By I. E. S. Edwards, C. J. Gadd, N. G. L. Hammond
Half II of quantity I bargains with the background of the close to East from approximately 3000 to 1750 B.C. In Egypt, a protracted interval of political unification and balance enabled the kings of the outdated state to enhance and take advantage of common assets, to mobilize either the manpower and the technical ability to construct the pyramids, and to motivate sculptors within the construction of works of superlative caliber. After a interval of anarchy and civil battle on the finish of the 6th Dynasty the neighborhood rulers of Thebes demonstrated the so-called heart state, restoring an age of political calm within which the humanities may possibly back flourish. In Western Asia, Babylonia was once the most centre and resource of civilisation, and her ethical, notwithstanding now not regularly her army, hegemony used to be famous and authorised by way of the encircling international locations of Anatolia, Syria, Palestine, Assyria and Elam. The historical past of the sector is traced from the overdue Uruk and Jamdat Nasr sessions as much as the increase of Hammurabi, the main major advancements being the discovery of writing within the Uruk interval, the emergence of the Semites as a political issue less than Sargon, and the luck of the centralized paperwork lower than the 3rd Dynasty of Ur.
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Additional info for Cambridge Ancient History. Early History of the Middle East
41. 3 4 8 §111, 12, 26. §1, 14, 15. See below, p. 30. §iv, 23, part n, 54. 6 §111, 2, vol. in, 11, 31, pi. 38, 1; §iv, 23, part 1, 4, 15, pi. 17, no. 86. Ibid. part 11, 40, n. i ; § v n , 14, 12-14, fig. I5;§ v "» l5> 3 8 °7 8 G, 15, 124-5. H. i3, ch. vi, sect. 1. 1 So few dockets of this kind have however been preserved that they are useless for compiling even a skeleton chronology of the period. The Fifth Dynasty Palermo Stone and Cairo Annals, though invaluable, have proved to be capable of more than one reconstruction.
One of the most puzzling personages of the Early Dynastic Period is Mer(it)neith. 3 None of the instances adduced for the spelling of this name with the inclusion of the feminine termination / is free from doubt,4 but its omission in hieroglyphic writing at this period would not necessarily have any grammatical significance. It is at least clear that no king was intended, for the royal titles are never prefixed. If Mer(it)neith was a woman she must have attained a position seldom, if ever, equalled by a member of her sex in early dynastic times.
6 If the owners of these names were independent rulers they were probably ephemeral followers of Qaa. There is certainly no clear evidence that Qaa's sovereignty was ever challenged by a rival line of dynasts or that the end of his reign was marked by untoward happenings affecting the normal course of succession. 8 Contemporary annals, mainly in the form of ivory and wooden dockets, show that regnal years were not numbered, as in later times, but were named after some important event, usually 1 §i, 14, i o - n ; § i v , 35, 25-7,41.