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Lecture 4

NMC101H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Social Stratification, Luser, Cubit

Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
Course Code
Katja Goebs

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Sept. 24 – Land of the Pharaohs Lecture 5
Problems in establishing an “Absolute Chronology”
- co-regencies (two kings at the same time stating their own history)
- King lists sometimes left out rulers (women, Akhenaton, etc.)
- Incomplete sources
- Cyclical time-keeping
- Contemporary dynasties during intermediate periods
Distinct material cultures (Predynastic) in Delta and Valley
 progressively fuse
Pre-Dynastic cultures
- Sedentary?
- Agriculture/organization?
- Animal husbandry?
- Burial practices?
Non sedentary  sedentary
No social stratification  social stratification
More and more animals
Egyptian Art
Egyptian art appears remarkably uniform:
 Style and forms seem to change little
The Artist and his Work
In general:
- qualities such as individuality and originality NOT of much concern (until,
perhaps, Akhenaten):
ofacial features of reigning Pharaoh used
o“Personal Touch”  name inscription
- statues, reliefs monuments “brough to life” by means of “Opening of the
Mouth Ritual”  “House” for owner’s “soul”
oEgyptian art had practical purpose
oWas indispensable
- Often  not meant to be seen ( funerary)
o NO “l’art pour l’art”
Little known about artists  with few exceptions works unsigned
- chance of preservation ( head of Nefertiti found in workshop of sculptor
- execution of elements
Logistics of tomb-decoration:
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