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The Nomes of Ancient Egypt
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The number of provinces in Upper Egypt appear to have been relatively constant from the
Old Kingdom onwards (with the exception of the Intermediate Periods), and had reached a
total of 22 administrative areas. However, the number and position of the provinces in Lower
Egypt varied, growing over time as marshes were converted to cultivated land and as the
river branches of the Nile Delta shifted over the centuries.

Due to the collapse of the monarchy at the end of Dynasty 6 and the erosion of power of the
centralised state, the First Intermediate Period was a time when provincial governors and
officials became hereditary holders of their posts and treated their regions as their own
property. It would take at least a century for the Egyptians to again reinforce a centralised
government, and control over the provinces of both northern and southern Egypt.

By the Middle Kingdom, there were a total of 22 nomes in Upper Egypt. In the Delta area,
many of the older nomes were divided into smaller urban districts, possibly for greater ease
of administration, particularly the Neith and Harpoon provinces.

White Kiosk (Festival Chapel) of Sensuret I, Dynasty 12



Sensusret I was the second king of Egypt's Dynasty 12. One of his many building projects
was what is now known as the “White Chapel” which was a small pavilion built for his jubilee
festival (heb sed). Unfortunately the building was disassembled and used for fill in
Amenhotep III's third pylon at Karnak during Dynasty 18, although it was reconstructed in
1924 as an almost complete building.


A portion of the White Chapel, showing eight nome standards, with a description of the
nomes, their gods, the major towns, and the dimensions of each administrative region
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