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Chariots in Ancient Egypt

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Chariots in Ancient Egypt

The Tano Chariot, A Case Study

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Chariots in Ancient Egypt by Andre J. Veldmeijer
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Chariots, the racing cars of the ancient world, first appeared in Egypt about 1600 BC, and quickly became not only the preferred mode of transport for royalty and the elite, but also revolutionised military tactics and warfare. Remains of chariots have been found in Egyptian tombs -Tutankhamun's tomb contained six chariots, which tripled the number of ancient Egyptian chariots known before the discovery of his tomb. However, none of the chariots was complete, as all lacked their leather casings, which were only known from images on tomb and temple walls. In 2008, the Ancient Egyptian Leatherwork Project (AEFP) working in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, found a cache of several trays of red and green leather containing some 60 large leather fragments. Some of these had been noted before, but the find had been largely ignored and buried in the depths of the museum. This remarkable object entered the museum in 1932, a purchase from the Tano family, reputable dealers at that time, hence the nick-name 'Tano Chariot'. The Tano leather all came from a single chariot, including portions of the bow-case, the body's casing and the horse housing. The leather is elaborately decorated in appliqued green and red or beige leather. Parallels for some of these fragments are found in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Agyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung in Berlin, many of which, until their appearance in this volume, are unpublished. This includes the chariot leather from the tombs of Amenhotep II, III, Tuthmose IV and Tutankhamun. This book presents the Tano material with fully illustrated, detailed descriptions. Chariot related texts and technological analyses - together with detailed comparisons with other chariots and associated leather remains - help provide possible dates for it. The find is put into context with chapters on relevant hieroglyphic texts, and a study of representations of chariots that help identify the various parts, and highlight the role of the chariot in Egyptian religion, propaganda, and culture. The Tano Chariot leather, despite being unprovenanced, is a unique find, which reveals a great deal about ancient Egyptian leatherwork technologies, warfare, weapons, and chariotry.

Author Biography

Andre J. Veldmeijer (Visiting Research Scholar American University in Cairo) studied archaeology at Leiden University (The Netherlands) and received his PhD in Vertebrate Palaeontology from Utrecht University (The Netherlands) in 2006. He has worked in Egypt since 1995 as a leather, footwear and cordage specialist for various missons (including Amarna, Berenike, Dra' Abu el-Naga, Elephantine, Hierakonpolis and Qasr Ibrim). Veldmeijer has also worked in several collections all over the world, studying ancient Egyptian and Nubian leatherwork and footwear as part of the Ancient Egyptian Leatherwork Project (AELP) and the Ancient Egyptian Footwear Project (AEFP) respectively. Among these collections are the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the British Museum in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. His second PhD, on the archaeology of footwear, is planned for the next four years. Veldmeijer is the director of two ongoing research projects: Ancient Egyptian Leatherwork Project (including the Egyptian Museum Chariot Project) and Ancient Egyptian Footwear Project. Veldmeijer is one of the founders and current chairman of the PalArch Foundation. Salima Ikram is an Egyptologist and bioarchaeologist who has worked in Egypt, Turkey and the Sudan. She has directed the Animal Mummy Project at the Egyptian Museum, directs the North Kharga Oasis Darb Ain Amur Survey, and has worked as a funerary archaeologist and archaeozoologist at sites throughout Egypt from Alexandria to Aswan. She has published extensively. Dr. Ole Herslund is a doctor of Egyptology and Egyptian Archaeology trained at University of Copenhagen and University College London. He has worked as research fellow and external lecturer at the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Institute of Regional and Cross-Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen, and works on a number of projects throughout Egypt including the Italian-Egyptian Mission to Kom el-Ahmer and Kom Wasit and the Temple of Athribis Mission, University of Tubingen. Herslund's research focus is on the study of material culture in ancient Egyptian texts and writing systems, and he has published articles on topics relating to material culture and classification, cognition, meaning and social history, among which "On the Pictorial Meaning of the Drop Shaped Hieroglyph for 'Copper' from the Archaic Period to the Middle Kingdom" (2015), "Chariots in the Daily Life of New Kingdom Egypt: A Survey of Production, Distribution and Use in Texts" (2013) and "Cloths - Garments - and Keeping Secrets: Textile classification and cognitive chaining in the ancient Egyptian writing system" (2010). Prof. Dr. Lisa Sabbahy studied at Bryn Mawr College, University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Toronto. She is Assistant Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, and Program Director of the MA in Egyptology and Coptology. Her research interests include: iconography and titles of ancient Egyptian queens, anthropoid clay coffins, paleopathology of the ancient Egyptians, griffons, and chariots. Her latest publications include the articles: "The King Sitting Backward in His Chariot: A Ramesside Icon of Victory" and "The Middle Bronze Age Griffon: Whence and Whither?" as well as the book "Annotated Bibliography of the Paleopathology of the Ancient Egyptians, 1995-2016, 2nd edition (2017). Lucy Skinner has an MSc in Conservation for Museums and Archaeology from University College London. She has worked as a museum conservator in the UK and as an independent archaeological conservator and organic materials specialist on various sites all over the world as well as for numerous projects in Egypt. Her work includes "Conservation of Bio-Archaeology"-project at Abydos, and the "Coffin Conservation Project" at Tell el Amarna and conservator for the Ancient Egyptian Leatherwork Project, which includes the Egyptian Museum Chariot Project. Recent work includes research on ancient Egyptian and Nubian skin preparation techniques, a two-year A.W. Mellon Teaching Fellowship in Conservation Education and five months sabbatical replacement as Assistant Professor in Objects Conservation, at SUNY Buffalo State in the USA. Her publications include "Matriarchs, Red Leather and Polka-Dots: More Leather from HK27C" (2016; with C. Rogge), "Nubian Leatherwork" (In Press; with A.J. Veldmeijer) and "Related Skin Producs of an ancient Egyptian harp" (In Press; with A.J. Veldmeijer).
Release date NZ
April 30th, 2018
Country of Publication
Sidestone Press
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