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The Mesopotamian tablets mention, especially to the first dynasties, a power called Kish.

It was George Smith, a British who spotted the site of Tell el-Oheimir, located about 15 kilometers from Babylon. This is a set of tells that extend over an area of about four kilometers, the main two are: Tell Inghara at the east and Tell el-Oheimir at the west. The first was the town named Hursagkalamma based on writings found at the scene, and the second without factual evidence, was considered as the city of Kish. The first excavations were carried out by the French Henri de Genouillac in 1912. From 1923 to 1933, an Anglo-American team of Oxford and Chicago continued the work. In 1988, the Japanese have excavated the Tell Inghara.

Archaeological research has shown that Tell el-Oheimir developed itself from the first half of the second millennium. All the most important buldings of this site is a temple dedicated to Zababa with its ziggurat. The monuments were probably built during the reign of Hammurabi, to the eighteenth century BC. These results do not show concordance with the texts on Kish.

However, excavations at Tell Inghara were more successful. The oldest objects are from the late Neolithic. Levels of Obeid and Uruk were also identified. Three archaeological levels show that the city developed itsefl during the Early Dynastic I and II, between 2900 and 2600 BCE. A cemetery of this period was found, with, in particular, graves richly equipped. A palace consists of two buildings around a square courtyard, surrounded by a double enclosure, accessible from a monumental gate, is also from this period. In addition, during the Archaic Dynastic III, between 2600 and 2400, two terrace temples were added.

Another tell, east of Tell Inghara, delivered a lot of tablets. Finally north of Tell Inghara, the remains of another palace from the DA II or III, were excavated. The texts show that the Tell Inghara was the city of Hursagkalamma. The identification as “Kish” is far from certain.

However, a city named Kish is mentioned near Babylon in writings of the 1st millennium BC : in those of Tiglath-Pileser III, Sennacherib and Nabonidus. Sennacherib claims to have defeated Merodach Baladan of Elam and his allies in the neighborhood of Kish. He said he chased the Arabs, the Syrians and Chaldeans of the cities of Uruk, of Nippur, of Kish, of Hasagkalama, of Kutha and of Sippar. The two cities of Kish and Hasagkalama are listed successively in two lists, which is interpreted as an indication of nearby.


Relations between Ebla and Kish

The exhumation of the site of Ebla and translation of many tablets found have shown that the ancient city was connected with a country of Kish.

Around 2500 BC, Ebla was dominated by an elite group that dealt with political and economic affairs, but that depended on a supreme power elsewhere, especially in Mari. This latter city, located on its eastern border, dominated the Middle Euphrates region. Ebla sought the alliance of two opponents of Mari, the kingdoms of Nagar, in northern Syria, and that of Kish.

The economy of the Eblaite kingdom was dominated by the royal palace, which employed a majority of workers. They were paid by the administration of the palace, with maintenance rations consisting of grain, oil, and wool. They were divided into groups of 500 to 1000 people, led by guards. Approximately 5000 individuals were dependent of the palace. Artisans and merchants working for the palace resided in the same city, in the suburbs where their workspaces were also found.

Shortly after the marriage of a Eblaite princess with the prince of the kingdom of Kish, the Royal Palace of Ebla is destroyed in the violence. It appears that a second destruction devastated the site after, while the palatial area was reoccupied.

Relations with Egypt are attested by Egyptian artifacts found in the royal palace, including an alabaster vase with the name of Pepi I. But the translators have not found mentioning of "Egypt."


What name the neighbors gave to Egypt?

The tomb (TB57) of Khaemhat, head of granaries of Amenhotep III, shows unambiguously that, in his time, the area of the Empire of Egypt was from Kush to the borders of Naharina. And a Vice-King of Kush was in place throughout the New Kingdom.

In the peace treaty between Ramses II and the Hittite Hattusili III, Egypt is called "Kemit".

The Amarna tablets, written in Akkadian, show that Egypt was named Misru by the kings of the Levant. But that designation does not appear on the Ebla tablets a millennium before. So what was the name the éblaïtes have given to Egypt?

Neither the Amarna tablets, neither in the Treaty between Egypt and the Hittites, there is a mention of Upper and Lower Egypt.

During Suppiluliuma reign, two family members have been appointed viceroy, one in Aleppo and a second mentioned “Sarri-Kush” in Carchemish. Today, researchers are divided on the fact that "Sarri-Kush" is a personal name or a country name, and in the latter case, the area designated. Some consider it as the Carchemish region, others think that Sarri is the country now named Syria and Kush named Egypt.


The lists of the pylons of Karnak

I think the explanation of the geographical names is in the translation of geographical lists graved on the pylons of Karnak during the reign of Thutmose III, studied by Auguste Mariette. These are lists of countries / cities under the dominion of the Pharaoh in the heyday of the New Kingdom. Auguste Mariette identified four main groups of cities: the High Retenu in the North and in the South: Kush, Punt and Libya.

According to Mariette, the list of the country of Kush begins with cities along the west coast of the Red Sea. He particular recognized many cities mentioned in lists of Adulis two millennia later.

The land of Kush, undoubtedly in southern Egypt, was also extended along the Red Sea to Sinai since probably the Tell Fakus, former Phacusa, a name which means "House of Kes ". This town is first mentioned in the list as "Kus-xes the miserable".

The city of Kus Berber, near Coptos, at the entrance of Wadi Hammamat was probably a border post with this country also located east of Egypt for much of the 2nd millennium BCE. Peharps this country of Kish, Kus or Kush has existed before the Egypt of the Pharaohs. In the third millennium BC, only the name of Kish was used to designate the northeast of Africa and I think it lasted long in the memory of neighboring countries. Recent discoveries of ports on the Red Sea, notably the Wadi el Jarf, confirm a geographic positioning of the Old Empire further east.

The excavation of the Tell es-Sakan, as well as petroglyphs in the Sinai show that there was an important center of power, type "Egyptian" at the north of the Red Sea during the pre-dynastic period:

For an explanation on the colors of text, click here.

For French language, click here.

My notes of veracity :

Before the middle of the second millennium, in the texts of Ebla, Kich means the country of Kush, the western part of the Red Sea: 3/5

From the middle of the 2nd millennium BC, on néo-assyrian tablets, Kich is the site of Tell el-Oheimir: 3/5

Tag(s) : #Region: Mesopotamia, #Empire of Egypt, #Empire of Assyria, #Kingdom: Ebla, #K

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