Ancient Egyptian colonialism studied
Canadian scientists say an archaeological cemetery site along the Nile River is shedding new light on ancient Egyptian colonialism administration.
In approximately 1550 B.C., Egypt conquered its southern neighbor, Nubia, and secured control of valuable trade routes. But rather than excluding the colonized people from management of the region, new evidence suggests Egyptian immigrants shared administrative responsibilities with native Nubians.
"The study of culture contact in the past has conventionally used ideas of unidirectional change and modification of a subordinate population by a socially dominant group," said Michele Buzon of the University of Alberta. "However, more recent research has reevaluated these traditional notions and suggests that model might not be appropriate for all situations of culture contact."
Through an examination of the cemetery site, Buzon found imperial officials who were buried in symbolically marked tombs were of both Egyptian and Nubian descent.
"The combination of burial practices ... suggests intermarriage between Nubians and Egyptians was likely," Buzon writes. "The results of this study suggest that both local native Nubians and Egyptian immigrants participated in the administration of Nubia during this time."
The study appears in the journal Current Anthropology.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International