Date of Award
Master of Arts
Egyptian Art and Archaeology
Ancient Egyptian art often includes depictions of the act of smelling and of smell-carrying objects. Though the act of smelling and the objects themselves are visibly recognizable, both underline the presence of an invisible force, that of smell. In this analysis, Iargue that the visible presentation of scent-rich environments in Theban tomb wall paintings from the Eighteenth Dynasty was meant to mark divine presence, another invisible force. Textual evidence from mortuary literature reveals that the Egyptian gods could be identified by their smell. Thus, if the deceased were to take on this smell (i.e. identity) of the gods, the resultant change in identity would facilitate a successful transition into the afterlife. In addition, smell may also be linked with the "breath of life,"which could be invoked to call the deceased back to the living world to receive offerings.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Price, Robyn Sophia, ""Your Scent is as Their Scent." The Invisible Presence in New Kingdom Egyptian Art" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1127.