Egyptian Decrees, Biographies, Accounts and Formulae in the Age of the Pyramids : A Look at the people of the Old Kingdom through the written word -
The Philip Wickens' memorial lecture
Saturday 14 October 2017
Venue Oakwood Centre
By Dr Nigel Strudwick
While the first hieroglyphs may now go back to 3400 BC, it was in the Old Kingdom that the first continuous texts appeared. This lecture will have a look at the different types of text which exist from that time (except the Pyramid Texts). Old Kingdom kings left a number of decrees of special exemptions for temples, and these were well and truly set in stone and placed in the monuments they concern.
Any Egyptian official who could afford it made an elaborate tomb with inscriptions, which range from the straightforward expressions of wishes for offerings to self-laudatory and probably not very objective biographies. Egypt is also seen as the home of bureaucracy, and the Old Kingdom has left us the earliest accounts papyri, from Gebelein and Abusir, which show more ordinary people at work, their job rotas, and give some clues about the rituals which took place in the Abusir temples.
Nigel Strudwick is an Egyptologist whose interests lie in the Old Kingdom and in the archaeology and history of Thebes. He has worked in universities and museums, and has excavated on the West Bank of Thebes since 1984. He has published many books and articles on these topics, including publications of Theban tombs as well as more popular works such as Thebes in Egypt with Helen Strudwick.
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