Gamers unite!

Gamers unite!

I was at a convention this past weekend and I was invited to join in on a game that my daughter kicked butt on last year. Little did I realize that my daughter was being taught the beauty of Gambling and Drinking in this game. Needless to say, I had fun while playing this game but I wasn’t thrilled that she learned these “much” needed skills for this game.

This inspired me for this weeks blog discussion. I was intrigued to find out about this history of Gaming during the times of Ancient Egypt.The dictionary definition of Gambling is to bet on an uncertain outcome for a sum of money. This is more often the case for men than for women. Also, this is the case for young men as well.

Did you know that gaming has been around for about 40,000 years? Thats’ right folks, Cavemen were gamblers and they often used pieces of sheep bone for dice. There was even mention of Ivory of dice in Ancient Egypt at about 1500 BC in Thebes. The plates that were found in the Great Pyramid of Khufu had inscriptions about dice. Pharaohs were often buried with “crooked” dice. Need loaded dice? Well thats right, Pharaohs had them.

In Ancient Assyria, gaming was abundant and a game board was found there that was similar to that of Backgammon. Ancient Egyptian game boards were similar in style and make. Also, these were used in Mesopotamia.

Gives you something to consider, the next time you sit down to play a round of cards.

Thermal shift the cause for no more pyramids?

Thermal shift the cause for no more pyramids?

In the article by the Huffington post, they cover Peter James’s theory of thermal shift in ancient Egypt and as a possible cause for as to why there would be no more pyramids built. Apparently, its discussed that the of increase of temperature in Egypt’s hot desserts caused the bricks to constrict and then crack. its still a theory but apperently its being considered by some.

by I.G

Theban Mapping Project

I came across this really great website, The Theban Mapping Project (http://www.thebanmappingproject.com).  From the “About TMP” page, “During the last decade, the TMP has concentrated on the Valley of the Kings. Modern surveying techniques were used to measure its tombs. From the data collected, the TMP is preparing 3-D computer models of the tombs. And of course, the TMP is continuing its excavation of KV 5 (Sons of Rameses II).”

By opening the atlas page, the viewer is able to access 3-D renderings of the tombs from both the Theban Necropolis and the Valley of the Kings.  Along with pictures, text, and audio, this website allows one to fully visualize the tombs.  For each tomb, the overall dimensions are given as well the dimensions for each chamber, corridor, etc.

Here is a small amount of the type of information given for each site:

General Site Information

Structure: KV 5
Location: Valley of the Kings, East Valley, Thebes West Bank, Thebes
Owner: Sons of Rameses II
Other designations: 5 [Lepsius], 8 [Hay], Commencement d’excavation ou grotte bouchée [Description], M [Burton]
Site type: Tomb

Site Location

Latitude: 25.44 N
Longitude: 32.36 E
Elevation: 169.87 msl
North: 99,637.895
East: 94,095.771
JOG map reference: NG 36-10
Modern governorate: Qena (Qina)
Ancient nome: 4th Upper Egypt
Surveyed by TMP: Yes

Additional Tomb Information

Entrance location: Valley floor
Owner type: Prince
Entrance type: Staircase
Interior layout: Corridors and chambers
Axis type: Straight

Decoration

Graffiti
Painting
Raised relief

Go check it out, it is very informative.  ~TB

Out, out damn spot!

One of the Pharaohs we discussed today in class was Hatshepsut.She claimed the right of Pharaoh and leader. She claimed not only the right as the daughter to the former Pharaoh, but also supposedly by relation of a God. She was the only child born to the Egyptian king Thutmose I by his primary wife and queen, Ahmose, Hatshepsut was expected to be queen. After the death of her father at age 12, Hatsheput married her half-brother Thutmose II, whose mother was a lesser wife. This was of course a common practice meant to ensure the purity of the royal bloodline.( a little Game of Thrones like, in my book) During the reign of Thutmose II, Hatshepsut assumed the traditional role of queen and primary wife. While she claimed the right of Pharaoh after her husband died, her step son was supposed to take over when he was a bit older. She was very sneaky in her way of getting her followers to do as she commanded, so as to not be booted out of her throne. She built many monuments and statues. However when she was portrayed, she had a body of a male ruler, so that she could be truly pharaoh throughout history.  However, when her reign was finally through due to her death, her step son came into power and attempted to eradicate every trace of the former Pharaoh, his step mother. No, he wasn’t mad at all! He even de-faced her royal image on the statues.  – CL

The wonderful thing about Tigger….

When I hear the term “impulsive” I think about Tigger. He was often impulsive and rushed into adventures without thinking about the consequences. This also applied to  Pharaohs that were new and young. One that especially comes to mind is Ramses II. He was young and inexperienced, yet he trudged forward and waged war against the Hittites. Despite his rushing headlong into battle and forcing the Hittites to attack towns such as Kadesh. Ramses chose to sit down and make concessions and compromises to save the people of Egypt any further blood shed. So he took a Hittite as a bride. During his time as ruler, he also showed more of his vanity by the  fact he constructed the Ramesseum, a temple, that was built to manufacture tales of his greatness. At its heart was the House of Life, a massive library dedicated to glorifying the pharaoh. Part of what makes Dynasties  last as long as they did wasn’t actions of being impulsive, but being calculative. It is said that the tiniest chink in an Armor can break a Dynasty. So maybe impulsive young Pharaohs should have been less like Tigger and more like Rabbit or Owl. – CL

We’ll sleep when we’re dead

Since this class focuses on information discovered mainly from tombs of ancient egyptians, I thought I’d look at their own writings about the afterlife.  Contrary to popular belief and movies such as “The Mummy”, the Book of the Dead is not a book. In reality, it is just a collection of ancient magical spells written in different ways,  such as on papyrus or tomb walls. So far, over 200 spells have been discovered in both ways. Ancient

 Egyptians took death very seriously. To them, life was just to prepare their souls/spirits to pass on to the afterlife.  The underworld was a place to be feared, filled with monsters and dangerous animals that were meant to prevent you from entering your eternal life. When a person dies, they will be in need of protection against the threats of the underworld; they accomplish this by picking some of the spells to take with them. Whichever spells they choose, depending on their levels of wealthy, are written on a papyrus scroll and buried along with the deceased in their tombs.

The picture of the heart-weighing ceremony in which the dead’s moral wealth is judged by the gods. The jackal-headed god Anubis, who is also guide to the dead, is seen weighing a human heart as another god, Thoth takes note of the result. — (AS)

Image

Gettin’ my Egypt on…

The first couple of weeks in “Ancient Civilizations of Egypt” has definitely added some new words to my vocabulary: alluvium, bi-facial, Levallois, and Chalcolithic to name a few.  I have found reading archaeological text to be at times tedious and fascinating, but mostly tedious.  Tedious only in the sense that because I am not a professional archaeologist the readings take longer because I am constantly looking up new terms.  However the content (once I know what the author(s) are talking about) is very interesting.

After reading The Geography of Excavated Predynastic Sites and the Rise of Complex Society by Kathryn Bard, I have come to consider, based on her interpretation of other peoples work, that there is no hope for cultures to bridge the gap between classes.  According to Bard, trade in Predynastic Egypt was not predicated on utilitarian and subsistence needs but rather for status.  If humankind as been so preoccupied by having material wealth from 3000 B.C.E. surely there is no end in sight for this to change. ~TB

Predynastic Egypt