Animal/Human Communication

I personally do believe animals have language. Just from a normal day observation I notice birds chirping, bees buzzing, and dogs barking. By observing their actions that go along with their language I see patterns hinting at communication. Also movies and documentaries have played a role in my belief that animals have language. For example the scientific fact, as read from this week text that, Bees use the tail waging dance to communicate distance/direction of remote food sources was used in the movie: A Bee Movie. Although the film is an animation it taught of this real life process. Movies like this sparked my interest to learn more and do research about animal languages.
As far as the difference between animal and human language I see a tremendous difference. As discussed in lecture animals languages are not as complex as the human language. They are limited to certain sounds. I believe their language is not as complex because it can not be taken out of context like the human language. As discussed in the movie, The Voice, I also believe they’re incapable of sounding like humans as there throat and other inter workings are vastly different from humans.

Response to “Continuation of Egyptian Culture by non-Egyptians”

For some reason I can post my comment to “Continuation of Egyptian Culture by non-Egyptians” post so I posted my comment as a new blog.

Egyptian culture was continued on by non Egyptians after conquests. It is very interesting that all Egypt invaders adopted part or all of Egyptian culture. Why? Maybe, that is why Egypt was always a target. Religion seemed to be the backbone of Egyptian structure. Conquerors maybe knew that they could control the conquered through religion. For example the Persians supported Egyptian religion by building temples to legitimize the Persian King as pharaoh. The Persians were building ethos among the Egyptians. However, the Persians curtailed the temple political power. As you stated the conquerors would want to relate to the conquered but still maintain the highest power. So they put restrictions on what was/wasn’t allowed.

It is interesting that so many nations wanted part in Egypt. Another reason why could be because of the Egyptian strong religious beliefs. The land was good for agriculture and like Egyptians maybe other nations believed it was because of their faith. Because religion is the main thing Egyptians wanted to savor, and all the invaders agreed to learn and practice, so there has to be great significance. Religion and ideological connections is what is thought to have brought Greece and Egypt together. Greek settlers’ cultural elements were infused into Egyptian culture however Egyptian religion always remained.


Persian Invasion

In this week lecture we see Egypt overtaken by Persian officials. It just seems as if Egypt cannot win for losing. Despite all their efforts to remain independent the Egyptians still get overthrown. Throughout each period of Egyptian history there has been tug of war to savor their culture. They even made compromises and still were invaded.  I believe the Egyptians knew they would soon be attacked by the Persians because they linked up with Greece. In Egypt history before the 26th Dynasty, they opposed unification with other nations for security purposes. For example how they disputed the Hyksos. I believe they chose Greece to link up with because of their religious and ideological connection. This connection would not threaten their religious beliefs. Their connection with Greece strengthened the Egyptian economy. Through agriculture yield and trade they were economically prospering. Immigration from Greece increased and Egyptian armies were even strengthened when Greek settlers and merchants joined. Multiculturalism was thriving which led to new methods and inventions because Egyptians accepted Greek cultural elements. The big question however still remains unanswered. Why was Egypt still invaded by Persia? Egypt had ties, were economically stable, and military power was stable. I guess the best way to answer this question is to say the best man won. Persian military was also know for its strength. They executed Psamtek establishing the Persian Invasion. Egypt was no longer ruled by native Egyptians. The invasion led to Egyptians losing some of their cultural practices. The Persians supported Egyptian religion by building temples but cut temple political power. The Persians may have just allowed temple building to keep the Egyptians satisfied. However from my knowledge religion and the power it held is the foundation of Egyptian history so that deed couldn’t have been substantial in calming the Egyptians fury.


Foreign Policy

Egyptian came into the New Kingdom wanting to maintain two things: Security and their Economy. I guess after their near take over experience with the Hyksos they had their guards up. They were aggressive and offensive to foreigners. Their plan to insulate Egypt would lower their chance of an invasion. While doing my own research on mortuary practices I read that there were images of Egyptians smiting foreigners who were bound. In the New Kingdom they only were offensive toward those foreigners who didn’t accept their way of living, which is interesting because the Hyksos adopted their methods but they still drove them out their land. The Egyptians were ethnocentric and believed that their gods were the most powerful, so anyone who Egyptians believed threatened their culture they would eliminate. The lecture said Egyptians military was stable. It’s interesting to me that they would invade territories, defeat those powers, get fealty, and not take the land. Why wouldn’t they take the land? I don’t think they were financially stable to take on new land because they were in the process of rebuilding their economy.  I think they should have took the land and sold it to other groups. They wanted to maintain the stability that the Hyksos aided them in getting. I believe that’s where maintaining the economy comes into play. Egyptians were on hard times where people would have to steal from graves. The robbings of the valley graves would lead to a decline of the New Kingdom.  So to maintain the economy the Egyptians had to get capital by trading. There were Amarna Letters found that proves that security and maintaining the economy was Egyptians main focus. The letters included mutual defense pacts and discussions on economic matters. There are also images in the graves of trade expeditions.



What intrigued me the most from this week lecture, is the appearance of the Hyksos. The Hyksos are people from western Asia who became the first foreign rulers of Egyptian soil. There was just a sudden appearance of people with a different appearance and style of dress moving to Egypt. What drew them to this land? It seems as if they just migrated to Egypt, shared their thoughts, and eventually took control. Why did the Egyptians allow them to just come and rule their land? The lecture says that there was no evidence of war, and in fact they were accepted. When they did come Egypt was dealing with the internal pressure of having weak rulers. Maybe the Egyptians accepted them because they believed they could bring prosperity, which they did eventually do. Evidence of the Hyksos using the Egyptian writing styles to write their non-Egyptian names and seals hints that the two ethnicities were working together because Who was teaching the writing style? The Hyksos friendliness and Egyptians acceptance brought about this mixture of cultures. Through diffusion the population, burials, ceramics, and weaponry were changing. I found it interesting that they combined their practices. For example how the burials had Egyptian like chapels but contained female remains which was a non Egyptian practice. It seems as if they were just there to stabilize the Egyptian economy. While stabilizing they just adopted some of the practices. I think the Egyptians got what they wanted from the Hyksos then were jealous of their success. The problem came because of the Hyksos –who controlled the north-had an alliance with the Nubians-who controlled the south-, which sandwiched the Egyptians. They began to protest complaining about their territory being taken. If the Hyksos were friendly people who were bettering the economy, why fuss now?

Mortuary Practices

Growing up in a Christian faith church it was always mentioned that you can’t bring material things to heaven with you. One song from my faith is entitled “Have you ever seen a U-Haul behind a hearse”? The Egyptian people religion however preached otherwise. The mortuary practices of the Egyptian people caught my attention in this week lecture. Similar to practices today the patterns and structure of your tomb reflects your social status in society. For instance, how today some people can afford the granite headstone that won’t deteriorate easily while others can’t afford one at all. I will focus however on the structure of the royal tombs.  In Egypt the royal burials differed from the subsidiary graves and all other Egyptians graves. From the map first I observed that the royal tombs were in the center. When I saw that I immediately drew back to previous lectures highlighting how important, how much power, and control over others that these rulers had in their society. In The subsidiary graves held queens, those second in command and palace retainers. Also in the graves were pots and carved stone vessels. All these things tie into the main reason for the structure of these graves. The religious belief of the Egyptians is the reason for these specific mortuary practices. They believed that these placed burials set them up for easy transition to the underworld. The underworld here is considered, the afterlife. That is why they took their pots and vessels, to maintain their status. The palace retainers were “probably people who were sacrificed at the time of the burial to serve the pharaoh in the afterlife.” Religion was also probably used as cohesion. For example how the United States used Religion-Christianity- to support the enslavement of Africans. The burials connection to Religion made sense ideologically.


Evidence of Power

Learning about the evidence of Political Control has led me to believe that military conquest plays a bigger role in the unification of Egypt then it is portrayed. The carved evidence of scenes of warfare is what sparked my opinion on the matter. The Narmer Pallete scene has various underlying images that show the rulers dominion. The lecture explains how the person in the middle of the front of the Namer Pallette is Namer. I noticed that he is relatively bigger in size than everything and everyone else on the palette showing his power. His name also appears on the palette which highlights that his presence needed to be made known and that he was properly identified.  The fact that he was upraising the mace further showed possible the use of cohesion and military power to overtake the “little people”. I consider them “little people” because the person who Namer is preparing to smite is relatively smaller in size, he is on the ground, and is being held by his head. This image shows the weakness and degradation of the other people. The lecture also explained how his name appeared on other vessels and on goods. This could possibly mean that Namer had capital because the process of trading was gradually increasing; Weather it was the need for his goods or the economic revenue he received from the goods he would have power. Namer is also wearing a crown, and a crown represents his sovereignty. What is very interesting about the Namer Pallet though is that on the front Namers crown represents control only over Upper Egypt, then on the back his crown represents control over Lower Egypt. Was he showing his soon succession over Lower Egypt? Was he already ruling both entities? I believe that depends on the time in which this plallete was created.


The problem with gaining an understanding of the Predynastic comes from the lack of written records to produce factual knowledge of that time period. We all know that it’s difficult to understand the form and use of objects of prehistoric times because of their lack of abundance and because the user of that time is not present to explain its use.So Anthropologist came up with a method to relatively place culture in a chronological order. Is the Predynastic culture misrepresented or is sequence dating accurately representing the history of that time. Flinders Petrie came up with the sequence dating method which relatively dated material.The lecture led me to discuss how Petrie came up with his method. What Petrie did was ” take pots, grouped, and ordered them in what he PERCIEVED to be in sequence by style; looking at decoration and form” (according to the lecture).

Continue reading


Hello Professor Watrall and Fellow Students, My name is Dewanda Fortune and I’m in my third year here at Michigan State University. My major is Anthropology but like several college students I’m not quite sure what I want to do in that field yet. I have taken several anthropology courses, mainly socio-cultural anthropology courses, and find myself wanting to explore other areas. Next semester I will be making the decision on what area of anthropology I want to focus on so I decided to dab into the area of Archaeology.  Archaeology of Ancient Egypt is my first Archaeology class and I look forward to exploring this field of anthropology.

I am mostly interested in Physical Anthropology, specifically forensics. This interest probably originates from my love of TruTv (which I’m sure many anthropologist hates). Making time to watch at least an hour of Forensic Files is all the leisure I usually get. However, when I do get a break from college I like to hang by the beach and chill with friends. I just got back from Miami Beach and had a blast laying out soaking up the sun, shopping, eating, and sipping…(lets just leave it at that).

When I am not in class, I’m usually at work. I work in the SRL on campus where I conduct health interviews. I take classes year round and currently enrolled in this class and Geography 206 (which I think ties well with each other). I like how the class is set up so that we can share our input openly and I am looking forward to gaining knowledge on the history of ancient Egypt especially the mortuary practices. So, good luck fellow students and to Professor Watrall I’m looking forward to receiving the knowledge you’re sharing for this course as well as the knowledge the fellow students will contribute to the course.