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Old 06-14-2018, 05:34 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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What if Ancient Egypt built the Suez Canal?

So it's ~1800 BC. You are Pharaoh Sesostris. You need to keep your people busy. You decide to build a canal. But instead of building it from the Red Sea to the Nile, you build it from the Gulf of Suez to the Med. And you succeed. The mined rock and debris is piled up on the Egyptian side, forming a formidable wall. The canal is narrow enough - nowhere near as wide as today - that it can be bridged.

How does this affect Egypt's future? How does it change the world?
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:45 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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So it's ~1800 BC. You are Pharaoh Sesostris. You need to keep your people busy. You decide to build a canal. But instead of building it from the Red Sea to the Nile, you build it from the Gulf of Suez to the Med. And you succeed. The mined rock and debris is piled up on the Egyptian side, forming a formidable wall. The canal is narrow enough - nowhere near as wide as today - that it can be bridged.

How does this affect Egypt's future? How does it change the world?
Probably not significantly, because the Pharaoh Necho did construct such a canal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canal_of_the_Pharaohs

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The Canal of the Pharaohs, also called the Ancient Suez Canal or Necho's Canal, is the forerunner of the Suez Canal, constructed in ancient times. It followed a different course than its modern counterpart, by linking the Nile to the Red Sea via the Wadi Tumilat. Work began under the Pharaohs. According to Suez Inscriptions and Herodotus, the first opening of the canal was under Persian king Darius the Great,[1][2][3][4] but later ancient authors like Aristotle, Strabo, and Pliny the Elder claim that he failed to complete the work.[5] Another possibility is that it was finished in the Ptolemaic period under Ptolemy II, when Greek engineers solved the problem of overcoming the difference in height through canal locks.[6][7][8]
It was in use for over a thousand years, too:

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Ptolemy II was the first to solve the problem of keeping the Nile free of salt water when his engineers invented the water lock around 274/273 BC.[18]

In the 2nd century AD, Ptolemy the Astronomer mentions a "River of Trajan", a Roman canal running from the Nile to the Red Sea.

Islamic texts also discuss the canal, which they say had been silted up by the seventh century but reopened in 641 or 642 AD by 'Amr ibn al-'As, the conqueror of Egypt, and which was in use until closed in 767 AD in order to stop supplies reaching Mecca and Medina which were in rebellion.[11]

Thereafter, the land routes to tranship camel caravans' goods were from Alexandria to ports on the Red Sea or the northern Byzantine silk route through the Caucasian Mountains transhipping on the Caspian Sea and thence to India.

During his Egyptian expedition, Napoleon found the canal in 1799.
Not as old as Sesostris (19th century BCE), but certainly during a critical period of Egyptian history and long enough to have had an effect.


I suspect you're aware of this, but you believe that actually driving it through Suez makes a big difference. Why?
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:53 AM
ftg ftg is offline
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You allude to the Red Sea-Nile canal that was actually built.

Why would Egypt want to have a canal across Suez?

The British built it (and others tried to) in order to bypass Egypt entirely. E.g., to easily sail between India and the UK. Egypt would have no interest in making it easier for others to go around them.

The Red Sea-Nile canal made it easier to get goods to and from Egypt itself!

Note that Egypt had a very long term interest in the Levant. It considered it's natural border to extend well past even the Sinai.

As far as a defense of last resort, the easternmost branch of the Nile already did that.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:11 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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Probably not significantly, because the Pharaoh Necho did construct such a canal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canal_of_the_Pharaohs
Much later. That's over a thousand years after my time-frame.

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I suspect you're aware of this,
Correct.

Quote:
but you believe that actually driving it through Suez makes a big difference. Why?
It's defensive capability for one. Not being affected by the annual Nile floods for two.

But a canal at that time period - the dawn of empires - could be a world-changer, enhancing trade between Europe, Africa, and India. Or would it?
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:33 PM
drewder drewder is offline
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The pyramids aren't quite done yet by 1800 bc. You can either have a pyramid or a canal not both. So choose, god like afterlife or waterway to connect two oceans and a possible wikipedia article 3000 years in the future.
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:24 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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I don't see why they would need a canal. They already had access to both the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Why would they need them connected?
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:37 PM
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I don't see why they would need a canal. They already had access to both the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Why would they need them connected?
Trade. They could tax passing ships. Remember that there is shrinkage every time a ship is loaded and every time a ship is unloaded through theft, breakages, and so on. So a ship going through the canal is going to deliver more of its cargo. The more cargo that reaches its destination, the more profit the captain and the merchant make.

I suspect - but cannot provide a cite - that transport on a ship was cheaper than a baggage train.
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:51 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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That's true unless you yourself are the source of the shrinkage. Then you want as much of it as possible.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:04 PM
drewder drewder is offline
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Trade. They could tax passing ships. Remember that there is shrinkage every time a ship is loaded and every time a ship is unloaded through theft, breakages, and so on. So a ship going through the canal is going to deliver more of its cargo. The more cargo that reaches its destination, the more profit the captain and the merchant make.

I suspect - but cannot provide a cite - that transport on a ship was cheaper than a baggage train.
Yes ships are always cheaper than other methods of transport. That's why until the railroad all the great cities of the world were built on rivers.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:25 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Trade. They could tax passing ships. Remember that there is shrinkage every time a ship is loaded and every time a ship is unloaded through theft, breakages, and so on. So a ship going through the canal is going to deliver more of its cargo. The more cargo that reaches its destination, the more profit the captain and the merchant make.

I suspect - but cannot provide a cite - that transport on a ship was cheaper than a baggage train.
I don't know what they traded. They seemed to be a major consumer so I don't really know who they would trade what with. I believe there was plenty of overland trade already, so they effort to build the canal would have to be paid for in taxes, and with existing overland routes it's not clear to me that would have worked out to everyone's advantage.

Also, navigating the Nile was relatively easy compared to travel on the Red Sea. With the ships available at the time an overland trip from the Red Sea to the Nile may have been preferred anyway.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:18 PM
drewder drewder is offline
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I don't know what they traded. They seemed to be a major consumer so I don't really know who they would trade what with. I believe there was plenty of overland trade already, so they effort to build the canal would have to be paid for in taxes, and with existing overland routes it's not clear to me that would have worked out to everyone's advantage.

Also, navigating the Nile was relatively easy compared to travel on the Red Sea. With the ships available at the time an overland trip from the Red Sea to the Nile may have been preferred anyway.
I know in roman times the Egyptian's main export was grain, without which the Romans starved. I suspect this was true for most of their history since the abundance of food was what really kickstarted their civilization and allowed the sort of specialization that facilitated metallurgy, astronomy, monument building among other pursuits.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:48 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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How much global trade was there in 1800 BC? I doubt many merchants in Crete were thinking about business opportunities in Harappa. Most of them probably weren't even aware Harappa existed. And the same is true in reverse.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:38 AM
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The Carthaginians traded as far as Cornwall for tin, and may have made it as far as Cork by about 500BC.
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:22 AM
AK84 AK84 is online now
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How much global trade was there in 1800 BC? I doubt many merchants in Crete were thinking about business opportunities in Harappa. Most of them probably weren't even aware Harappa existed. And the same is true in reverse.
Harappa was finished by 1800 BC. But Indus Valley is known to have traded with Mesopotamia.

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Old 06-15-2018, 03:27 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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The Carthaginians traded as far as Cornwall for tin, and may have made it as far as Cork by about 500BC.
This was more than a thousand years before that. This was several centuries before Odysseus or Moses and both of those guys spent decades traveling distances of just a few hundred miles. This was not an era when people conducted trade with other continents.
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:36 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Harappa was finished by 1800 BC.
You're thinking of the Mature Harappan period. The Late Harappan period was still going on.
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Old 06-15-2018, 04:44 AM
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A canal seems most useful when there are major trading partners on either side. In 1800 BC, you would have Babylonia and the Indus Valley Civilization on the one side...but who is on the other side? There's no Rome or other major player that would be exporting goods in bulk. One presumes that the Nile Canal was conceived of when it was because it made sense to do at that time. Over a thousand years earlier, not as much.

From a defensive standpoint, yes, a giant wall may have affected history. It might have fended off the Hyksos invasion, for example, but who knows what affect that might have had in the long run. Ultimately, they weren't in Egypt long and Egypt was still the dominant power in that region both before and after their presence. Whether they came down into Egypt or just hung out in lower Israel probably wouldn't have made a giant impact on history, beyond some place names and minutiae in the tales of the Bible.

And ultimately, I doubt that it would have done much against the Hyksos since - fundamentally - the reason that they invaded was that Egypt was split and disorganized at the time. A wall is only as effective as the force defending it. If that force is demoralized and disorganized, then the wall is rather pointless. The Hyksos probably would have bribed their way through or figured out a Blitzkrieg tactic to get through, since Egypt wouldn't have been paying much attention at the time.

Mostly, it would just be a strange place to build a wall. (At least, this is as I understand it, given my limited knowledge of Egyptian history.) In general, Egypt was either too busy fighting itself or it was busy taking over the Levant. I don't believe that there was ever really a time that they were just happy with the Nile Delta and sought merely to defend it from invasion. The US, for example, would rather have its bases in Germany and Japan than stuck on American soil. The Romans preferred to defend their turf in England than in Rome. A strong empire defends its homeland by controlling the land outside of its population base.

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Old 06-15-2018, 05:35 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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A canal seems most useful when there are major trading partners on either side. In 1800 BC, you would have Babylonia and the Indus Valley Civilization on the one side...but who is on the other side?
This. Europe at that point was the boonies, not a source of enough trade to make it worth Egypt's while. Note that it wasn't the Egyptians who built* the Suez (or Panamanians who built* the Panama) it was more distant metropoles who wanted to bypass the locals. I don't think the Egyptians were in the habit of making trade easier for the Wessex Culture.

* I mean in the sense of financed and operated, not wielded a shovel
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Old 06-15-2018, 05:46 AM
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There's the problem. The canal would be unnecessary for Egypt to export grain or other products. So building the canal would be speculative, hoping to gain a return directly through trade or by taxing trade that didn't exist yet.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:46 AM
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A canal seems most useful when there are major trading partners on either side. In 1800 BC, you would have Babylonia and the Indus Valley Civilization on the one side...but who is on the other side?
Mycenae & Achaean Greece, Minoans.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:54 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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You mean "Egypt's competition"?
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:59 AM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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Mycenae & Achaean Greece, Minoans.
I don't think the Greeks were anything notable at the time. They're important to us, because of the impact of the 1st millenia BC Greeks, and so I think they get talked up to be bigger than they actually were.

The Minoans did have a pretty wide reach and did trade quite a bit, but I get the feeling that they were largely more like nomadic boat traders more than they were a giant, centralized empire with mass production of its own. They were better for spreading things around than serving as a dependable source of X.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:02 AM
AK84 AK84 is online now
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You mean "Egypt's competition"?
In 2000 -1500 BC?
Surely you jest.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:03 AM
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Plus - did the Egyptians even have ships that could sail the monsoon route (as opposed to coasters)?
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:47 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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In 2000 -1500 BC?
Surely you jest.
No, I don't jest. Those are the same areas which are often put forward as sources for various Sea Peoples only 300 years later. Before the Late Bronze Age collapse, they were at various times trade partners, allies and rivals of Egypt.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:51 AM
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They were better for spreading things around than serving as a dependable source of X.
Unless X was saffron...

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Old 06-15-2018, 09:14 AM
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Plus - did the Egyptians even have ships that could sail the monsoon route (as opposed to coasters)?
I suspect that the main drawback would not be ship design, but knowledge of the dependability of the monsoon route.

It would have taken considerable guts to simply launch into the blue, trusting that the turn of the season would being you back!

The Egyptians did voyage to the "land of Punt" as early as the sixth dynasty (and famously in the reign of Queen Hatshepsut), but such sailing, in enclosed waters and coastal, isn't nearly as adventurous.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_of_Punt

There is, as far as I know, no records of ancient Egyptians knowing of or attempting the monsoon route. Allegedly, the monsoon route wasn't discovered (at least, from the Egyptian end) until the Ptolemies, around 100 BC:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eudoxus_of_Cyzicus

Apparently, not satisfied with that, he attempted a circumnavigation of Africa, and his fate is unknown.
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:14 AM
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There's the problem. The canal would be unnecessary for Egypt to export grain or other products. So building the canal would be speculative, hoping to gain a return directly through trade or by taxing trade that didn't exist yet.
Was not the spice trade active at that time? A voyage around the coasts from India (and points East) would be far better than an overland journey.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:36 AM
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Sure, Egypt had maritime trade with India and so forth, and it's certainly better to sail there than to walk there.

Why would they need a canal to do that? They had ports on the Red Sea that would work just as well as ports in the Nile Delta area.

And as was said, if you're going to build a canal, the purpose is to control trade through that canal. It's no advantage to Egypt if Minoan traders can sail to Yemen without paying off Egyptian officials.

The people who control the trade route control the trade. Sure, it's a bad thing when there's a customs house on every bend of the Rhine River. That doesn't mean the river baron who controls a customs house is going to build a canal that bypasses his own customs house to facilitate free trade. Somebody else might do it, but not him.

And as for the value of a massive fortification across the Suez, what's the point of that exactly? If Egypt's military is too weak and divided to repulse an army invading over the land bridge, they're too weak and divided to man the fortifications. And the way to prevent an army from the Levant or Arabia from invading Egypt isn't to build a big ass wall, it's to march your armies over to the Levant and Arabia and turn them into client states.

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Old 06-15-2018, 12:06 PM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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Sure, Egypt had maritime trade with India and so forth, and it's certainly better to sail there than to walk there.

Why would they need a canal to do that?
To control the trade. Trade by sea has been described up-thread as cheaper than trade by land. Think of the taxes all those boats would generate.

In later years, much wealth would come to Persia from the Silk Road. If there had been a canal, Indian traders might have bypassed Persia to trade with Rome directly.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:26 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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But you're talking about 2000 years earlier than the Roman Empire.

I'm not talking about the value of a canal. I'm talking about the comparative value of two canals, and we're going to investigate which one is better. One canal goes from the Red Sea to the Nile. This canal was actually built. The other canal goes from the Gulf of Suez to the Mediterranean. This is the canal you think would have been better.

Obviously Egypt benefits from trade between Egypt and other places. But why would they want to build a canal that facilitates trade between third parties? The reason they'd do that is to play the middleman, to get a cut of all trade that passes through their trade route. So they are obviously not going to build a canal and then just let everyone sail through. They're going to build a canal and tax the hell out of everyone that sails through. Sometimes certain people don't have to pay the taxes, because they've cut a special deal with the people running the chokepoint. Either they're buddies with the King, or they hand out bribes/favors to the local officials, or whatever.

But the point is, you build the canal because you want that tariff money, not because you're trying to promote trade in the abstract.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:58 PM
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No, I don't jest. Those are the same areas which are often put forward as sources for various Sea Peoples only 300 years later. Before the Late Bronze Age collapse, they were at various times trade partners, allies and rivals of Egypt.
So the same time period as between us and King George I.
The Egyptian really did not have much trade with the European Mediterranean until the New Kingdom, Old and Middle seem to have concentrated to the East and South, neither of which required sea routes.
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:08 PM
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Was not the spice trade active at that time? A voyage around the coasts from India (and points East) would be far better than an overland journey.
I don't know that anyone made that voyage that far back. And even if they did Egypt didn't need a canal, traders could travel up the Red Sea if they wanted the spices themselves.

I have no cites, but I'm pretty sure no one had ships that could go far in the open sea. I don't know if any ships even had keels by that time.
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:31 PM
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But you're talking about 2000 years earlier than the Roman Empire.
And a thousand years earlier than the founding of Rome.
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:00 PM
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But all this talk about the advantages of a canal for trade miss the point.

There was, in fact, such a canal, built by the Ancient Egyptians.

The only questions are:

Why didn't it get built earlier?

Why did it link the Nile to the Red Sea, instead of the Gulf of Suez to the Mediterranean?

Why wasn't there a big-ass border wall on the Suez to keep out invaders?

To answer, in order:

Canals are hard. It took a lot of work.

The modern Suez Canal was built by the British specifically to bypass the Egyptians. The ancient canal was built by the Egyptians specifically to NOT bypass the Egyptians.

Big-ass border walls don't work that way. The main purpose of those walls isn't to stop invaders cold at the wall, that's impossible since any real invasion can concentrate force at one part of the wall and overcome the spread out wall garrisons.

The purpose of the wall is, when a real invading army comes, it takes them a day or two to cross the wall, which gives enough time for messengers to alert the capital. There's no need for that in Egypt, since there's only one route for land invaders to take. You don't need a big-ass wall to detect invasions, you just need one guy. These walls also aren't really political borders either. You don't just sit there behind the wall, and the other guys sit on the other side, and you're happy. Hadrian's wall didn't mark the border between the Roman Empire and the barbarians. The wall can stop small scale raids, it can't stop real invasions.
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:43 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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Unless X was saffron...
I saw that. I'm not sure I'm convinced that saffron is a sufficient X or that the Minoans were producing it in sufficient bulk to interest the Egyptians. I would expect to see Egyptian tablets to the effect that the saffron trade was amaaaaazing, rather than a single non-Egyptian fresco of one ship trading saffron.

Maybe the saffron trade was great for the Minoans. But if it was just the 19th century BC equivalent of the truffle, then it sort of isn't worth building a massive canal for.

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Old 06-16-2018, 11:38 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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So the same time period as between us and King George I.
...in a much more culturally- and technologically- static age
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The Egyptian really did not have much trade with the European Mediterranean until the New Kingdom, Old and Middle seem to have concentrated to the East and South, neither of which required sea routes.
They definitely traded with the Minoans. And had cultural exchange. And there's no way to interact with Crete except by sea. Yes, you're going to say 18th Dynasty, New Kingdom ... I'm going to say that kind of thing doesn't spring up out of thin air, and there are earlier trade contacts dating back to protoPalatial Minoan time.

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  #38  
Old 06-16-2018, 12:23 PM
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I saw that. I'm not sure I'm convinced that saffron is a sufficient X or that the Minoans were producing it in sufficient bulk to interest the Egyptians. I would expect to see Egyptian tablets to the effect that the saffron trade was amaaaaazing, rather than a single non-Egyptian fresco of one ship trading saffron.
Given the preservation percentage of ancient documents, I'd expect no such thing. What I do know is the things we do find - mummy wrappings dyed with saffron and mention of saffron in the Ebers papyrus. It's entirely possible that only refers to locally-grown saffron, and Egyptians had no use for outside sources, but we know the Egyptians traded with Crete, and we know the Minoans grew saffron for export. Concluding that the Egyptians would buy saffron from Minoans is not some crazy idea. That it would be a prized trade item, a sufficient X, isn't speculation, though - that saffron was highly sought after in the Levant and Aegean of the time is just a fact.
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:23 PM
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You can't have a bronze age without ships traveling long distances. Although copper is relatively easy to find the souces of tin are relatively rare and ancient Egypt didn't have any. Italy was the closest minor source and you had to get all the way to the northern part of the iberian peninsula to find a major source.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin_so...nt-sources.svg

So yes the ancient Egyptians were trading with Europe before 1800bc.
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:34 PM
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You can't have a bronze age without ships traveling long distances. Although copper is relatively easy to find the souces of tin are relatively rare and ancient Egypt didn't have any. Italy was the closest minor source and you had to get all the way to the northern part of the iberian peninsula to find a major source.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin_so...nt-sources.svg

So yes the ancient Egyptians were trading with Europe before 1800bc.
Were they using much bronze? I understood the tools they used to build the pyramids were just copper. And I believe copper was abundant in the Sinai region.

Last edited by TriPolar; 06-20-2018 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:08 PM
drewder drewder is offline
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Were they using much bronze? I understood the tools they used to build the pyramids were just copper. And I believe copper was abundant in the Sinai region.
The bronze age in Egypt had begun by 3100 bc.
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:43 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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The bronze age in Egypt had begun by 3100 bc.
That doesn't mean they made everything with bronze. But they must have been obtaining tin from somewhere. There are still overland and Mediterranean sea routes that could have been used that didn't require long travel through the open ocean. Even in the Mediterranean they would have mostly stayed close to shore and only crossed short distances. But it hardly matters, the Egyptians were trading along the land and sea routes in the Mediterranean and didn't need a canal to do that.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:48 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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You can't have a bronze age without ships traveling long distances.
Of course you can. Just ask the Chinese.
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Although copper is relatively easy to find the souces of tin are relatively rare and ancient Egypt didn't have any.
You can have bronze without tin. And the closest tin source to Egypt was not Italy.

Also, note that brass is just as common as bronze in archaeological contexts, so add zinc to the mix.

Last edited by MrDibble; 06-21-2018 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:44 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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Of course you can. Just ask the Chinese.
You can have bronze without tin. And the closest tin source to Egypt was not Italy.

Also, note that brass is just as common as bronze in archaeological contexts, so add zinc to the mix.
Closeness isn't always the same thing as geographic proximity. If it's a five day sail and a 20 day wagon train, then the former could be called closer despite whatever the actual mileage is.

But, certainly, at times Egypt's domain did expand up almost all of the way to Turkey, so during those periods at least, a Turkish source does seem pretty likely.

I'd personally guess that they were taking it all in from all directions, and probably there wasn't any extra that Egypt would have been willing to skip on to let those carrying it try to barter for a higher price further away.
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:38 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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It's faster to sail to Turkey as well, but it'll be coasting.

But yes, any Bronze Age empire would take all the tin it could get, from anywhere. I was just countering the idea that Egypt necessarily had to go to Western Europe to get it. Hell, an as-yet undiscovered Southern source for Egyptian tin is just as, if not more, probable - certainly, the Kerma culture was using bronze.

Last edited by MrDibble; 06-22-2018 at 01:39 AM.
  #46  
Old 06-22-2018, 03:51 AM
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certainly, the Kerma culture was using bronze.
Kerma antedates the start of the Egyptian bronze age by half a millennium.
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:27 AM
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Kerma antedates the start of the Egyptian bronze age by half a millennium.
Irrelevant to my point.
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:31 AM
AK84 AK84 is online now
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...in a much more culturally- and technologically- static age
They definitely traded with the Minoans. And had cultural exchange. And there's no way to interact with Crete except by sea. Yes, you're going to say 18th Dynasty, New Kingdom ... I'm going to say that kind of thing doesn't spring up out of thin air, and there are earlier trade contacts dating back to protoPalatial Minoan time.
Egypt was never much of a naval culture and whatever it had happened in the New Kingdom. I don't think links began until the New Kingdom (where sea going culture did develop).
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:33 AM
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Kerma antedates the start of the Egyptian bronze age by half a millennium.
ETA: And you mean postdates

Last edited by MrDibble; 06-22-2018 at 07:34 AM.
  #50  
Old 06-22-2018, 08:11 AM
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Egypt was never much of a naval culture and whatever it had happened in the New Kingdom.
The construction of the Abydos fleet kind of gives the lie to that line of thinking. As does the import by sea of all that Lebanese cedar - Byblos was essentially an Egyptian colony for most of the Old Kingdom period.

I don't think a culture that makes trade ships you could disassemble, as the Middle Kingdom finds at Mersa Gawasis show, could reasonably be called "never much of a naval culture"
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I don't think links began until the New Kingdom (where sea going culture did develop).
I disagree. Shipping and ships were obviously important to the Egyptians from early on. Look at the importance of the solar barques and ship burials culturally.

New finds are shedding more light on the nature of Egyptian seafaring, and not just New Kingdom.

I also think you meant they weren't really a maritime culture, because river and lake shipping is still "naval".

Last edited by MrDibble; 06-22-2018 at 08:14 AM.
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