Conspiracies in the Egyptian Palace: Unis to Pepy I

Conspiracies in the Egyptian Palace: Unis to Pepy I

Conspiracies in the Egyptian Palace: Unis to Pepy I

Conspiracies in the Egyptian Palace: Unis to Pepy I

Synopsis

This original study examines the claims for sensational intrigues in the 6th century Egyptian palace, culminating in the possible assassination of King Teti by his own bodyguards.New evidence from the author's recent excavations is set against the written claims of the ancient historian Manetho. This offers the reader a unique opportunity to compare archaeological and historical evidence, and sheds new light on the political conspiracies and quarrels of the age.With over 80 illustrations, and clear presentation of the dynastic tomb excavations, the book also gives a rare and accessible insight into Old Kingdom society and administration under the kings Unis, Teti and Pepy I. It will be valuable to all students of Egyptian history.

Excerpt

During the last two decades I have had the privilege of working in the Unis and Teti Cemeteries in archaeological excavations and/or recording and publishing previously uncovered tombs. The work was conducted as a joint project between the Australian Centre for Egyptology and the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities and more recently in conjunction with the University of Suez Canal. From the outset it became clear that not only do these two cemeteries contain some of the most beautifully decorated tombs from the Old Kingdom, but also conceal evidence for the study of one of the most intriguing periods in Egyptian history. It should, however, be emphasized that the aim of this book is not to study the history of this period but some specific events which occurred within the period. With the progress of the fieldwork intriguing secrets continued to unfold, fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle, giving the picture of an unusually troubled time, full of turmoil and conspiracies. The exact interpretation of these events is neither simple nor certain, as the Egyptian himself presumably did not wish to overly publicize them. The task was challenging, and still is, for the reader may explain the same evidence differently, or look at it from another angle. New discoveries in other cemeteries may confirm, modify, or drastically change the present interpretation; yet one should not shy away from offering an opinion lest it be criticized by some or proven wrong by future finds. Such is the nature of historical investigations and it is only through the wide exchange of opinions that problems are better understood. With this in mind, the reader is here presented with the data and a possible interpretation - but perhaps not the only one!

I was helped on site and in the preparation of this book by many individuals, too many to be able to list here, but to them all goes my deepest appreciation for their contribution to the project. Special thanks, however, are due to the regular team, Ann McFarlane, Sameh Shafik, Elizabeth Thompson and Naguib Victor, for their dedication and hard work, and to Kim Wilson who ably edited the manuscript, and Joan Beck and Joan Pollett who carefully proof-read it. With the exception of Figure 2.2, all photographs published here are from the expedition's records, while line drawings not

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