Society and culture in the Western Desert of Egypt during the Pharaonic period
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 21:09 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.