The Molding Power of Ideology: Political Transformations of Predynastic Egypt

  • Branislav Anđelković Odeljenje za arheologiju Filozofski fakultet Univerzitet u Beogradu
Keywords:
Predynastic Egypt, Naqada Culture, Divine Kingship, identity-focusing point, Fourth Millennium B. C., paleopolitics

Abstract

Ideological “patterns of continuity”, archaeologically perceivable as early as Naqada I, that constitute the most distinctive hallmarks of nascent Egyptian civilization, are, to a great extent, defined by the concept of Divine Ruler, as a charismatic amalgam of sacral authority, ideological values, economic and military power. Divine Kingship, “presiding over everything”, seems to be a key ideological issue in the rapid political transformation of Predynastic Egypt. A cyclic “sense of order” promulgated by annual Nile flooding, and underlying conceptualized “cosmological relations”, joined with the might of a victorious ruler and his brandished mace, molded the Naqadian social tissue of relationships, obligations and behavior, that in their turn justified warfare to obtain any valued resource, enhanced territorial expansion, and eventually enabled full political consolidation. A complex, multi-layered social construct of display-oriented and power-concerned relations and set of values clearly distinguished Naqada culture practices and traditions – both in Upper and from Naqada IIC onwards Lower Egypt – from the Delta communities with their vanishing lifestyle. The constant expansion of Naqada culture and its collective identity irreversibly transformed the political landscape of Predynastic Egypt.

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Published
2014-09-22
How to Cite
Anđelković, Branislav. 2014. “The Molding Power of Ideology: Political Transformations of Predynastic Egypt”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 9 (3), 713-22. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v9i3.9.