Ancient Egypt


The time period is the reign of the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten, in the New Kingdom, Eighteenth Dynasty by modern reckoning. Akhenaten turned his back on the old gods and proclaimed the sun god, the Aten, to be the only true god. He built a new capital, and left the once-politically-powerful priesthood of Amon to its own devices. His inattention cost Egypt its foreign holdings, which had been won when the Hyksos invaders, called Heka-Khaswt by Egyptians, were thrown out of Egypt. Though the Hyksos brought the technology of bronzeworking to Egypt, Egyptians had a "pure race" mindset and were never comfortable having non-Egyptians around, except for the Medjay guard, which was largely Nubian. In this time the pyramids were a thousand years old already, and were maintained as national monuments despite the damage done by Egyptain tourists. Most Egyptians were farmers - all the specialized trades represented in this area did indeed exist, but they should be considered an economic step above the average Egyptian.

"The City of the Living", "The City of the Dead", Hikuptah, and all the shopkeeper names are ancient Egyptian. You can also notice that Pharaoh's officials are linguistically identified with his beliefs, as their names end with the "-aten" associating them with the sun god, rather than an "-amon". The names of shops come from the modern Cairo bazaar-names, since ancient names were unavailable, and galabiyah cloth and gibbehs are both Arabic. The burko is also modern Arabic, and while there might not have been such identifying symbols forced upon outsiders, the Egyptian distaste for non-Egyptians at the time is well documented. Yes, the ancient Egyptians had career janitors, and no, I couldn't find the ancient name for them. Aside from the location of things on one side of the river or the other, the geography is invented. Hikuptah is the Egyptian name for Memphis, which was the Old Kingdom capital, located across from the pyramids at Saqqara. Thebes was actually the stronghold of the priests of Amon, but Thebes is in the south of Egypt, past Akhenaten's new capital, and so didn't fit the area design, & thus the priests were transplanted to Hikuptah.

The Phoenicians lived on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, approximately where northern Israel and Lebanon exist today. Little archaeological record of their land settlements remain, but they were great sea traders, and several underwater excavations have discovered Phoenician trading vessels, one of them remarkably well preserved. They traded around the Mediterranean, even carrying tin from the British Isles, but there is no solid evidence to indicate that the Phoenicians are the same race as the mysterious "sea peoples" who founded Carthage and are mentioned by many other civilizations. There is absolutely no evidence to support the contention of New Age authors who claim the Phoenicians reached the South American continent, but the myth is a convenient excuse to provide a walking route to connect the ancient world.


Related Links

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism has lots of historical info and pictures, as well as modern tourism information.
An article about medicine in ancient Egypt
An essay on the legal status of women in ancient Egypt

A bit about the Phoenicians, including their links with Egypt