Rainer Nutz (2014)

On the economic foundations of the social structure in the 12th dynasty.

Focal points are: A description and discussion of the basic economic structure for the period of the Middle Kingdom, as well as the processing of the available economic sources of the 12th Dynasty against the background of the basic economic structure thus elaborated.

The economic basis of the Egyptian culture is formed by agriculture. On the one hand, thanks to favorable conditions, on the other hand, as a result of targeted measures, it allowed the generation of considerable surpluses, which are manifested in the material culture.

It is therefore necessary to try to combine both known factors and factors to be estimated in such a way that a credible economic basis can be described. These factors will come partly from Egypt itself/from Egyptian sources, and partly will have to be based on factors from other areas and times. The various factors will be linked together in a model-like fashion. By means of sensitivity analyses, it should be possible, at least in part, to check the interaction of the various factors for plausibility.

There is certainly a risk that it will prove impossible to combine the economic factors ascertainable for the Middle Kingdom into a homogeneous and meaningful whole, either because too few factors can be grasped or because the combination of ascertainable factors leads to inconsistencies that can only be insufficiently resolved.

Thus, the sources of the Middle Kingdom form first an important basis for the search for economically evaluable information elements, then, however, in a second phase, the information basis, which is to be read or interpreted against the background of the basic economic picture with "new glasses".