found in this work:

O'Connor, D. 1993. Ancient Nubia: Egypt's Rival in Africa. Philadelphia: University Museum/University of Pennsylvania.
===============================================
From the Old Kingdom onward, in addition to Ta-Seti, the Egyptians applied the name Ta-Nehesy as a general designation for Nubia. At the same time, Egyptians gave the name Wawat specifically to Lower Nubia. This name derived from one of several Nubian chiefdoms which were located in this region during the late Old Kingdom.

A generic designation of the desert nomads of Nubia was the term Iuntiu or Iuntiu-setiu, "Nubian tribesmen (lit. 'bowmen')." The names which the Egyptians used to refer to the various parts of Nubia and its different peoples usually changed depending upon the era and the particular tribal group in a given area. Elsewhere in the Old Kingdom, the names Irtjet, Zatju, and Kaau were used of particular people and areas of the country. The Land of Yam, visited by Harkhuf, Governor of Elephantine, in the late Sixth Dynasty, was apparently located around the Fifth or Sixth Cataracts.

Since the Old Kingdom, the Egyptians often enjoyed a productive relationship with a nomadic Nubian tribal people from the land of Medja in the Eastern Desert, named the Medjay (called the "Pan-Grave People" by archaeologists). As fierce warriors, they were incorporated as mercenaries into the Egyptian army as early as the Sixth Dynasty. Later in the New Kingdom, they were employed as the police force in Egypt, and the word medjay became the ancient Egyptian term for "desert policeman."

About 2300 BCE, during the Egyptian Sixth Dynasty, a new culture appeared in Nubia, which archaeologists call C-Group. Cattle played an important role in this culture, as they have in many other African societies since. Evidence indicates (e.g., the account of Harkhuf) that at certain periods in the reigns of Merenre and Pepi II, the Upper Nubian chiefdoms of Irtjet and Zatju, as well as Wawat in Lower Nubia, united together under a single ruler. At some point, this C-Group union might even have included the Early Kerma culture, which was distantly related to the C-Group. Evidently, Yam stayed independent of this confederacy. The purpose of the union, undoubtedly, was to resist Egyptian penetration and colonization of Nubia. For that reason, the Egyptians led by Hekayib, Governor of Elephantine, launched a military campaign to suppress the C-Group, splitting Wawat from the confederacy and helping to stabilize Egyptian control of the region. However, the Egyptians were not able to pacify Nubia entirely, despite several military campaigns in the Sixth Dynasty. Nubia remained restive for the remainder of the Old Kingdom.

From the Middle Kingdom onward, the Egyptians regularly used the name Kash to refer to the powerful independent kingdom based in Upper Nubia, first at Kerma (until that was destroyed by the Egyptians in the sixteenth century BCE), thereafter at Napata, then Meröe (pronounced "meroway"). Kash is identified as the Land of Kush in the Holy Bible, first in Gen 10:6. Kush's political dependency was the territory of Sha'at (in the region of the Isle of Sai). Other names attested at this time (mostly in execration texts) are: Iryshek, Tua, Imana'a, and Ruket. In the eastern mountains were Awshek and Webet-sepat.

In the Thirteenth Dynasty, sometime between the reigns of Neferhotep I and Sebekhotep IV (ca. 1751-1730 BCE), commercial contacts between Kerma and Lower Egypt came to an end, while contact with Upper Egypt remained constant. Upper Egypt became the sole source of supplies and personnel to the Egyptians in Nubia. After the Egyptian government finally evacuated its interests in Nubia--the army, and the bulk of the civil service having being recalled to Egypt--most of the settlers seemingly also returned home.

C-Group kept its cultural identity under Egyptian rule, but the land of Kush to the south and the Medjay people of the Eastern Desert remained independent. Kush, much influenced by the Medjay, became a major power in the south, and as Egypt fell into disunity again, about 1700 BCE, Kush took over Lower Nubia with its C-Group population and Egyptian garrisons. The allegiance of people and soldiers was transferred to the southern ruler who was represented as a pharaoh.

In the early Eighteenth Dynasty, the Egyptians also used the name Khenet-hennefer to refer to Kush, especially during the military campaigns of Ahmose and Tuthmosis I. It appears as a general designation of the area of Upper Nubia between the Second and Fourth Cataracts, and designates the region for which the city of Kerma was the center or capital. The name Irem was applied in the Eighteenth Dynasty to the people who apparently lived in the southern reach of the Dongola Bend (i.e., the old territory of Yam). Later in the dynasty, the name Karoy was applied to the vicinity of Napata.
================
The above writing is © Katherine Griffis-Greenberg 1995.

I hope this assists.
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Ashw
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This map of ancient Egypt shows the major cities of the Dynastic period (3150 BC to 30 BC):



Looks like it would be Kush from the translated maps.
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neseret
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ashw wrote:
This map of ancient Egypt shows the major cities of the Dynastic period (3150 BC to 30 BC):



Looks like it would be Kush from the translated maps.


As I don't know the book's source, I can't respond.

A number of popular (sometimes even scholarly) works tend to name areas by their more well-known names for ease of identification, even if the name given was not in use during the time mentioned.

This one refers to 'Kush' as the name for all periods of Egyptian history: that's simply not true, as I pointed out.
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Montuhotep88
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

neseret wrote:
Kash is identified as the Land of Kush in the Holy Bible, first in Gen 10:6.


Just a word of caution: there are two lands called "Kush" in the Bible: one referring to Nubia ("our" Kush) and another one closer to the Fertile Crescent, which has been identified as the Kassites. They are sometimes conflated.
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