Ramesside_Temples_and_the_Economic_Inter

Ramesside_Temples_and_the_Economic_Inter - IBAES Vol VII...

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IBAES Vol. VII Internet-Beiträge zur Ägyptologie und Sudanarchäologie Studies from the Internet on Egyptology and Sudanarchaeology Das Heilige und die Ware Zum Spannungsfeld von Religion und Ökonomie Herausgegeben von Martin Fitzenreiter Sonderdruck – Offp rint GHP 2007
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IBAES VII • Impressum Published by: Golden House Publications, London http://www.goldenhouse.co.uk.pn/ Layouted by: Frank Joachim, Berlin World Wide Web: http://www.ibaes.de Das Heilige und die Ware Zum Spannungsfeld von Religion und Ökonomie Printed in the UK London 2007 ISBN 978-1-906137-03-8 Gedruckt mit Unterstützung der Gerda Henkel Stiftung, Düsseldorf Impressum Titelbild: Antiquitätenhändler auf dem Wege von Luksor nach Karnak (aus: G. Ebers, Aegypten in Bild und Wort, Zweiter Band, Stuttgart / Leipzig, 1880, 289)
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165 IBAES VII • Das Heilige und die Ware 1. Temples, economy, and the state The great temples of Ramesside Egypt had considerable estates that included various means of production, transport and storage. Such estates were founded by kings for temples when these were still under construction, or for temples that already existed. During their reigns, pharaohs added even more wealth to temple foundations, usually in the form of incidental gifts. The Egyptian expression for ‘temple estate’ was hetep netjer „divine offering“. Although the raison d’être of the estate thus seemed to be the production of offerings, its productive capacity was far greater than was strictly necessary for that purpose. This is shown, for instance, by the fact that its agricultural domains were cultivated in cooperation with other institutions and with private landowners or tenants, who were entitled to major parts of the produce. In this way, society at large benefited from the resources theoretically belonging to temple estates, and the greater temples must have been important motors of the national economy. 1 Whereas older Egyptological literature stresses the idea of the temples as economic competitors, even threats, to the government, recent studies emphasize their integrative role. 2 Agricultural co- operation is one example. The intricate relationships between temples, government departments and private individuals are shown by various Ramesside documents of the agrarian administration, especially the Wilbour Papyrus from the reign of Ramesses V. 3 Here we see, for instance, how one plot of land could be part of crown domains called khata , which were assigned to a temple estate that took care of its cultivation and received part of the crop. Another field of the same temple estate was actually the property of a wealthy individual, who had to pay a small part of the crop to the temple. The cultivating, however, was probably done by one or more peasants leasing the plot and sharing the crop with the owner. In this way, different institutions and persons benefited from the same piece of land.
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