Week 5: Expeditions and Medicinal Texts/Depictions

This week’s reading mentioned the various expeditions that the ancient Egyptians conducted. I thought it was interesting that the boats were made in Coptos, which was not near the port on the Red Sea that they used, and then they were disassembled, roped together, carried to the port, and then were reassembled. In a previous post I wondered why their boats were not made with nails and joints, perhaps this process for the expeditions was the reason they constructed their boats this way. I also found these expeditions interesting because they brought exotic materials to cities not near the coast in addition to the materials obtained by trade. Other expeditions that were mentioned were those of mining expeditions. These expeditions allowed the people to mine for their own precious stones, metal ore, and other raw materials that they needed so that they did not need to rely solely on trade for these materials. Some of these mines showed evidence of settlements that were built for the miners and they were imperative to Egypt, so that it could better control Eastern Nubia because of the placement of some of these mines.

I also found the archaeological evidence for the process and rituals of childbirth interesting because I did not think that it would be something that would be important for a society like ancient Egypt.  I am glad that something like the birth bricks and the depictions were preserved and found because it sheds light on the women’s view and beliefs about this private part of their lives. They had their own process, rituals, and goddesses that were worshipped and/or depicted. The text of veterinary medicine and medical papyrus of problems that women face that was discovered is interesting because it shows that they saw these things as problems and were trying to find ways to fix and document them, so that they could help other animals and women who may have been suffering. These texts also show that they possibly had scientific knowledge of medicine and/or a medical part to their culture.

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