Macquarie University
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Society and culture in the Western Desert of Egypt during the Pharaonic period

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posted on 2022-03-28, 21:09 authored by Frederick E. Hardtke
The Western Desert during the Pharaonic period was a place that witnessed the habitation and incursion of various cultural groups over time. Its aridity and its unique landscape and resources required the cultures associated with it to adapt and adopt social and cultural traits appropriate to this environment and, ultimately, for their survival there. Aside from the environment, the meeting of differing cultures with varying ethnic origins and structures also led to change and adaptation within the respective groups. Of these groups, those emanating from the Nile Valley may be viewed as a "core" group whose influence may be seen across the desert and oases of the region all the way to the present day Libyan border area. In its incursions of the Western Desert this Nile Valley Culture (NVC) encountered other cultures that may be viewed as a "periphery" in relation to the Nile Valley in terms of their geographic distance, social complexity and power. This simple division should not however be taken to imply that the influence was always from the core to the periphery and at times the influence was bidirectional. The level of influence and control that the NVC could exert upon the periphery was affected by distance, the social structure of the peripheral group and the use of cult-based influence as a means of overcoming the physical distance and ensuring a level of symbolic control and order in the areas remote from the Nile Valley.


Table of Contents

The Egyptian Western Desert during the Pharaonic Period -- Marks in the Desert - evidence for human traversal and temporary settlement -- Dakhla Oasis -- Kharga Oasis -- Baharia Oasis -- Siwa Oasis -- The Minor oases and springs -- Ethnic groups in the Western Desert -- Western Desert Cult -- The Egyptian Western Desert during the Pharaonic Period - conclusions.


November 2011 Bibliography: p. 195-224

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis masters research


Thesis (MA), Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Dept. of Ancient History

Department, Centre or School

Department of Ancient History

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Yann Tristant

Additional Supervisor 1

Christiana Köhler


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Frederick E. Hardtke 2012.






1 online resource (ix, 224 p.) ill, maps (some col.)

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