THE NOTION OF THE "THREE HILL COUNTRY" IN THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN CIVILIZATION
Document Type: Original article
Lecturer, Guidance dept., High Institute of Tourism and Hotels-Abu-Keer, Alexandria, Egypt.
The ancient times witnessed no deserts as the vast deserts were once agricultural territories enriched by water of the heavy rains. By the Pharaonic Periods, the Nile Valley was restricted between two barren plateaus; these deserts were formed of several hilly chains of sands traversed by valleys linking between the Nile and the deserts. These hilly chains were represented on the Egyptian monuments and its accompanying texts by the sign xAst which is the origin of our main concern. The research deals with the significance of the xAst sign such as the deserts, the foreign countries the necropolis; and its various ways of writings in the ancient Egypt Language , , . Then, the study throws some light on the types of land referred to as xAst such as the mountainous land, the foreign countries surrounding the Egyptian land and the deserts. It also focuses on the names of the geographical divisions determined with the xAst sign dSrt, smyt, Mrw, Nw, Wart, Bw. It deals as well with the names of the Egyptian provinces and regions determined with the Sign xAst such as: Abw Elephantine, imnt the west, xAsww Sakha, sAww Wadi El-Guawassis, TAaw El-Kosseir, swnA Shouna, DAfty Safa, wHAt The Oases, etc Then the research focuses on the notion of the "three hill country" in the ancient Egyptian texts through the different historical phases indicating the various significances meant by the determinative xAst:- the determinative of the eastern and western mountains, the determinative of the necropolis and the determinative of the foreign countries. It also studies the titles related to the term xAst: either titles related to the foreign countries or the deserts. Finally, the study ends by the scenes and monuments related to the sign xAst, and the gods titles and names related to the xAst sign as the Gods Spd, Ha and Min.
xAst; deserts; foreign countries; hills; old kingdom; Middle Kingdom; New; Kingdom; Land
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