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f Ruhr El --The Shekh el-Beled. From Sakkarah [Gizeh Museum, No. 492]. other monuments of the great civilization of Egypt were wanting, these “Precepts” alone would show the moral worth of the Egyptians, and the high ideal of man's duties which they had formed nearly 5500 years ago. Of Unás, the last king of the Vth dynasty, we know little except that he built a pyramid at Sakkārah, which was opened in 1881.
The kings of the VIth dynasty seem to have extended their operations further south, for their names are found at El-kab, Abydos, Aswän, and elsewhere. Tetà and Pepi I. built each a pyramid at Sakkârah, and the rule of the latter seems to have embraced all Egypt. He renewed the Egyptian rule over the Sinaitic peninsula, and the inscriptions at Wädy Ma‘ārah show that copper mining was carried on there during his reign as busily as ever. Among Pepi's staff was a young man called Uná, who had been a favoured servant of Tetà ; Pepi employed him in many ways and distinguished him by entrusting the care of an expedition against the Aāmu and Heru-shā, who are supposed to be Semitic and Asiatic enemies of Egypt respectively. Troops were brought from Ethiopia and led against them by Uná; the Egyptians were successful in defeating them, and having wasted their land, they returned to Egypt bringing many captives with them. To quell the tribes in revolt to the north of the Heru-shā territory it was necessary to send troops in ships. As a mark of the king's favour Uná was sent to the quarries of Turah (in Eg, “To so, } to Re-àu) to bring back a block of stone suitable for the king's sarcophagus. The ability and fidelity of Uná made him an acceptable officer to Merenrā, the successor of Pepi I., who sent him to the quarries to bring back a block of stone for the royal sarcophagus, to Aswän and Elephantine for granite to build a shrine and to make the doors of his pyramid, and to Alabastron for a large slab of fine white limestone. Neferka-Ră, or Pepi II., succeeded his brother Merenrä; he built a pyramid and made an expedition to Sinai. The last ruler of the sixth dynasty, Nitāqert (Nitocris), was a queen; she enlarged the pyramid of Mykerinos and covered it over with slabs of granite, and the remains of a fine basalt sarcophagus which were found in a chamber near that of Mykerinos seem to indicate that the queen's body had been laid there.
B. M. C
During the first six dynasties it is clear that the Egyptians were masters of the copper mine district in Sinai, that they were able to beat off the tribes on their western borders, that they defeated the two great warlike bodies of the Aāmu and the Heru-shā, and that they were at peace with the Ethiopians, upon whom they could call for assistance in time of war. As builders they were unequalled, and their art had advanced so far that they were never successfully imitated by later generations. Their religion and government were well founded, and their education was of a very high character. So far as is known there was no other nation, except the Babylonians under Naram-Sin and Sargon, which was so highly civilized at this remote period.
Of the history of Egypt of this period nothing is known ; the names of the kings who reigned cannot even be arranged in accurate chronological order. Towards the end of this period a number of kings named Antef and Menthu-hetep ruled; they appear to have been of Theban origin. Menthuhetep, with the prenomen of Neb-taui-Ra, is styled, on a stele on the island of Konosso, the conqueror of thirteen nations, and his name appears on rocks which lie beside the old road from Coptos to the Red Sea through the valley of Hammāmāt. The mightiest king of this period seems to have been Seanchkara, who was able to send forth an expedition to the land of Punt, the land of the gods, the peculiar home of the god Bes #. and the land of sweet spices. The expedition set out in the eighth year of the king's reign, under the leadership of Hennu; it consisted of 3OOO men, among whom were stone-cutters, soldiers, etc. On their road they dug four wells, and having arrived safely on the shores of the Red Sea, they took ship and sailed probably for the southern part of the Arabian peninsula. The expedition returned successfully, bearing with it great quantities of
spices, precious stones, and other products of the East.
heteps, were of Theban origin, and under their rule Egypt comes forth into the light of day as a mighty power. As they were able to defend their country from the assaults of their hereditary foes in Ethiopia, and from the tribes on their eastern and western borders, the arts and sciences flourished,
and large works connected with the storage of Nile water
were undertaken. The period of their rule, following as it
1st ed., Vol. VI., pp. 131–150. The original is preserved in
Berlin, and a facsimile was published by Lepsius, Denkmäler,
* The leather roll giving this interesting text was purchased by Brugsch in 1858, and is now preserved at Berlin.