Upper Egypt


Upper Egypt

Upper Egypt (Lang-ar|صعيد مصر "Sa'id Misr") is a narrow strip of land that extends from the cataract boundaries of modern-day Aswan to the area between El-Aiyat and Zawyet Dahshur, south of modern-day Cairo. The northern section of Upper Egypt, between El-Aiyat and Asyut is sometimes known as Middle Egypt. Modern inhabitants of Upper Egypt are known as Sa'idis; they generally speak Sa'idi Arabic.

Upper Egypt was known as "Ta Shemau" [Ermann & Grapow, "op.cit." Wb 5, 227.4-14] which means "the land of reeds." [Ermann & Grapow, "op.cit." Wb 4, 477.9-11] It was divided into twenty-two districts called nomes. ["The Encyclopedia Americana", p.34] The first nome was roughly where modern Aswan is and the twenty-second was at modern Atfih (Aphroditopolis), just to the south of Cairo.

The main city of predynastic Upper Egypt was Nekhen (Greek Hierakonpolis), [Bard, "op. cit.", p.371] whose patron deity was the vulture goddess Nekhbet. [David, "op.cit.", p.149] For most of pharaonic Egypt's history Thebes was the administrative centre of Upper Egypt. After its devastation by the Assyrians its importance declined. Under the Ptolemies the city of Ptolemais took over the role of capital of Upper Egypt. [Chauveau, "op.cit.", p.68] Upper Egypt was represented by the tall White Crown "Hedjet", and its symbol was the flowering lotus.

In modern Egypt, the title "Prince of the Sa'id" (meaning "Prince of Upper Egypt") was used by the heir apparent to the Egyptian throne. Although the Egyptian monarchy was abolished in 1953, the title continues to be used by Muhammad Ali, Prince of Said.

ee also

;Geography
*Upper and Lower Egypt
*Lower Egypt
*Middle Egypt
*Nomes of Egypt;Other
*Sa'idi
*Sa'idi Arabic
*Prince of the Sa'id

References

Bibliography

* Ermann, Johann Peter Adolf; Hermann ,Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache
* "The Encyclopedia Americana" Grolier Incorporated, 1988
* Katheryn A. Bard, "Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt, Routledge 1999
* Michel Chauveau, "Egypt in the Age of Cleopatra: History and Society Under the Ptolemies, Cornell University Press 2000
* Ann Rosalie David, "The Egyptian Kingdoms", Elsevier Phaidon 1975.


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