Mar 7th 2019

Gallery Talk: Enclaves, Military Outposts, and Colonial Settlements: Autonomy and Cultural Encounter in Nubia

Egypt and Nubia were involved in a network of trade, exchange, or extraction throughout most of their history. The process benefited whoever controlled a substantial portion of the primary or intermediary exchange routes and could thereby directly exploit the resources so prized by rulers, their entourages, and other elites. But control of Lower Nubia fluctuated between two powers, Egypt and Kush. When Egypt was decentralized and fragmented, or obsessed with guarding her frontiers, the southerners controlled the minerals, metals, stones, and southern trade products moving along the river and land routes.

Egypt’s cultural influence over Nubians varied along a continuum ranging from isolation, to an Egyptian
presence with little acculturation by the local populations, to the assimilation of the cultural and religious ideals of Egypt under a concentrated presence of military, administrative, and religious personnel from the north. At different periods, including up until the recent past, the scenario is similar. Archaeological remains, mostly consisting of funerary architecture and goods, show wholesale or individual acceptance of Egyptian cultural ideals by the local population.

Join Lisa Heidorn, research associate of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw and associate of the Oriental Institute, for this museum gallery talk that will focus on the evidence for assimilation into, partial acceptance of, and resistance to the Egyptian ideal. Examples from the Oriental Institute’s Nubian Gallery and elsewhere will illustrate the concepts of assimilation or cultural agency.

Registration is not required

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