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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Roeten: The certainty of change (Giza mastaba deoration)

Roeten, Leonardus Hendricus (2011)
The certainty of change :
a research into the interactions of the decoration on the western walls of the cult chapels of the mastabas at Giza during the Old Kingdom
Doctoral thesis
Department of Egyptology, Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University

During the Old Kingdom it became apparent that the everlastingness of the cult for the deceased was untenable. This necessitated the development of solutions and in order to describe these, a new methodology was developed which quantified the chronological development and all the aspects of interactions of the decoration themes on the total western wall. The basic premise is that there the two main themes (the table scene and the tomb owner with family), although both of them of cultic significance, are “never” placed together on the western wall. The result is that themes are either “cultic” (connected with the daily life or the sustenance) or “non-cultic” (unifying or signalling/guiding). Further research learns that the developments on the elements of the western wall result in a decrease of the importance of the actual supply, while the concomitant increase of the importance of the magical supply is basically visible in the transfer of the offering list, the offering formula and the table scene to the western wall. The signalling, inviting and guiding of passers-by has always been an important function, but one of the consequences of the change in mode of supply is the loss of the guiding function on the western wall. The conclusion is that the methodology has to be applied to all of the decoration in order to have an overall view of the changes and their interactions.

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