From Predynastic Reality to Dynastic Imagery:
The Language of Animals at Hierakopolis, Egypt
In the iconography of Predynastic Upper Egypt, animals play a dominant role in conveying messages of power and control. Their distinctive and stylized images appear in various media across Upper Egypt, including pottery, palettes, figurines and rock art . At the major predynastic site of Hierakonpolis, excavations have shown that the ruling elite took the language of animals more literally than elsewhere: they not only portrayed a variety of animals, they also captured and kept a range of actual living species, some for use in ritual sacrifices, others evidently for display in life and death, ultimately burying them around their own impressive tombs. This remarkable menagerie included elephants, aurochsen, hippos, hartebeest, crocodiles, leopard and baboons. These large and exotic species known first or only at Hierakonpolis must have made a strong impression because in the social, political and artistic reformulation that accompanied the formation of the Dynastic state, these animals become prominent components In messages of power and reverence. In this talk we will explore the uses and meanings of animals at Hierakonpolis and their influence on the development of Ancient Egyptian civilization.
April 23 at 1:00 pm
✎ Webinar Registration Required (link forthcoming)