Conference Paper: ‘There’s No Place Like Home’? Travels, Travelers, and Tropes from the Old to the Middle Kingdom

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


The Tale of Sinuhe is one of the most frequently attested pieces of literature that has survived from the Pharaonic Period. Its exploration of Sinuhe’s encounters with courtly affairs, border crossers, and Levantine lands and peoples, has been well-studied. However, how novel was the tale in its representation of travel to the northeast? This paper focuses on travel and travelers, as mainly preserved in Old to Middle Kingdom textual material relating to Egyptian-Near Eastern relations. Examining similarities and differences across time, it questions whether Old Kingdom transregional agents and activities, as well as their representations, influenced the emergence of tropes on border transgression and foreign entities. It further discusses how periods of increased connectivity may have impacted concepts of travel, distance, geography, and cross-border social relations, and whether such concepts were temporally transmitted in spite of the political shifts in Egypt from the late 3rd to the early 2nd Millennium BCE.
Period27 May 2021
Event titleEgypt and the Mediterranean World from the Late Fourth through the Third Millennium BCE: Day 3, Sydney
Event typeConference
LocationAustralia, New South WalesShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational