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By Nicolas Grimal

This is often an account of the increase and fall of the civilization within the Nile Valley, overlaying the 1st human payment (c 120,000 BC) to its conquest via Alexander the good in 333 BC.This is the 1st historical past of historic Egypt for 25 yearsBrings jointly the very most recent textual and archaeological evidenceThe index, bibliography and appendices make this a useful reference toolNew consultant to additional studying in English specifically commissioned for the paperback version

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Their battlefields are scenes of furious fighting and carnage that usually consume not more than an hour or two. Every man is pushed to the limits of his physical and psychological endurance - and then it is over, not to be repeated for a year or more. A warrior's tale In the reign of Senusret III, Khusobek (alternatively Sebek-Khu) served as one of the royal retainers and began his military career in command of a unit of six men. He was subsequently promoted to 'retainer of the ruler' (shemsu en heqa) and given command of 60 men on an expedition to Nubia 'to overthrow the wretched Kush'.

Apart from water, beer was the main drink for all Egyptians, civilian and soldier alike, and was brewed from barley or emmer wheat. The brewing process was short and went hand-in-hand with the baking of bread, and the final product seems to have been a thick, soupy liquid, which, although not always strongly alcoholic, was highly nutritious. The Egyptians began their brewing process, which was done in the household (or by brewers if the beer was for use in rations of state employees such as building labourers and soldiers) with the preparation of partially baked cakes of barley bread.

Reaped their grain and set fire thereto'. Regnal year 19 (1856 BC) saw yet another campaign to 'overthrow the wretched Kush' (Agyptischen Museum, Berlin 14753). The 'wretched' Nubians probably conducted guerrilla-type warfare against the Egyptians, with small hit-and-run raids here and there. Senusret had to lead a total of four punitive raids into Nubia to maintain Egyptian control there, but the chain of manned fortresses and good communications meant he could, and did, react swiftly to any disturbance and punish any resistance.

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