UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Egyptian empire in the Levant through a study of space Fustinoni, Florencia


The ancient Egyptian empire offers an example of early attempts by an imperial power to interact between different cultural norms. During the New Kingdom (1550-1070 BCE), Egypt sought to establish ideological, military, economic and administrative control over the Levant. In the process of conquering this area, the Egyptians employed different strategies to control their vassals. Based on Egypt’s approaches to foreign policy in the area, I chose Egyptian Governor’s Residences to conduct an in-depth spatial study. This thesis was carried out to deepen our understanding of the Egyptians’ imperial strategies in the Levant by taking the innovative approach of spatial analysis using Hillier and Hanson’s access analysis method. Used in conjunction with excavation data and visual analysis, this method revealed tightly controlled buildings and a change in how they were conceived depending on the reigning pharaoh. The Egyptians built these residences to control and monitor the region. The thesis proposes a reasonable rationale for the use of the spaces constituting those buildings, and provides evidence supporting an Egyptian imperial approach to their distribution and organization. It also bolsters arguments regarding the dating of the buildings, their relationship with Egyptian foreign policy, and suggests possible roles for its inhabitants. In so doing, this work falls in line with recent work regarding the archaeology of empire, and with research conducted to reach a greater understanding of how imperial strategy actually played out on the ground, moving away from top-down approaches. This new outlook has revealed a closer, entangled relationship between imperial power and subjugated area, disentangling the threads of how these cultural exchanges were actually functioning.

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