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Ancient Egypt: The Inscriptions of Thuthotep, nomarch of the Hare nome
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Middle Egyptian nomes

The Inscriptions of Thuthotep

    He made (it) as monument for his fathers, who are in the necropolis, the lord of his promontory; restoring what was found in ruin and renewing what was found decayed, the ancestors, who were before, not having done it. By the count [marshal of the two thrones (?)], superior prophet, overseer of the king's-house, governor of the South, great lord of the Hare nome, great in his office, great in his rank, of advanced position in the king's-house, Thutnakht, born of Teti.
    His utterance before his father, that he might [establish] the name of him from whom he came forth. Are not these praises very great before my father and before my god, in that he appoints me chief of his city and great lord of the Hare nome, as successor of him who begat him? He was the staff of the old age of this his father, and he hath appointed me as chief of his city.
    See this! which my lord has done for me; hear this! which my god has done for me, in that he hath appointed my son as chief of his city, great lord of the Hare nome, as successor of him that begat me.
  family tree of Thuthotep
Like many noble families ever since, Nehri and his successors traced their ancestry as far back as they could, whether this corresponded to fact or not. To support their claim they restored the tombs of their putative 6th dynasty predecessors, Teti and Thutnakht. Thuthotep's grandfather Nehri may also have been the father of Khnumhotep II, nomarch of Menet Khufu.
Thuthotep was ruler of his nome under Amenemhet II and his successors.
-the staff: support
-this his father: his late father, Nehri.

    Following a statue of 13 cubits of stone of Hatnub. Lo, the way upon which it came, was very difficult, beyond anything. Lo, the dragging of the great things upon it was difficult for the heart of the people, because of the difficult stone of the ground, being hard stone.
    I caused the youth, the young men of the recruits to come, in order to make for it (the statue) a road, together with shifts of necropolis-miners and of quarrymen, the foremen and the wise. The people of strength said: "We come to bring it;" while my heart was glad; the city was gathered together rejoicing; very good it was to see beyond everything. The old man among them, he leaned upon the child; the strong-armed together with the tremblers, their courage rose. Their arms grew strong; one of them put forth the strength of 1000 men.
    Behold, this statue, being a squared block on coming forth from the great mountain, was more valuable than anything. Vessels were equipped, filled with supplies, [in advance (?)] of my army of recruits, the youth bore [/// in advance of (?)] it. Their words were laudation, and my praises from the king. My children /// adorned were behind me. My nome shouted praise. I arrived in the district of this city, the people were gathered together, praising; very good it was to see, beyond everything. The counts who were of old; the judge and local governor who were appointed for /// in this city, and established for the [///] upon the river, their hearts had not thought of this which I had done, [in that I made (?)] for myself /// established for eternity, after this my tomb was complete in its everlasting work.
The foremen of the work on this statue and Thuthotep himself follow the statue.
-13 cubits: about 6½ metres
-stone of Hatnub: alabaster
-it was difficult: dragging heavy loads over stony, probably uneven surfaces was seemingly more arduous than dragging them over clayey soil, the surface of which had been moistened and become slippery.
-We come to bring it: Sledges were often pulled by people, but cattle were employed as well:
Oxen pulling sledge
From Neferperet's tablet at Tura
Bearded Asiatic cattle drivers driving six oxen pulling a sledge
Reign of Ahmose I

-squared block: the sculpting of the statue was not done at the quarry itself, probably because of the problems which supplying food and water to a large workforce in a remote place engendered.
The Hare nome is in festivity, its heart is glad; its old men are children, its youths are refreshed, its children jubilate; their heart is in festivity, when they see their lord, the son of their lord as a favor of the king, making his monument.
    Bringing forward the chief offerings which the districts that are in the Hare nome have brought, for this statue of the count, Thuthotep.
-count: nomarch
Thuthotep's tomb contained a model of bearers of offerings: Bersheh procession; Source JMFA
The "Bersheh Procession", led by a priest carrying a hes vase and an incense-burner
Source: Journal of the Museum of Fine Arts, No.1
Moving the statue
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien, 1897
Beating time for the soldiers by the [foreman (?)] [of] Thuthotep, beloved of the king. Top row: young men bearing branches
-Beating time: The efforts of the 172 pullers, arranged in four rows, are coordinated by a foreman standing on the knee of the statue.
Nearby the artist of this tomb is offering incense.
By the foot of the statue a man is pouring water on the ground to make it slippery.
Below some men of the estate are carrying water, others are carrying planks for the dragging.
The youths of the west of the Hare nome come in peace. Utterance: "The west is in festivity, their hearts are glad, when they see the monuments of their lords, the heir who comes in their midst, his house and the house of his father when he was a child. /// /// ///. " First row of pullers
The youths of the warriors of the Hare nome arrive in peace. Utterance of the recruits of the youths whom their lord mustered, the heir who prospers in the favor of the king, the lord: "Let us come. let us prosper his children after him! Our hearts are glad at the favor of the king who abides permanently." Second row
The courses of the priests of the Hare nome come in peace. Utterance: "He whom Thoth loves, Thuthotep, beloved of his king, he whom his city loves, whom all its gods praise; the temples are in festivity; their hearts are glad, when they see thy favor with the king." Third row
The youths of the east of the Hare nome come in peace. Utterance: "My lord hath proceeded to Thereti, the god rejoices over him; his fathers are in festivity, their hearts are glad, rejoicing over his beautiful monuments." Fourth row
-Thereti: Trtj

J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part One, §§ 688ff


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July 2004