Cusae

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

Cusae is located about 40 km to the south from Hermopolis (El Ashmunein), which was the administrative centre of this area in the Middle Kingdom. The river was still open, when Horemkhaef visited the residence in Lisht between 1,670 and 1,650 BC. Shortly after it a border was set in Cusae, where everybody sailing from the south had to pay a tax to the Avaris ruler to be allowed to continue in his way.

According to the Kamose report about a messenger holding, who carried a letter from the King Apepi to the King of Kush, the Hyksos apparently controled the path from „Sako“ (today's el-Kes) through the oasis of the Western Desert to Nubian Tumas that was situated midway between the first and the second Nile cataract. This was the way the King of Avaris gained the access to the allies – cruel Kings of Kush – and to gold as well.

At least three of the fortresses at the cataracts were still functioning (Buhen, Migrissa and Uronarti), even if there are doubts if they were control from Egypt of from Kush; however, the path through the oasis (from the southern end) was still under control and expeditions to the golden mines were set.

Despite the border the regular contact continued between the Lower Egypt and Nubia via the path through the oasis. It is obvious from the ceramics and earthenware seals findings in the fortresses at the cataracts and in the capital of Kush - Kerma. This contact lasted without a break at least in Buhen from the 13th dynasty to the beginning of the 15th Hyksos dynasty.

We can even enhance our picture of the middle Egypt with a view of a group of necropolis, which is uncovered about 50 km to the south from Cusae in Deir Rifa, Mostagedda and Kau. The graveyard S in Deir Rifa contains a group of graves of Nubians known as the „Pan Grave“ people (according to their typical shallow oval graves). They were half-nomadic cattle breeders, living on the edge of the desert. Their necropolis and settlements appeared in Egypt during the 13th dynasty.

They are identified with the Medjays from the Kamose's texts, who were sent out ahead of the Kamose's marine as scouts. Their typical handmade ceramics is to found in all settlements of the Middle Kingdom and also in the north in Memphis (Mennefer). Their graves in Deir Rifa contains tell el-jahudi ceramics comparable with the types that are found in the E/1 level in Tell el-Dab'a and that are dated to the half of the 15th dynasty. The related Egyptian ceramics belongs to the style of Memphis area of the Midlle Kingdom and it indicates that the necropolis might come from the beginning of the 13th dynasty.

Message from the Nile

  • History of Czech institution of egyptology

    The Czech egyptology founder is Frantisek Lexa, the author of up to now evaluated work about ancient Egypt magic and Demotic grammar. Seminar for egyptology started thanks to him in Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague in 1925. Two years later Lexa became the first regular professor of egyptology in then Czechoslovakia.

  • Abusir - outstation of Czech egyptology expedition

    Abusir is an archaeological locality in Egypt named after nearby recent village Abusir. It is situated on western Nile bank on the edge of Libyan tableland approximately 20 kilometers to the south-west of Cairo. The name of this locality is derived from ancient Egypt god Osiris, from Per Usir (Busiris), "(cult) place of Osiris" (Busiris in Greek).

  • Researches in Western desert

    Czech egyptology is successful in researching not only on pyramidal fields in Abusir recently, but also in supporting and organizing smaller expeditions into egyptian Western desert. Czech expedition has been working even in slowly evanescent oasis El-Hajez since 2003, which is situated about 400 km to the south-west from Cairo.

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