April 8, 2012

Senusret III Pharaoh Period and Military Activity in Nubia

Military Activity in Nubia
The Egyptians focused their military aspirations on Nubia (or Kush as they called it) during much of the 12th Dynasty, and sought to reinforce the border with a series of forts. Some of these were founded by Senusret I and II, but the majority was built by Senusret III. Papyrus dispatches from this period report the slightest movements within the area, and one lists 13 fortresses between Elephantine (Aswan) - the official southern boundary of Egypt - and Semna far to the south at the end of the Second Cataract. Seven of these fortresses were located within the 40-mile (64- km) stretch of the Second Cataract itself, and all were built in strategic positions with thick mud-brick walls.

Military Activity in Nubia
Due to the imminent destruction of many of these sites during the flooding of Nubia in the 1960s when Lake Nasser was created, international rescue excavations revealed much information about them. They were evidently big enough to be self-sufficient and to house all the necessary personnel - their like unparalleled until the great fortifications of medieval Europe. Sadly, the huge rounded bastion towers, complete with arrow slits covering angles of fire across a wide ditch, of the great fort at Buhen were excavated only to be lost once more under some 200 ft (61 m) of water of the lake formed by the Great High Dam at Aswan.

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