Journal of Archaeological Research

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 87–132 | Cite as

Trade and Power in Ancient Egypt: Middle Egypt in the Late Third/Early Second Millennium BC

Article

Abstract

Middle Egypt provides a unique insight into the organization of power, politics, economy, and culture at the turn of the third millennium BC. The apparently easy integration of this region into the reunified monarchy of king Mentuhotep II (2055–2004 BC) was possible because the interests and the local lineages of potentates were preserved. Trade and access and/or control of international exchange networks were important sources of wealth and power then. And Middle Egypt appears as a crossroads of diverse populations, as a hub of political and economic power, as a crucial node of exchanges through the Nile Valley, and as a power center whose rulers provided support to the monarchy in exchange of local autonomy and considerable political influence at the Court. In the new conditions of early second millennium, potentates from Middle Egypt succeeded in occupying a unique advantageous position, not matched elsewhere in Egypt, because of the concentration of wealth, trade routes, new technologies, political power, and autonomy in the territories they ruled.

Keywords

Ancient states Local powers Middle Egypt Middle Bronze Age Mobile populations Trade 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UMR 8167 CNRS “Orient & Méditerranée”, Centre de Recherches Egyptologiques de la Sorbonne - CRESUniversité Paris-Sorbonne Paris IVParis Cedex 05France

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