A Land Like a Garden of Herbs

  • Arie S. Issar


The aridization phase, mentioned already, which affected the region at about 4000 B.P. (2000 B.C.) at the end of the Early Bronze Age, was characterized by the desertion of perennial settlement sites and the increase in the number of sites of nomads on the margins of the more humid regions (Chap. 6 [5,6,7]). The wave of nomads who were not satisfied with the meager resources the desert could provide, and did not have the courage and power to forcibly take the goods of the irrigated lands, moved along the borders of these lands trying to get something from the richness of these countries in exchange either for their products or for their services. In this context, one understands the many witnesses to the migration of Semitic tribes from the Fertile Crescent to Egypt, one of which is the famous wall picture from an Egyptian tomb in Beni-Hassan painted around 3900 B.P. (1900 B.C.). The picture portrays a group of people of Semitic origin who are about to enter Egypt; the leader, Avisa, dressed in a colorful garment, makes a sign of obedience to the Egyptian governor with one hand, while in his other hand he holds a he-goat, either as a present or as a indication of his source of income (similar to the bellows portrayed on the back of the asses). The two Egyptian officials accompanying the group of immigrants suggest that the entrance of the Semites was a move acknowledged by the Egyptian government.


Summer Solstice Egyptian Government Middle Kingdom Aridization Phase Pyramid Text 
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References Chapter 7

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    Simpson, W.K. (ed.) The Literature of Ancient Egypt, an Anthology. Yale University Press (1972) 347 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arie S. Issar
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Water Resources Center The Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert ResearchBen Gurion University of the NegevIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Geology and MineralogyBen Gurion University of the NegevIsrael

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