Are the Bearers of the Pan-Grave Archaeological Culture Identical to the Madjay-People in the Egyptian Textual Record?

Abstract

Since 1907, scholars have suggested that the Medjay of the Egyptian textual and artistic record may be equated with the Pan-Grave archaeological culture.  There are various circumstantial reasons for this connection, but typically it has been argued that they were either both mercenaries during the wars of the Second Intermediate Period, or that they originated in the same area in the Eastern Desert.  This article argues against the connection between the Medjay and the Pan-Grave primarily because there is no way to equate these two groups as mercenaries, nor is there reason to believe that the Pan-Grave had any presence in the Eastern Desert.  The author asks scholars to reconsider the archaeological evidence behind these received ideas that were established by ethnic categories in Egyptian texts.

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Liszka, K., (2015) “Are the Bearers of the Pan-Grave Archaeological Culture Identical to the Madjay-People in the Egyptian Textual Record?”, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 7(2), p.42-60. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/azu_jaei_v07i2_liszka

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Kate Liszka (California State University, San Bernadino)

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