Quarries and mines

 

Reason for Hatshepsut's interest in mines of turquoise in South Sinai

Turquoise was one of the most expensive stones, used almost exclusively for cultic purposes.[1] Ineni supervised the storerooms in Karnak where objects made of precious stones and metals as well as incense were stored.[2] The same function belonged to Hapu-seneb in later years[3] and under the rule of Thutmose III – to Men-kheper-Ra-seneb.[4] They all mentioned gold, silver, lapis-lazuli and turquoise as the materials kept in the treasury.

The role of these materials, because of lack of documents from the times of Hatshepsut, can be much better observed in sources from the sole reign of Thutmose III. Gold, silver, lapis-lazuli and turquoise belonged to the traditional gifts offered to the king on the occasion of the New Year's Festival.[5] The same precious materials appeared as the equipment of the newly built temple, Akh-menu, attested in the dedicatory inscription of this building.[6] Tributes were also given in this products, as it is recorded for year 29th in the Annals of Thutmose III.[7]

These items were obviously the most precious materials and as such had a special meaning in the cult. They were so important that they were named on the granite bark sanctuary of Thutmose III in Karnak.[8] Men-kheper-Ra-seneb announced that he supervised work of craftsmen in the temple of Amun and, as part of the text is lost, only two types of material were listed: lapis-lazuli and turquoise. Next he ascertained that he was the confident of the king in making smnḫ of his monuments, being the overseer of craftsmen and overseer of works of Amun.[9] Is seems to be very important because making smnḫ of sanctuaries were one of the activities that the king performed to renew temples. Another supervisor of craftsmen, who lived under Hatshepsut, Djehuti, also mentioned all of these four items in the biographical part of the very fragmentary inscription listing his duties given to him by the king.[10] The action of renovation of temples started during the reign of Hatshepsut, it is clear then why Hatshepsut and Thutmose III were exploring the mines of South Sinai so intensively.

(Jadwiga Iwaszczuk)

 

Footnotes

  1. ^ 386: Materialien zur Wirtschaftsgeschichte des Neuen Reiches (Teil VI) - - 1969 - Helck, Wolfgang.
  2. ^ 26: Urkunden der 18. Dynastie. Historisch-biographische Urkunden - - 1906 - Sethe, Kurt; 494: Das Grab des Ineni Theben Nr. 81 - - 1992 - Dziobek, Eberhard.
  3. ^ 26: Urkunden der 18. Dynastie. Historisch-biographische Urkunden - - 1906 - Sethe, Kurt; 183: La statue du Louvre A 134 du Premier Prophète d'Amon - - 1988 - Delvaux, Luc.
  4. ^ 495: The Tombs of Menkheperrasonb, Amenmosě, and Another (Nos. 86, 112, 42, 226) - Egypt Exploration Society - 1933 - Davies, Norman de Garis, Davies, Nina de Garis.
  5. ^ I.e. 26: Urkunden der 18. Dynastie. Historisch-biographische Urkunden - - 1906 - Sethe, Kurt; 495: The Tombs of Menkheperrasonb, Amenmosě, and Another (Nos. 86, 112, 42, 226) - Egypt Exploration Society - 1933 - Davies, Norman de Garis, Davies, Nina de Garis.
  6. ^ 496: Tuthmosis III Returns Thanks to Amūn - - 1952 - Gardiner, Alan H..
  7. ^ 26: Urkunden der 18. Dynastie. Historisch-biographische Urkunden - - 1906 - Sethe, Kurt.
  8. ^ 26: Urkunden der 18. Dynastie. Historisch-biographische Urkunden - - 1906 - Sethe, Kurt.
  9. ^ 495: The Tombs of Menkheperrasonb, Amenmosě, and Another (Nos. 86, 112, 42, 226) - Egypt Exploration Society - 1933 - Davies, Norman de Garis, Davies, Nina de Garis.
  10. ^ 26: Urkunden der 18. Dynastie. Historisch-biographische Urkunden - - 1906 - Sethe, Kurt.