Feb18

Military Architecture of Ancient Egypt

For most of Egypt's ancient history, it was a land of fortifications.

To some extent, all Egyptian ceremonial buildings, including temples and even funerary complexes, were intended to function as bastions of order and harmony, requiring at least symbolic fortifications to protect them from the surrounding chaos. And from the very beginning, we find references to Egypt's attempts to fortify their country, for the Memphis of Menes, united Egypt's earliest King, was known as Ineb-Hedj, meaning "the White Wall".

In fact, the earliest surviving Egyptian fortifications were built to protect towns rather than to defend frontiers. Probably the first evidence for an Egyptian fortress is a Predynastic ceramic model of a building, discovered by Flinders Petrie at Abadiyeh, which appears to show two men peering over a crenellated wall. However, the oldest surviving remains of fortifications are the early dynastic settlements in Upper Egypt at Kom el-Ahmar (Heirakonpolis) and at Elkab.

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Author:
Troy Fox
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