Naukratis/Naucratis revisited

Naukratis/Naukratis, now Tell Nebireh, was a city of Egypt, its plan being as thus: For other plans, see here and here. It lay on the east side of the Nile, and was apparently founded as a Phoenician settlement, as evidenced by its carved Tricanda shells (both undecorated and decorated), having a scarab factory dating to the reign of Psamtik II and Apries, but no earlier. This provide a lower anchor for Early Corinthian, found at Selinus c. 628 BC or just later, in the late 590s BC, since some sherds of this ware were found at Naukratis. However, a Corinthian Transitional sherd found at the site, plus some other pottery types dating mostly to the late 7th century may suggest the settlement existed before the construction of the scarab factory. The scarab factory apparently went out of use during the reign of Amosis, when, as Herodotus states, he gave the city over to the Greeks, establishing its place as the only Greek trading center in Egypt. As Peter James suggests, this may have been so because of the Chaldean conquest of Tyre and the loss of Egyptian opportunities to ally with Phoenicia. Naukratis remained an important city of the Greeks, Nectanebo I setting up a stele there, becoming semi-autonomous during the time of Alexander, stretching into the Byzantine era, when it was abandoned.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

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