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The Lost City: A discovery in the desert could rewrite the history of ancient Egypt
Yale Alumni Magazine ^ | September/October 2010 | Heather Pringle

Posted on 08/28/2010 4:55:35 AM PDT by SunkenCiv

...in 1992, a young American graduate student, John Coleman Darnell, and his wife and fellow graduate student, Deborah, decided to take a very different tack. The couple began trekking ancient desert roads and caravan tracks along what they called "the final frontier of Egyptology." Today, John Darnell, an Egyptologist in Yale's Near Eastern Languages and Civilization department, and his team have succeeded in doing what most Egyptologists merely dream of: discovering a lost pharaonic city of administrative buildings, military housing, small industries, and artisan workshops. Says Darnell, of a find that promises to rewrite a major chapter in ancient Egyptian history, "We were really shocked."

Umm Mawagir, as the city is now known, flourished in the Western Desert from 1650 to 1550 BCE, nearly a millennium after the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza. This was a dark, tumultuous period of Egyptian history. Entire villages lay abandoned in the Nile River Delta, victims, perhaps of an ancient epidemic. Taking advantage of the turmoil, Bedouin groups from Syria and Palestine edged westward under the leadership of wealthy merchants, gaining control of the delta. Meanwhile, far to the south, Sudan's powerful Kerma kingdom expanded into southern Egypt. In the wake of these incursions, Egypt's pharaohs presided over a diminished realm whose capital lay at Thebes, in present-day Luxor.

For decades, Egyptologists thought the foreigners roamed the Western Desert at will, controlling the lucrative caravan trade. But the discovery of Umm Mawagir, in concert with finds from the more westerly Dakhla Oasis, says Darnell, reveals clearly how the Theban dynasty succeeded in extending its power and military might more than 100 miles into the hostile desert, building an entire city, and controlling a vital crossroads of trade routes.

(Excerpt) Read more at yalealumnimagazine.com ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: egypt; godsgravesglyphs; ummmawagir
Mark Zurolo '01MFA

Mark Zurolo 2001MFA

1 posted on 08/28/2010 4:55:38 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 21twelve; 240B; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; 31R1O; 3AngelaD; ..

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I know there's at least one FR topic about this, somewhere, from three or four years ago, but I couldn't find it. Maybe someone else will have better luck. Meanwhile, this is an update topic.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
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2 posted on 08/28/2010 4:57:40 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Democratic Underground... matters are worse, as their latest fund drive has come up short...)
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To: SunkenCiv

” “Baking was done on a rather massive scale at Umm Mawagir,” says Darnell. To understand why, he and his team dug up part of the bakery, exposing an area roughly the size of a small bedroom. As they brushed away a matrix of ash and sand, the excavators discovered further dense layers of broken ceramic molds—nearly half a ton of pottery in an area just four meters by four meters square, a quantity that astonished Darnell. Some molds were large and circular in shape, suitable for single loaves; most were double “cupcake” molds, similar in style to the baking tins modern Egyptians use for making certain sweetened breads. In addition, the team found two large baking ovens, a stone mortar for husking grain, and an assortment of stones for grinding flour.”


3 posted on 08/28/2010 5:01:38 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: nmh

Uh-oh, maybe this is the same as this week’s other story about an oasis town after all...


4 posted on 08/28/2010 5:37:31 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Democratic Underground... matters are worse, as their latest fund drive has come up short...)
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To: SunkenCiv

We’re not done discovering the secrets of the past just yet.

Sure wish they’d show pictures of the digs. That’s my favorite part.


5 posted on 08/28/2010 5:47:24 AM PDT by TheOldLady (Pablo is very wily.)
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To: SunkenCiv
Lost city threads are useless without pictures.


6 posted on 08/28/2010 5:52:34 AM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: MrEdd

loved that flick


7 posted on 08/28/2010 5:54:13 AM PDT by downwdims (It does not take a majority to prevail... but rather an irate, tireless minority)
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To: MrEdd

Yeah, but pictures of bread pans don’t especially turn me on. I like your pic better, because I can speculate like some archeologists that:

“the volume of broken pottery bread pans stored in such a small area conclusively indicates that they were used in a religious ritual, probably a fight to the death between beautiful virgins over whether to bake date bread or whole wheat.”


8 posted on 08/28/2010 6:11:13 AM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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To: SunkenCiv
Most Egyptologists had flatly dismissed the statement, believing, says Deborah Darnell, that "pharaonic Egyptians had not the technological ability or knowledge to exploit the water resources in Kharga Oasis." But the string of Middle Kingdom outposts lying along the Girga Road suggested otherwise.

I love it when that happens! :)

9 posted on 08/28/2010 6:17:43 AM PDT by maryz
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To: wildbill

I want my "mummy".

10 posted on 08/28/2010 6:18:41 AM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.)
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To: SunkenCiv

...During this period, invaders from Asia, the Hyksos, seized control of the Nile Delta in the north...

http://opa.yale.edu/news/article.aspx?id=7708#

View Slideshow:
The Lost City of Umm Mawagir
(requires Flash Player)


11 posted on 08/28/2010 6:43:50 AM PDT by Fred Nerks (clinic!)
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To: Fred Nerks
the Hyksos

Any more info about these folks? I see where they were from "Asia".

12 posted on 08/28/2010 6:52:46 AM PDT by csvset
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To: csvset

I’ve read that they are from Asia (minor) Anatolia or present day Turkey. Some have speculated fair hair and skin.


13 posted on 08/28/2010 7:25:00 AM PDT by Doulos1 (Bitter Clinger Forever)
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To: SunkenCiv

14 posted on 08/28/2010 9:04:00 AM PDT by blam
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To: csvset

Chronologically Helpful Parallels between the Hyksos and the Amalekites

http://www.specialtyinterests.net/hyksos.html


15 posted on 08/28/2010 3:28:32 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (clinic!)
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To: Fred Nerks

Thanks. Interesting stuff. Floods in Saudi Arabia ? Climate Change ! /s


16 posted on 08/28/2010 3:36:04 PM PDT by csvset
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To: csvset

that’s nothing! I remember when me and my cousin Paul were lumberjacks in the Sahara Forest. He was always the runt of the family and he had problems with his feet so people called him Paul Bunyan.

Anyways, I remember this one weekend when I realized that we weren’t gonna be able to sell our logs from Cyrene up in Brittania, so I dug this ditch thru by a big rock so that I could connect what the Romans would later call the Mediterranean Lake to the Atlantic Ocean. I didn’t realize that my digging would cause that big ole city to sink and whatnot...I just needed a way to float my logs up to Brittania.

That reminds me! I remember this one time when me and Paul took a couple of days off and we went fishin in the Mediterranean Lake. You wouldn’t believe the size of this fish we caught! It was so big, that when we pulled it on shore, and opened it up, we found a guy inside! Can’t remember what his name was now...Johann or Jonas or something like that.

Paul always had this big dumb blue ox but I had a pet camel. His name was Charlie. I remember this one time when Charlie was really thirsty and took a big ole drink from the Nile. Those Egyptians were so mad when the river ran dry on them for four months. I don’t get it...I told them I was sorry...

Do y’all think our clear-cutting of the Sahara Forest had anything to do with making that desert?


17 posted on 08/28/2010 8:05:46 PM PDT by stefanbatory (Insert witty tagline here)
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