Family vs. Politics

After listening to lectures this week, there seems to have been a lot of changes in who had power of Egypt during the New Kingdom as well as the Third Intermediate Period.  However, it was not until reading about the tomb styles that I noticed something interesting.  It seems as though to me that the new generation of Pharaohs followed a more “modernistic” style when building tombs, temples and so on.  We have already learned that there are hieroglyphs and writings that describe the royal families as being more family-oriented than focused on ruling.  I feel that with this new take as a Pharaoh being open with his family, the buildings were bound to change.

Such examples of these structures include what the readings considered as “rest homes” or rather places where kings would go to stay when traveling.  They were also active as hunting lodges.  Since these New Kingdom kings were so involved with their personal life, it seems that the balance between it and there political life was one sided.  Many of the great accomplishments of the previous Pharaohs were to build great tombs such as the pyramids, but this seemed to die out for the new age.  In particular is the Valley of the Kings.   The fact that the new kings were buried in a secluded naturally guarded area shows that their image after death would not be nearly as unique as the Pharaohs buried in pyramids or large temples.  As the name suggests, the Valley of the Kings is plural to signify many kings, but none in general whereas the Great Pyramid of Khufu clearly designates that Khufu is buried in there.

Some of the chambers that exist in each tomb in the valley, shows that there was extra room for the family of the King; another indication that family was of great importance to the kings during this time.  However, it may be that this growing interest in family is what ultimately led to yet another decline in political structure and thus loss of power throughout the lands.

One thought on “Family vs. Politics

  1. I agree that there was a shift in possession of power during the new kingdom. Going into the New Kingdom period the Egyptians were more focused on preserving their culture. I think after the Hyksos invasion they realized that they needed to stick together to establish security and fight off invaders. Not only was the epiphany politically changing it also affected the personal families. No longer did they just have a king, the government, religious officials, military and other components played a role in decision making. This change would of course take a load off the king and allow him to be more family oriented. As you mentioned I can see why the buildings changed. With the new establishments they could have places to go with their families for bonding time.
    As far as the change in tomb burials I think that also came for security purposes but affected the family. Since burial thefts were increasing they had to change the style and location. They began to bury the royal in the Valley of Kings which was different from their previous burial site in pyramids. This change could have sparked from the time saved in just burying them in the valley instead of building pyramids. That saved time could be used for personal activities.

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