The provincial policies of Teti, Pepy I and Merenre in Upper Egypt

Document Type : Original Research Articles



Relations between capital and provinces were particularly important for the successful administration of Old Kingdom Egypt. The royal court and the central bureaucracy depended on the provinces for economic provision and military protection. The present paper examines this relationship by a study of evidence from Old Kingdom tombs in a range of Upper Egyptian provinces as well as those in the capital cemeteries. The data suggests that with declining resources the central government was wavering between the need to decentralise the provincial administration by appointing governors to reside permanently in each province, and the risk of these ambitious, energetic officials taking root in their respective provinces, establishing power bases and becoming impossible to remove as the generations progressed. In trying to solve this problem the central administration changed the provincial administrative system a number of times during the reigns of Teti, Pepy I and Merenre.


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