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Durham e-Theses
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Materia Magica Aegyptiae: The ancient Egyptian offering table as funerary landscape, ritual utensil, and unifier of

LUNDIUS, ESMERALDA,IRENE (2022) Materia Magica Aegyptiae: The ancient Egyptian offering table as funerary landscape, ritual utensil, and unifier of
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Founded on a sample of 387 thoroughly studied cult items from museum collections in Europe, the US and Egypt, as well as 90 Asyutian offering tables, most of which were studied in situ, this thesis offers a diachronic analysis of the design, use, context, and provenance of ancient Egyptian offering tables and similar materia magica. A hands-on description of artefacts, including offering tables, soul-houses, offering trays and amulets, places them within a time- and geographic specific context, and relates their function and design to written and pictorial sources, tomb architecture, means of production, as well as ritual practice and religious/mythological notions. By applying an in-depth analysis of single, specific items, an attempt is made to reconstruct their function and meaning for users within a specific socio-cultural, geographical, and temporal setting. The unifying role of water within the Egyptian landscape and culture is highlighted. A conclusion is reached indicating how offering tables over time mirrored their socio-economic and religious context. From being a simple tool used during offering rituals, the offering table eventually became multi-functional and an essential element within ancient Egyptian religious practice – an embodiment of the entire funerary/ancestral cult, becoming a magical, transformative object in its own right.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Egyptology, ancient Egyptian magical practice, funerary archaeology, material culture, funerary landscape, ancient Egyptian funerary ritual
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Archaeology, Department of
Thesis Date:2022
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:31 Oct 2022 12:48

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