Egypt’s past continues to inspire many scholars today. Over the years, his mysterious and intriguing tales have piqued the interest of millions of people. One of them is a mysterious etching depicting the end of the country’s wealth and the hunger that devastated it, as well as how people survived it.
Experts estimate that there were 32 dynasties in Egypt at the time, ranging from Horus Scorpion II to Ptolemy. Today we will discuss archaeological relics from the seventh dynasty. The Stela of Hunger is an item that will teach us fascinating information.
There exist archaeological evidence from all dynasty eras, according to several Egyptologists. Specialists have been able to document the details of the world’s earliest known kingdom thanks to these discoveries. It’s worth noting that the major Egyptian oddities have a three-millennia-long history.
The pyramids are still iconic today, from the stepped ones to those of Giza and the one that is one of the seven wonders of the world. Of course, the latter has undergone certain modifications, and its initial beauty is no longer recognized. However, it has acted as a monument to the region’s indisputable past.
What is the Stela of Hunger?
The Stela of Hunger is essentially a thirty-two-column script. The phrase is still carved on the east side of a stone on the island of Sehel today. There’s a rocky outcropping there, and amid it lies this renowned Egyptian archaeological site.
It, on the other hand, dated from before the stela was written down. The information dates from the 18th year of Necherjet-reign, Dyeser’s also known as Zoser, although it was incorporated into the monument during the Ptolemaic era.
What archaeological testimonies are there of the VII dynasty?
Despite the fact that we have adequate evidence for the previous dynasties, we cannot claim the same for number VII. There is virtually little information on this time period, and very little is known about the events that occurred during it. With the exception of La Estela Del Hambre, who will be our protagonist, the archaeological remains are noticeable by their lack.
Charles Wibour found this manuscript in the year 1889, and it has been kept in its entirety since then. Furthermore, its priceless material has passed through the hands of many Egyptologists and has been translated numerous times. As a result, we have the most current version, which was developed by Lichten in 1973.
It’s important to note that the causes for this dynasty’s collapse were unclear until the middle of the preceding century. In reality, evidence suggests that the system disintegrated at that time, lasting until Dynasty IX.
Mysteries revealed thanks to La Estela del Hambre (Stela of Hunger)
Many riddles were revealed when the text known as the Stele of Famine was eventually unearthed. The causes that threw Egypt into turmoil are now understood. It is said that when the VII dynasty came to an end, an economic and social downturn started.
The stela has the following elements: a description of the famine, a visit to Hermopolis’ Library, Imhotep’s revelations, Djoser’s songs, and a royal edict. Between the sixth and the twenty-second columns, building materials and techniques are discussed; from the eleventh to the eighteenth column, Imhotep lists different rocks and minerals from the Elephantine area; and from the eighteenth to the twentieth column, the king’s dream is recounted.
Three deities are shown in the top right corner, standing, in profile, and gazing to the left. The god Junm (originally the god of the Nile’s source), the goddess Satis (goddess of Upper Egypt, protector of Egypt’s southern border, goddess of war, hunting, and fertility), and the goddess Anuket (goddess of Upper Egypt, protector of Egypt’s southern border, goddess of war, hunting, and fertility) are the three deities (goddess of the Nile and Nubian falls). Pharaoh Zoser is shown in front of the three gods, in profile, gazing to the right and presenting a sacrifice with extended hands.
An examination of the factors that led to hunger and chaos.
A severe and intense famine had a significant impact on the situation, exacerbating the issue. Because the Nile did not have enough water to irrigate the crops, the king was worried about the consequences.
Egyptologists say that the nation was structured in Nomos during the time. This implies that kings reigned over areas that were roughly comparable to states or provinces. These were the sort of Pharaoh-selected leaders who had been groomed with ultimate authority.
During that period, the country’s economy was contingent on the river swelling and receding. This procedure ensured the survival of the people by ensuring the success of the cultivation, planting, and collecting of food.
But what occurred when the issue took an unexpected turn one day? The Famine Stele makes it apparent that the kings did not provide the Pharaoh a full account of their actions. They also failed to properly monitor the water level and started to favor their loved ones by promoting them to positions of authority that they did not merit.
Negative consequences of misconduct
Due to the deterioration of the economy, the Pharaoh quadrupled the number of nomes and ignored field labor. As a result, crops decreased, the tax collecting system worsened, and irrigation degraded.
Due to poor management and structure, economic activity fell to dangerously low levels in a short period of time.
The Egyptians were desperate, hungry, and broke the rules of the country as a result of the crisis, which lasted seven years and threw the city into anarchy.
Looking for solutions.
To address the issue, the irritated and concerned pharaoh went to Imhotep, the high priest of Heliopolis. The latter urged Pharaoh to petition the “Lord of the Nile Sources,” the creator deity Jnum, to alleviate the drought.
Imhotep goes to Ermopolis to go through the archives of the “hit-Ibety” temple, which is devoted to the deity Thot (god of knowledge, writing, music, spells, time, and dreams). After examining the archives, Imhotep tells the pharaoh that there is a holy spring on the Island of Elephantine from which the deity Jnum regulates the Nile River’s flooding. It’s for this reason why the rock was captured in such a distant location.
Imhotep arrives at this site, cleanses himself, makes sacrifices, and prays to the deity Jnum for assistance. In his dreams, the deity responds to him and pledges to restore the Nile River’s floods. He returns to Pharaoh after waking up to tell him all that has occurred.
This is the scenario described in The Wake of Hunger, in which Egypt had to suffer the repercussions of its government’s poor conduct, despite the fact that it was not an issue that could be addressed in a matter of days. The nation survived after this difficult time during the Seventh Dynasty.
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