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date: 20 April 2019

Egypt and the Mediterranean in the Bronze Age: The Archaeological Evidence

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of possible types of cultural contact between Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean and of the available sources, both archaeological and textual, and their interpretational values and problems. The focus is on the Early and Middle Bronze Ages, corresponding to the Early Dynastic period, the Old Kingdom, the First Intermediate Period, the Middle Kingdom, and the Second Intermediate Period in Egypt. Using sources that have recently come to light, especially pottery, the article stresses the contextual information of such finds and considers changes in paradigms of interpretation. Analyzing and interpreting imported and “imitation” wares and objects is a relatively new and very difficult field, one that has initiated a re-evaluation of both textual and archaeological evidence.

Keywords: trade relations, Aegean, gift exchange, cultural contact, archaeological context, pottery, imitations, Middle Kingdom, Old Kingdom, Bronze Age

Introduction

For a considerable period of time, scholarship often maintained that Egypt—as a monolithic and “pure”1 culture—did not owe many of its achievements to influences from other cultures except, perhaps, for raw materials.2 This viewpoint has lingered because Egyptian culture retains a peculiar recognition value in the eyes of the observer, more so than contemporaneous cultures in the eastern Mediterranean.3 Thus, contacts with other cultures and influences derived from such contacts were underestimated in the past because not enough credit was given to the fact that any nonlocal contact must invariably and mutually change both interacting parties. It is, of course, debateable to what extent such changes can be perceived in material culture because individual choice also plays a role in accepting or rejecting external influences.

More recent research demonstrates that, from earliest times, the Egyptian Nile Delta and the Nile Valley had some sort of contact with southern Palestine and even Mesopotamia.4 The presence of uncontexted singular objects such as the “Gebel el-Araq” knife, which combines Egyptian and Near Eastern elements, seems to indicate such contacts, but the lack of archaeological context means there is a lack of connective data.5 Thus, overly complex interpretations of such objects may not reflect ancient realities. It is also important to stress that the nature of the source material must be borne in mind: the earlier the period, the smaller the variety of extant source types and, in all likelihood, the less densely distributed the evidence available for interpretation. This becomes especially evident in considering the diachronic development of Egyptian relations with the surrounding world.

For earlier periods, it remains difficult to describe the nature of these relations and how they were conducted—directly or indirectly—solely from finds of material culture. Objects made from raw materials not naturally occurring in Egypt or in the neighboring areas (e.g., cedar wood, obsidian, lapis lazuli) attest to contacts that must have existed, but the organizational framework and scale of such contacts remain largely unknown. For later periods, source types and contextual information increase and more material is preserved, including easily portable items, such as pottery or seals, which could be transported by many different agents. In Egypt, inscriptions in tombs or temples, or from royal decrees, offer another source of evidence for cross-cultural contact, as do administrative documents and literary compositions. Funerary stelae made for individuals with administrative titles and autobiographical texts sometimes bear records of travel to other parts of the world, often recounting the deceased’s great deeds, for which he had been amply rewarded. 6 The difficulty lies in the reconciliation and contextualization of these different source types so that they can be interpreted to mutual benefit without too uncritical usage of written sources.7

It is also important not to project backward in time reconstructions of events informed by better-documented periods, with more varied types of source material because it is by no means possible to be sure whether the state of affairs attested later indeed reflects the earlier periods as well. This will hold true even if the archaeological record in both periods may look very similar.

Bearing these caveats in mind, this chapter highlights the variety of source types, both archaeological and textual, that can be used to explore the nature and extent of contacts between Egypt and the Mediterranean in the Bronze Age. Although a thorough treatment of all the known sources would go well beyond the scope of this chapter, the available material offers a variety of interpretations and numerous avenues for further research. After discussing the geographic context of Egyptian and Mediterranean contacts, the chapter considers models for understanding cross-cultural contact and exchange networks in archaeology. This is followed by a chronological overview of evidence from the region, with a particular emphasis on the Early and Middle Bronze Ages.

Egypt and the Mediterranean: Geographies of Contact

In considering Egypt and her relations to the Mediterranean, a distinction in approach may be made: her direct neighbors—Libya, Palestine, and coastal Syria—could be reached overland without the necessity to build and master seagoing ships.8 These areas are in a similar league to Nubia, which is well connected via land routes but also by means of river boats. Interestingly, overland activities in the northern Sinai area and the southern Levant are not attested for all periods (see later discussion), and finding out about the possible reasons for it provides an area of further research.

Whether contacts to places further afield, such as central Africa, northern Syria, and further inland toward Mesopotamia as well as to the Aegean, Cyprus, and Anatolia, were conducted directly or via intermediaries remains unclear for most of the Bronze Age.9

A number of foreign sites abroad seems to have had a special relationship to Egypt from very early in their history, and these relationships lasted for long periods. Byblos in particular stood in close contacts with Egypt from the Old Kingdom onward.10 In the Middle Kingdom, the rulers of Byblos were referred to by means of Egyptian administrative titles.11 The site remained important as part of the political network of the Late Bronze Age (Amarna correspondence).12 “Hathor, mistress of Byblos” appears in texts, and, in the New Kingdom, a temple was erected for her.13

The eastern part of the Mediterranean was particularly favorable to the formation of maritime contacts due to the combinations of winds, currents, and general topography. Without those preconditions, the relations between those areas would not have developed in the way they did. They play a major role, which cannot be stressed enough.14

Relations with Crete and the Greek mainland should probably be seen quite differently because the access and possible direct influence by ship or via intermediaries was probably not as impressive and threatening as an overland campaign with thousands of soldiers. For the Old Kingdom, there is no proof for direct contact between Egypt and Crete.15 When maritime activity by means of seagoing vessels in the Levant and along the coast began is also not very clear, but it is assumed to have started already in the Early Bronze Age,16 and it is indirectly indicated in the 4th Dynasty on the Palermo Stone.17 However, a maritime military expedition to the southern Levant is attested by Weni in the reign of Pepy I of the 6th Dynasty.18 In addition, due to the fact that the toponyms of the Aegean islands are not identified beyond dispute, textual references remain often ambiguous.19

Interestingly, Cyprus, contrary to the modern view, belonged to “Asia” (Setjet) at least in the Middle Kingdom, according to the Memphite inscription of Amenemhet II if, indeed, the identification of I3sy with Alashia is correct.20 Thus, imported archaeological material found in these respective places affords additional evidence for interaction of some kind, but it remains difficult to provide unequivocal proof for direct contact or clarification of the circumstances of its arrival.21

Contacts with Foreign Countries According to the Egyptian Worldview

From very early on, the difference between Egypt—the local—and everything else (i.e., nonlocal) appears in texts (esp. late Old Kingdom). Those “outside” were given various names, such as “Asiatic,” “Nubian,” or “Libyan” and the like, and phenotypical differences between Egyptians and those “others” started to be shown with changing consistency and canon in pictorial evidence.22 Not only does this contrasting juxtaposition exist, but the pharaoh is in control of it and the sun god will destroy foreign countries for him, if they rebel against his rule.23

Over time, foreigners were relegated from initially equal status to Egyptians to, in a much later period, impure people per se. At first, everybody, irrelevant of which descent, rebeling against a natural order that placed the Egyptian pharaoh at the top was considered an impure outlaw, as becomes clear from the inclusion of Upper and Lower Egyptians and oasis dwellers in the execration texts24 and in the “peoples of the nine bows,”25 who were Egypt’s topical enemies. These peoples were depicted as bows on the underside of pharaoh’s sandals on foot stools or under the feet of his seated statues (cf. the statue base of king Djoser of the 3rd Dynasty26), thus affixing them into submission.27 Written lists of these peoples first appear in the 18th Dynasty in private tombs at Thebes.28

The power of the ruler is also symbolized since the pre-dynastic period by the icon of the “smiting of the enemies/prisoners” (Hierakonpolis tomb 100) that was used until the Roman period. In the beginning of Egyptian history, the identity and visual appearance of the enemy was not very specific and canonically not fixed but had to be added as text.29 As late as the early Middle Kingdom, one instance from Gebelein is known in which an Egyptian is smitten by the king, with an Asiatic and a Libyan prisoner waiting their turn.30

In the Late Bronze Age, these enemies were frequently shown as Asiatics.31 There seems to be a (conceptual? geographical?) difference between the “usual suspects”—“vile” Nubians32 and Asiatics33—and those who are shown less frequently, namely the Libyans, the “people from the islands in the middle of the great green” (the Keftiu),34 and the hau-nebut, generally interpreted as Aegeans. This term means literally “those who are beyond the baskets,” but Delta dwellers might be referred to.35 The rarity of depictions of Aegeans may well be connected to a different status as “international players” rather than vassals,36 thus corroborating the difference between those groups being made in the Egyptian worldview. But they might perhaps not be part of the topical “arch enemies” in the “smiting of the enemy” scenes37 because the evidence for a major war with people of presumably Aegean origin (the Sea Peoples battle of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu) came relatively late in Egyptian history, when this icon was already “fossilized.”

However, it has to be borne in mind that there was in all probability a difference in conduct between the “topical” foreigners as shown smitten on monuments and those met in real life and with whom trade or diplomatic relations were conducted.38

The Archaeology of Cultural Contact: Theoretical Models

In principle, two interaction models are relevant: peer polity and core-periphery relations.39 The difference lies in the degree of autonomy and spatial distance of socio-political groups and whether the “power balance” between groups is symmetrical or not. These categories can be further subdivided, but here only those that may be recognized in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Bronze Age will be mentioned.

Notably to the first category belong warfare (institutionalized competition), ceremonial exchange of valuables (diplomatic gifts, diplomatic marriage), and trade exchange of various products and raw materials in a symmetrical power relationship (mutual exchange of equal value).

Among core-periphery models, colonialism, imperialism, and trade diaspora can be named, and some interpretations of Egyptian and Mediterranean archaeology use these concepts. Here, trade exchange of products and raw materials in an asymmetrical power relationship (exploitation of resources without compensation of equal value) should be mentioned, as well as some expeditions to obtain raw materials.

A few examples of such contacts include the Memphite inscription of Amenemhet II recounting military campaigns with prisoners of war brought back to Egypt as well as commercial relationships to the Levant in the 12th Dynasty,40 whereas papyrus Brooklyn 35.1446 gives lists of Egyptian and foreign workers (Hm–unfree men, women, and children or “servants”) of an elite household.41 The stela of Amenemhet Nebwy from the 12th Dynasty and the inscription of Ahmose son of Ibana (18th Dynasty) relate how they came to “possess” several Asiatic persons as rewards for good service in military campaigns.42 Further contacts are exemplified by the tomb of the foreign wives of Thutmosis III (see later discussion: increasing complexity in the late Bronze Age), frequent archaeological finds of imported pottery and cylinder seals, and the adoption of foreign art motifs and technology.

The Archaeology of Cultural Contact: Material Evidence

For Egyptian and Mediterranean prehistory, an interpretational dependence on material culture as sole tokens of contact and interaction is inevitable. Accordingly, the exact nature of such contacts remains unclear, and possible reconstructions vary widely. Often trade (exchange?) of some kind is presumed under more or less complex circumstances, but military conquest, colonization, and symbolic organization also qualify.43

In considering such interaction, two main scenarios are most frequently discussed,44 whereas two more possibilities are more rarely noted. In principle, these scenarios keep their validity throughout history and are not necessarily restricted to pottery (including, e.g., chipped stone tools, palettes, stone vessels, metal tools, weapons, textiles, building technology and lay-out of buildings,45 building materials, etc.). They could also be applied on an inner Egyptian scale (especially during prehistoric and Early Dynastic periods; e.g., Upper Egyptian pottery that appears on large scale in Lower Egypt46) as well as in other regions and periods of the world.47 Due to the abundance of ceramic material, developments become perhaps most explicit in this object class. Because pottery is so well represented in archaeological contexts in Egypt and the Levant and provides a finer relative chronology than other object types, examples were mainly chosen from these areas:

  1. 1. Pottery made from imported materials (i.e., nonlocal fabrics; e.g. either from Egypt into the Levant, or from the Levant into Egypt); usually a question of quantity in the archaeological record supported by scientific data (petrography, etc.).

  2. 2. “Foreign” pottery types known from Egypt or the Levant, respectively, with nonlocal shapes and nonlocal manufacturing technology, but made in local fabrics with sophisticated choices of raw material; exactitude of “imitation” or “copy” may vary; transfer of technological knowledge; possible time lag between absorption of influence and use of it.48

  3. 3. Pottery consisting of a mixture of Egyptian and Levantine traits (shape/technology); not exactly like one or the other.

  4. 4. Pottery using single elements derived from other spheres, in which it is difficult to isolate the reason for such a borrowing and subsequent inclusion into the local repertoire.

Scenario 1 indicates contact between the Levant/Egypt or other places, not for the pottery’s sake but for its contents, especially where storage vessels or other vessels of closed shapes are concerned. This is certainly also true of stone vessels, and, in respect to the raw material, closed shapes would have contained commodities, whereas open shapes would be most probably traded for their own sake. Whether such contact was direct or indirect depends on more contextual information. Somewhat too automatically, it is presumed that goods coming from the Levant signify trade exchange (resins, oils, wine49), whereas Egyptian vessels found in the southern Levant are taken to constitute provisions from Egypt to trading outposts or military installations. Taking this consideration further, these goods might also stand for exchange value.50 In general, it remains difficult to specify what exactly was traded (e.g., fatty animal/plant substances as detected from residue analyses in vessels51) and how exchange values were estimated, especially in early periods. Another difficulty is that exchanged items may not be immediately obvious as commodities to our modern perception.

Scenarios 2 and 3 are more difficult to explain from archaeology and material culture alone because a multitude of possibilities is available. More thorough studies of this phenomenon are also necessary in order to interpret it.

Scenario 2 is taken to imply that people moved and brought their way of pottery making with them. This is assumed without being able to put forward particular reasons for such mobility, although such approaches are increasingly criticized.52 In order to reach the conclusion that people indeed moved, a firm quantification of the phenomenon is necessary, as well as other evidence for a prolonged presence (e.g., nonlocal building styles, ground plans, technology, burials, religious items or buildings, etc.). The way trades are learned and the learning processes in antiquity are also connected to this scenario.

Scenario 3 is perhaps the most ambiguous because people may have moved from elsewhere and combined certain traits of what they knew before with traits that had to be adapted to new circumstances. Equally possible is that local people saw material from elsewhere and copied what they saw more or less exactly (qualitative differences?).53 Also, local people may have seen material from elsewhere and incorporated some new traits into their way of doing things.54 This must be seen as a profound change in the respective chaîne operatoires of the objects,55 the sequence of steps delineating how any object of material culture has been made and, thus, of the habitus of its producer. Such a change in the choice of how to produce an object that has been made hundreds if not thousands of times in a certain way before cannot be considered to happen without reasons. Just to speculate about the motives from the archaeological records alone is difficult and almost always ambiguous.

Scenario 4 appears in the instance of pre-dynastic wavy handle jars, where, at first, real Palestinian imports appear in Upper Egypt in Naqada IIC, after which an adapted version of different appearance was developed probably in adjustment to the Egyptians’ own needs.56 Thereafter, a long development of that jar type over several centuries leads to the total degeneration of the wavy handle to a nonfunctional decorative element.57 In the Late Bronze Age, amphorae and pilgrim bottles are added to the Egyptian repertoire derived ultimately from Syria/Palestine.

In general, terminology for such processes needs to be chosen with care in order to describe them as accurately and unbiasedly as possible.58 Terms such as “acculturation,” “adaptation,” and “assimilation”59 remain diffuse categories and may imply the presence of people with different cultural identity in one place, in which one culture prevails over the other and the other is no longer visible in the archaeological record. Such theories need to be substantiated by more than a trait in the ceramic repertoire.

Relevant early cases of contact/interaction can be found in the Egyptian Delta as early as the Chalcolithic period in the Lower Egyptian Buto-Maadi culture, where scenario 2 was described60 or in the southern Levant in the Early Bronze Age I (ca. 3700–3100 BC), where scenarios 1, 2, and 3 were noted.61 The interpretation of such finds in early periods usually follows the line that, in scenario 2, pottery is representative of a movement of people who made their pottery according to their habits, in this case in the style of the southern Levant.62 A similar interpretation was offered for part of the pottery found in settlements at Tel Erani, Ma’ahaz,63 and En Besor in the southern Levant.64 As an interpretation for this phenomenon, trading posts of a somewhat fixed nature are preferred to an explanation of an invading Egyptian army, the more so as no fortifications or Egyptian weaponry were actually found. In addition, at Tel Erani, pottery forms may have been found that combine Egyptian and southern Levantine traits in a mixed culture, but the inhabitants also relied on real imports, especially of storage jars. Vessels for daily use and food preparation (bread molds, small bowls, etc.) were mostly made locally.65 Another interpretation stresses the mutuality of scenario 2 in Lower Egypt and the southern Levant and proposes a (temporal) mutual trade model.66 Of major importance for the interpretation are thorough petrographic,67 technological, and typological analyses in order to pinpoint the place of manufacture as exactly as possible to provide a safe basis for further inferences of directions of interaction. Similar findings are reported during the long habitation at the Delta site of Tell el-Daba/Avaris in the Middle Bronze Age/late Middle Kingdom to Second Intermediate Period, where scenarios 1, 2, and 3 are encountered.68

In the following sections, an overview of the archaeological evidence for contacts between Egypt and the Mediterranean from the Early Bronze Age to the end of the Middle Bronze Age will be presented, with a brief mention of the increasing complexity of the Late Bronze Age contact network (a topic that warrants a chapter of its own). It will become clear that some periods and areas are in need of further investigation in order to answer pertinent research questions such as those concerning the origins of commodities and trade routes.

Chronology of Contacts: The Beginnings–Early Bronze Age I–II

The spatial proximity of the Nile Delta and the southern Levant—easily accessible overland along the northern edge of the Sinai peninsula—seems to have facilitated contact and interaction between these two zones69 and likely created a liminal area where cultural borders overlapped almost naturally. In addition, it must not be forgotten that the southern Levant also had contacts with other areas, thus creating a wider network that need not always have included direct contact70 to places far away.

Therefore, it is not a surprise that contacts and interactions between the southern Levant/southern Palestine and Lower Egypt already started in the Chalcolithic71 and were intensified during the Early Bronze IA. In the late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age IA, the importation (or exchange) of a variety of object classes and raw materials (obsidian, lapis lazuli, silver, lead, basalt, bitumen) of obvious non-Egyptian provenance into Egypt was noticed in the archaeological record.72 One of the most important object classes is pottery (used to transport liquid or small grained dry-goods predominantly in closed vessel shapes) because by analysing the raw material of the vessels (e.g., petrography), provenience can often be ascertained,73 although contradictory results occur.74 Moreover, quantitative analysis will give an idea of trade volume and, importantly, of the proportional distribution of imports and local material.75 In addition, chipped stone tools (“Canaanean” blades, tabular scrapers), stone objects made of basalt, bone tools, cedar wood, shells, copper and copper ore, and malachite were found at Lower Egyptian sites such as Buto and Maadi.76 Perhaps olive oil was already imported.77

This represents a wide range of objects and materials that can be attributed to trade in the broadest sense, probably some kind of high-status exchange. But there are also locally made “imitations” of imports, as well as nonlocal pottery manufacturing technology (turning devices, certain tempers; i.e., scenario 2). In addition, some architectural features with affinities to the southern Levant were found.78 These latter attestations cannot be put down to outright trade relations but are certainly more complex (see later discussion on Tell es-Sakan and Yarmouth under the same header for some interpretations).

For the Upper Egyptian Badarian culture, hardly any imported materials (or pottery) are attested in Middle/Upper Egypt in this period. The small volume may be due to solely indirect contacts via Delta cultures by means of intermediaries.79

Egyptian finds in the southern Levant comprise certain disc-shaped mace heads, pottery, Nilotic shells, chipped stone tools, and palettes, but also raw materials (gold, certain stone types lacking in southern Palestine) and even Nile fish (or their bones as tools) that were exported to the Levantine littoral but also further inland from the early fifth to the mid-fourth millennium BC. The contacts seem to have been continuous, but finds are sporadic. Judging from the distribution of the finds, it seems as if no single specific site acted as a trade emporium, where such finds should have been made in greater quantity.80

Contacts between (Lower) Egypt and the southern Levant including the northern Sinai region became more intense in the course of the Early Bronze Age I (ca. 3700–3100 BC). They are better attested than before, especially in the Early Bronze Age IB, contemporary with Upper Egyptian Naqada IIIA, which expanded to Lower Egypt, the reasons for which are disputed.81 Although detailed cultural and chronological synchronisms are still somewhat in flux,82 the overall pattern of the interaction between Egypt and the southern Levant seems clear. Imported items into Egypt include Canaanean flint blades, basalt bowls and more frequently pottery,83 and possibly copper. The main places of contact and interaction in that period in Lower Egypt are at Minshat Abu Omar,84 Buto,85 and, to a lesser extent, Maadi because typical ceramic imports from the southern Levant are rare there.86 Tell el-Farkha and Tell el-Iswid in the eastern Delta also belong to this area of contact.87

Approximate comparative chronological terminology in Egypt and the Levant88

Approx. absolute dates

Egypt

Levant

ca. 3900–ca. 3100 B.C.

Naqada I–IIIC1

Early Bronze Age I

ca. 3100/3000–ca. 2700 B.C.

Dynasty 1–2/Early Dynastic Period

Early Bronze Age II

ca. 2700–ca. 2136 B.C.

Dynasty 3–6

Early Bronze Age III/IV

ca. 2136–ca. 2050 B.C.

First Intermediate Period

Early Bronze Age IV/Middle Bronze Age I

ca. 2050–ca. 1650 B.C.

Middle Kingdom

Middle Bronze Age I/II

ca. 1650–ca. 1540 B.C.

Second Intermediate Period

Middle Bronze Age II/III

ca. 1540–ca. 1070 B.C.

New Kingdom

Middle Bronze Age III/Late Bronze Age I/II/Iron Age I

In this period, the mutual exchange/transport of objects or goods becomes also better attested in Upper Egypt, where, from Naqada IIC onward, imported pottery is found, for example, at el-Amrah, Hierakonpolis, Naqada, and Mostagedda. The graves, equivalent to Early Bronze Age I at Abydos, are often richly equipped and suggest that they represent burials of the highest social stratum. Overall, the proportion of imported materials seems low.89 Some burials also contain objects of imported precious materials such as lapis lazuli, silver, turquoise (?), copper(?), obsidian, and basalt.90 Perhaps it is not surprising that the amount of imported goods in Egypt reached an uncontested level in the time of Naqada IIIA (Dynasty 0) at Abydos because the elite/royal burial ground of that period is located there. The discovery of about 750 imported storage jars in Naqada IIIA tombs (equivalent to the middle of Early Bronze Age I) in Cemetery U at Abydos, originally containing Palestinian imported goods, proves this point.91 Most of them contained wine, figs, and, to a lesser extent, vegetable oils.92

In addition to storage jars, only a limited amount of other pottery forms was imported into Egypt, all of closed shape and having contained products of some kinds.93 As usual for Egypt, the evidence is derived from burials. In contrast, many of the finds from the southern Levant derive from settlement layers (Arad, En Besor, Tel Erani, etc.94). Thus, a difference in the functional aspect and contextualization of these finds needs to be taken into consideration.95

The archaeology of the southern Levant also provides information on intense interaction with Egypt in the course of this period (including Dynasty 0); for example, frequent finds of Egyptian and “Egyptianized” or “Egyptianizing” pottery96 at Tel Erani, Tel Halif, En Besor, and Tel Lod.97 The quantity of such pottery compared to Levantine Early Bronze Age pottery within the overall assemblage amounts to only 2%98 to 10%99 at most sites, which is rather low, although the absolute number of ceramic vessels appears high. The quantity of such objects and the surrounding circumstances are decisive for the interpretation. At Tell es-Sakan, a large quantity of such finds is reported in a fortified settlement, so that the interpretation as an Egyptian colonizing settlement situated in the southern Levant was put forward. Egyptian-type buildings were reported as well. The site was abandoned ca. 3000 BC for several centuries and resettled in Early Bronze Age IIIB, but then no Egyptian material was to be found in the southern Levantine plain.100 Also, Yarmuth and other places yielded abundant finds of Egyptian pottery.101 Synchronisms between Egypt and the southern Levant are provided by pre-firing incised serekhs with royal names on pottery vessels.102

Archaeological remains of the Early Bronze Age II (ca 3000–2700 BC) are less well represented in Upper Egypt (only at Abydos in royal tombs), with a cluster at northern sites such as Helwan, Saqqara-West, and Abu Rawash possibly due to a shift of the center of the country. Also, the nature of the imported products seems to have changed because the volume of each vessel is smaller.103 Due to the apparent lack of corresponding trade in the southern Levant, where further evidence for interaction with Egypt ceases almost completely early in the 1st Dynasty,104 these relatively few imports were interpreted as tribute.105 But that may well go beyond the evidence. A contrary view maintains, however, that there may be more archaeological evidence for Egyptian objects (mainly open stone vessels [e.g., at Arad, Yarmuth] probably exchanged for their own sake, not for contents106) and ceramics in the southern Levant than previously anticipated and not yet identified among previously excavated material.107

Transport routes were assumed to have led overland along the north Sinai coast (“Ways of Horus”), at first by means of pack animals such as asses or donkeys. Such animals may have a range of ca. 50 km per day maximum.108 Onward distribution could have been easily achieved via the Nile.109 Although there is a possibility of boat or ship traffic sailing closely along the coast at the same time, this seems not yet fully confirmed.110 Only later seagoing ships are attested at the 5th Dynasty mortuary temple of Sahure.111 An open question remains whether the trading routes to Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt were the same or essentially different. Upper Egypt could have been reached via the Red Sea and across the Eastern Desert along wadi routes.

The archaeological findings in Egypt and the southern Levant were interpreted to show an Egyptian presence in the southern Levant to conduct “colonization” in a “peaceful way” in order to acquire local products rather than to colonize in the modern sense during Early Bronze Age IB/Naqada IIC–D to IIIA (ca 3400–3100 BC). The goal seems to have been economic exploitation because many imported vessels that contained wine were found in Cemetery U at Abydos. Asphalt, copper, and olive oil may also have been traded. Thus, the overland trade in Naqada IIIA2 seems well organized. It is thought that some Egyptians emigrated and acculturated rapidly, whereas others kept their cultural affinity to Egypt. Outside of the southern Levant, no similarly dense distribution of Egyptian and locally “copied” vessels and other objects are attested in earlier levels; only in the later stages are they distributed more widely. Later, outright trading posts with ample evidence for Egyptian sealing practices developed.112

A four-part hierarchical model was chosen by van den Brink and Braun113 to explain interaction between Egypt and the southern Levant with very active places along the Mediterranean coast in the Early Bronze Age I and II. It seems now as if Tell es-Sakan, on the “Ways of Horus,” was a main player, close to a maritime route parallel to the coast. The distinction among sites with ample Egyptian imports and local imitations, sites with some such products, and sites without them seems to hint at patterns of local trade via intermediaries (i.e., without direct contact of these lesser sites to Egypt). Tentatively, van den Brink and Braun reconstruct developing social stratification with Egyptian luxury items belonging to elite material culture.114

The dichotomy between representations of defeated enemies around the 1st Dynasty in Egypt on various items and peaceful relations found in archaeology was explained by means of Loprieno’s topos/mimesis model.115 However, evidence is lacking for military presence and repression, as well as reasons for the ceasing of Egyptian archaeological finds in the southern Levant in Early Bronze II/III116 in a more comprehensive reconstruction. Watrin uses scenes on some roughly contemporary knife handles for a political interpretation; namely, for wars between chiefdoms.117 But those scenes might also relate to mythical or ideological scenes far removed from this period.

A diachronic consideration of the types of objects and raw materials exchanged between Egypt and the Levant hints at an exchange of exotic materials needed by high-status Egyptians at first, followed by a more exploitative scheme with possible Egyptian presence and/or trading posts in the southern Levant. After a gap in the evidence during the Early Bronze Age II on both sides, a change in the quality of the objects being exported to the Levant is notable (e.g., high-quality stone vessels and palettes), which bears witness to a change in the social structure in that area. Thus, the relationship between political units in Egypt and the southern Levant seems to have changed.118

After the end of the 2nd Dynasty, sources suggest that Byblos became much more important as a trading partner during the Old Kingdom,119 probably based on the Egyptian need to obtain cedar wood (used, e.g., for the funerary boat of Khufu of the 4th Dynasty).120 Although many Egyptian objects are known from this site, only a few are well-contexted, indicating a date range from the 4th to the 6th Dynasty.121 Opinions differ as to whether reduced contact with the southern Levant during the Early Bronze Age II/III and IV is proved by stone vessels and stone palettes found in that area because many of those items may represent heirlooms due to their exotic and intrinsic values.122 Additional archaeological evidence in the form of pottery imported from Egypt to the southern Levant or locally imitated from secure contexts does not come forward.123 Some connected this shift from the southern to the northern Levant to the introduction of seaborne traffic, which afforded direct access to Byblos. This interaction is seen as an exchange of prestige items with local products on an elite level through royal emissaries.124

Chronology of Contacts: Expansion and Cessation of Relations in Early Bronze Age III/IV

During Dynasties 3 to 6, textual and pictorial sources for contacts with the Mediterranean increased slightly and added several facets to the interpretational scope of archaeology, although the original wealth must have been much larger than what is now preserved. In spite of this scarcity, textual and pictorial references dominated the historical reconstruction of Egyptian foreign relations in the Old Kingdom, although several ancient Egyptian designations for particular groups of non-Egyptians and areas are not identified beyond dispute.125 The historical validity and exact meaning of depictions of ships with Asiatic crew or hostages (women and children were also brought to Egypt with these ships) from the mortuary temple of Sahure and the causeway of Unas are disputed,126 as are siege and battle scenes with Asiatic cities in several private tombs of the 6th Dynasty.127

Archaeological evidence for Egyptian pottery in secure Early Bronze III and IV contexts in the southern Levant (modern Israel, Jordan, and Palestine) except the Sinai is overall lacking,128 but a small number of Egyptian objects mainly of stone or semiprecious stone (imported and locally made palettes, mace heads, beads from carnelian and faience, and stone vessels) were found at Numeira, Bab edh-Dhra, Tel Halif, Yarmuth, Ai, Megiddo, Beth Yerah, and perhaps Jericho.129 The small number and size of these objects does not necessarily prove direct contacts between Egypt and the southern Levant, but these finds were interpreted as possible diplomatic gifts in the light of a contemporary tomb inscription.130

Further north, the important inland site of Ebla also yielded some evidence for imported Egyptian stone vessels of open shape, probably remnants of diplomatic exchange in the Old Kingdom.131 Similar finds from other northern sites such as Ugarit, Hama, Alalakh, or Qatna/Mishrife132 were derived from much later contexts and thus do not add evidence to contacts in the Old Kingdom, but considerably later, and the nature of these contacts may have been quite different.

Two possibly Egyptian items, stone bowls, were found in Cyprus and the Cyclades in securely dateable contexts,133 whereas only on Crete were a slightly larger concentration and variety of Egyptian objects identified in contexts of Early Minoan II to III. Again, open stone vessels are a major component of the few finds, but also one faience vessel. These sporadic finds—traded for their own sake not being containers of some commodity—may also have reached Crete indirectly rather than in regular direct contact.134

Perhaps naturally, the best known archaeological evidence consists of ceramic imports (scenario 1) from the Levant into Egypt, namely vessels and fragments of “combed ware” representing large storage jars and one-handled jugs. Such containers are mainly known from the exhaustive excavations of the elite cemeteries of the Old Kingdom (4th to 6th Dynasty) at Giza, Abusir, and Saqqara,135 with much smaller quantities from Dahshur, Meydum, Matmar, and Edfu.136 Only a minor component comes from contemporary settlement sites at Giza and Elephantine.137 Other imported materials include wood (e.g., cedar: funerary boat of Khufu, two coffins) and very few lapis lazuli beads distributed across the country.138 The small items especially could have taken a quite indirect route until they were finally deposited in tombs.

The reidentification of the mastaba tomb of the vizier Weni of the 6th Dynasty at Abydos also allows us to regard imported containers found there in context. In his autobiography,139 Weni stated that he had undertaken a major military campaign against the “Asiatic sand-dwellers” in the reign of pharaoh Pepy I.140 Among the ceramic material that can most probably be linked to this and two contemporary tombs of high officials is a minimum number of 11 imported flat-based transport containers from the Levant belonging typologically to the Early Bronze Age III. These fragments represent material imported to Upper Egypt, and the currently existing corpus of such material is extremely small. Only three vessels are known from tombs at Matmar and Edfu. Thus, a single find increased this corpus by a staggering 360%. From this, it also becomes obvious that firm conclusions can hardly be built on such a foundation as yet. Because these vessels were found close to high-status burials, the availability of goods transported in them points to an occurrence in elite contexts also in the 6th Dynasty. The closeness to the king might have afforded the tomb owner the favor of obtaining imported goods that came in such containers. That it was indeed the contents and not the vessels could be ascertained by the fact that some content still stuck to the vessels. Analyses have yet to be conducted. The fabrics of the fragments from Abydos seem to belong to the same fabric group, albeit in variants. This suggests a single trading place for these vessels.141

In total, the volume of these trade contacts between Egypt and the southern and northern Levant cannot be called overwhelmingly large,142 although there may still be some unidentified items, especially transport containers. In addition, the basis of evidence is not the same because, as always, the Egyptian finds are biased toward coming from cemeteries and not from settlements. As for contacts with Crete, current evidence is still so scarce that direct trade/exchange seems unlikely.

Scrutiny of the origin and distribution patterns of the transport containers of this period is still in its infancy, and new work in this area will be highly informative.143 The goods transported also warrant closer examination by means of residue analysis, with the consensus on wares most probably imported into Egypt during the Old Kingdom being coniferous resins, vegetable oil (olive?), and perhaps wine.144 In places, the evidence is very patchy, and this perhaps has been too readily interpreted as interruption of contacts. New excavations and new analytical methods constantly bring further evidence to light so that updating of interpretations is repeatedly necessary.

Relations between the Levant and Egypt seem to have come to an end, at least archaeologically, during the Early Bronze Age IV, equivalent to the late 6th Dynasty and First Intermediate Period (ca. 2136–2023 BC). As reason for the cessation of any kind of foreign relations, a complete sociopolitical collapse on both sides has been postulated, where Asiatic products were no longer needed (or could not be obtained) on the Egyptian side and could not be produced on the Asiatic side.145 That material wealth on a regional level did not totally decline in the First Intermediate Period in Egypt has been shown by means of a thorough analysis of the cemeteries straddling the late Old Kingdom and the beginning of the Middle Kingdom. Among this archaeological material were no imported goods, except a few of those jars already mentioned earlier and dating to the late Old Kingdom.146 It is, of course, possible that such material might have been present only as fragments, which would not necessarily have been collected in the early excavations. But as neither Saqqara West nor Ehnasya el-Medina/Herakleopolis Magna, two typical sites situated in the northern part of Egypt in that period yielded any imported ceramic material, complete or fragmentary, despite continued study, this possibility appears increasingly unlikely.147 Moreover, Herakleopolis was the center of rule in the north during that period and would have been the natural end point for any imported high-status goods.

The Chronology of Contact: A New Beginning: The Middle Bronze Age

Except for possible military clashes between “Asiatics” and Egyptians recorded in several tombs148 and the stela of Nesumontu149 in the early Middle Kingdom, a break in contacts between the Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt seems to have occurred. Also, the nature of the archaeological evidence available for the Southern Levant/Canaan, for example, precludes an unequivocal interpretation of the relations with Egypt during this period.150

The so-called execration texts seem to demonstrate that the rulers of Egypt were in (ideological) opposition to rulers/elders of other countries, who were also defeated by magical means. This magic ritual is first attested in the Old Kingdom and continues into the Late Period. The texts from the Middle Kingdom seem to show which areas were known to Egypt and were powerful enough to pose a threat to Egyptian borders; moreover, they were taken to demonstrate Egyptian knowledge of the political situation in the Southern Levant.151 Legitimate doubt has been cast on this view, with the argument that several sites mentioned in the execration texts were not inhabited in the contemporary period.152 However, the figures and texts name Nubian, Libyan, and Asiatic notables and places, but none from the Aegean was identified.153

Information about connections increases again, for example, with the inscription of Amenemhet II on blocks discovered reused in Memphis. It gives an important account of the events of two years in this pharaoh’s reign. Included are not only reports on military exploits to Syria/Palestine, but also on the booty brought back, including the numbers of prisoners of war as well as information on seaborne and overland trade relations, including cargo obtained. Although many details remain disputed, such as the localisation of certain places, length and route of voyages, or how many trips were undertaken by ship and by land, this source is a valuable witness attesting to the types of trade goods, commodities procured, the amounts of goods, and ship building. This evidence seems to mark a difference in relations between the northern (Byblos/Ebla) and southern Levant.154

Another aspect of relations is represented by the famous depiction of an “Asiatic” caravan delivering galena (kohl) to Khnumhotep, “mayor” and “Overseer of the Eastern Desert.” This scene shows commerce in a nonroyal tomb context at Beni Hassan (tomb no 3, reign of Senwosret II). Khnumhotep acted as a trading partner on behalf of the king, and to receive such a caravan was part of his office. Naturally, in this context, overland contacts to the northeast, the Sinai, or Syria/Palestine are shown. Whether this was a unique event or regular traffic remains largely conjectural.155

Archaeological objects attesting to trade contacts also increase again in the course of the 12th Dynasty in scenario 1 (see earlier list). Among the earliest commodities traded belong goods delivered in an attractive ceramic vessel class called Levantine Painted Ware, which is of Levantine origin and first appeared infrequently in Egypt in the earlier part of the 12th Dynasty at sites such as Tell el-Daba, Kom el-Hisn, Lisht, Lahun, Edfu, and Elephantine. After the early to mid 13th Dynasty, this type of pottery generally petered out. Currently, it is believed that the provenance of this ceramic ware is not to be sought at one single site but that it was probably produced in several places along the Syrian/Levantine coast.156 Most of the vessel types belong to closed shapes (jars, jugs, and juglets of various sizes),157 thus implying a transport function for these containers. But the attractively painted patterns, burnished surfaces, and new vessel types (e.g., dipper juglets) might have given the vessels an additional intrinsic value because nothing similar existed in the contemporary Egyptian pottery repertoire for some time to come.158 Similarly, rare ceramic imports of “luxury wares” came into Egypt from Crete,159 among them Kamares Ware.160 Such wares are also found in the Levant, thus attesting to the existence of a widely woven trade and/or political network in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean.161 Soon, also Middle Cypriote Wares began to be circulated in this area.162 These wares have also important implications on the chronological network of the Eastern Mediterranean, but these cannot be discussed in detail here.163 The lack of proper quantification represents a severe shortcoming because imported (and sometimes pretty) pottery is always published first and usually in no meaningful relation to the amount of ordinary local ware from the same contexts. Thus, the volume of imported material and of the trade it represents may appear out of proportion and actually larger than it really was.164

A remarkable find is the so-called “el-Tôd treasure” consisting of more than 150 folded silver bowls, ingots, other silver objects, and lapis lazuli items (raw material and finished objects, from several areas and probably earlier periods165) in four bronze chests inscribed with the name of Amenemhat II.166 The date of the deposition of the hoard under the floor of a temple remains unclear.167 It has been suspected that the silver cups originated in Crete, but scientific analyses of the metal of two cups suggested Anatolia or Greece as source for the raw material.168 Exact typological parallels for the silver bowls do not seem to exist in either the Aegean or in the East, but there are singular elements that can be paralleled at a variety of locations in the Eastern Mediterranean.169 Interestingly, a typologically quite exact parallel has come to light at Tell el-Daba in Egypt in a late Second Intermediate Period (mid-15th Dynasty) context, except that it was made from a local sandy Nile clay fabric. The red brown surface is burnished,170 a treatment often used for imitations of vessels originally from Syria/Palestine (scenario 2).171 Although this might shed some light on the origins of the style of such bowls, it cannot serve as ultimate proof for the place of its derivation or dating until some original silver cups are found because the routes of inspiration need not to have been direct or immediate.

Tell el-Daba, ancient Avaris, situated in the northeastern Nile Delta, at a reloading site from sea to Nile, is particularly suited when one wishes to sketch relations to the Mediterranean because a large proportion of commodities seems to have come into Egypt via this site. The long habitation history of roughly 600 years allows considerable insights into the internal developments of settlements, burial customs, and sacral and palatial installations, but a thorough discussion of the site and its importance exceeds the scope of this chapter.172 In the early Middle Kingdom, the Levantine Painted Ware173 was found imported to the site, and then, in the late 12th and early to mid 13th Dynasties, increasing volumes of Middle Bronze Age transport containers and other pottery from Syria/Palestine are found.174 Thus, its interpretation as a harbor town and Egypt’s “door to the northeast” controlling or at least overseeing the land route to the North Sinai and the southern Levant/Palestine seems assured and is supported by two scarabs with an administrative title suggesting an office in this line and a foreign name.175 Whereas in the early Middle Kingdom evidence points to a purely Egyptian settlement with only a few imports,176 in the course of the late 12th and early 13th Dynasties a non-Egyptian presence makes itself felt, expressed by some traits of Syro-Palestinian burial customs (e.g. donkey burials, Syro-Palestinian weapons, personal adornment [toggle pins, metal belts, and diadems], supine body position with flexed legs177). It is worth noting that in the different settlement areas variations occur in the total number of burials in the early to mid 13th Dynasty and that there are several burials without obvious Syro-Palestinian influence.178 Certain phenomena described earlier also occur in the archaeological record of this period; for example, the very exact imitation of previously imported pottery by means of local fabrics (i.e. scenario 2), and it was interpreted in a similar way as is usually done for prehistoric sites—that immigrants with first-hand technical knowledge had come into Tell el-Daba179 and (were) settled there. Although additional written sources180 indicate the presence of “Asiatics” in Egypt at other sites (e.g., at Kahun, Lisht) in the late Middle Kingdom due to military campaigns, a harbor environment may by necessity be an international hub where a multitude of external influences appear and intermingle and also leave traces in the archaeological record. It seems reasonable to assume that this harbor was under Egyptian control as long as the country was under the political control of the 12th and early 13th Dynasties, although no explicit evidence can be produced. Imported materials were delivered to Egyptian sites further south (Memphis,181 Lahun,182 Lisht,183 Elephantine184), although it seems that the proportions are much smaller than at Tell el-Daba and that this distribution was organized along the Nile purely within Egypt.

The development of material culture into a real mixed culture with both Egyptian and Syro-Palestinian elements only took place with the advent of the 15th Dynasty (equivalent to archaeological Phase E/2), about 50–70 years after the late Middle Kingdom (ca. 1650 BC, later Second Intermediate Period). At that time, the ceramic repertoire changed rather suddenly and included both Egyptian and Syro-Palestinian traits to form truly new and “mixed” forms. Further clear influences from Syria-Palestine can be already seen in the ground plans of a number of slightly earlier temples, whereas others are Egyptian, and the use of a Syrian palace ground plan in the 15th Dynasty.185 The trade activities in this period are much reduced compared to the earlier volume of trade with the Eastern Mediterranean. Quantitative analysis of the large transport containers used to import commodities such as resin, vegetable oils, and wine shows very clearly that the amount of the jars found in settlement areas drops considerably from about 25% of the whole ceramic repertoire in the late 12th and early to mid 13th Dynasty to around 10% in the early part of the Second Intermediate Period, and finally to below 5% and less in the later Second Intermediate Period (15th Dynasty).186 Thus, Avaris seems to have lost connections with previously active trading partners. Which party was responsible for this decrease—Egypt or the former partners in the eastern Mediterranean—remains currently hard to fathom. What is clear, however, is that hardly any imported ceramic material penetrated to the south of Egypt at this time (less than 1%, e.g., in Memphis187) exemplifying a loss of contact between the Delta and sites in northern Upper Egypt or differently structured demands.

Egyptian objects and stone vessels of the Middle Kingdom and the Second Intermediate Period found in the eastern Mediterranean are manifold and varied. A major problem of many of these finds, beyond the assertion that high-status gifts were given, is represented by their often being much older than the context in which they were found188 (e.g., a stone vessels of a 12th Dynasty princess in a Late Bronze Age context at Mishrife in Syria189). For this reason no complete list of such finds will be given here.190

A find hinting particularly to high-status gift exchange is from the “Tomb of the Lord of the Goats” at Ebla, which belonged to an Eblaite king: an Egyptian mace with the name of Harnedjheriotef.191

Of some importance are Egyptian scarabs found on Crete in primary contexts, which attest a connection between Egypt and the island in the Middle and Late Bronze Ages.192 Increasingly, certain motifs or icons (lotus flower, the Goddess Taweret, and others) are also exchanged in the Eastern Mediterranean, and this can be explained by moving objects and moving people,193 but the dating, direction of transfer, and inspiration are much harder to ascertain.

Probably during the Second Intermediate Period, a larger number of stone vessels were available and distributed throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. Some scholars connected such finds with the organized looting of high-status Middle Kingdom tombs during the latter part of the Second Intermediate Period, in the course of which prestige items were sold abroad,194 but much of the textual evidence may have been later “propaganda” by the victors in order to be seen to have restored the proper world order.195 The find contexts of such items were mostly tombs with a long habitation history and several interments, so that no clear idea about the exact date of arrival can be formed. Thus, most of the Egyptian items only hint to an indirect connection. An exception is a calcite lid in a primary context with the inscribed name of the Hyksos king Khyan in the palace of Knossos, which seems to indicate some kind of official connection between the two realms.196

More recent work in the Levant has led to a number of identifications of exported Egyptian pottery mainly made of more durable Marl clays of the Middle Kingdom in Middle Bronze Age II contexts representing scenario 1. Noteworthy are archaeological contexts at Ashkelon,197 Tel Ifshar,198 Sidon,199 probably Byblos,200 Fadous Kfarabida,201 und Tell Arqa202 that provide important points of reference for synchronization of archaeological levels. Unfortunately, there is as yet no study that treats the overall quantity of such exports to the Levant in relation to the local Levantine pottery in order to properly appreciate the type and volume of interaction between Egypt and the coastal Levant. Currently, it seems unlikely to represent a reciprocal trade considering the amount of imported “Canaanite” transport jars found at, for example, Tell el-Daba.203 Of course, we are only at the beginning of appreciating exports from Egypt into the Levant, and more may be identified in the near future. Because Egyptian pottery has only been reported from coastal sites or sites very close to the coast in both the southern and northern Levant, these vessels may be by-products of the “Byblos run” in the widest sense undertaken in this period along the coast in order to conduct trade with Byblos, although such ceramic vessels are known from both settlements and cemeteries. Another possibility is that this Egyptian material was indirectly distributed to such sites (e.g., from Byblos) if the amount of imported material is considered at Memphis, which is much lower than at Tell el-Daba (see earlier discussion) as a parallel case.

The Chronology of Contact: Increasing Complexity of Contacts in the Late Bronze Age

In the Late Bronze Age more sources inside and outside of Egypt are available attesting to a much more complicated network and various kinds of interaction, which include trade, diplomacy, and warfare. The sheer amount of archaeological and textual material makes it increasingly difficult to combine these source types.

The invaluable Uluburun shipwreck204 attests to the volume and the use of ships for conducting trade, which probably came from the Levantine coast and represents perhaps a “state controlled” exchange of goods as known from the Amarna correspondence and acted as intermediary between several political entities. In spite of this evident first class source material, it remains disputed whether trade was entirely centralized with royal involvement or if individual efforts for trade relations are a viable model for thinking of such interaction.205 Similarly divided is the opinion on regular direct contacts between the Aegean and Egypt even in the Late Bronze Age and on the actual origin of the proprietors of the Uluburun ship.206

From early on, rows of defeated foreign people (oasis dwellers, Libyans, Asiatics) bring “tributes” or “presents” to the king of Egypt. Also, foreign people as prisoners or hostages are brought to Egypt and represent contacts between Egypt and Libya, Syria/Palestine, and Nubia (e.g., in the mortuary temple of Sahure in the Old Kingdom).207 A later example for such a ceremony can be found in the New Kingdom/Late Bronze Age tomb of Rechmire, who was vizier during the later reign of Thutmosis III and the early reign of Amenhotep II.208 Thus, not only tombs of high officials who were in charge of the organization and reception of these “gifts” show such scenes and inscriptions, but also temple reliefs. The question arises here to what extent such scenes may have been historical or “topical” because Pharaoh rules the whole world according to ancient Egyptian ideology.209

Diplomatic marriages are proved in principle by the presence of the tomb of three foreign wives of Thutmosis III210 and by written documents of the New Kingdom.211 The mighty New Kingdom pharaohs conducted numerous military campaigns212 to the northeastern lands. Innumerable inscriptions and depictions report such campaigns (and invariably their success) that are eternalized on temple walls (especially at Karnak [e.g., Annals of Thutmosis III]213 and at Medinet Habu with the Sea Peoples campaign of Ramses III214) focused naturally on the Egyptian point of view. Although such evidence certainly reflects contemporary Egyptian ideology, it probably does not invent events out of the blue.215 But the exact face value of these reliefs remains unclear, unless similar inscriptions are also found abroad, such as immovable rock inscriptions (e.g., in Nahr el-Kelb of Ramesses II).216 Such sources prove the physical presence of an Egyptian army abroad and corroborate Egyptian texts. Mere stelae could have been moved after erection and were frequently found in secondary deposition. Moreover, being critical, it remains disputed whether campaigns were as successful as expressed in these texts because of the topical thematization of the victorious Egyptian king as ruler of the world. Additional sources, such as the Hittite records in the case of the battle of Qadesh, exemplify caution in interpreting the texts.217 At the same time, it is proved that a conflict actually arose between those two polities.

In addition to these events, increasing attestations of people born outside Egypt and climbing the social ladder come to light, such as the New Kingdom vizier Aper-el, who did not adapt his foreign name to his Egyptian role as high official. Already in the First Intermediate Period some evidence exists to show that it was not necessary to deny one’s descent on a day-to-day level.218

Whether diplomatic relations with the Aegean in the New Kingdom as depicted in private tombs are to be seen as tokens of submission on the part of Aegean dignitaries or should be understood as a “present that was to be returned in kind,” somewhat on the Homeric model,219 remains also unclear. Aegean emissaries (wrongly referred to as Aegean “tribute bringers”220) termed Keftiu221 are depicted in Theban Late Bronze Age tombs of high officials—mainly viziers and High Priests of Amun of Karnak—in the period of Hatshepsut and Thutmosis III. They are shown together with other emissaries from Syria, Nubia, and, more rarely, Punt bringing products for the king, which his administrators receive in his stead. Whereas the other peoples occur also earlier and later (until Amenophis III) than the Aegeans in similar depictions, it seems that no Aegean people themselves were brought as prisoners/hostages/slaves, unlike Nubians and Asiatics. Also later inscriptional mention of Aegeans was made but then they were composed of various elements typically belonging to depictions of Syrians.222 Thus, it is difficult to be certain whether this kind of depiction represents a topos of submission of the whole world under the pharaoh’s rule, such as by the personified conquests of foreign cities and countries, or factual evidence for institutionalized gift giving223 or the submission of certain countries.224

An entirely different quality of relationship between Minoan Crete and Egypt in the early 18th Dynasty is illustrated by the Minoan frescos found in an early New Kingdom palatial context at the northeastern limit of the Egyptian realm, at Avaris. This truly sensational find puts the interpretation of this relationship to a test. Accordingly, it has been explained by at least one scholar as a token of close dynastic ties between the rulers of the two countries,225 but this is not the only possibility.

Conclusion

During the New Kingdom, sources and source types multiply and reach an entirely different quality of information on interconnections. The extent and expansion of Egypt’s contacts reaches an unparalleled level from the Levant to Syria/Palestine and the Hittites to Anatolia, Greece, and Cyprus, and this needs a separate interdisciplinary treatment that goes well beyond the scope of this chapter. Although many new research results were achieved in the last 15 years, seminal works such as Helck’s and Redford’s cannot be replaced at this moment and would only seem feasibly tackled by larger interdisciplinary research groups.

More research is needed in identifying Egyptian material among the archaeological evidence in the eastern Mediterranean in all periods to gain a fuller picture of contacts between Egypt and her neighbors and to expand the interpretational framework (scenarios 1–4). Especially in the New Kingdom, increasing amounts of real Egyptian imports and “Egyptianizing” pottery are being found in the Levant.226 In combination with contextual information, such finds will greatly enhance the interpretational value of the archaeological evidence in reconstructing Egypt’s contacts. Much the same holds true for the study of the origins of imported ceramic wares found in Egypt.

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank D. Aston, G. Moers, C. Jurman, and C. Knoblauch for reading drafts of this chapter. D. Aston and C. Jurman corrected the English; any remaining mistakes are my own responsibility. Thanks are also due to C. Knoblauch for drawing my attention to the work of A. Ben-Tor (2006) and C. Jurman to Quack (2007). To Eliot Braun and D. Aston, I am indebted for permission to cite their unpublished articles. The research for this chapter was conducted whilst directing project V147-G21 awarded by the Austrian Science Fund.

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Notes:

(1) Recent scholarship questions the notion of “pure” cultures. See Philip W. Stockhammer, “Conceptualizing Cultural Hybridization in Archaeology,” in Conceptualizing Cultural Hybridization: A Transdisciplinary Approach, edited by P. W. Stockhammer (Berlin: Springer, 2012), 43–58, for theoretical considerations with bibliography.

(2) William Stevenson Smith, The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt, 2d ed. revised by W. K. Simpson (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1981): 148.

(3) See Carla Antonaccio, “(Re)defining Ethnicity: Culture, Material Culture, and Identity,” in Material Culture and Social Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean, edited by T. Hodos, and S. Hales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 32–53.

(4) Toby Wilkinson, “Egypt and Mesopotamia,” in The Egyptian World, edited by T. Wilkinson (Routledge: London and New York, 2007), 449–452.

(5) David Wengrow, The Archaeology of Early Egypt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 2006), 191; with bibliography; Uwe Sievertsen, “Das Messer vom Gebel el-Arak,” Bagdhader Mitteilungen 23(1992): 1–75.

(6) See for a convenient collection and sources Gerald Moers, “Unter den Sohlen Pharaohs: Fremdheit und Alterität im pharaonischen Ägypten,” in Abgrenzung—Eingrenzung. Komparatistische Studien zur Dialektik kultureller Identitätsbildung, edited by F. Lauterbach, F. Paul, U. -C. Sander (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Rupprecht, 2004), 102–104; Janet Richards, “Text and Context in Late Old Kingdom Egypt: The Archaeology and Historiography of Weni the Elder,” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 39 (2002): 78–85.

(7) See Moers “Unter den Sohlen Pharaohs,” 88, note 37; criticizing too literal interpretation of Egyptian texts. Also Wolfram Grajetzki, “Class and Society, Positions and Possessions,” in Egyptian Archaeology, edited by W. Wendrich (Malden and Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2010), 180–199.

(8) Note that not even the nomenclature of ships and their make is undisputed in the Egyptian sources. See Shelley Wachsmann, Aegeans in the Theban Tombs, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 20 (Leuven: Peeters, 1987), 119–121.

(9) Some evidence for an indirect trade network has been gathered for the chalcolithic period esp. through distribution of Nilotic shells. See Eliot Braun and Edwin C. M. van den Brink, “Appraising South Levantine-Egyptian Interaction: Recent Discoveries from Israel and Egypt,” in Egypt at Its Origins 2, edited by B. Midant-Reynes and Y. Tristan, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 172 (Leuven, Paris, and Dudley, MA: Peeters, 2008), 648–650. See also the report of Harkhuf in his autobiography. He brought an African dancing dwarf for the pharaoh in the Old Kingdom: Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973), vol.1, The Old and Middle Kingdoms, 23–27; Andrew Bevan, Stone Vessels and Values in the Bronze Age Mediterranean (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007): 29.

(10) Maurice Dunand, Fouilles de Byblos 1926–1932 (Paris: Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner, 1939); Maurice Dunand, Fouilles de Byblos 1933–1938 (Paris: Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner, 1958); Pierre Montet, Byblos et l’Égypte, Quatre Campagnes de Fouilles 1921–1924 (Paris: Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner, 1928; reprint Beyrouth: Éditions Terre du Liban, 1998); Kay Prag, “Byblos and Egypt in the Fourth Millennium B. C.,” Levant 18 (1986): 59–74. For careful re-examination of contextual information for the Old Kingdom and extensive bibliography Karin Sowada, Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean During the Old Kingdom, An Archaeological Perspective, Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 237 (Göttingen: Academic Press Fribourg, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2009), 128–141 and appendix I.

(11) James P. Allen, “The Historical Inscription of Khnumhotep at Dahshur: Preliminary Report,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 352 (2008): 29–39.

(12) William Moran, The Amarna Letters (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), e.g., EA67–68, 74–75, 82, and many more.

(13) Susan T. Hollis, “Hathor and Isis in Byblos in the Second and First Millennia BCE,” Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 1:2 (2009): 1–8.

(14) Bevan, Stone Vessels and Values, 19–21; Caroline Sauvage, “L’existence d’une saison commercial dans le basin oriental de la Méditerranée au Bronze réscent,” in Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale 107 (2007): 201–204.

(15) Sowada, Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean, 224–225; Jacke Phillips, “Aegypto-Agean Relations up to the 2nd Millennium BC,” in Interregional Contacts in the Later Prehistory of Northeastern Africa, edited by L. Krzyzaniak, K. Kroeper, and M. Kobusiewicz (Poznan: Archaeological Museum, 1996), 466–468.

(16) Ezra Marcus, “Early Seafaring and Maritime Activity in the Southern Levant from Prehistory Through the Third Millennium BC,” in Egypt and the Levant, Interrelations from the 4th Through to the 3rd Millennium BC, edited by E. C. M. van den Brink and T. E. Levy (London: Leicester University Press, 2002), 403–417.

(18) Pierre de Miroschedji, “Egypt and Southern Canaan in the Third Millennium BCE: Uni’s Asiatic Campaigns Revisited,” in All the Wisdom of the East Studies in Near Eastern Archaeology and History in Honor of Eliezer D. Oren, edited by M. Gruber, S. Ahituv, G. Lehmann, and Z. Talshir. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 255 (Göttingen: Academic Press Fribourg, Vandenhoeck & Rupprecht, 2012), 273.

(19) E.g., Wachsmann, Aegeans, 93–102; Kenneth A. Kitchen, “Some Thoughts on Egypt, the Aegean and Beyond of the 2nd Millennium BC,” in Moving Across Borders—Foreign Relations, Religion and Cultural Interaction in the Ancient Mediterranean, edited by P. Kousoulis and K. Magliveras, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 159 (Leuven, Paris, Dudley, MA: Peeters, 2007); Marcus, “Amenemhet II,” 146.

(20) Currently, no linguistic evidence suggests otherwise, cf. Wolfgang Helck, Die Beziehungen Ägyptens und Vorderasiens zur Ägäis bis ins 7. Jahrhundert v. Chr., 2d ed. with additions by R. Drenkhahn (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1995), 29; Kitchen, “Some Thoughts,” 2–8. The dearth of archaeological evidence for this period on Cyprus or contacts with Egypt is discussed by Marcus, “Amenemhet II,” 146–148.

(21) Jaqueline Phillips, Aegyptiaca on the Island of Crete in their Chronological Context: A Critical Review, Contributions to the Chronology of the Eastern Mediterranean, vol. 18 (Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2008), 225–226.

(22) E.g., bound captives from the 6th Dynasty. Earlier representations are more ambiguous, in that the bound captives might be Egyptians; cf. Diana Craig-Patch, Dawn of Egyptian Art (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011), 156–159. For Aegeans in the Late Bronze Age, see Wachsmann, Aegeans; for Sea Peoples, O’Connor, “The Sea Peoples.”

(24) Kurt Sethe, Die Ächtung feindlicher Fürsten, Völker und Dinge auf altägyptischen Gefäßscherben des Mittleren Reiches (Berlin: Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1926), 60–69.

(25) Koenig, Yvan. “The Image of the Foreigner in the Magical Texts of Ancient Egypt,” in Moving Across Borders. Foreign Relations, Religion and Cultural Interactions in the Ancient Mediterranean, edited by P. Kousoulis, and K. Magliveras. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 159 (Leuven, Paris, Dudley, MA, 2007), 223–238.

(26) Cairo JE 49889 A-B, now in Imhotep Museum in Saqqara. See Zahi Hawass, The Treasures of the Pyramids (Vercelli: White Star Publications, 2003), fig. 89.

(27) See Robert K. Ritner, The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization 54 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1993), 119–122.

(28) Torgny Säve-Söderbergh, “Bogenvölker,” in Lexikon der Ägyptologie, edited by W. Helck and E. Otto, vol. 1 (Wiesbaden: Harassowitz, 1975), col. 845–846.

(29) Labib Habachi, “King Nebhepetre Mentuhotep: His Monuments, Place in History, Deification and Unusual Representations in the Form of Gods,” Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts Kairo 19 (1963): fig. 17.

(32) Moers, “Unter den Sohlen Pharaohs,” 108; first occurring in the early 12th Dynasty, this combination becomes standardized.

(35) Wachsmann, Aegeans; Joachim Friedrich Quack, “Das Problem der Hau-nebut,” in Getrennte Wege? Kommunikation, Raum und Wahrnehmungen in der Alten Welt, edited by R. Rollinger, A. Luther, and J. Wiesehöfer. Oikumene 3 (Frankfurt: Antike, 2007), 331–362.

(37) See Inscription on the seventh pylon of the Karnak Temple of Amun celebrating the victory at Megiddo and, accordingly, the prisoners show Syrian/Asiatic iconography. E. S. Hall, “A Continuation of the Smiting Scene,” in Artibus Aegypti. Studia in Honorem Bernardi V. Bothmer a Collegis Amicis Discipulis Conscripta, edited by H. de Meulenare and L. Limme (Brussels: Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire 1983), 75–79; Anthony J. Spalinger, War in Ancient Egypt (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005).

(39) See Thomas E. Levy and E. C. M. van den Brink, “Interaction Models, Egypt and the Levantine Periphery,” in Egypt and the Levant, Interrelations from the 4th Through to the 3rd Millennium BC, edited by E. C. M. van den Brink and T. E. Levy (London: Leicester University Press, 2002), 4–6, with references.

(40) Marcus, “Amenemhet II,” with thorough discussion of this ambivalent text.

(41) William C. Hayes, A Late Middle Kingdom Papyrus in the Brooklyn Museum (Brooklyn: Brooklyn Museum 1955).

(42) Janine D. Bourriau, Pharaohs and Mortals: Egyptian Art in the Middle Kingdom (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 50–51, pl. I.4.

(43) Trade: Braun and van den Brink, “Appraising South Levantine-Egyptian Interaction,” 646; to a certain extent.

Marcelo Campagno, “Ethnicity and Changing Relationships Between Egyptian and South Levantines During the Early Dynastic Period,” in Egypt at Its Origins 2, edited by B. Midant-Reynes and Y. Tristan. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 172 (Leuven, Paris, Dudley, MA: Peeters, 2008), 695; Agnieszka Maczynska, “Some Remarks on Egyptian-Southern Levantine Interrelations,” in Egypt at Its Origins 2, edited by B. Midant-Reynes and Y. Tristan. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 172 (Leuven, Paris, Dudley, MA: Peeters, 2008), 763–781, esp. 766, for trade as “easiest way of explanation” with critique and fig. 1 for a summary of theories with main bibliography. Colonization: Pierre de Miroschedji, “The Socio-Political Dynamics of Egyptian-Canaanite Interaction in the Early Bronze Age,” in Egypt and the Levant, Interrelations from the 4th Through to the 3rd Millennium BC, edited by E. C. M. van den Brink, and T. E. Levy (London: Leicester University Press, 2002), 39–57, esp. 40–42; Eliot Braun, “Little Pot Who Made Thee? Dost Thou Know Who Made Thee?” in Vienna II—Ceramics in the 21st Century, edited by B. Bader, C. Knoblauch, and E. C. Köhler. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta (Leuven, Paris, Dudley, MA: Peeters, in press).

(44) E.g., Luc Watrin, “Pottery as an Economical Parameter Between Palestine and Egypt During the Fourth Millennium BC,” in Proceedings of the First International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, May 18th—23rd 1998 in Rome, edited by P. Matthiae, A. Enea, L. Peyronel, and F. Pinnock, vol. 2 (Rome: Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche, Archaeologiche e Antropologiche dell’ Antichità, 2000), 1758.

(45) E.g., an oval subterranean dwelling at Maadi is considered to be strongly influenced by Levantine architectural traditions; its exact dating is subject to discussion. See Braun and van den Brink, “Appraising South Levantine-Egyptian Interaction,” 649–650, 658.

(46) Watrin, “Pottery as an Economical Parameter,” 1765–1766. Köhler proposed that mass production of Upper Egyptian pottery replaces the Lower Egyptian products. E. Christiana Köhler, Tell el-Fara’in—Buto III (Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 1998), 75–80; Werner Kaiser, “Zur Entstehung eines gesamtägyptischen Staates,” Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts Kairo 46 (1990): 287–299: population migration (conquest?) leads to the use of exclusively Upper Egyptian pottery also in Lower Egypt as evidenced in Buto level IIIa. Such disputes are often started anew whenever similar processes can be observed in the archaeological record. Theories vary in the extent of violence exerted.

(48) Often descriptions of objects and pottery lack an exact assessment as to how “similar” these “imitations” or “copies” are to the original items, thus leaving too much room for speculation. A positive example is from Edwin C. M. van den Brink, “An Egyptian Presence at Tel Lod,” in Egypt and the Levant, Interrelations from the 4th Through to the 3rd Millennium BC, edited by E. C. M. van den Brink and T. E. Levy (London: Leicester University Press, 2002), 286–305, esp. 297, who described a wine jar of Egyptian type that was so well produced it could only be identified as local southern Levantine imitation by petrography. Detailed typological, technological, and contextual comparison is necessary to analyze the degree of (dis)similarity as major inferences are made about who produced this pottery based on such observations. See Sowada, Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean, 21–22, for further discussion and difficulties in terminology and methodology.

(49) Margaret Serpico with a contribution by R. White, “Resins, Amber and Bitumen,” in Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology, edited by P. T. Nicholson and I. Shaw (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 430–474, esp. 430; Serpico Margaret and R. White, “Oil, Fat and Wax,” in Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology, edited by P. T. Nicholson and I. Shaw (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 398–399.

(51) Serpico Margaret and R. White, “A Report on the Analysis of the Contents of a Cache of Jars from the Tomb of Djer,” in Aspects of Early Egypt, edited by A. J. Spencer (London: British Museum Press, 1996), 128–139.

(53) See Dorothy Hosler, “Potters of Las Animas,” Journal of Material Culture 1/1 (1996): 63–92.

(55) Olivier Gosselain, “Materializing Identities: An African Perspective,” Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 7/3 (2000): 187–217.

(57) Watrin, in “Pottery as an Economical Parameter,” 1764–1765, uses the term “acculturation” for this process.

(58) R Redfield, R. Linton, and M. J. Herskovits. “Memorandum for the Study of Acculturation,” American Anthropologist 38 (1936): 149–152. See Stockhammer Conceptualizing Cultural Hybridization for entanglement and discussion of mixed culture; see also Braun, “Little Pot.”

(59) Based on definitions going back to Redfield, Linton, and Herskovits “Memorandum,” 149–152.

(60) See Watrin, “Pottery as an Economical Parameter,” 1751–1776, for a sketch of the beginnings from the Chalcolithic onward; for scenario 2: p. 1752. See also Levy and van den Brink, “Interaction Models,” 18; Dina Faltings, “The Chronological Frame and Social Structure of Buto,” in Egypt and the Levant, Interrelations from the 4th Through to the 3rd Millennium BC, edited by E. C. M. van den Brink and T. E. Levy (London: Leicester University Press, 2002), 165–166: in Buto in Stratum I. See also Rizkana, Ibrahim, and J. Seeher, Maadi I. The Pottery of the Predynastic Settlement. Archäologische Veröffentlichungen 64 (Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 1987), 78–80.

(61) Naomi Porat, “Local Industry of Egyptian Pottery in Southern Palestine During the Early Bronze I Period,” Bulletin of the Egyptological Seminar 8 (1986/87): 109–129. van den Brink, “An Egyptian Presence,” 296, 299 at Tel Lod; de Miroschedji, “The Socio-Political Dynamics.”

(62) Levy and van den Brink, “Interaction Models,” 18; Watrin, in “Pottery as an Economical Parameter,” 1753, theorizes that the chalcolithic Palestinians came as traders for shells, stone vessels, or precious metals or as an implantation of a segment of a Palestinian chiefdom in the Delta. Watrin, “Pottery as an Economical Parameter,” 1764–1765, further maintains that cultural Palestinians stayed on in the Delta into the Early Bronze Age I (Naqada II).

(63) Ruth Amiran and E. C. M. van den Brink, “The Ceramic Assemblage from Tel Ma’ahaz, Stratum I (Seasons 1975–1976),” in Egypt and the Levant, Interrelations from the 4th Through to the 3rd Millennium BC, edited by E. C. M. van den Brink and T. E. Levy (London: Leicester University Press, 2002), 273–279; Early Bronze Age IB both real imports and locally produced material of Egyptian style and type.

(65) Porat, “Local Industry of Egyptian Pottery,” 109–110; 118. See Watrin, “Pottery as an Economical Parameter,” 1769, for a critical view. Braun and van den Brink, “Appraising South Levantine-Egyptian Interaction,” 655, assign the Egyptian and “Egyptianizing” material to Level B, not to the earlier Level C. Thorough analysis of the site is necessary to bring light to this problem.

(66) Ulrich Hartung, Umm el-Qaab II. Importkeramik aus dem Friedhof U in Abydos und die Beziehungen Ägyptens to Vorderasien im 4. Jahrtausend v. Chr. Archäologische Veröffentlichungen 92 (Mainz: Phillip von Zabern, 2001), 357–378.

(67) E. Christiana Köhler and M. F. Ownby, “Levantine Imports and Their Imitations from Helwan,” Egypt and the Levant 21 (2011): 31–46, for an exemplary study that relates what a ceramicist sees in the field and the petrographic image.

(68) Bettina Bader, Tell el-Daba XIX. Auaris und Memphis im späten Mittleren Reich und in der Hyksoszeit, Vergleichsanalyse der materiellen Kultur. Untersuchungen der Zweigstelle Kairo 31 (Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2009); Bettina Bader, “Contacts Between Egypt and Syria-Palestine as Seen in a Grown Settlement of the Late Middle Kingdom at Tell el-Daba/Egypt,” in Egypt and the Near East—The Crossroads, Proceedings of the International Workshop on the Relations Between Egypt and the Near East in the Bronze Age September 1–3, 2010, edited by J. Mynářová (Prague: Charles University in Prague, Czech Institute of Egyptology, 2011), 41–72; Bettina Bader, “Traces of Foreign Settlers in the Archaeological Record of Tell el-Daba/Egypt,” in Intercultural Contacts in the Ancient Mediterranean, edited by K. Duistermaat, and I. Regulski. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 202 (Leuven, Paris, Walpole, MA: Peeters, 2011), 127–148; Bettina Bader, “Cultural Mixing in Egyptian Archaeology: The ‘Hyksos’ as a Case Study,” Archaeological Review from Cambridge 28.1 (2013): 257–286; Manfred Bietak, “Egypt and the Levant,” in The Egyptian World, edited by T. Wilkinson (London/New York: Routledge, 2007), 417–448; Manfred Bietak, “From Where Came the Hyksos and Where Did They Go?” in The Second Intermediate Period (Thirteenth–Seventeenth Dynasties): Current Research, Future Prospects, edited by M. Marée. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 192 (Leuven, Paris, Walpole, MA: Peeters, 2010), 140–190.

(70) de Miroschedji, “The Socio–Political Dynamics,” 39–57. Braun and van den Brink, “Appraising South Levantine-Egyptian Interaction,” 648–650, using the distribution of Nilotic shells as basis for their interpretation.

(72) Hartung, Umm el-Qaab II, 248–296. Hendrickx and Bavay, “The Relative Chronological Position,” 58–80, list all occurrences of these materials in the pre-dynastic and Early Dynastic Periods in Egypt; for turquoise, bitumen, see Watrin, “Pottery as an Economical Parameter,” 1759. For obsidian in Tell Iswid in the Delta str. IV, see Watrin, “Pottery as an Economical Parameter,” 1764.

(75) Bettina Bader, “Processing and Analysis of Ceramic Finds at the Egyptian Site of Tell el-Daba,” in Analysing Pottery. Processing—Classification—Publication, edited by B. Horejs, R. Jung, and P. Pavúk. Studia Archaeologica et Medievalia IX (Bratislava: Chronos, 2010), 209–233, for quantitative analysis in general.

(77) J. L. Lovell, “Horticulture, Status and Long-Range Trade,” in Egypt at its Origins 2, edited by B. Midant-Reynes and Y. Tristan (Leuven, Paris, Dudley, MA: Peeters, 2008), 741–762.

(78) Hartung, Umm el-Qaab II, 357–378; Maczynska, “Some Remarks,” 767–769, for a list of imports with bibliography.

(79) Quite certain for lapis lazuli because it occurs in Badakhshan (Afghanistan). Hendrickx and Bavay, “The Relative Chronological Position,” 61, 72; Watrin, “Pottery as an Economical Parameter,” table. 2. For lapis lazuli: Watrin, “Pottery as an Economical Parameter,” 1760, in Middle Egypt–Badari and Mostagedda in tombs.

(88) Note that the years in the chart are rounded approximations modelled on Kenneth Kitchen, “Regnal and Genealogical Data of Ancient Egypt”, in The Synchronisation of Civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Second Millennium BC, edited by M. Bietak, (Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences 2000), 39–52. For before 3000 BC see references in note 82.

(91) Hartung, Umm el-Qaab II, 342–344. Note that the identification of ceramic fabrics as imports at Abydos is not unequivocally accepted despite the application of various scientific methods. See Hartung, Umm el-Qaab II, 62–66.

(93) With the possible exception of “knobbed bowls”; Hendrickx and Bavay, “The Relative Chronological Position,” 67–72.

(96) More stringent terminology needs to be developed to describe the findings. Presumably “Egyptian” means real imports from Egypt, whereas “Egyptianizing” and “Egyptianized” signify locally manufactured pottery with strong affinity to Egyptian shapes and technology.

(98) Braun and van den Brink, “Appraising South Levantine-Egyptian Interaction, 659–667. The authors use the minimum number of vessels present.

(101) de Miroschedji, “The Socio–Political Dynamics,” 43–44: Egyptian pottery for storage and domestic purposes, both locally produced.

(108) E. F. Henrickson, “Ceramic Evidence for Cultural Interaction Between Chalcolithic Mesopotamia and Western Iran,” in The Changing Roles of Ceramics in Society: 26,000 BP to the Present, edited by W. D. Kingery. Ceramics and Civilisation 2 (Westerville: American Ceramic Society, 1986), 87–132, esp. 97.

(113) Edwin C. M. van den Brink and E. Braun, “Egyptian Elements and Influence on the Early Bronze Age I of the Southern Levant, Recent Excavations, Research and Publications,” Archéo-Nil 13 (2003): 77–91, with references.

(115) Antonio Loprieno, Topos und Mimesis. Zum Ausländer in der ägyptischen Literatur. Ägyptologische Abhandlungen 48 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1988), 1–21; Campagno, “Ethnicity and Changing Relationships,” 696–697.

(120) Björn Landström, Ships of the Pharaohs. 4000 Years of Egyptian Shipbuilding (London: Allen & Unwin, 1970), 26–34; 63–69; Sowada, Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean, 75 [cat.no 65], 195.

(121) Sowada, Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean, 7–10; 128–141, esp. 140.

(126) See Landström, Ships of the Pharaohs, 63–65; Sowada, Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean, 7–9, 201, and fig. 43, pl. 19, with bibliography; Bietak, “Egypt and the Levant,” 418–419.

(127) Sowada, Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean, 11–12, with references.

(128) Sowada, Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean, 17–18; except for one possible example from Bab edh-Dhra, 99; for the Sinai, see 91–93 with bibliography; see also De Miroschedji, “Egypt and Southern Canaan,” 280.

(129) Maura Sala, “Egyptian and Egyptianizing Objects from EB I–III Tell es-Sultan (Ancient Jericho),” Vicino Oriente 16 (2012): 285–286 for EB III.

(132) Alexander Ahrens, “A Stone Vessel of Princess Itakayet of the 12th Dynasty from Tomb VII at Tell Mishrife/Qatna (Syria),” Egypt and the Levant 21 (2010): 15–29, esp. 16.

(135) See Sowada, Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean, 54–74; 76–79; 80–81, table 1: 86–88; 154–182; figs. 7–14, pl. 1–8, 10–12. For Nezlet Batran: Karl Kromer and Nezlet Batran, Eine Mastaba aus dem Alten Reich bei Giseh (Ägypten), Österreichische Ausgrabungen 1981–1983. (Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences, 1991), Taf. 23.1, 38.4.

(136) Sowada, Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean, 82–86; table 1: 88–89, figs. 14–15, pl. 8.

(137) Anna Wodzinska, “Preliminary Ceramic Report,” in Giza Reports. The Giza Plateau Mapping Project. Volume 1. Project History, Survey, Ceramics and Main Street and Gallery III.4 Operations, edited by M. Lehner and W. Wetterstrom (Boston: Ancient Egypt Research Associates. 2007), 311–313. From Elephantine 5 sherds, see Irene Forstner-Müller and D. Raue, “Elephantine and the Levant,” in Zeichen aus dem Sand, Streiflichter aus Ägyptens Geschichte zu Ehren von Günter Dreyer, edited by E. -M. Engel, V. Müller, and U. Hartung (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2008), 127–148.

(139) Kurt Sethe, Urkunden des Alten Reichs (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, 1903), I 98–110.

(141) Christian Knoblauch, “Preliminary Report on the Early Bronze Age III Pottery from Contexts of the 6th Dynasty in the Abydos Middle Cemetery,” Egypt and the Levant 20 (2010): 256–258.

(142) Sowada, Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean, 123–124, 151–152, 163–165; Knoblauch, “Early Bronze Age III,” 256, table 1 for the 6th Dynasty, 36 vessels + 11 newly found ones from Abydos.

(144) Sowada, Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean, 160, 178, 191–194, 198–200 with references.

(146) Stephan J. Seidlmayer, Gräberfelder aus dem Übergang vom Alten zum Mittleren Reich. Studien zur Archäologie und Geschichte Altägyptens 1 (Heidelberg: Heidelberger Orientverlag, 1990).

(147) Teodozja Rzeuska, Saqqara II, Pottery of the Late Old Kingdom (Warsaw: Editions Neriton, 2006); see Bettina Bader, “A Preliminary Report on Pottery Found at Herakleopolis Magna (Ehnasya el-Medina),” Cahiers de la Céramique Égyptienne 9 (2011), fig. 4.55, for the only possible FIP foreign import at Ehnasya during 10 seasons of work.

(148) Bietak, “From Where Came the Hyksos,” 145–146 with references; Susan L. Cohen, in Canaanites, Chronologies, and Connections, The Relationship of Middle Bronze Age IIA Canaan to Middle Kingdom Egypt. Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant 3 (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2002), 34–36, voices skepticism as regards the historicity of such scenes.

(149) Donald B. Redford, Canaan, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992), 77.

(151) Ritner, Egyptian Magical Practice, 136–142 with references; Cohen, Canaanites, 47–49.

(152) Amnon Ben-Tor, “Do the Execration Texts Reflect an Accurate Picture of the Contemporary Settlement Map of Palestine?” in Essays on Ancient Israel and its Near Eastern Context. A Tribute to Nadav Na’aman, edited by Y. Amit, E. Ben-Zvi, I. Finkelstein, and O. Lipschits (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2006), 63–87.

(153) Sethe, Ächtung; Georges Posener, Princes et pays d’Asie et de Nubie, Textes hieratiques sur des figurines d’envoutement du Moyen Empire (Bruxelles: Fondation égyptologique reine Élisabeth 1940); Yvan Koenig, “Les textes d’envoûtement de Mirgissa,” Revue d’égyptologie 41 (1990): 101–125.

(154) Hartwig Altenmüller and A. M. Moussa, “Die Inschrift Amenemhets II. aus dem Ptah-Tempel von Memphis, ein Vorbericht,” Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur 18 (1975): 1–48; Ezra Marcus, “Amenemhet II and the Sea: Maritime Aspects of the Mit Rahina (Memphis) Inscription,” Egypt and the Levant 17 (2007): 137–190 with references.

(155) Percy E. Newberry, Beni Hasan, Part I, Archaeological Survey of Egypt (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1893), 69, pl. 30–31. See Cohen, Canaanites, 45–46. Susan Cohen,“Interpretative Uses and Abuses of the Beni Hasan Tomb Paintings”, in Journal of Near Eastern Studies 74 (2015): 19–38 for a critical analysis.

(156) Tine Bagh, Tell el-Daba XXIII. Levantine Painted Ware from Egypt and the Levant. Untersuchungen der Zweigstelle Kairo 37 (Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2013).

(158) See Aston’s interpretation of imported fine ware in a Second Intermediate Period context: David Aston, “Mother’s Best Tea Service—Pottery as Diplomatic Gifts in the Second Intermediate Period,” in Functional Aspects of Egyptian Ceramics in Their Archaeological Context, edited by B. Bader, and M. F. Ownby (Leuven, Paris, Dudley, MA:Peeters, 2013), 375–401.

(159) Barry J. Kemp, and R. S. Merrillees, Minoan Pottery in Second Millennium Egypt (Mainz: Phillipp von Zabern, 1980); Lesley Fitton, M. Hughes, and S. Quirke, “Northerners at Lahun,” in Lahun Studies, edited by S. Quirke (Reigate: Sia Publishing, 1998), 112–140; Felix Höflmayer, Die Synchronisierung der minoischen Alt- und Neupalastzeit mit der ägyptischen Chronologie. Contributions to the Chronology of the Eastern Mediterranean 32 (Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2012), 60–80.

(160) Helck, Beziehungen, 37–40; Höflmayer, Die Synchronisierung, 60–63 with references.

(162) Louise Maguire, Tell el-Daba XXI. The Cypriot Pottery and its Circulation in the Levant. Untersuchungen der Zweigstelle Kairo 33 (Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2009).

(164) In a quantitative study of settlement pottery of the late Middle Kingdom, the only Cypriote vessel is represented by one body fragment opposed to tens of thousands of local ware. See Bader, “Contacts,” 59, fig. 11b.

(165) Genevieve Pierrat-Bonnefois, “Les objets en lapis-lazuli dans le trésor de Tôd,” in Cornaline et pierres précieuses. La Méditerranée, de l’Antiquité à l’Islam, Actes du colloque organisé au musée du Louvre par le Service culturel les 24 et 25 novembre 1995, edited by A. Caubet (Paris: Musée de Louvre, 1999), 285–302.

(166) Fernand Bisson de la Roque, G. Contenau, and F. Chapouthier, Le Tresor de Tôd. Documents de Fouilles de l’Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale 11 (Le Caire: Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale, 1953).

(168) Michel Menu, “Analyse du trésor de Tôd,” Bulletin de la Société Francaise d’Ègyptogie 130 (1994): 41–42.

(170) David Aston, “Turning to the Dark Side: Fifteenth Dynasty Black Burnished Wares,” in Vienna II—Ceramics in the 21st Century, edited by B. Bader, C. Knoblauch, E. C. Köhler. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta (Leuven, Paris, Dudley, MA: Peeters, in press).

(172) See Manfred Bietak, Avaris: The Capital of the Hyksos, Recent Excavations at Tell el-Daba (London: British Museum Press, 1996); Bietak, “Egypt and the Levant”; Bietak, “From Where Came the Hyksos,” for overviews with references.

(173) Ernst Czerny, “Zur Keramik von Ezbet Rushdi (Stand Mai 1997),” Egypt and the Levant 8 (1998): 41–46.

(174) Bader, Tell el-Daba XIX, for quantification of the volume of storage jars.

(175) Bietak, Avaris, 41–42 and fig. 35.1; Bietak, “From Where Came the Hyksos,” 147 and pl. 13.

(176) Ernst Czerny, Tell el-Daba IX, Eine Plansiedlung des frühen Mittleren Reiches. Untersuchungen der Zweigstelle Kairo 15 (Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences, 1999).

(177) Robert Schiestl, Tell el-Daba XVII. Die Palastnekropole von Tell el-Daba, Untersuchungen der Zweigstelle Kairo 30 (Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2009).

(179) Bader, “Traces of Foreign Settlers”; see discussion of methodology and implications also in Bader, “Cultural Mixing.” There may be various other possibilities see Hosler, “Potters of Las Animas.”

(180) Stephen Quirke, Egyptian Literature, 1800 BC. Questions and Readings (London: Golden House Publications, 2004), 112–120, 140–150. Thomas Schneider, Ausländer in Ägypten während des Mittleren Reiches und der Hyksoszeit. Die ausländische Bevölkerung. Ägypten und Altes Testament 42/2 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz), 202–290.

(182) For a recent summary, see Maté Petrik, “Foreign Groups at Lahun During the Late Middle Kingdom,” in From Illahun to Djeme, Papers Presented in Honour of Ulrich Luft, edited by E. Bechtold, A. Gulyás, and A. Hasznos. British Archaeological Reports, International Series 2311 (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2011), 211–226. It still needs to be supplemented by Stephen Quirke, Lahun Studies, (Reigate: Sia Publishing, 1998).

(183) Dorothea Arnold, F. Arnold, and S. Allen, “Canaanite Imports at Lisht, the Middle Kingdom Capital of Egypt,” Egypt and the Levant 5 (1995): 13–32.

(184) Cornelius von Pilgrim. Elephantine 18. Untersuchungen in der Stadt des Mittleren Reiches und der Zweiten Zwischenzeit. Archäologische Veröffentlichungen 91 (Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 1996), 316, 362–363; only imported Tell el-Yahudiyeh ware. It remains unclear whether these vessels really are imports or made of a Nile clay fabric without organic inclusions because the author describes the fabric also as “alluvial.”

(190) See Christian Wastlhuber, Die Beziehungen zwischen Ägypten und der Levante während der 12. Dynastie—Ökonomie und Prestige in Außenpolitik und Handel (Ph.D. Dissertation, Munich 2011) for a convenient catalogue of 12th Dynasty objects abroad. http://edoc.ub.uni-muenchen.de/12817/1/Wastlhuber_Christian.pdf. See Rachael Sparks, Stone Vessels in the Levant. The Palestine Exploration Fund Annual VIII (Leeds: Maney Publishing, 2007), 280–343, for Egyptian stone vessels in the Levant.

(191) Paolo Matthiae, “Ebla,” in Beyond Babylon, Art, Trade, and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C, edited by J. Aruz, K. Benzel, and J. M. Evans (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008), 38–39.

(192) Phillips, Aegyptiaca, 122–132; Höflmayer, Die Synchronisierung, 52–60, 108–122, 198–201.

(194) Helck, Beziehungen, 12; Ahrens, “A Stone Vessel,” 22; Kim S. B. Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt During the Second Intermediate Period c. 1800–1550 B.C. Carsten Niebuhr Institute Publications 20 (Copenhagen: Tusculanum, 1997), 143–149.

(196) Helck, Beziehungen, 40–41; Phillips, Aegyptiaca, 77; Höflmayer, Die Synchronisierung, 172–175 with references.

(197) Lawrence E. Stager and R. Voss, “Egyptian Pottery in Middle Bronze Age Ashkelon,” Eretz Israel 30 (2011): 119–126.

(198) Ezra Marcus, Y. Porath, R. Schiestl, A. Seiler, and S. M. Paley, “The Middle Kingdom Egyptian Pottery from Middle Bronze Age IIa Tel Ifshar,” Egypt and the Levant 18 (2008): 204–219.

(199) Bader Bettina, C. Doumet-Serhal, I. Forstner-Müller, and K. Kopetzky, “An Egyptian Jar from Sidon in Its Egyptian Context—Some Fresh Evidence,” Archaeology and History in Lebanon 29 (Spring 2009): 79–83; Karin Kopetzky, “Egyptian Pottery from the Middle Bronze Age in Lebanon,” Berytus 53–54 (2010–2011): 167–179.

(200) See Bettina Bader, Tell el-Daba XIII, Typologie und Chronologie der Mergel-C-Ton-Keramik, Materialien zum Binnenhandel des Mittleren Reiches und der Zweiten Zwischenzeit. Untersuchungen der Zweigstelle Kairo 19 (Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences 2001), 168, 179; Kopetzky, (2010–2011).

(203) See quantifications in Bader, Tell el-Daba XIX.

(204) Conveniently, for extensive bibliography, see Ü. Yalcin, C. Pulak, and R. Slotta (eds.), Das Schiff von Uluburun. Welthandel vor 3000 Jahren, Catalogue to Exhibition (Bochum: Deutsches Bergbau Museum, 2005).

(205) Edward Bleiberg, The Official Gift in Ancient Egypt (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996) for discussion. Rejected outright for the Early Bronze Age by Stan Hendrickx and L. Bavay, in “The Relative Chronological Position of Egyptian Predynastic and Early Dynastic Tombs with Objects Imported from the Near East and the Nature of Interregional Contacts,” in Egypt and the Levant, Interrelations from the 4th Through to the 3rd Millennium BC, edited by E. M. C. van den Brink and T. E. Levy (London: Leicester University Press, 2002), 74.

(207) Ludwig Borchardt, Das Grabdenkmal des Königs Śa3hu-Rec, Band II: Die Wandbilder, Text (Osnabrück: Otto Zeller Verlag, 1981, 2nd edition), 10–21; Ludwig Borchardt, Das Grabdenkmal des Königs Sa3hu-Re, Band II: Abbildungsblätter (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs Buchhandlung, Leipzig 1913), Blatt 1–7.

(208) Friederike Kampp, Die Thebanische Nekropole, Zum Wandel des Grabgedankens von der 18. bis zur 20. Dynastie, Theben 13 (Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 1996), 145, 370–372.

(209) Smith, “Ethnicity and Culture,” in The Egyptian World edited by T. Wilkinson (London/New York: Routledge, 2007), 218–241, with references.

(210) Christine Lilyquist, The Tomb of Three Foreign Wives of Tuthmosis III (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2003).

(211) Diamantis Panagiotopoulos, “Keftiu in Context: Theban Tomb Paintings as a Historical Source,” Oxford Journal of Archaeology 20/3 (2001): 276; Moran, Amarna Letters, 1992: 27–37, EA 14; but see Zipora Cochavi-Rainey, Royal Gifts in the Late Bronze Age, Fourteenth to Thirteenth Centuries B.C.E, Beer-Sheva 13 (Beer Sheva: Ben Gurion University of the Negev Press, 1999) analyzing EA13, a detailed list of a dowry, going the other way. For a marriage stela of Ramses II with a Hittite princess, see Kenneth A. Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions. Historical and Biographical (Oxford: Blackwell, 1979), vol. 2, 233–256; Kenneth A. Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions. Translated & Annotated Translations, vol. II/1: Ramesses II, Royal Inscriptions (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996), 86–96; Elmar Edel, Die ägyptisch-hethitische Korrespondenz aus Boghazköi in bablyonischer und hethitischer Sprache, Abhandlungen der Nordrheinwestfälischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 77 (Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1994), 90–197.

(213) James H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt. Historical Documents (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1906), vol. 2, 163–217; Kurt Sethe, Urkunden der 18. Dynastie, Dritter Band, Historisch-Biographische Urkunden (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, 1907), IV.645–734.

(214) Donald B. Redford, “Egypt and Western Asia in the Late New Kingdom: An Overview,” in The Sea Peoples and Their World: A Reassessment, edited by E. D. Oren (Philadelphia: The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, 2000), 1–20; David O’Connor, “The Sea Peoples and the Egyptian Sources,” in The Sea Peoples and Their World: A Reassessment (Philadelphia: The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, 2000).

(215) For the opinion that Ramesses III emulated texts and scenes of Ramesses II with discussion, see Redford, “Egypt and Western Asia,” 11. See Sowada, Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean, 6, for the Old Kingdom.

(216) Kenneth A. Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions, Translated and Annotated: Notes and Comments, vol. II/2: Ramesses II, Royal Inscriptions (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999), 1–3.

(217) Patrik Lundh, Actor and Event, Military Activity in Ancient Egyptian Narrative Texts from Tuthmosis II to Merenptah, Uppsala Studies in Egyptology 2 (Uppsala: Akademitryck AB, 2002) with references.

(219) The Odyssey frequently refers to generous presents that are given to the ruler of a neighboring realm, but with the expectation that a return present of at least the same value would be given. See Homer, The Odyssey, trans. A. T. Murray, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press, William Heinemann Ltd., 1919).

(225) Manfred Bietak, “Connections Between Egypt and the Minoan World. New Results from Tell el-Daba/Avaris,” in Egypt, the Aegean and the Levant, Interconnections in the Second Millennium BC, edited by W. V. Davies and L. Schofield (London: British Museum Press, London 1995), 26; Bietak, Manfred, N. Marinatos, and C. Palivou, Taureador Scenes in Tell el-Daba (Avaris) and Knossos (Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2007). See also discussion in Louise Steele, “Egypt and the Mediterranean World,” in The Egyptian World, edited by T. Wilkinson (London, New York: Routledge, 2007), 467.

(226) See, for example, Mario A. S. Martin, Egyptian-Type Pottery in the Late Bronze Age Southern Levant (Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2011).