The introduction of writing, the development of a prestigious decorative system, and the centralisation of both by the royal court reveal that the decisive process of state formation resulted in the definition of a new meaningful system of values and cultural models. In this regard, the world of the deities represents one of the central fields for high-cultural production, reception and circulation of visual and written items. While the social setting for religious display and performances are difficult to reconstruct in detail, artistic and symbolic forms remain crucial for understanding early configurations of values and beliefs. The artefacts and media through which such ideas are distributed bring material culture into discussion and allow the significance of religion’s entangled relationship with objects and the material world to be addressed. This article sets a short review of Early Dynastic evidence against a discussion on the meaning and position of gods within Egyptian society. Three aspects are discussed to explain such points and emphasize the theoretical value in modelling configurations and gaps in the archaeological record: 1) patterns of depiction; 2) patterns of (inter)action; 3) patterns of aggregation. They are intended to show how sophisticated the manipulation and exploitation of symbolic structures were, and how consciously relations with the divine were built and expressed, though with different levels of restriction.

Egyptian Gods in Early State. Forms and Contexts of Presentation / Colonna, Angelo. - (2020), pp. 133-150. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Sixth International Conference "Origin of the State. Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt", Vienna, 10th - 15th September 2017 tenutosi a Vienna.

Egyptian Gods in Early State. Forms and Contexts of Presentation

Angelo Colonna
2020

Abstract

The introduction of writing, the development of a prestigious decorative system, and the centralisation of both by the royal court reveal that the decisive process of state formation resulted in the definition of a new meaningful system of values and cultural models. In this regard, the world of the deities represents one of the central fields for high-cultural production, reception and circulation of visual and written items. While the social setting for religious display and performances are difficult to reconstruct in detail, artistic and symbolic forms remain crucial for understanding early configurations of values and beliefs. The artefacts and media through which such ideas are distributed bring material culture into discussion and allow the significance of religion’s entangled relationship with objects and the material world to be addressed. This article sets a short review of Early Dynastic evidence against a discussion on the meaning and position of gods within Egyptian society. Three aspects are discussed to explain such points and emphasize the theoretical value in modelling configurations and gaps in the archaeological record: 1) patterns of depiction; 2) patterns of (inter)action; 3) patterns of aggregation. They are intended to show how sophisticated the manipulation and exploitation of symbolic structures were, and how consciously relations with the divine were built and expressed, though with different levels of restriction.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1566077
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