Date of Award
Master of Arts
Egyptian Art and Archaeology
First mentioned in Coffin Texts spells CT 1054 and CT 1166, the "Lake of Fire" motif is first illustrated in spell BD 126 of the Book of the Dead. Commonly depicted as a pool flanked by braziers or baboons in the New Kingdom (c. 1550-1069 B.C.), a new element emerges in the Twenty-first Dynasty (c. 1069-945 B.C.): blackened, outstretched, and limp human figures are depicted inside of the lake in the funerary papyri of Bakenmut and Nestanebtawy. This thesis attempts to contextualize these human figures by examining the relevant iconographic, textual, archaeological, and historical evidence. The inclusion of these figures, which represent the enemies of the gods/king, reflects a desire to eternally annihilate them, while simultaneously providing protection for the deceased from meeting a similar destiny.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Boyschou, Melissa, "Destruction by Fire: Interpreting the Lake of Fire Vignette from Two Twenty-First Dynasty Funerary Papyri" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 218.