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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Sep, 2009 6:50 pm    Post subject: Settlements in the Egyptian New Kingdom?         Reply with quote

Using this map as a point of reference: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons...450_BC.svg

Does anyone happen to know if many people lived outside of the marked cities (which I'm assuming are just the major ones, not every NK city)? I know earlier in history, as much as 89% of Sumerians lived within the walls of their cities, and I was wondering if it was the same way with the Egyptians?

M.

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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Sep, 2009 7:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am not sure how far outside walls you mean. I don't know of peoples living outside the overall shaded regions. Egyptians were known for having a surplus of grain, livestock, and agriculture related supplies that others migrated towards during comparative famine. I would expect that many lived within surrounding country lands, not just in the cities. Copper mining in the SouthEast region was also significant at some point late or shortly after this period.
Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Sep, 2009 11:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Outside the Nile valley, Egypt is a desert, and to my knowledge has been a desert for a very long time.

So therefore, people would have lived outside the city walls (the area was comparatively peaceful compared to Mesopotamia anyway), but not too far away from the Nile.
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Michael G.





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PostPosted: Fri 11 Sep, 2009 11:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Hansen wrote:
So therefore, people would have lived outside the city walls (the area was comparatively peaceful compared to Mesopotamia anyway), but not too far away from the Nile.


This sounds right to me. I believe the general consensus is that because of Egypt's geographical isolation by deserts, it had few external enemies early on. Even more importantly, Egypt became unified very early in its history, so there was little internal warfare between Egyptians. This security meant that the population could be spread out in small villages. Compare this to areas like Sumer, or ancient Greece, where political power was fragmented, so smaller city-states evolved which had to defend themselves from the others, leading the population to congregate in more defensible centralized locations.

On the other hand, I would take that 89% figure for the Sumerians with a grain of salt. It seems a bit too precise. Estimating the populations of ancient civilizations is notoriously difficult. My guess is that that figure means that if one entirely believes the evidence gathering and statistical analysis methods used, 89% lived in the cities. If there were problems with either the collection of evidence or with the way this evidence was interpreted, the number could be rather different. I haven't seen much on the population distribution in Mesopotamia, but I have seen estimates of the overall population of ancient Mesopotamian cities that vary wildly from each other.
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Sep, 2009 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The shaded region that would presently correspond to Palestine/ Israel/ Lebanon was pretty much in a state of constant war fare and raids from ancient to present. (Highly valued as a key trade and travel route intersection.) The Egyptians claimed tribute from it, but did not really occupy it in mass. It had a short but fairly unified period under Judea and Northern Israel / Lebanon near 800 B.C. Most conquests focused on capturing the cities, and demanding tribute from the surrounding country side. Despite all of that, there were always groups of nomadic / beduin shepherds with flocks, and agricultural related peoples around the Jordan river and all areas with natural springs for water. Quite a bit of this was covered in a text "Biblical Archeology" which is now somewhat dated, but essentially sound in terms of describing the regions and peoples of the areas. It may actually be possible that the peoples outside the cities enjoyed more stability than those inside.
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Sep, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How about water distribution? Assuming there's a lot of small settlements, a central well should suffice, but what about these larger cities? I know the Nile is (was) "green" for quite a ways away from the actual waterway. You wouldn't be drinking the Nile right up, would you?

M.

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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Sep, 2009 7:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Eversberg II wrote:
How about water distribution? Assuming there's a lot of small settlements, a central well should suffice, but what about these larger cities?
M.


I can't answer for all of the larger cities's wells and aquifers. But in that era, there were many places people went to bathe in natural springs within short ranges of the cities. I would "guess" the region to be more dry today than it was in 1500 B.C. type era.

Out in the areas bordering desert, not too far from the the Jordan or Dead Sea, the trick of striking rocks in low spots (what appear to be dry creeks, but in reality have water close to the surface) to produce water (as Moses was described as doing in the Bible) was repeated several times by Beduins for the author of the text mentioned above. Hence, there are sources of water in the vicinity of the Jordan river valley and surrounding hills that locals have known how to access from ancient times up to the 1980's.

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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Sat 12 Sep, 2009 7:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This site might be of some use:

http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/timelines/topics/index.html
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