THE FORTIFICATIONS OF ANCIENT EGYPT 3000-1780 BC
ILLUSTRATED BY BRIAN DELF
ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATOR DR CAROLA VOGEL received her PhD in Egyptology from the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz. She has a strong background in ancient Egyptian military history and is publishing and lecturing extensively in this field. Her dissertation on Egyptian fortresses and garrisons up to the Middle Kingdom was awarded with the third prize of the renowned Werner von Hahlweg Prize in 2000.
BRIAN DELF began his career working in a London art studio producing artwork for advertising and commercial publications. Since 1972, he has worked as a freelance illustrator on a variety of subjects including natural history, architecture and technical cutaways. His illustrations have been published in over 30 countries. Brian lives and works in Oxfordshire.
FORTRESS - 9 8
THE FORTIFICATIONS OF ANCIENT EGYPT 3000-1780 BC
ILLUSTRATED BY BRIAN DELF
Series editor Marcus Cowper
First published in 2010 by Osprey Publishing Midland House, West Way, Botley, Oxford 0 X 2 OPH, UK 44-02 23rd St, Suite 219, Long Island City, NY 11101, USA E-mail: [email protected]
© 2010 Osprey Publishing Limited All rights reserved. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, electrical, chemical, mechanical, optical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. Enquiries should be addressed to the Publishers. ISBN: 978 1 84603 956 0 E-book ISBN: 978 1 84603 957 7 Editorial by llios Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK (www.iliospublishing.com) Cartography: Bounford.com Design: Ken Vail Graphic Design, Cambridge, UK (kvgd.com) Index by Michael Forder Originated by PDQ Digital Media Solutions, Suffolk, UK Printed in China through Bookbuilders 1011 1213 14
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
FOR A CATALOGUE OF ALL BOOKS PUBLISHED BY OSPREY MILITARY AND AVIATION PLEASE CONTACT: NORTH AMERICA Osprey Direct, c/o Random House Distribution Center, 400 Hahn Road, Westminster, MD 21157 Email: [email protected]
ALL OTHER REGIONS Osprey Direct, The Book Service Ltd, Distribution Centre, Colchester Road, Frating Green, Colchester, Essex, C 0 7 7DW E-mail: [email protected]
THE FORTRESS STUDY GROUP (FSG) The object of the FSG is to advance the education of the public in the study of all aspects of fortifications and their armaments, especially works constructed to mount or resist artillery. The FSG holds an annual conference in September over a long weekend with visits and evening lectures, an annual tour abroad lasting about eight days, and an annual Members' Day. The FSG journal FORT is published annually, and its newsletter Casemate is published three times a year. Membership is international. For further details, please contact: [email protected]
THE HISTORY OF FORTIFICATION STUDY CENTRE (HFSC) The History of Fortification Study Centre (HFSC) is an international scientific research organization that aims to unite specialists in the history of military architecture from antiquity to the 20th century (including historians, art historians, archaeologists, architects and those with a military background). The centre has its own scientific council, which is made up of authoritative experts who have made an important contribution to the study of fortification. The HFSC's activities involve organizing conferences, launching research expeditions to study monuments of defensive architecture, contributing to the preservation of such monuments, arranging lectures and special courses in the history of fortification and producing published works such as the refereed academic journal Questions of the History of Fortification, monographs and books on the history of fortification. It also holds a competition for the best publication of the year devoted to the history of fortification. The headquarters of the HFSC is in Moscow, Russia, but the centre is active in the international arena and both scholars and amateurs from all countries are welcome to join. More detailed information about the HFSC and its activities can be found on the website: www.hfsc.3dn.ru E-mail: [email protected]
THE WOODLAND TRUST Osprey Publishing are supporting the Woodland Trust, the UK's leading woodland conservation charity, by funding the dedication of trees.
DEDICATION To my friends in Israel who share my obsession with ancient Egypt: Dan'el, Deborah and Yossi.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS To impart knowledge about a special subject in a concise way is a great task. It is with the support of my family, friends and colleagues that this book could be brightened up by a huge amount of images. Thus, special thanks for providing me with drawings, photographs or permissions are due to Dorothea Arnold, Verena Bach-Berkhahn, Brigitte Jaros-Deckert, Miriam Lahitte, Franck Monnier, Greg Mumford, Daniel Polz, Miriam Reinemer, Stephan Seidlmeyer, Andreas Vogel and Pawel Wolf.
EDITOR'S NOTE Unless otherwise indicated all images are part of the author's collection.
ARTIST'S NOTE Readers may care to note that the original paintings from which the colour plates in this book were prepared are available for private sale. All reproduction copyright whatsoever is retained by the Publishers. All enquiries should be addressed to: Brian Delf, 7 Burcot Park, Burcot, Abingdon, Oxon, 0 X 1 4 3DH, UK The Publishers regret that they can enter into no correspondence upon this matter.
Geographical features - Kemet: the black land . Sources A chronology of fortification development
DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT
Materials . Defensive structures . Gates - Ditches . Linear defences
TOUR OF THE SITES: ANIBA, BUHEN, URONARTI, SEMNA-WEST
Aniba . Buhen . Uronarti . Semna-West
THE LIVING SITES
The barracks . Commander's residence or headquarters - Treasuries - Granaries Magazines (wdl) . Eating habits . Hygiene - Temples and private cult - The make-up of the garrison
THE SITES IN WAR
The Semna dispatches . Storming the fortress - insights from pictorial and textual evidence
THE SITES TODAY
Egyptological terms - Technical terms (mainly after Stephen Francis Wyley)
THE FORTIFICATIONS OF ANCIENT EGYPT 3000-1780 BC INTRODUCTION This book seeks to shed light on Egypt's early military architecture by discussing its development from the first known fortified structures (c.3500-3300 BC) into an elaborate fortification system at the end of the Middle Kingdom (c.1780 BC).
Geographical features - Kemet: the black land
Aswan at the first cataract. Viewed from the open air area of the Nubian Museum situated in the south of the city. The building in the front is a reconstructed Nubian mudbrick house as used up to the present day. Behind this lies the Islamic cemetery amongst the lumps of granite.
The question of Egypt's fortresses cannot be separated from that of its frontiers. The traditional borders of Egypt were the north-eastern Delta/Sinai, the Western Desert, the Mediterranean coast and the first Nile cataract at modern Aswan. Throughout history Egypt has taken advantage of its distinct natural conditions. The regular Nile floods have defined its economic growth and cultural development. When, following these floods, the Nile withdrew to its riverbed it left behind fertile mud and created a stretch of easily cultivable land between the first cataract at modern Aswan and the Mediterranean coast. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the ancient Egyptians named their country 'Kemet' - the black land - referring to the colour of this fertile mud. To the east and the west, the narrow Nile Valley and Delta were bounded by deserts, forming natural barriers that - for most of the period in question - isolated and protected Egypt from outside attack. At some point in the 4th millennium BC two different agricultural powers evolved in the region: the Nagada culture (with its centre at Hierakonpolis) in the south and the Maadi culture in the north. Archaeological evidence shows traces of the Nagada culture appearing in the north as well, testifying to its growing influence. The question of how exactly a centralized state emerged in Egypt by 3050 BC is debated through to the current day. What is clear is that we know from various sources that Lower and Upper Egypt were unified and ruled by a king who wore the so-called Double-Crown, symbolizing
the kingship's two different roots (the Red Crown stands for Lower Egypt, the White Crown for Upper Egypt). It is from this point onwards that we have increasing evidence of Egypt's natural borders being strengthened with forts.
For the time frame being covered (C.3000-1780 BC), a huge amount of sources allows us to reconstruct the development of the ancient Egyptian fortification system. Thanks to Egypt's dry climate, even organic material has survived over thousands of years in the desert sands. The following sources have been considered in this study: • The archaeological remains, foremost the mud-brick fortresses and findings discovered within them • Rock inscriptions found in the neighbourhood of fortifications • Papyri containing valuable information, e.g. a list with the propagandist names of 17 fortresses (Ramesseum Onomasticon), or a document describing the fortresses' monitoring tasks (Semna dispatches, Papyrus Berlin 10495) • Models of towers or fortified structures • Labels showing towers or fortresses • Palettes depicting walled towns • Tomb paintings depicting Egyptian or Asiatic fortre...