Beja and Cushitic Languages in Middle Egyptian texts: the etymologies of Queen Aashayet and her retainers

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Abstract

The presence of names and words from the Beja language in Egyptian texts is well-documented from a number of studies, which have demonstrated contact between Beja speakers and Egyptians since before the Middle Kingdom (c. 2050 BCE). This would mean that Beja and Egyptian have a shared history of over 3,000 years until the termination of Coptic as a spoken tongue. But this supposition of a monolithic Beja language as the correlate of the historical ‘Medjay’ is partly an oversimplification of our linguistic evidence. This study aims to assess and problematize some of our suppositions on the nature of Beja and Cushitic materials in Middle Egyptian records by using case studies of personal names on the sarcophagus of the ‘royal-wife’ and ‘priestess of Hathor’ Aashayet.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-36
Number of pages24
JournalLingua Aegyptia
Volume29
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

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