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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pagliari: Royal Palaces

Pagliari, Giulia (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Function and significance of ancient Egyptian royal palaces from the Middle Kingdom to the Saite period: a lexicographical study and its possible connection with the archaeological evidence.


The architectural analysis of archaeologically known royal palaces in Egyptological studies has shown that ancient Egyptian royal palaces with similar setting might have served similar function. The differences recognizable in the few royal structures known from the Middle Kingdom onwards must reflect differences in the conception that was at the basis of their construction and the activities performed within each site. Such architectural variety corresponds to the complexity of the terminology associated with Egyptian palaces. There are at least five terms for “palace” that have been identified in the Egyptian vocabulary - 'h, pr-'3, pr-nswt, h_nw and stp-s3 – the exact meaning of the majority of which needs to be specified. The present lexicographical study aims to understand what each word would have been for by analyzing its use in different contexts: private titles, official inscriptions or literary texts. The final attempt of this work is to identify a possible correspondence between such terminology and the surviving structures. As an example of a possible application of the lexicographical study to the archaeological evidence, the word ‘h, referring in texts to a royal structure with ritual function, might be related to palaces with a tripartite and axial ordering comparable with temples.

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