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When grain was currency

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  • Kim Noyes
    * When grain was currency* Al-Ahram [Egypt], 19 - 25 June 2008 Ancient Egyptian administration is mainly known from texts, but the full understanding of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2008
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      When grain was currency

      Al-Ahram [Egypt], 19 - 25 June 2008

      "Ancient Egyptian administration is mainly known from texts, but the
      full understanding of the institutions involved and their role with
      towns and cities has been so far difficult to grasp because of the lack
      of archaeological evidence with which textual data needs to be
      combined," says Nadine Moller, assistant professor at the Oriental
      Institute of Chicago University and head of the archaeological mission
      in Tel Edfu. At Tel Edfu, Moller says, the mission has uncovered what is
      considered to be a downtown centre, a community located half way between
      the modern city of Aswan and Luxor. Tel Edfu was also a rare example
      where almost 3,000 years of ancient Egyptian history are still preserved
      in the stratigraphy of a single mound. Last year the mission revealed
      details of a seven silos and an older columned hall, which was an
      administration centre. "These monuments were found at the core of the
      ancient community as grain was a form of currency at that time, while
      the silos functioned as a sort of bank as well as a food source," Moller
      said, adding that the size of both the silos and administration
      buildings shows that the community was apparently a prosperous urban
      centre. Grain, which was usually barley or emmer wheat, was used as food
      and medium of exchange. One form of payment was the monthly ration of
      grain," Moller said.


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