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Fifth Nome

Nubt (Naqada)


 Nubt

 "The Golden City"

 nubt

gebtu 

 kuser

shenhur

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Dynastic Times

Nubt is 40 kilometers north of Abu (Aswan). It lies on the west side of the Nile, opposite the capital city, Gebtu, one of the few trade routes to the Red Sea. To the north is Ballas. Nubt is revered for its ties to the earliest times in Egyptian history: predynastic times. The city is devoted to Set, whom we also call Set of Nubt, for he was born in the Nubt region. In the Pyramid Texts, our city is called Nubty.

When traveling to "modern" Nubt, you will want to visit the trapezoidal step pyramid near Nubt. It has three steps and is made of rough limestone bound by clay-and-sand mortar. Although it does not have a temple or hall, it has a façade of big masonry layers, and its base is 60 feet in every direction, or 22 meters. The east side is aligned with the Nile. We really like our little step pyramid, even if we've forgotten what it's really for.

We know it is one of seven small step pyramids that go from Seila on the edge of the Fayoum Oasis to South Abydos and Nekhen (Hierakonpolis) to Abu (Elephantine). They all come from the second half of the 3rd Dynasty or perhaps the early 4th. Some say most, including the one at Nubt, were built by Huni (2637-2613 BC) in the 3rd Dynasty. Huni probably did build the one at Abu, for it has an inscription "Diadem of Huni," (ssd Hwni). However, we think Huni did not build the one at Nubt, nor did he build most of the other ones.

As we all know, Egyptian pyramids are usually royal tombs of some sort, but these small pyramids may not be tombs. Unlike the larger pyramids, these are said not to have internal chambers or underground structures. However, some say they may be cenotaphs for queens. All of them except for the one at Zawiyet el-Meiyitin are on the west side of the Nile. The one at Abu has an administrative building attached to it. Perhaps they were royal cult palaces or royal estates. Some wonder if there was one pyramid for each nome in southern Upper Egypt. Perhaps they were associated with Huni's reorganization of regional government. Some say they are shrines connected with Horus and Set, or were predecessors of later sun temples. Others say they represent the primeval mound of creation.

The other place you will want to visit is our current temple of Set, which comes from the 18th Dynasty in the New Kingdom. Tuthmosis I and II, and Amenhotep II and several Ramessid kings have built at this temple. Amenhotep III placed a massive faience scepter in Nubt.

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Sources

Dunn, Jimmy. "Huni, the Last King of Egypt's Third Dynasty." Tour Egypt Feature. InterCity Oz, Inc. http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/huni.htm

Kamil, Jill. (1984, 1996). The Ancient Egyptians: Life in the Old Kingdom. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press.

Quirke, Stephen (manages site). "Naqada." (2001). Digital Egypt for Universities. University College London. http://www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk/naqada/index.html

Parsons, Marie. (1999-2003). "Naqada." Tour Egypt Feature Story. InterCity Oz, Inc. http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/naqada.htm

Shaw, Ian, and Paul Nicholson. (1995, 2003). "Kom Ombo," "Naqada." The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. New York: Harry N Abrams, Inc.

"Upper Egypt province ('nome') 5. (2002). University College London. http://www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk/geo/nomeu5.html

Watson, John (1999-2003). "Temple Ruins In and Near Qift and Qus." Tour Egypt Feature. InterCity Oz. http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/qiftkoptos.htm

Winston, Alan. (1999-2003). "Egypt's Ancient, Small, Southern Step Pyramids." Tour Egypt Feature. InterCity Oz, Inc. http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/smallstep.htm

 Nubt

Gebtu

Kuser

Shenhur

Wadi

Gis

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Fifth Nome