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Old May 8th, 2017, 09:24 AM   #1

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The White Wall


Following the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt by Narmer in the late fourth millennium BC, the Kingdom of Egypt became the first empire in recorded history. Egypt's first pharaoh soon ordered the construction of a new capital at the base of the Delta, a metropolis that became known as Memphis.

This city was not only the world's first imperial capital, it was also the largest fortified settlement in history up till that time. It was guarded by a network of thick mudbrick fortifications that were painted white, giving the city its ancient name of "The White Wall."

While Egypt does not usually come to mind when one thinks of military superpowers of antiquity, the ancient Egyptians were quite advanced in the art of war. Beginning with their precedent at Memphis, the Egyptians of the first four dynasties established a vast network of earthen fortifications up and down the entire length of the Nile, from the Delta to Aswan, and into the occupied territories of Nubia. These mud-brick fortresses were in fact a very early precursor of the medieval European castle.

The ancient Egyptian arsenal during the Early Dynastic Period and the Old Kingdom was more than a match for the Pharaonic empire's potential enemies. This arsenal included such advanced weapons of war as arsenic hardened copper, recurve bows, armored spearmen, and the first navy in recorded history.

This thread will be for discussions of the ancient Egyptian military and ancient Egyptian warfare from Predynastic times till the Late Period (ca. 3500-332 BC).
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Old May 8th, 2017, 09:57 AM   #2

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Well, lets get into the meat of it.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old May 8th, 2017, 10:00 AM   #3

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Well, lets get into the meat of it.

Click the image to open in full size.

Nice photograph. That is a New Kingdom Kapesh. Which was adopted from a simple farmer's sickle to become the most powerful hand to hand weapon of the late Bronze Age.
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Old May 8th, 2017, 10:22 AM   #4

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Nice photograph. That is a New Kingdom Kapesh. Which was adopted from a simple farmer's sickle to become the most powerful hand to hand weapon of the late Bronze Age.
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The earliest known depiction of a khopesh is from the Stele of Vultures, depicting King Eannatum of Lagash wielding the weapon; this would date the khopesh to at least 2500 BC.[4]

These weapons changed from bronze to iron in the New Kingdom period.

The khopesh went out of use around 1300 BC. [
This one dated 1750 BC

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Sichelschwert (Khopesh) aus Sichem (Nablus); Einlagen aus Elektron, um 1750 BC, Staatl. Museum Ägyptischer Kunst, München.
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Old May 8th, 2017, 10:27 AM   #5

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This one dated 1750 BC

Oh neat. I didn't know that. Perhaps the weapon was known in Egypt as early as the Old Kingdom. According to the information you provided, it was used at least as early as the late Middle Kingdom.
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Old May 8th, 2017, 10:31 AM   #6

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The ancient Egyptians also developed a unique concept of holy war very early in their history. According to the cosmological principle of ma'at, which was of extreme antiquity, the Egyptians were a blessed nation and the only true human beings on earth.

Foreigners were viewed as the embodiment of isfet, or chaos, and the pharaohs would thus regularly lead armed expeditions against foreigners for the purpose of conquering chaos. I mentioned this in some detail in my thesis.
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Old May 8th, 2017, 10:36 AM   #7

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Ancient Egypt: Edged weapons

Simple read. However some place in a university library is a 6 inch thick book on the subject. Half the pages foot notes and 200 pages the bibliography. LOL
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Old May 8th, 2017, 10:48 AM   #8

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The ancient Egyptians also developed a unique concept of holy war very early in their history. According to the cosmological principle of ma'at, which was of extreme antiquity, the Egyptians were a blessed nation and the only true human beings on earth.

Foreigners were viewed as the embodiment of isfet, or chaos, and the pharaohs would thus regularly lead armed expeditions against foreigners for the purpose of conquering chaos. I mentioned this in some detail in my thesis.
I think the last one to go realiy pound the neighbors was Shoshenq. Did a little work in the Levant.
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Old May 8th, 2017, 10:54 AM   #9

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Ancient Egypt: Edged weapons

Simple read. However some place in a university library is a 6 inch thick book on the subject. Half the pages foot notes and 200 pages the bibliography. LOL

I go on that website often, as I find it to be a good reference. However, I noticed some glaring mistakes on that page on edged weapons. The author claims their were no evidence of spears from the Old and Middle Kingdoms, when in fact copper tipped spears were the primary infantry weapon from those periods.

The Egyptian army of the Old and Middle Kingdoms consisted of front-line spearmen, occasionally wearing linen armor, and carrying large wood and animal hide shields. They were backed up by archers armed with recurved bows. Egyptian archers were among the best in the ancient world.
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Old May 8th, 2017, 10:58 AM   #10

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I think the last one to go realiy pound the neighbors was Shoshenq. Did a little work in the Levant.

He was perhaps the last of Egypt's warrior pharaohs. Shoshenq was of the 24th dynasty, descended from Egyptianized Libyans. Although the Twenty Sixth Dynasty (664-525 BC) is widely considered an age of renaissance in Egyptian history, there was very little military activity during that period. At least until the reign of Amasis.

Last edited by Lord Harry; May 8th, 2017 at 11:17 AM.
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