Ancient Egypt: History and culture
Ancient Egypt: Quarry inauguration under Ahmose I
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Quarry inauguration under Ahmose I

King of Upper and Lower Egypt Nebpehtyre, endowed with life, beloved of Atum, lord of Heliopolis, and beloved of Ptah, living south of his wall, lord of truth.
Queen Ahmose Nefertari, may she live forever.
Her titles are: a) God's wife, great king's wife, lady of the two lands, king's daughter, king's sister, king's mother, princess of both lands. b) Great king's wife, king's mother, lady of both lands, king's daughter, king's sister of the king (?).
-   Nebpehtyre: Ahmose I
  Atum: sun god of Heliopolis, came to be identified with the setting sun.
  Ptah: creator god, city god of Memphis
  wall: Memphis
  God's wife: First servant of Amen, a position which became exceedingly important during the early first millennium BCE.
  king's mother: The pharaoh's heir was generally the eldest surviving son of the Great king's wife.
Year 22 under his majesty, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, son of the sun, Ahmose, endowed with life. Newly opened were quarries. Beautiful white limestone was extracted for his houses of millions of [years], namely the House of [///], the House of Ptah, ... companions (?) of the good god, the House of Amen at Ipet-reset, all the memorials which his majesty made for him (?). The stone was dragged by cattle which Asiatics brought from the land of the Phoenicians.
Made under the supervision of the
rpat and hAtj-a, [///] beloved [of his lord], the vigilant superintendent of the lord of the two lands (supervising) the creation of memorials for eternity [in very] great [numbers], favourite of the good god, of the treasurer of the king of Lower Egypt, the unique friend, superintendent of treasurers, Nefer-projet.

After Kurt Sethe, Urkunden der 18. Dynastie Band I, pp. 13f.
J. C. Hinrich, Leipzig, 1914

  Beautiful white limestone: lit. beautiful white stone of ajnw (Ayan, the mountain of Tura)
  houses of millions of [years]: temples were supposed to last forever: they were often built of stone in contrast to temporary dwellings, even royal palaces, built of mud bricks. During New Kingdom renovations of sanctuaries brick structures were replaced by stone buildings: The good god Menkheperre has made it as a memorial to his father Dedwen, ruler of Nubia and for the king of Upper and Lower Egypt Khakaure by making for them a temple of beautiful white sandstone of Nubia - my majesty had found (it) (made) of bricks, much decayed ...
Thutmose III's dedication inscription in the oldest part of the temple at Semna - After Kurt Sethe, Urkunden der 18. Dynastie Band I, p. 93.
There were injunctions against using old temples as quarries which did not prevent pharaohs such as Ramses II from denuding old pyramids and temples of their stone.
  rpat: Fürst (Beinlich), i.e. prince
  hAtj-a: Fürst (Sethe), i.e. prince
  the good god: Pharaoh
  treasurer: or possible keeper of the seal (Sethe).
  the king of Lower Egypt: There were two parallel administrations, one for Upper and one for Lower Egypt. Tura was under the jurisdiction of the Lower Egyptian administration.
  Nefer-projet: meaning Beautiful Winter.

 


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March 2004

 

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