The Annals of Tuthmosis III: Tribute or Gift?
In the Annals of Tuthmosis III, 1 the goods arriving in Egypt are recorded annually as a direct consequence of the military victories of Pharaoh, 2 but classified differently. Apart from ‘booty’ (ḥ',q) 3 obtained from the battlefield after a victory or from plundering a conquered town, the other incoming goods are labelled b',k ‘production’, 4ínw ‘supply’, or bí',t ‘marvels’. 5 Examples of the three types of delivery are as follows:
Production (b',k) of the wretched Kush: gold x00 dbn and 6 shekels; 36 negro slaves, male and female; 111 oxen and calves, 185 bulls, total 306; besides vessels laden with ebony, ivory, all the good products of this country, together with the harvest of this country. 6
The supply (ínw) of the chief of Ashur: genuine lapis lazuli: a large block making 20 dbn and 9 shekels; genuine lapis lazuli: two blocks; total: three; and pieces making 30 dbn; total 50 dbn and 9 shekels. Fine lapis lazuli from Babylon. Vessels from Ashur of ḥrtt-stone in colors, [. . .] very many. 7
Marvels (bí',t) brought to the fame of his majesty from Punt: dried myrrh, 240 measures. 8
This classification is based on differences in the status of the supplying countries, the kind of goods supplied and the regularity of their arrival.
As to the supplying countries, they are arranged in three concentric belts. The inner belt of b',k-paying lands is an extension of the Egyptian administration in foreign lands. It consists of Nubia and limited parts of Syria–Palestine: the ‘harbours’ on the coast and an agricultural area