Wretched Kush: Ethnic Identities and Boundaries in Egypt's Nubian Empire (Paperback)
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Short Description for Wretched Kush Professor Smith uses the Egyptian conquest of Nubia as a case study to explore the nature of ethnic identity. By using the tools of anthropology, he examines the ancient Egyptian construction of ethnic identities with its stark contrast between civilized Egyptians and barbaric foreigners - those who made up the 'Wretched Kush' of the title.
- Published: 01 October 2003
- Format: Paperback 256 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780415369862 ISBN 10: 041536986X
- Sales rank: 1,066,864
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Full description for Wretched Kush
Ethnic groups are often seen as distinctive, well-defined units. Yet recent research suggests that ethnic boundaries are permeable, and that ethnic identities are contested, manipulated and overlapping. This is particularly true when cultures come into direct contact, as with the Egyptian conquest of Nubia in the second millennium BC. Professor Smith uses Nubia as a case study to explore the nature of ethnic identity. He begins by using the tools of anthropology, examining the ancient Egyptian construction of ethnic identities with its stark contrast between civilized Egyptians and barbaric foreigners - those who made up the 'Wretched Kush' of the title. The book then turns to archaeological evidence for ethnicity on Egypt's southern frontier, in the fortress community at Askut and the pyramid cemetery at Tombos. The multiple dimensions of ethnic identities and boundaries are highlighted, as the author juxtaposes the political use of the ethnic 'other' in texts and monumental art with archaeological patterns of mutual influence and intermarriage across ethnic boundaries. With its combination of the latest theoretical and methodological developments in the social sciences with previously unpublished archaeological data, Wretched Kush is an original and important work for Egyptologists, archaeologists and anthropologists.