A stele, or stela, when derived from Latin, is a stone or wooden slab taller than it is wide, erected in the ancient world as a monument. Grave stelae were used for funerary or commemorative purposes. Stelae as slabs of stone would be used as ancient Greek and Roman government notices or as boundary markers to mark borders or property lines; the surface of the stele has text, ornamentation, or both. The ornamentation may be carved in relief, or painted. Steles are erected as memorials to battles. For example, along with other memorials, there are more than half-a-dozen steles erected on the battlefield of Waterloo at the locations of notable actions by participants in battle. Traditional Western gravestones may technically be considered the modern equivalent of ancient stelae, though the term is rarely applied in this way. Stele-like forms in non-Western cultures may be called by other terms, the words "stele" and "stelae" are most applied in archaeological contexts to objects from Europe, the ancient Near East and Egypt and sometimes Pre-Columbian America.
Steles have been used to publish laws and decrees, to record a ruler's exploits and honors, to mark sacred territories or mortgaged properties, as territorial markers, as the boundary steles of Akhenaton at Amarna, or to commemorate military victories. They were used in the ancient Near East, Greece, Somalia, Ethiopia, most independently, in China and elsewhere in the Far East, independently, by Mesoamerican civilisations, notably the Olmec and Maya; the large number of steles, including inscriptions, surviving from ancient Egypt and in Central America constitute one of the largest and most significant sources of information on those civilisations, in particular Maya stelae. The most famous example of an inscribed stela leading to increased understanding is the Rosetta Stone, which led to the breakthrough allowing Egyptian hieroglyphs to be read. An informative stele of Tiglath-Pileser III is preserved in the British Museum. Two steles built into the walls of a church are major documents relating to the Etruscan language.
Standing stones, set up without inscriptions from Libya in North Africa to Scotland, were monuments of pre-literate Megalithic cultures in the Late Stone Age. The Pictish stones of Scotland intricately carved, date from between the 6th and 9th centuries. An obelisk is a specialized kind of stele; the Insular high crosses of Ireland and Britain are specialized steles. Totem poles of North and South America that are made out of stone may be considered a specialized type of stele. Gravestones with inscribed name and with inscribed epitaph, are among the most common types of stele seen in Western culture. Most in the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, the architect Peter Eisenman created a field of some 2,700 blank steles; the memorial is meant to be read not only as the field, but as an erasure of data that refer to memory of the Holocaust. Many steles have been used since the First Dynasty of Egypt; these vertical slabs of stone depict tombstones, religious usage, boundaries. Urartian steles were freestanding stone obelisks that served a variety of purposes, sometimes they were located within temple complexes, or set within monumental rock-cut niches or erected beside tombs.
Others stood in isolated positions and, such as the Kelashin Stele, had a commemorative function or served as boundary markers. Although sometimes plain, most bore a cuneiform inscription that would detail the stele's function or the reasons for its erection; the steel from Van's "western niche" contained annals of the reign of Sarduri II, with events detailed yearly and with each year separated by the phrase "For the God Haldi I accomplished these deeds". Urartian steles are sometimes found reused as Christian Armenian gravestones or as spolia in Armenian churches - Maranci suggests this reuse was a deliberate desire to capitalize on the potency of the past; some scholars have suggested Urartian steles may have influenced the development of the Armenian khachkar. Greek funerary markers in Attica, had a long and evolutionary history in Athens. From public and extravagant processional funerals to different types of pottery used to store ashes after cremation, visibility has always been a large part of Ancient Greek funerary markers in Athens.
Regarding stelai, in the period of the Archaic style in Ancient Athens stele showed certain archetypes of figures, such as the male athlete. Their figures were singular, though there are instances of two or more figures from this time period. Moving into the 6th and 5th centuries BC, Greek stelai declined and rose in popularity again in Athens and evolved to show scenes with multiple figures of a family unit or a household scene. One such notable example is the Stele of Hegeso. Grave stelai are made of marble and carved in relief, like most Ancient Greek sculpture they were vibrantly painted. For more examples of stelai, the Getty Museum's published Catalog of Greek Funerary Sculpture is a valuable resource Steles have been the major medium of stone inscription in China since the Tang dynasty. Chinese steles are rectangular stone tablets upon which Chinese characters are carved intaglio with a funerary, commemorative, or edifying text, they can commemorate talented writers and officials, inscribe poems, portraits, or maps, contain the calligraphy of famous historical figures.
In additional to their commemorative value, many Chinese stel
Ptolemy II Philadelphus
Ptolemy II Philadelphus was the king of Ptolemaic Egypt from 283 to 246 BCE. He was the son of Ptolemy I Soter, the Macedonian Greek general of Alexander the Great who founded the Ptolemaic Kingdom after the death of Alexander, queen Berenice I from Macedon in northern Greece. During Ptolemy II's reign, the material and literary splendour of the Alexandrian court was at its height, he promoted the Library of Alexandria. He erected the Great Mendes Stela, he led the Ptolemaic Kingdom against the rival Seleucid Empire in the first of a series of Syrian Wars that witnessed periodic territorial changes between the two powers in West Asia. Ptolemy II was the son of Ptolemy I Soter and Berenice I, he had Arsinoe II and Philotera. He was educated by Philitas of Cos. Ptolemy II had numerous half-siblings. Two of his father's sons by his previous marriage to Eurydice, Ptolemy Keraunos and Meleager, became kings of Macedonia; the children of his mother Berenice's first marriage to Philip included Magas of Cyrene.
Pyrrhus of Epirus became his brother-in-law through marriage to Ptolemy's maternal half-sister Antigone. Ptolemy's first wife, Arsinoe I, daughter of Lysimachus, was the mother of his legitimate children: Ptolemy III Euergetes, his successor. Lysimachus of Egypt Berenice Phernopherus, who married the Seleucid emperor Antiochus II TheosAfter he repudiated Arsinoe, he married his full sister Arsinoe II, widow of Lysimachus, which brought him her Aegean possessions, he had several concubines. With a woman named Bilistiche he is said to have had an son named Ptolemy Andromachou, he had many mistresses, including Agathoclea, Aglais daughter of Megacles, the cup-bearer Cleino, the Chian harp player Glauce, the flautist Mnesis, the actress Myrtion, the flautist Pothine and Stratonice. His court and dissolute, intellectual and artificial, has been compared with the Palace of Versailles of Louis XIV of France. Ptolemy deified his sister-wife after their deaths. Ptolemy II began his reign as co-regent with his father, Ptolemy Soter, from c. 285 to c. 283 BCE, maintained a splendid court in Alexandria.
Egypt was involved in several wars during his reign. His maternal half-brother Magas had declared himself king of Cyrene in 276 and began a war against Ptolemy's government in 274 BCE. Magas managed to keep Cyrenaica independent of the Ptolemies until his death in 250 BCE. Magas' attack on the Ptolemies began. Two or three years of war followed. Egypt's victories solidified the kingdom's position as the undisputed naval power of the eastern Mediterranean; the Ptolemaic sphere of power extended over the Cyclades to Samothrace, the harbours and coast towns of Cilicia Trachea, Pamphylia and Caria. In 275/4, Ptolemaic forces annexed the Triakontaschoinos. In 270, Ptolemy hired 4000 Gallic mercenaries. According to Pausanias, soon after arrival the Gauls plotted "to seize Egypt," and so Ptolemy marooned them on a deserted island in the Nile where “they perished at one another’s hands or by famine.”The victory won by Antigonus II Gonatas, king of Macedonia, over the Egyptian fleet at Kos did not long interrupt Ptolemy's command of the Aegean Sea.
In the Second Syrian War with the Seleucid Empire of Antiochus II Theos, Ptolemy sustained losses on the seaboard of Anatolia and agreed to a peace by which Antiochus married Ptolemy's daughter Berenice Phernopherus. Ptolemy was of a delicate constitution. Elias Joseph Bickerman gives the date of his death as 29 January; the material and literary splendour of the Alexandrian court was at its height under Ptolemy II. Pomp and splendor flourished, he had exotic animals of far off lands sent to Alexandria, staged a procession in Alexandria in honor of Dionysus led by 24 chariots drawn by elephants and a procession of lions, panthers, antelopes, wild asses, ostriches, a bear, a giraffe and a rhinoceros. According to scholars, most of the animals were in pairs - as many as eight pairs of ostriches - and although the ordinary chariots were led by a single elephant, others which carried a 7-foot-tall golden statue may have been led by four. Although an enthusiast for Hellenic culture, he adopted Egyptian religious concepts, which helped to bolster his image as a sovereign.
Callimachus, keeper of the library, a host of lesser poets, glorified the Ptolemaic family. Ptolemy himself was eager to patronize scientific research, he is thought to be the patron. The tradition preserved in the pseudepigraphical Letter of Aristeas which connects the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek with his patronage is overdrawn. However, Walter Kaiser says, "There can be little doubt that the Law was translated in Philadelphus's time since Greek quotations from Genesis and Exodus appear in Greek literature before 200 BCE The language of the Septuagint is more like Egyptian Greek than it is like Jerusalemite Greek, according to some." Ptolemy is recorded by Pliny the Elder as having sent an ambassador named Dionysius to the Mauryan court at Pataliputra in India to Emperor Ashoka: "But has been treated of by several other Greek writers who resided at the
Amun is a major ancient Egyptian deity who appears as a member of the Hermopolitan Ogdoad. Amun was attested from the Old Kingdom together with his wife Amaunet. With the 11th dynasty, Amun rose to the position of patron deity of Thebes by replacing Montu. After the rebellion of Thebes against the Hyksos and with the rule of Ahmose I, Amun acquired national importance, expressed in his fusion with the Sun god, Ra, as Amun-Ra or Amun-Re. Amun-Ra retained chief importance in the Egyptian pantheon throughout the New Kingdom. Amun-Ra in this period held the position of transcendental, self-created creator deity "par excellence", his position as King of Gods developed to the point of virtual monotheism where other gods became manifestations of him. With Osiris, Amun-Ra is the most recorded of the Egyptian gods; as the chief deity of the Egyptian Empire, Amun-Ra came to be worshipped outside Egypt, according to the testimony of ancient Greek historiographers in Libya and Nubia. As Zeus Ammon, he came to be identified with Zeus in Greece.
Amun and Amaunet are mentioned in the Old Egyptian Pyramid Texts. The name Amun meant something like "the hidden one" or "invisible". Amun rose to the position of tutelary deity of Thebes after the end of the First Intermediate Period, under the 11th dynasty; as the patron of Thebes, his spouse was Mut. In Thebes, Amun as father, Mut as mother and the Moon god Khonsu formed a divine family or "Theban Triad"; the history of Amun as the patron god of Thebes begins in the 20th century BC, with the construction of the Precinct of Amun-Re at Karnak under Senusret I. The city of Thebes does not appear to have been of great significance before the 11th dynasty. Major construction work in the Precinct of Amun-Re took place during the 18th dynasty when Thebes became the capital of the unified ancient Egypt. Construction of the Hypostyle Hall may have begun during the 18th dynasty, though most building was undertaken under Seti I and Ramesses II. Merenptah commemorated his victories over the Sea Peoples on the walls of the Cachette Court, the start of the processional route to the Luxor Temple.
This Great Inscription shows the king's campaigns and eventual return with items of potential value and prisoners. Next to this inscription is the Victory Stela, a copy of the more famous Israel Stela found in the funerary complex of Merenptah on the west bank of the Nile in Thebes. Merenptah's son Seti II added two small obelisks in front of the Second Pylon, a triple bark-shrine to the north of the processional avenue in the same area; this was constructed with a chapel to Amun flanked by those of Mut and Khonsu. The last major change to the Precinct of Amun-Re's layout was the addition of the first pylon and the massive enclosure walls that surrounded the whole Precinct, both constructed by Nectanebo I; when the army of the founder of the Eighteenth dynasty expelled the Hyksos rulers from Egypt, the victor's city of origin, became the most important city in Egypt, the capital of a new dynasty. The local patron deity of Thebes, therefore became nationally important; the pharaohs of that new dynasty attributed all their successful enterprises to Amun, they lavished much of their wealth and captured spoil on the construction of temples dedicated to Amun.
The victory accomplished by pharaohs who worshipped Amun against the "foreign rulers", brought him to be seen as a champion of the less fortunate, upholding the rights of justice for the poor. By aiding those who traveled in his name, he became the Protector of the road. Since he upheld Ma'at, those who prayed to Amun were required first to demonstrate that they were worthy by confessing their sins. Votive stelae from the artisans' village at Deir el-Medina record: who comes at the voice of the poor in distress, who gives breath to him, wretched.. You are the Lord of the silent, who comes at the voice of the poor. Though the servant was disposed to do evil, the Lord is disposed to forgive; the Lord of Thebes spends not a whole day in anger. His breath comes back to us in mercy... May your kꜣ be kind. Subsequently, when Egypt conquered Kush, they identified the chief deity of the Kushites as Amun; this Kush deity was depicted as ram-headed, more a woolly ram with curved horns. Amun thus became associated with the ram arising from the aged appearance of the Kush ram deity.
A solar deity in the form of a ram can be traced to the pre-literate Kerma culture in Nubia, contemporary to the Old Kingdom of Egypt. The name of Nubian Amun was Amani, attested in numerous personal names such as Tanwetamani and Amanitore. Since rams were considered a symbol of virility, Amun became thought of as a fertility deity, so started to absorb the identity of Min, becoming Amun-Min; this association with virility led to Amun-Min gaining the epithet Kamutef, meaning "Bull of his mother", in which form he was found depicted on the walls of Karnak and with a scourge, as Min was. As the cult of Amun grew in importance, Amun became identified with the chief deity, worshipped in other areas during that period, the sun god Ra; this identification led with Amun becoming Amun-Ra. In the Hymn to Amun-Ra he is described as Lord of truth, father of the gods, maker of m
Ptolemy III Euergetes
Ptolemy III Euergetes was the third king of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt from 246 to 222 BC. Euergetes was the eldest son of Ptolemy II Philadelphus and his first wife, Arsinoe I, came to power in 246 BC upon the death of his father, he married Berenice of Cyrene in the year corresponding to 244/243 BC. 246/245 BC. She married her brother Ptolemy IV. Ptolemy IV Philopator, born c. 244 BC. Lysimachus; the name of the son is not known, but he is said to have been born in c. 243 BC. Alexander, born in c. 242 BC. Magas, born in c. 241 BC. Scalded to death in his bath by Theogos or Theodotus, at the orders of Ptolemy IV. Berenice born in c. 239 BC and died a year later. Ptolemy III Euergetes was responsible for the first known example of a series of decrees published as bilingual inscriptions on massive stone blocks in three writing systems, his stone stela is the Canopus Stone of 238 BC. Other well-known examples are the Memphis Stele, bearing the Decree of Memphis, about 218 BC, passed by his son, Ptolemy IV, as well as the famous Rosetta Stone erected by Ptolemy Epiphanes, his grandson, in 196 BC.
Ptolemy III's stone contains decrees about priestly orders, is a memorial for his daughter Berenice. But two of its 26 lines of hieroglyphs decree the use of a leap day added to the Egyptian calendar of 365 days, the associated changes in festivals, he is credited with the foundation of the Serapeum, as well as the temple of Horus at Edfu, which he commissioned in about 237 BC, although the main temple would not be finished until the reign of his son, Ptolemy IV, in 231 BC, it would not be opened until 142 BC, during the reign of Ptolemy VIII. The reliefs on the great pylon were only completed in the reign of Ptolemy XII. He, like many Pharaohs before him added to the Temple of Karnak, he maintained his father's foreign policy of subduing Macedonia by supporting its enemies. Ptolemy backed the Achaean League, a collaboration of Greek city-states, enemies of Macedonia, but switched his support to Sparta when it came into conflict with the Achaean League and proved itself more apt to fighting the Macedonians.
He was more liberal towards Egyptian religion than his predecessors. He supported and contributed towards various cults those of the Apis and Mnevis Bulls, as is stated in the Canopus Decree of 238 BC, in which the Egyptian priesthood praise him and his wife as "Benefactor Gods" for this religious support, as well as for maintaining peace by strong national security, for good governance, including when he imported, at his own expense, a vast amount of grain to compensate for a weak inundation; the Ptolemaic kingdom reached the height of its power during this reign. He continued his predecessor's work on Alexandria in the Great Library, he had every book unloaded in the Alexandria docks seized, had copies made of each one, gave the copies to the previous owners while the original copies were kept in the Library. It is said that he borrowed works of Aeschylus and Euripides from Athens, but decided to forfeit the considerable deposit he paid for them, keeping them for the Library rather than returning them.
Due to a falling out at the Seleucid court, Ptolemy's eldest sister Berenice Phernophorus was murdered along with her infant son. In response Ptolemy III invaded the Seleucid Empire, today known as Iraq, among other nations at the time. During this war, the Third Syrian War, he occupied Antioch and reached Babylon. In exchange for a peace in 241 BC, Ptolemy was awarded new territories on the northern coast of Syria, including Seleucia Pieria, the port of Antioch. From this capture he received fifteen hundred talents of silver a tenth of his annual income. During his involvement in the Third Syrian War, he managed to regain many Egyptian works of art, stolen when the Persians conquered Egypt. While he was away fighting, he left his wife Berenice II in charge of the country, but swiftly returned when trouble erupted there. New insights of Ptolemy III's sudden return include papyri describing how the Nile river didn't flood for several years, resulting in famine, a 20-year revolt against Greek rule in Thebes, climate proxy studies which suggest changes of the monsoon pattern at the time, all linked to a volcanic eruption which took place in 247 BC.
Ptolemy III's reign was marked by trade with other contemporaneous polities. In the 1930s, excavations by Mattingly at a fortress close to Port Dunford in present-day southern Somalia yielded a number of Ptolemaic coins. Among these pieces were 17 copper mints from the reigns of Ptolemy III to Ptolemy V, as well as late Imperial Rome and Mamluk Sultanate coins. History of Ptolemaic Egypt Ptolemais - towns and cities named after members of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Decree of Canopus Clayton, Peter A.. Chronicles of the Pharaohs: the reign-by-reign record of the rulers and dynasties of ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-28628-0. Ptolemy Euergetes I at LacusCurtius — Ptolemy III — Ptolemy III Euergetes entry in historical sourcebook by Mahlon H. Smith Bust of Ptolemy III from Herculaneum - now in the Museo Nazionale, Naples
Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is a popular tourist destination. Alexandria was founded around a small, ancient Egyptian town c. 332 BC by Alexander the Great, king of Macedon and leader of the Greek League of Corinth, during his conquest of the Achaemenid Empire. Alexandria became an important center of Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for 1,000 years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat. Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Alexandria was at one time the second most powerful city of the ancient Mediterranean region, after Rome.
Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhacotis existed there, during the Ptolemaic dynasty. From the late 18th century, Alexandria became a major center of the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading centers in the world, both because it profited from the easy overland connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, the lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton. Alexandria is believed to have been founded by Alexander the Great in April 331 BC as Ἀλεξάνδρεια. Alexander's chief architect for the project was Dinocrates. Alexandria was intended to supersede Naucratis as a Hellenistic center in Egypt, to be the link between Greece and the rich Nile valley. Although it has long been believed only a small village there, recent radiocarbon dating of seashell fragments and lead contamination show significant human activity at the location for two millennia preceding Alexandria's founding.
Alexandria was the cultural center of the ancient world for some time. The city and its museum attracted many of the greatest scholars, including Greeks and Syrians; the city was plundered and lost its significance. In the early Christian Church, the city was the center of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, one of the major centers of early Christianity in the Eastern Roman Empire. In the modern world, the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria both lay claim to this ancient heritage. Just east of Alexandria, there was in ancient times marshland and several islands; as early as the 7th century BC, there existed important port cities of Heracleion. The latter was rediscovered under water. An Egyptian city, Rhakotis existed on the shore and gave its name to Alexandria in the Egyptian language, it continued to exist as the Egyptian quarter of the city. A few months after the foundation, Alexander never returned to his city. After Alexander's departure, his viceroy, continued the expansion.
Following a struggle with the other successors of Alexander, his general Ptolemy Lagides succeeded in bringing Alexander's body to Alexandria, though it was lost after being separated from its burial site there. Although Cleomenes was in charge of overseeing Alexandria's continuous development, the Heptastadion and the mainland quarters seem to have been Ptolemaic work. Inheriting the trade of ruined Tyre and becoming the center of the new commerce between Europe and the Arabian and Indian East, the city grew in less than a generation to be larger than Carthage. In a century, Alexandria had become the largest city in the world and, for some centuries more, was second only to Rome, it became Egypt's main Greek city, with Greek people from diverse backgrounds. Alexandria was not only a center of Hellenism, but was home to the largest urban Jewish community in the world; the Septuagint, a Greek version of the Tanakh, was produced there. The early Ptolemies kept it in order and fostered the development of its museum into the leading Hellenistic center of learning, but were careful to maintain the distinction of its population's three largest ethnicities: Greek and Egyptian.
By the time of Augustus, the city walls encompassed an area of 5.34 km2, the total population in Roman times was around 500-600,000. According to Philo of Alexandria, in the year 38 of the Common era, disturbances erupted between Jews and Greek citizens of Alexandria during a visit paid by the Jewish king Agrippa I to Alexandria, principally over the respect paid by the Jewish nation to the Roman emperor, which escalated to open affronts and violence between the two ethnic groups and the desecration of Alexandrian synagogues; the violence was quelled after Caligula intervened and had the Roman governor, removed from the city. In AD 115, large parts of Alexandria were destroyed during the Kitos War, which gave Hadrian and his architect, Decriannus, an opportunity to rebuild it. In 215, the emperor Caracalla visited the city and, because of some insulting satires that the inhabitants had directed at him, abruptly commanded his troops to put to death all youths capable of bearing arms. On 21 July
Neith was an early ancient Egyptian deity, said to be the first and the prime creator. She was said to be the creator of the universe and all it contains and she governs how it functions. Neith was the tutelary deity of Sais, where her cult was centered in the western Nile Delta of Lower Egypt and attested as early as the First Dynasty. Neith was one of the three tutelary deities of the southern city of Latopolis or Snē Latopolis was located on the west bank of the River Nile some 55 kilometres south of Luxor. Neith is a goddess of war and of hunting, had as her symbol two arrows crossed over a shield, she is a far more complex goddess than is known, of whom ancient texts only hint of her true nature. A religious silence was imposed by ancient Egyptians for secrecy, employing euphemisms and allusions and relying on symbols alone. In her usual representations, she is portrayed as a fierce deity, a woman wearing the Red Crown holding or using the bow and arrow, in others a harpoon. In fact, the hieroglyphs of her name are followed by a determinative containing the archery elements, with the shield symbol of the name being explained as either double bows, intersected by two arrows, or, by other imagery associated with her worship.
Her symbol identified the city of Sais. This symbol was displayed on top of her head in Egyptian art. In her form as a goddess of war, she was said to make the weapons of warriors and to guard their bodies when they died; as a deity, Neith is shown carrying the was scepter and the ankh. She is called such cosmic epithets as the "Cow of Heaven", a sky-goddess similar to Nut, as the Great Flood, Mehet-Weret, as a cow who gives birth to the sun daily. In these forms, she is associated with creation of both the primeval time and daily "re-creation"; as protectress of the Royal House, she is represented as a uraeus, functions with the fiery fury of the sun, In time, this led to her being considered as the personification of the primordial waters of creation. She is identified as a great mother goddess in this role as a creator, she is the personification of the primeval waters, able to give birth parthenogenetically. Among the pairs of deities noted by the ancient Egyptians, she is paired with Ptah-Nun.
In the same manner, her personification as the primeval waters is Mehetweret, the Great Flood, conceptualized as streaming water, related to another use of the verb sti, meaning'to pour'. Neith is one of the most ancient deities associated with ancient Egyptian culture. Flinders Petrie noted the earliest depictions of her standards were known in predynastic periods, as can be seen from a representation of a barque bearing her crossed arrow standards in the Predynastic Period, as displayed in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, her first anthropomorphic representations occur in the early dynastic period, on a diorite vase of King Ny-Netjer of the Second Dynasty, found in the Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara. That her worship predominated the early dynastic periods is shown by a preponderance of theophoric names within which Neith appears as an element. Predominance of Neith's name in nearly forty percent of early dynastic names, in the names of four royal women of the First Dynasty, only emphasizes the importance of this goddess in relation to the early society of Egypt, with special emphasis upon the Royal House.
In the early periods of Egyptian history, the main iconographic representations of this goddess appear to have been limited to her hunting and war characteristics, although there is no Egyptian mythological reference to support the concept that this was her primary function as a deity. It has been suggested these hunting and war features of Neith's imagery may indicate her origin from Libya, located west and southwest of Egypt, where she was goddess of the combative peoples there, it has been theorized that Neith's primary cult point in the Old Kingdom was established in Saïs by Hor-Aha of the First Dynasty, in an effort to placate the residents of Lower Egypt by the ruler of the unified country. Textual and iconographic evidence indicates that she was a national goddess for Old Kingdom Egypt, with her own sanctuary in Memphis, indicating the high regard held for her. There, she was known as "North of her Wall", as counterpoise to Ptah's "South of his Wall" epithet. While Neith is regarded as a deity of Lower Egypt, her worship was not located in that delta region.
Her cult reached its height in Saïs and in Memphis in the Old Kingdom, remained important, although to a lesser extent, through the Middle and New Kingdom. The cult regained prominence again during the twenty-sixth dynasties when worship at Saïs flourished again, as well as at Esna in Upper Egypt. Neith's symbol and part of her hieroglyph bore a resemblance to a loom, so in syncretisation of Egyptian myths by the Greek ruling class, she became goddess of weaving. At this time her role as a creator conflated with that of Athena, as a deity who wove all of the world and existence into being on her loom. Sometimes Neith was pictured as a woman nursing a baby crocodile, she was addressed with the title, "Nurse of Crocodiles", reflecting a southern provin
The Nile Delta is the delta formed in Northern Egypt where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world's largest river deltas—from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, it covers 240 km of Mediterranean coastline and is a rich agricultural region. From north to south the delta is 160 km in length; the Delta begins down-river from Cairo. The Nile Delta is an area of the world that lacks detailed ground truth data and monitoring stations. Despite the economic importance of the Nile Delta, it could be considered as one of the most data-poor regions with respect to sea level rise. From north to south, the delta is 160 km in length. From west to east, it covers some 240 km of coastline; the delta is sometimes divided into sections, with the Nile dividing into two main distributaries, the Damietta and the Rosetta, flowing into the Mediterranean at port cities with the same name. In the past, the delta had several distributaries, but these have been lost due to flood control and changing relief.
One such defunct distributary is Wadi Tumilat. The Suez Canal is east of the delta and enters the coastal Lake Manzala in the north-east of the delta. To the north-west are three other coastal lakes or lagoons: Lake Burullus, Lake Idku and Lake Mariout; the Nile is considered to be an "arcuate" delta, as it resembles a triangle or flower when seen from above. Some scholars such as Aristotle have written that the delta was constructed for agricultural purposes due to the drying of the region of Egypt. Although such an engineering feat would be considered equivalent to a wonder of the ancient world, there is insufficient evidence to determine conclusively whether the delta is man-made or was formed naturally. In modern day, the outer edges of the delta are eroding, some coastal lagoons have seen increasing salinity levels as their connection to the Mediterranean Sea increases. Since the delta no longer receives an annual supply of nutrients and sediments from upstream due to the construction of the Aswan Dam, the soils of the floodplains have become poorer, large amounts of fertilizers are now used.
Topsoil in the delta can be as much as 21 m in depth. People have lived in the Delta region for thousands of years, it has been intensively farmed for at least the last five thousand years; the Delta used to flood annually. Records from ancient times show that the delta had seven distributaries or branches,: the Pelusiac, the Tanitic, the Mendesian, the Phatnitic, the Sebennytic, the Bolbitine, the Canopic There are now only two main branches, due to flood control and changing relief: the Damietta to the east, the Rosetta in the western part of the Delta; the Rosetta Stone was found in the Nile Delta in 1799 in the port city of Rosetta. The delta was a major constituent of Lower Egypt. There are many archaeological sites around the Nile Delta. About 39 million people live in the Delta region. Outside of major cities, population density in the delta averages 1,000/km2 or more. Alexandria is the largest city in the delta with an estimated population of more than 4.5 million. Other large cities in the delta include Shubra El Kheima, Port Said, El Mahalla El Kubra, Mansura and Zagazig.
During autumn, parts of the Nile River are red with lotus flowers. The Lower Nile and the Upper Nile have plants; the Upper Nile plant is the Egyptian lotus, the Lower Nile plant is the Papyrus Sedge, although it is not nearly as plentiful as it once was, is becoming quite rare. Several hundred thousand water birds winter in the delta, including the world’s largest concentrations of little gulls and whiskered terns. Other birds making their homes in the delta include grey herons, Kentish plovers, cormorants and ibises. Other animals found in the delta include frogs, tortoises and the Nile monitor. Nile crocodiles and hippopotamus, two animals which were widespread in the delta during antiquity, are no longer found there. Fish found in the delta soles; the Delta has a hot desert climate as the rest of Egypt, but its northernmost part, as is the case with the rest of the northern coast of Egypt, the wettest region in the country, has moderate temperatures, with highs not surpassing 31 °C in the summer.
Only 100–200 mm of rain falls on the delta area during an average year, most of this falls in the winter months. The delta experiences its hottest temperatures in July and August, with a maximum average of 34 °C. Winter temperatures are in the range of 9 °C at nights to 19 °C in the daytime. With cooler temperatures and some rain, the Nile Delta region becomes quite humid during the winter months. Furthermore, Egypt’s Mediterranean coastline is being swallowed up by the sea because of global warming and the rise of the sea level, the lack of sediments being deposited since the construction of the Aswan Dam, in some places as much as 90 m a year; as the polar ice caps melt, much of the northern delta, including the ancient port city of Alexandria, will disappear under the Mediterranean. A 30 cm rise in sea level will affect about 6.6% of the total land cover area in the Nile Delta region.