Widmaier Verlag Hamburg

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Die altägyptische Kultur hat ein reiches archäologisches Erbe an Texten und Bildern hinterlassen, deren Bedeutung sich häufig erst unter Berücksichtigung ihrer räumlichen Dimension erschliesst. Der vorliegende Band widmet sich dem Zusammenspiel textueller und visueller Perspektiven in der Analyse ägyptischer Denkmäler und deren räumlicher Verortung und greift damit einen Schwerpunkt der epigraphischen und archäologischen Forschung Susanne Bickels auf. «Text-Bild-Objekte im archäologischen Kontext» entfaltet diese Forschungsperspektive in 17 Beiträgen, vom Alten Reich bis ins 19. Jahrhundert und von Nubien bis in die Schweiz.

English abstract:

Ancient Egypt has bequeathed us a rich archaeological heritage of texts and images. Their meaning often becomes apparent only when their spatial dimension is taken into account. Informed by Susanne Bickel's epigraphic and archaeological research, the present volume focuses on the interplay of textual and visual perspectives in the analysis of Egyptian monuments and their spatial location. «Text-Bild-Objekte im archäologischen Kontext» unfolds this research perspective in 17 contributions, that combine text, image and spatial context, intended to describe both the contents and the methodology. The thematic spectrum of the contributions ranges from the Old Kingdom to the 19th century and from Nubia to Switzerland.
Tabula Gratulatoria
Susanne Bickels Publikationen
David A. Aston,
Putting One's Feet Up Under The Palm Trees: Some Examples of Ceramic Sculpture from Tell el-Dab‘a Locus 81
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This paper discusses some unusual pieces of ceramic sculpture from Tell el-Dab‘a which possibly date to the Middle Kingdom. The first shows a pair of feet mounted on a plinth, and presumably broken from a standing statue, whilst the others represent palmiform columns, probably parts of stands.
Tamás A. Bács,
On the Military Themes of a Group of Twentieth Dynasty Figural Ostraca
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During his excavations in the Valley of the Kings pursued between 1880 and 1899, G. Daressy recovered some three hundred hieroglyphic, hieratic and figural ostraca from the debris of two royal tombs, a hundred from Ramesses IX’s (KV 6) and the double of this from that of Ramesses VI (KV 9). In the case of the latter and with a noticeable difference in the usual proportions typical of such find groups, two-thirds of the ostraca were figural ones of various types. Among the subjects depicted on these ostraca many cannot be easily correlated with either the official work or the private life of the artisans of Deir el-Medina producing them. Such for instance include several pieces from KV 9 (Ramesses VI), and less from KV 6 (Ramesses IX) that relate to the theme of the “Victorious king” that in effect belongs to the repertoire of (royal) temple decoration, rather than that of royal tombs. Forming thus two discrete groups of sketch pieces, the specific purposes that they may have been made for are suggested here.
Julia Budka,
Bedeutung in Kobalt – Überlegungen zu den blaubemalten Gefäßen des Neuen Reiches
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“Meaning in cobalt – some thoughts on blue-painted pottery vessels of the New Kingdom”
The diagnostic properties of the so-called blue-painted pottery that is attested over a short period during the Egyptian New Kingdom (c. 1430–1140 BCE) are the blue colour (derived from a cobalt aluminate pigment), a wide range of (mostly floral) decorative motifs, and the extravagant fancy shapes of the vessels. The models for the elaborate shapes and designs of these vessels were various types of plants and flowers, such as the blue lotus, as well as the floral wreaths traditionally used to decorate ceramic vessels during festive occasions. Today, these blue-painted vessels are highly valued by modern researchers for their aesthetic qualities, but how might the ancient Egyptians have valued them? Their blue colour and frequent floral motifs seem to signify the blue lotus and its associations with rebirth and re-creation. This paper looks at the role of colour in Egyptian ceramics as a way of visualizing notions of creation and cosmogony. Problems of stylistic analysis are discussed and the potential of visual studies of painted ceramics in Egypt is highlighted.
Jean-Luc Chappaz,
Un inaccessible Eldorado?
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“An inaccessible Eldorado?“
This article examines an unpublished letter written by the Egyptologist Édouard Naville in 1899. The letter concerns a proposal to a Geneva bank about an agricultural investment in the Fayoum, and this article also briefly examines numerous other contemporary investments made in Egypt by Swiss expatriates, many of which led to disillusion. During this period, other less economically ambitious expatriates (mostly artisans) also engaged in more modest undertakings while in Egypt. Many returned after their time abroad with small archaeological collections, the value and prestige of which is often overestimated by their heirs. The authenticity of many of these objects often remains to be demonstrated.
Philippe Collombert,
Portrait du Grand Prêtre d’Amon Bakenkhonsou en restaurateur: À propos de la stèle Luxor Abu el-Gud n° 37
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“Portrait of the high priest of Amun Bakenkhonsu as a restorer (stela Luxor Abu el-Gud n° 37)”
This article deals with the stela erected in Karnak by the high priest of Amun Bakenkhonsu II, in year 4 of Sethnakht. A new philological study and a contextualization of the events described in the stela are proposed.
Robert J. Demarée,
An Epistolary Exercise Behind a Royal Portrait
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It is a great honour to be able to pay a small tribute to a dear colleague who has contributed so much to our knowledge about the history of the Valley of the Kings and its ancient noble “inhabitants”.
Andreas Dorn,
Die älteste Darstellung des Anfangsbildes vom Buch vom Tage/Livre du Jour
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“The Oldest Representation of the Initial Image of the Book of the Day”
In 2003, the University of Basel discovered in the Valley of the Kings a fragment of a sculptor’s exercise. Once reunited with another fragment of the same piece found in 1905/06 by Theodore M. Davis, this new fragment permitted the identification of the oldest representation of the opening scene of the Book of the Day/Livre du Jour. Dating to the second half of the 19th Dynasty, the scene shown in the sculptor’s exercise differs from younger images of the Book of the Day, whose “canonical” forms are first apparent in the decorations of the tomb of Ramesses VI (KV 9). This newly identified representation of the Book of the Day can thus be used to argue against a positivistic dating of this/the netherworld books on the basis of their first attestation in a royal tomb. Instead, it reveals an earlier stage in the development of the visual representation of the Book of the Day, one that precedes the versions executed in the tombs of Ramesses VI and Ramesses IX. Furthermore, it allows us to establish the figure of Nut, holding the sun disk in front of her, as well as of the sun disk itself, as central elements of the opening scene of the Book of the Day.
Kathrin Gabler & Matthias Müller,
A Vizier’s (Maybe Not So) New Pieces of Furniture in the Renaissance Era: The Drawings and the Texts of P. Turin Cat. 2034 in Context
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The two sides of P. Turin Cat. 2034 show two templates for different pieces of furniture. This paper presents the almost completely preserved papyrus with its drawings and short hieratic inscriptions for the first time. On the basis of the different dates recorded on the papyrus, it can be dated to the late 20th Dynasty, probably to the reign of Ramesses XI. The papyrus offers insights into craftsmanship and the production of furniture at the end of the Ramesside period, as well as new information about two viziers at the dawn of the wHm msw.t era.
José M. Galán & Lucía Díaz-Iglesias Llanos,
The Overseer of the Treasury Djehuty in TT 11, Speos Artemidos, and Deir el-Bahari
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Djehuty, the “overseer of the treasury” and “overseer of works” during the joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III, took an active role on contemporary royal projects, as would be expected. The inscriptions and scenes in his tomb-chapel, TT 11, refer to the specific projects that he supervised and the responsibilities he assumed. Some of the roles that he exerted can be discerned in the royal monuments themselves, notably his involvement in the refurbishment and embellishment of a number of local temples in Middle Egypt, as well as the reckoning of the marvels from Punt that arrived in Thebes in year 9. Djehuty’s engagement in these endeavours connects TT 11 with Hatshepsut’s temples at Speos Artemidos and Deir el-Bahari, where private and royal spheres were brought together in the composition of monumental inscriptions and scenes.
Rita Gautschy,
The Karnak Clepsydra: Votive Gift or Utilitarian Object?
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The earliest preserved clepsydra or water-clock known to us stems from the reign of pharaoh Amenhotep III (14th century BCE). The clock itself was discovered during the excavation of the Cachette in Karnak by Georges Legrain, and this contribution considers the possible uses of the clock in the Temple of Amun in Karnak. It does so on the basis of its outer decoration, inner scales, and find context, as well as sources of further information about the daily rituals performed in the Temple of Amun, and inscriptions on later water-clocks. Finally, an attempt is made to assess whether the clock was necessary to the performance of daily cultic rituals in the temple, or whether it may simply have been a valuable votive gift (of limited practical use) donated to the temple by pharaoh Amenhotep III.
Hanna Jenni,
Observing the Layout of Hieroglyphs and Remarks on the Paronomastic Superlatives in Egyptian
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Earlier translations of a passage from Asyut tomb IV/N12.2 of the Nomarch Khety II of the First Intermediate Period are reassessed. It is argued that the arrangement of the hieroglyphs in columns and the semantics and usages of the paronomastic superlative in Egyptian allow for an alternative interpretation of a key expression in the text.
Bernard Mathieu,
A Rhetorical Pattern in the Pyramid Texts: Concentrism or Concentric Construction
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A highly structured rhetorical pattern occurs in several spells in the Pyramid Texts. Adopting the terminology of recent studies dealing with other cultural areas, this pattern is labelled “concentrism” or “concentric construction” here. A first set of investigations shows that this structure also exists in later texts. It was a rhetorical device deliberately employed by Egyptian scribes to highlight what they considered as dogmatic statements.
Florence Mauric-Barberio,
Décor inachevé, marqueurs d’orientation symbolique et noms de salle in situ dans la tombe de Séthi Ier
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“Unfinished Decor, Symbolic Orientation Markers, and Room Names in the Tomb of Seti I”
The tomb of Seti I (KV 17) is the first royal tomb to have been completely decorated but there is some evidence to suggest that the complete decoration of the tomb was not originally intended; alongside other indicators, unfinished decoration may be useful in determining the order in which the different rooms were decorated. Iconographic elements associated with the north and south, depicted (also for the first time) along the axis of KV 17, indicate the tomb’s symbolic orientation to the west. It is common knowledge that the different hours of the Book of Imy-Duat are linked theoretically with the four cardinal directions. In this respect, it seems that the symbolic orientation of KV 17 rather than its actual orientation may help explain the ways in which some divisions of the book were distributed in the spatial context of the tomb. A cursive inscription still visible in situ, as well as a hieratic inscription, written on a fragment now preserved in the British Museum (EA 884) give the name of the room to which they are related. In both cases, the name refers to the decoration.
Hans-Hubertus Münch,
Binden und Entflechten? Bemerkungen zu den Beschädigungen des smA-tAwj-Motivs an den Thronen des Tutanchamun
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“Binding and dissolving? Remarks on the damage to the smA-tAwj motive on the thrones of Tutankhamun”
The present article deals with the damages of the smA-tAwj motive at the thrones of Tutankhamun. It is suggested that these demolitions are the result of a ritual action at the death of the king that symbolised the end of his reign.
Andréas Stauder,
La forme poétique de l’Enseignement de Sehetepibré
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“The Poetic Structure of the Teaching of Sehetepibre”
This contribution examines the poetic structure of the short version of The Loyalist Instructions preserved in the stela inscription of Sehetepibre (Amenemhat III). The structure of this text is extraordinarily dense, while this shorter version of the text appears to be primary; the longer version (or Instructions of Kairsou) appears to represent a secondary elaboration. The composition, which is wholly symmetrical, represents an extreme example of concentrism. Its poetic structure thereby draws focus to the loyalist relationship and instantiates an iconic representation of a centripetal monarchy.

On étudie la forme poétique de la version brève de l’Enseignement loyaliste, inscrite sur la stèle de Sehetepibré (temp. Amenemhat III). À qui se laisse prendre au jeu, la densité de cette forme se révèle extraordinaire. Il suit, d’abord, que cette version brève est primaire, la version longue (ou Enseignement de Kairsou) une élaboration seconde. Surtout, la composition, symétrique à tous niveaux, constitue un cas extrême de focalisation par concentrisme. La forme poétique focalise la relation loyaliste et est figuration iconique d’un ordre monarchique centripète.
Deborah Sweeney,
The akh iqer Stela University College London 14228 Reconsidered – a Sign of Gratitude?
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This article re-examines the akh iqer n Ra stela University College London 14228. Its donor’s title connects it to Deir el-Medîna. Although its iconography is unusual for the local akh iqer stela tradition, most of its features nonetheless can be found on other such stela from that site. One possible donor, amongst many, is Merysekhmet (iii), also known as Payiri; if so, this donation shows a hitherto disreputable member of the tomb-builders’ community in a new and positive light.
Melanie Wasmuth,
Statuen im öffentlichen Raum als Memory Box: Gedanken zu einem Interpretationsexperiment
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The paper “Publicly accessible statues as Memory Box: thoughts on an interpretation experiment” addresses the statues and especially ensembles of statues of high officials of the 18th Dynasty, which were erected in various Egyptian temples and to a lesser extent the Theban necropolis. Their long-term (semi-)public display closely connects the depicted person, the creator and the viewer of the image in their contemporary context of erection and beyond. This socio-cultural dimension of the statues and other primary monuments of self-presentation is still heavily understudied. The contribution at hand draws attention to the research approach “Memory Box”, which has been developed by a Finnish-German team in 2011–2013 (Aali, Perämäki & Sarti 2014) to focus on the syn- and diachronic interdependence of the materiality and the social contexts of items of collective cultural memory. In honour of her jubilee and in thanks for her support of my cross-cultural studies, I dedicate the following sketch of the potential of this research approach for interpreting 18th Dynasty (private) statuary to Susanne Bickel.