07. Juni 2018

Elsbeth van der Wilt (FU Berlin)

Ancient Egyptian Marketplaces: Examining Institutional Oversight in Exchanges

IG-Farben-Haus, EG 311, 16:15 Uhr

To date scholarship on marketplaces in ancient Egypt has focused on activities in the third and second millennium BC. The first millennium BC, in contrast, has been overlooked, largely due to a paucity of evidence: written sources come to focus on religious concerns rather than daily life, and the archaeological record in the Nile delta is poorly preserved, destroyed, or locked under the water table.
In this paper, I reassess the limited evidence for marketplaces during two millennia of Egyptian history, before turning to the first millennium BC. In the absence of direct evidence for this period in Egypt, I use a set of general characteristics for marketplaces to suggest the location of such spaces. I will emphasise the role of institutional oversight for understanding exchanges: weights, weight standards, balances, and minting.