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Archaeology of Empire in Achaemenid Egypt$
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Henry Colburn

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474452366

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474452366.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Urban Experiences: Memphis

Urban Experiences: Memphis

(p.27) 2. Urban Experiences: Memphis
(p.iii) Archaeology of Empire in Achaemenid Egypt

Henry P. Colburn

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter focuses on Memphis and its associated necropoleis. Memphis served as the seat of the satrap, based in the Palace of Apries, which continued its military and administrative functions. The cult of the Apis bull was maintained, and perhaps even expanded. Likewise, the practice of building shaft tombs among the Old Kingdom royal pyramids at Saqqara, Abusir and Giza also continued; some of these tombs are among the most impressive of the Late Period. Thus Memphis remained an important place, both in the physical landscape of Egypt, and also in the cultural memory of the Egyptians themselves. At the same time it was also a great cosmopolis, and Achaemenid rule only added to its diversity. The sealings and bilingual tags recovered from the Palace of Apries attest to a social environment in which multiple traditions of material culture were valued and utilized side by side. Even the names recorded in Demotic and Aramic papyri found at Saqqara feature combinations of Egyptian and foreign names within single families, pointing to a social climate of interaction and diversity rather than strict divisions between Persians and Egyptians.

Keywords:   Memphis, Saqqara, Abusir, Apis, Palace of Apries, Demotic, Seals, Papyri

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