Chapter

The Natural and Social Setting of the Theban West Bank Communities

Kees van der Spek

in The Modern Neighbors of Tutankhamun

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9789774164033
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781617970917 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774164033.003.0004
The Natural and Social Setting of the Theban West Bank Communities

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Separating the Western Desert from the Nile River, the natural landscape of the Libyan Plateau's terminal escarpment reminds one of a breaking wave, the rising crest of its Theban Mountain attempting one final crescendo before rolling ashore. Despite the imagery, the Western Desert's Theban Mountain and its foothills have generally been construed during recorded history more in terms of their cultural qualities than their natural characteristics. This chapter seeks to locate al-Qurna within the intellectual space of academic concerns that has given rise to this ambiguity, to reevaluate al-Qurna toponymically, and to situate al-Qurna both geographically and in real time. Its aim is to clarify and to place on record the spatially dispersed nature of the al-Qurna community. Geographical precision establishes a baseline against which the historical development of larger al-Qurna and the dispersal of smaller community units across the foothills can be charted.

Keywords: Western Desert; Nile River; Libyan Plateau; Theban Mountain; al-Qurna

Chapter.  4820 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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