Akkadian and Elamite Impact on Early Egypt. Part Three: Eastern Influences upon Egypt

Narmer

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

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Argues a need to lower Pre- and early Dynastic Egypt well down the timescale, the better to align with a powerful Akkadian dynasty in its sometimes partnership with the Elamites.

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Introduction

Thanks to the new research, as previously noted, “a whole world panorama had been opened”.

And it is significantly different from the linear evolutionary pattern as given in the textbooks.

Biblically, the complex of the patriarch Abram, Melchizedek, and the four eastern kings, can now be set archaeologically at Ghassul IV in Palestine, at the end of the Chalcolithic period; in the Halaf phase (the lost culture) of the Akkadians; coupled with Jemdat Nasr, perhaps pertaining to Elam; connected with the Uruk period, also known as Protoliterate; and contemporaneous with the Late Chalcolithic period of Egypt, its Gerzean phase (associated with Naqada II) or pre-dynastic.

This is close to the time of the enigmatic Narmer.

“Narmer was apparently late Gerzean – Chalcolithic, and was [contemporary] with Arad I,22 or the end of Ghassul IV in Palestine, the end of which has before been dated at around 1870 B.C. during the days of Abraham” (http://creation.mobi/a-better-model-for-the-stone-age). Now, according to my reconstructions, most recently:

Dr. W.F. Albright’s Game-Changing Chronological Shift

https://www.academia.edu/15313044/Dr._W.F._Albright_s_Game-Changing_Chronological_Shift

this Narmer was none other than the Akkadian potentate, Naram Sin, a descendant of Sargon, and contemporary of first pharaoh Menes. If this be the case, then the foreign name, “Naram”, may have been hieroglyphically represented on the Narmer Palette by these rebus symbols,

n’r (catfish) and mr (chisel), being the phonetic representation of Narmer’s name.

 

Akkad and Elam Affecting Egypt

Gerzean Culture

 

This is the cultural phase when Mesopotamia is thought to have influenced Egypt to some extent, though historians can tend to play down the influence. According to what I have already discussed, however, in:

Part One:

https://www.academia.edu/15783619/Akkadian_and_Elamite_Impact_on_Early_Egypt._Part_One_Archaeological_Connections

and in

Part Two:

https://www.academia.edu/16555886/Akkadian_and_Elamite_Impact_on_Early_Egypt._Part_Two_Lost_Culture_of_the_Akkadians

with the Akkadians more centrally located to NE Syria, the eastern influence upon Egypt would have been even less Mesopotamian-based.

The following excerpt provides us with the typical conventional treatment of this matter, generally using that linear sort of approach. I shall include some comments:

Samarra culture, Tell Halaf and Tell Ubaid

….

The Gerzean culture, from about 3500 to 3200 BC, is named after the site of Gerzeh. It was the next stage in Egyptian cultural development, and it was during this time that the foundation of Dynastic Egypt was laid.

Gerzean culture is largely an unbroken development out of Amratian Culture, starting in the delta and moving south through upper Egypt, but failing to dislodge Amratian culture in Nubia.

Gerzean pottery is distinctly different from Amratian white cross-lined wares or black-topped ware. Gerzean pottery was painted mostly in dark red with pictures of animals, people, and ships, as well as geometric symbols that appear derived from animals. Also, “wavy” handles, rare before this period became more common and more elaborate until they were almost completely ornamental.

Although the Gerzean Culture is now clearly identified as being the continuation of the Amratian period, significant amounts of Mesopotamian influences worked their way into Egypt during the Gerzean which were interpreted in previous years as evidence of a Mesopotamian ruling class, the so-called Dynastic Race, coming to power over Upper Egypt. This idea no longer attracts academic support.

Comment: Because of conventional “academic” mis-datings and mis-identifications, the clearly stated Akkadian contact with Egypt (Magan) and with Ethiopia (Meluhha) cannot be recognised for what it is. King Ashurbanipal wrote about his first march against Egypt, “In my first campaign I marched against Magan, Meluhha, Tarka, king of Egypt and Ethiopia, whom Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, the father who begot me, had defeated, and whose land he brought under his sway”. Nevertheless, the following clumsy overview of “Meluhha” completely fails to admit these obvious connections (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meluhha):

Sumerian texts repeatedly refer to three important centers with which they traded: Magan, Dilmun, and Meluhha. Magan is usually identified with Egypt in later Assyrian texts; but the Sumerian localization of Magan was probably Oman. Dilmun was a Persian Gulf civilization which traded with Mesopotamian civilizations, the current scholarly consensus is that Dilmun encompassed Bahrain, Failaka Island and the adjacent coast of Eastern Arabia in the Persian Gulf.[1][2]

The location of Meluhha, however, is hotly debated. There are scholars today who confidently identify Meluhha with the Indus Valley Civilization (modern South Asia) on the basis of the extensive evidence of trading contacts between Sumer and this region. ….

Sargon’s inscriptions report that ships from Magan, Meluhha, and Dilmun, among other places, rode at anchor in his capital of Akkad (or Agade).

With Sargon the Great’s famous descendant, Naram Sin, now identified (as I see it), in Egypt, as Narmer, whose approximate archaeological phase we now know, then might not Sargon himself also figure amongst those ‘Dynastic Race’ potentates? I shall shortly come back to that. The ‘Samarra’ article continues:

Distinctly foreign objects and art forms entered Egypt during this period, indicating contacts with several parts of Asia. Objects such as the Gebel el-Arak knife handle, which has patently Mesopotamian relief carvings on it, have been found in Egypt, and the silver which appears in this period can only have been obtained from Asia Minor.

In addition, Egyptian objects are created which clearly mimic Mesopotamian forms, although not slavishly. Cylinder seals appear in Egypt, as well as recessed paneling architecture, the Egyptian reliefs on cosmetic palettes are clearly made in the same style as the contemporary Mesopotamian Uruk culture, and the ceremonial mace heads which turn up from the late Gerzean and early Semainean are crafted in the Mesopotamian “pear-shaped” style, instead of the Egyptian native style.

Comment: Regarding “Cylinder seals”, I should like to mention, in the context of the eastern coalition of Genesis 14:1, led by the Elamite, Chedorlaomer, what N. Grimal has referred to as the: “Presence in Egypt of Mesopotamian Cylinder seals of the Jemdat Nasr period” (A History of Ancient Egypt. Blackwell, 1992, p. 29); the Jemdat Nasr culture being associated with Elam by Dr. John Osgood:

A Better Model for the Stone Age Part 2

http://creation.com/a-better-model-for-the-stone-age-part-2

Osgood wrote there:

Taking the former supposition of the Jemdat Nasr culture being identified with the biblical story of Genesis 14 and the Elamite Chedarloamer,4 we would expect to find some evidence in Aram or northern Mesopotamia of Jemdat Nasr influence, but this would only be the latest of cultural influences in this region superseding and dominant on other cultures.

King Scorpion

There are thought to be two (I and II) such named rulers. Perhaps I and II need to be merged, however details are hard to come by, as are dates. Nevertheless, the ‘Scorpion Macehead’ is notable (http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/scorpionking.htm):

This macehead depicts a King or Chieftain wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt in full ritual dress, with the bulls tail representing power, hanging from the back of his belt. The multi-petalled rosette or star at this time was used to identify Egyptian kings and in fact, in neighboring Sumer, signified divinity itself. It is shown in front of his face, along with a clearly drawn scorpion sign, thereby giving his name as indicated earlier to be Srqt, or Scorpion. In another convention of Egyptian [sic] art, this kingly, perhaps quasi-divine, figure is drawn towering over his companions and attendants.

King Scorpion is accompanied by his high officers, who carry standards on which are displayed symbols identified with particular districts into which Egypt was divided. …. On this macehead, Scorpion is apparently performing a ceremony using a hoe. Perhaps he is opening the irrigation dykes to begin the flooding of the fields, or perhaps he is cutting the first furrow for a temple or even a city to be built, thus beginning a foundation ritual which was a kingly prerogative in Egypt (similar to Roman emperors millennia later, shown on coins ploughing the outline of a city at its foundation).

The decorative frieze around the remaining top of the macehead has lapwing birds hanging by their necks from vertical standards. In hieroglyphics these rekhyts have been interpreted to represent the common people of Egypt, and their fate seems to indicate that they were conquered by King Scorpion. However, some authorities have interpreted the rekhyt symbol as only later representing the Egyptian population, whereas early in predynastic history they referred to foreigners or non-Egyptians instead. Thus the Scorpion macehead and Narmer palette may represent the respective rulers as having successfully defeated foreigners from the west Delta (something which happened later in history as well.)

[End of quote]

Similarly as I have suggested that Naram [Sin]’s name may have been rendered by the Egyptians as nar mer, so I now tentatively propose that Scorpion’s name (Egyptian serket) may be meant to render Sharrukin (= Sargon), Naram-Sin’s ancestor.

Scorpion appropriately pre-dated Narmer.

That there then was a foreign (thought to have been ‘Mesopotamian’) influence upon Egypt is apparent from the following article, “Mesopotamian influences under king Scorpion II”, in which we also learn of the (disputed) view of some – perfectly in accord with the above – “that the first Egyptian chieftains and rulers were themselves of Mesopotamian origin”,  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Scorpion#Mesopotamian_influences_under_king_Scor): “All listed motifs and emblems, but also tomb architecture and traded items (such as tools, bead collars and cylinder seals) prove a surprising strong and extensive influence of Mesopotamian culture and religion to the early Egyptians. This cognition is promoted by the evaluations of architectural developments, visible at burial places such as Minshat Abu Omar, Hierakonpolis and Naqada. The architectural methods used for building complex and stable tombs were clearly copied from Mesopotamian buildings. It is not fully clarified why the Egyptians fostered their amicable relationship with Mesopotamia so intensively – some scholars[who?] believe that the first Egyptian chieftains and rulers were themselves of Mesopotamian origin, but this is still unproven.

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