Interpreting Graffiti in the Saqqara New Kingdom Necropolis as Expressions of Popular Customs and Beliefs
24 ноября 2021 года
10:03
Interpreting Graffiti in the Saqqara New Kingdom Necropolis as Expressions of Popular Customs and Beliefs
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Title: Interpreting Graffiti in the Saqqara New Kingdom Necropolis as Expressions of Popular Customs and Beliefs
Author, co-author: Van Pelt, W.P.; Staring, Nico
Abstract: Previous examinations of ancient Egyptian graffiti have focused on textual graffiti and developed interpretations specific to this class of evidence. In contrast, relatively few studies have considered the communicative power and meaning of figural graffiti, presumably because of the inherent challenges that this data set presents to academic research. To counterbalance the current emphasis on textual graffiti, this contribution examines graffiti making in the New Kingdom necropolis at Saqqara using an integrated approach taking in both textual and figural material. In accordance with the imagistic principle of Egyptian magic, the authors propose that certain types of figural graffiti may be regarded as pictorial prayers in their own right, intended to ensure the permanent presence of the graffitist in the tomb, or to protect and beatify the deceased in the afterlife. Since literacy is not a prerequisite for drawing a picture, the important question is raised of whether the production of figural graffiti expanded throughout the social scale or, like textual graffiti, was restricted to the elite and sub-elite.


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Interpreting Graffiti in the Saqqara New Kingdom Necropolis as Expressions of Popular Customs and Beliefs
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[en] Previous examinations of ancient Egyptian graffiti have focused on textual graffiti and developed interpretations specific to this class of evidence. In contrast, relatively few studies have considered the communicative power and meaning of figural graffiti, presumably because of the inherent challenges that this data set presents to academic research. To counterbalance the current emphasis on textual graffiti, this contribution examines graffiti making in the New Kingdom necropolis at Saqqara using an integrated approach taking in both textual and figural material. In accordance with the imagistic principle of Egyptian magic, the authors propose that certain types of figural graffiti may be regarded as pictorial prayers in their own right, intended to ensure the permanent presence of the graffitist in the tomb, or to protect and beatify the deceased in the afterlife. Since literacy is not a prerequisite for drawing a picture, the important question is raised of whether the production of figural graffiti expanded throughout the social scale or, like textual graffiti, was restricted to the elite and sub-elite.
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