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Barry Kemp's excavations from cemeteries at Amarna
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:57 pm    Post subject: Barry Kemp's excavations from cemeteries at Amarna Reply with quote

The following is a paper submitted by one of the members of the Barry Kemp expedition, that recently explored the burials of the common people found in Amarna.
It seems that life was less than idealistic!

http://memorias.ioc.fiocruz.br/p11.pdf
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello !

The British magazine " ANCIENT EGYPT " had in 2008 a series of six longer articles by Prof. Barry Kemp about the work at Amarna :

01. Amarna`s genesis

02. The people of Amarna

03. What kind of a city was Amarna?

04. The city as a workshop and how the people worked with their hands

05. Was it a religion for all?

06. Why Amarna died

Issues 46 - 51 / 2008 ( http://www.ancientegyptmagazine.com/index.shtml ).

Greetings,

Lutz
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Robson
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, is a paid site!
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robson wrote:
Hey, is a paid site!

Of course ... Egyptologists have to pay there bills as well ! Wink

Two free copys for example - Issues 03 from November / December 2001 and 38 from October / November 2006 - you find here : http://www.ancientegyptmagazine.com/pdf.htm.

And, by the way, 3,25 GBP for one (as PDF) is not really expensive ... I think Question

Lutz
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Robson
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course it is not expensive, once you buy it in the UK, but in my country, for instance, the taxes for credit card using raise almost to the double of the magazine's itself. Sad
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robson wrote:
Of course it is not expensive, once you buy it in the UK, but in my country, for instance, the taxes for credit card using raise almost to the double of the magazine's itself. Sad

Strange and stupid ... But I know this from using Visa in Egypt ... Evil or Very Mad

I order the PDF-versions and pay with a service called "Pay Pal", direct from my account by bank, no additional costs.
Don`t know if that works in your country?

Lutz
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Chrismackint
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found this article with a reference to how the ordinary people in the cemetery were buried- it seems they were all buried facing the sun.

http://www.chicagomaroon.com/2010/11/5/egyptian-burial-site-shows-evidence-of-sun-worship-prof-says

Also according to that doco "The Pharoahs Lost City"

60% of children born in amarna had anemea

adults who moved to amarna were 20% more likely to develop anemea than people living elsewhere in ae at that time

and there is evedence of some workers having spinabifida, a very rare condition in the ancient world, and also a lot of the workers had pitted spines which show they were working very hard and lifting very heavy loads from a young age
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Chrismackint
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems different articles give different stats lol:

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/03/31/2203404.htm
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waenre
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chrismackint wrote:
Found this article with a reference to how the ordinary people in the cemetery were buried- it seems they were all buried facing the sun.

http://www.chicagomaroon.com/2010/11/5/egyptian-burial-site-shows-evidence-of-sun-worship-prof-says

Also according to that doco "The Pharoahs Lost City"

60% of children born in amarna had anemea

adults who moved to amarna were 20% more likely to develop anemea than people living elsewhere in ae at that time

and there is evedence of some workers having spinabifida, a very rare condition in the ancient world, and also a lot of the workers had pitted spines which show they were working very hard and lifting very heavy loads from a young age


Anemia would indicate a lack of iron, or not enough.

Isn't spinabifida caused bya lack of folic acid, found in dark green leafy vegetables.

I wonder why workers in Amarna wouldn't have access to green leafy vegetables?

Did any of the articles comment on why spinabifida was present?

Thanks in advance.

waenre
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Chrismackint
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure what causes spinabifida, but the "bones" guy from the "Pharoahs lost city" doco said it was a condition he had only seen a few times in the ancient world and that it was exacerbated by heavy manual labour.

None of the other articles i have provided, nor the documentry " The Pharoahs lost city" give any information on what actually caused spinabifida in these workers from amarna or in people in general.

Sorry i couldn't be of more help.
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Sothis
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AFAIK spina bifida is basically a birth defect . I don`t think a person who did not have it could develop it later in life when he works too hard but I could imagine that the condition could get worse as a result of hard physical labour.
One of the main factors is lack of folic acid during pregnancy and the pdf-article provided by osisis II states right at the end that folic acid is destroyed in the capillaries of the skin by ultraviolet light.

Now everyone in Egypt would have been exposed quite a lot to sunlight.
And it would have to be pregnant women who were more exposed to sunlight at Amarna than elsewhere in Egypt.
Maybe the women at Amarna spent more time outside than those in other places because of work or sun-worship?
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Sothis
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is an update in the latest Ancient Egypt Magazine about work on the South Cemetry individuals.
Barry Kemp reports one especially grizzly detail found on five male adult skeletons. Their shoulderblade is punctured with quite a big hole which shows signs of healing.
The nature of the wound is of a kind inflicted by a spear to a person probably lying on the ground with widespread arms.
This and the fact that a penetration of the ribcage and the organs was carefully avoided makes some kind of punishment seem the most likely explanation.

Punishment for whom and for what? Workers not working fast and hard enough?
Spies?
People who were found still praying to the proscribed gods?

We`ll probably never know.
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karnsculpture
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been thinking about the recent discoveries at Amarna today since reading this article:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/03/130313-ancient-egypt-akhenaten-amarna-cemetery-archaeology-science-world/

I'm starting to wonder if one of the reasons that Akhenaten was so hated after his death was because of his treatment of common people in addition to the well-known religious changes.

Consider:

1) By closing temples he disrupted the lives of many parts of society from the nobility down. The Amun priesthood presumably had households, people who depended on them, people who depended on the distribution of goods. Although the Aten temples will have taken over a great deal of this it is probable that priests with long-held beliefs are unlikely to have just switched to the new religion. Some probably did, but not all.

2) Akhenaten's building programme was extensive and fast - and the skeletal remains in the Southern cemetery indicate that people lived hard lives, and were poorly nourished. This may have also been the lot of the workers who built Amenhotep III's mortuary temple for example, but as is pointed out in the NG article, the new buildings used Talatat; indicating the use of many people rather than the technology (ropes, sledges, pulleys) and skilled workforce displayed as being employed by the older king. Having said that, some adults in the ceremony are old enough to have possibly worked for Amenhotep III.

3) The military are very visible in lots of representations of Amarna life - were they there to protect the Royal family from an angry public? Was the move to Akhetaten partly a result of public disaffection at Thebes and Memphis? Were the military also used to force people to work? There is some evidence noted earlier in this thread of healed spear wounds in the back of one individual, does this indicate punishment meted out by the military?

4) By outlawing many small gods that people used to help them through life (in addition to the major cults), Akhenaten was attacking the comforts that people held dear. It is interesting that graves and households reveal that the old gods were still being worshipped.

Paul
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Sothis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malnutrition seems to have been a widespread problem.
See for example this recent article

http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1112798484/hunger-disease-ancient-egyptian-rulers-030713/

about tomb 33 at Qubbet-el-Hawa which apart from the original 12th dynasty burial contained about 200 mummies from the dynasties 18,22 and 27.
What makes the results so interesting is the wide range of time and the fact that the mummies or skeletons come from all classes of society.
There are signs of malnutrition and disease throughout and saying that the average lifespan was 30 is already a stretch with many small children and 17-25 year olds among them.

They do not mention signs of hard labor though. Either there were none which is somewhat unlikely or their number was not unusually high.

Hard physical work really is what seems to have made life at Amarna worse than elsewhere. Barry Kemp reports in his new book that everyone who moved to Amarna was expected to build his living quarters on his own and, probably worse still, seems to have been expected to quarry talatats to contribute to the construction of the various official buildings as they would not have used them for their own homes.
He derives this conclusion from a great number of small-scale quarries in the hills surrounding the city some of which even appear to have been used by single individuals. This does not look like a project that is coordinated by the government and carried out on a large scale.

Considering that one talatat block weighed about 70 kilogram which one single individual was supposed to carry it is no wonder that so many injuries to the spine have become evident.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Newsletters from the "Amarna - Project" (Prof. Barry Kemp) are very recommendable, also in this connection.

Greetings, Lutz..
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