Peripatetic Nomads along the Nile: Unfolding the Nubian Pan Grave Culture of the Second Intermediate Period

Abstract

This paper argues that the earliest Pan-Grave evidence was not necessarily related to Medjayw specialized workmen, reported to be employed in Egypt since the Old Kingdom, but mainly to families of Eastern Desert pastoral nomads looking for a better living, who took advantage of cracks in the Egyptian political control at the end of the Middle Kingdom to enter the Nile Valley. During the Second Intermediate Period, entire families of Medjayw had to readjust subsistence and way to live in order to be able to stay and interact with Egyptian communities. Pastoral nomads who change their subsistence keeping their cultural tradition are defined in anthropological theory as peripatetic. Archaeological evidence recently found in West Bank Aswan is examined as case study to support this assumption. The theory on peripatetic nomads is applied to the archaeological record to better explain the socio-economic landscape of the early Pan-Grave communities.

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Gatto, M. C., (2014) “Peripatetic Nomads along the Nile: Unfolding the Nubian Pan Grave Culture of the Second Intermediate Period”, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 6(1), p.11-28. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/azu_jaei_v06i1_gatto

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Maria Carmela Gatto (Yale University)

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