As featured in Archaeology Worldwide #7
Egyptology tends to be characterised by an endless fascination with the gold and glamour, and obsessive fixations with the identity of royal mummies. Most of us are beguiled by Ancient Egypt, and few can deny the magnificence of its temples or monumental statues.
But, in his latest book and in the current issue of AWW, Guy de la Bédoyère looks beyond all of this and argues that the main point is that Ancient Egypt was a place of Bronze Age despotism. Its rulers, he observes, grew rich on the systematic exploitation of their people, and their neighbours via in an endless cycle of greedy imperialist wars and tribute demands.
For obvious reasons, the woes of everyday life, tended to be omitted from the elite narrative, and rarely depicted on the walls of high-status tombs. An exception is shown in this image, from the tomb of the sculptor Ipuy (c.1300 BC). It shows the workers in action and includes, ouch, a portrait of a man having his dislocated shoulder set by a colleague (very top right).
To discover more, read the summer 2022 issue (#7) of Archaeology Worldwide.
Image: Workmen at work, from the tomb of Ipuy, Deir el-Medina. Note workman's shoulder, ouch, top right.