Kumma (Nubia)

Kumma formed together with Semna a fortress of ancient Egypt in Nubia and is located on the territory of present-day Sudan. Kumma was together with Semna and Semna South by Sesostris III. built and served to protect the larger fortress Semna where the border between ancient Egypt and the southern areas took place. The fortress Kumma was about 365 kilometers south of Aswan, and 35 kilometers southwest of the second Nile cataract on the eastern bank of the Nile. On the other side of the Nile was Semna. Both towns are now flooded because of the Aswan Dam on Lake Nubia.



In Kumma stood a temple of Khnum, Sesostris III. and Dedwen was consecrated. At this university Nilufer were below the fortress 16 Nilstandsmarken, the end of the Middle Kingdom Amenemhat III. and Amenemhet IV could Nofrusobek and attach there. The marked heights of the Nile flood led with respect to the water levels in Egyptology to controversial discussions, as by converting the Nilstände for a period of 61 years in government with regard to the nilometer in Elephantine, Karnak, by Hapi and Memphis unrealizable level heights of well over 33 yards from Elephantine result.

Striking in this context is the difference between the Nilflutamplituden that were approximately 50 % as specified in Kumma below the values ​​in Aswan. This meant in practice that in Kumma the minimum and maximum heights of the Nile had considerably lower fluctuation bands against the used in Ancient Egypt comparison values.

Interpretations of the reasons why only certain years were noted, can only be evaluated as speculative due to lack of evidence. For example, the argument that only high Nilstände were written down, not maintained, as in other eras have also been shown normal Nilflutereignisse were recorded. Striking, however, is the finding regarding the Nilhöhen that were only in this recording period up to eight meters above the level of the 19th century, and thus also about up to ten meters above the comparable figures of ancient Egypt. The maximum values ​​of water levels fell in the later section of Amenemhet III government.


The relation to the other brands inflated values ​​correspond to considering a slightly lower level in the measured ratios of about Askut and Mirgissa. As at least one criterion for attaching the Nilflutmarken seems the passing of 155 meters above sea level to have been decisive, as the lowest height in the 40th year of the reign of Amenemhat III. was specified with a water level " 0.5 meters ". It is noteworthy in this context is preserved in these regions during the Middle Kingdom lower development boundary of the surrounding settlements of about 149 meters above sea level, thus clearly several feet below the elevated readings of Nilmarken and about four to five feet above the Nilpegelständen other periods.

However, destruction horizons by flooding the affected settlements could not be detected. A flood of settlements due to an above-average Nile flood with a height of 155 meters could be assigned for the place Mirgissa at the end of the Middle Kingdom, but is not attributable to the water levels of the Nilstandsmarken listed here directly. It is therefore unlikely that it was in the details of Nilmarken to particularly high Nile floods, especially since in no other epoch an accumulation of those mentioned here - on average every 200 years - extremely high water levels is occupied.


Assumptions, explain the fluctuating levels of the Nile flood due to historical changes in sedimentation values ​​could be refuted by archaeological holes. With the Nile flood sedimentation of the Nilschlammes in valleys was not automatically connected, contrary to popular opinion. Rather, determine variable factors such as flow rate, tidal volume, composition of Schwemmpartikel of the Nile and the level of the Mediterranean, whether sedimentation takes place. In particular, the varying heights of the Mediterranean cause the so-called " thalasso static behavior " of the Nile.

A low sea level prevents heaping up of sediments due to the higher flow rate of the Nile; in extreme cases, even this factor results in a decrease of sediment layers. At a high sea level, the opposite effect occurs and there are increased deposits instead. According to the findings, there is the finding that the Mediterranean for the period from the third millennium BC, had a low level until the first century AD and, therefore, in this era hardly took place sediments. The result proves that the phase of intensive embankment about 3000 BC ended. The levels found in the region of Kumma Alluvialbodenniveau of about eight meters also shows little change compared to the present in the Middle Kingdom deposition height.

Climatic changes

Meteorological and climatic anomalies have not been established for the period of the Middle Kingdom. Hydrological measures that could explain such a discrepancy of Kumma values ​​are not clearly provable. Barbara Bell suggested that increased rainfall in the region Atbara and the Eastern Sahara were responsible for the different values ​​in this period.

However, studies have shown that such scenarios would not disproportionately impact on Ancient Egypt, as related excessive tidal waves Ancient Egypt is not reached, although the information in this development close Kumma initially posted.

Topographic location

Another possible explanation of the topographic location of Kumma was called. Some Egyptologists argued that the different values ​​are based on the presence of a rock emerging in the region Kumma so that a traffic jam effect resulted. In later times, this additional obstacle was reduced by erosion, which would have had a lower back pressure result. This assumption turns out after closer examination in the context of " erosion effect " as untenable.

George Reisner hypothesized by collapsing rock outcrops in the region Semna and Kumma. Archaeological campaigns confirm Reisner theory to the effect that in fact a rock wall collapsed between the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom in cataract area. Similar incidents in the construction of the Aswan High Dam demonstrate changes in flood heights at already small deviations of the riverbed. Nevertheless Reisner explanation scenario is partially as a whole not judged convincing.

Time of the Nile flood

On a stele. In the 23rd year of the reign of Amenemhat III dated, the highest water level for 23 Schemu IV is indicated. In addition, there is a Nilstandsmarke from Semna for selbiges year. Should refer to the information Kumma the stele, the Nile end of October, its highest level reached by Kumma requires the tidal wave about four days to reach the Nilometers in Elephantine in conversion of data of the ancient Egyptian calendar in Kumma; from there about nine more days until the region of Memphis. In effect, this means that in Memphis, the highest water level about on New Year's first Achet I ( mid-November) would have occurred, and begun the descent of the Nile flood in late November. A so late Nile flood is otherwise occupied during the entire ancient Egyptian history as well as any other records to the present. The context of origin and the topographical level of the stele is also unknown.

Christian Leitz cites two examples of extremely belated Nile floods due to very rarely occurring weather events that occurred in the 19th century. In 1851 was in the region of Memphis / Cairo from August 25 to September 5, the Nile in the meantime by almost a meter, before a second tidal wave began to reach the maximum after about 14 days at the end of September. Four years later, the level fell during the flood of the Nile until the 10th of September at exceptional 150 centimeters before also followed the second tidal wave. The maximum of the Nile flood came over to 1851 about 16 days later, a mid-October.

Possible construction of a dam

The Jean Vercoutter repeatedly advocated argumentation, most recently in 1994, is based on the construction of a dam, which under Sesostris III. and Amenemhat III. was built on the rock sill located at Kumma and caused a damming of the Nile floods. The of Sesostris III. and Amenemhat III. prompted Nubia project, which had a better navigability of Nilabschnittes above Semna goal could provide a possible reason for the differing data of Nilhöhen. The technical possibilities to implement such a complex project, were definitely present.

In the reign of Amenemhat III. falls a similar mission, had by regulating the supply of water into the " Lake Moeris " a supply of new land for agriculture to a conclusion. As a further indication of the construction of a dam, the Nilmessungen be even considered that only from the reign of Amenemhat III. call those different values ​​of Nilfluthöhen. A historical- archaeological evidence is still lacking, so no final assessment of this assumption is possible.