Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

1103

Date

2014

Date of Award

4-30-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Art History

Concentration

Egyptian Art and Archaeology

Committee Chair

Nigel Strudwick

Committee Member

Lorelei Corcoran

Committee Member

Fred Albertson

Abstract

It has often been assumed that the "mutilation" of animate hieroglyphic signs in ancient Egypt was meant to protect the deceased from harm in a tomb context. Using a semiotic perspective, this study will encourage a re-evaluation of this dominant explanation. The Egyptian hieroglyph can be interpreted on both iconic and symbolic levels, making a unilateral reading of any given sign unlikely. "Mutilation" has been expressed in many different ways throughout Egyptian history, from both outside and inside a funerary context, and to several different ends. This study will examine the "mutilation" of bird-signs in the late Middle Kingdom and Thirteenth Dynasty, in particular, to demonstrate that there could be many possible explanations for the practice of "mutilation," including: the provisioning of food for the afterlife, the adaptation of fashionable imagery, or as an oblique reference to the dismemberment of Osiris.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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