Daniel Soliman

Seminar om Mellemste Rige

Mødedato: Lørdag d. 11/11, 2017, kl. 11-16
Lokale: 22.0.11

Foredrag 1 kl. 11-12.15:
Who made the Middle Kingdom?, v. Stephen Quirke, Edwards Professor of Egyptian Archaeology and Philology, UCL London

In one of the most remarkable art historical studies on any period of ancient Egypt, Hans Gerhard Evers labelled the Middle Kingdom as a Staat aus dem Stein (1929).

His title instantly conveys the impact of the imposing statues of kings and their court, and Evers showed an equal appreciation for other imagery and materials, such as the dramatic faience figures of roaring wild animals. His more inquisitive eye opens the door to a different Nile environment, in which the monumental landscape emerges out of the earth through specific sets of skills, deployed by a wider and more diverse range of people over time. Where, then, can we locate the motors of these skills in the society of their time?

Much of the figurative art we see in museums was destined for liminal spaces – temples within enclosures, and cemeteries in the low desert. Yet these zones may have attracted only special instances of production, marginal to the main arena of ancient life. If we search instead for skill, artistry, among people in villages and towns, a different source of creative power might emerge, on the riverbank itself. In the ancient Egyptian language, the word wekhret means both dockyard and artist workshop.

In this talk, I follow the lead from this clue to rethink our image of ancient Egyptian society and art, and our chances of recognising its generative powers.

Frokostpause kl. 12.15-13.00 (medbring selv mad og drikke)

Foredrag 2 kl. 13.00-14.15:
Stylish Statuary,
v. Daniel Soliman, Postdoc, ToRS, Københavns Universitet

Numerous pieces of Egyptian sculpture in museum collections do not bare any inscriptions and are unprovenanced. By examining the style and the iconography of the sculptures, they can often be dated or even assigned to a specific individual.

For example, the famous greywacke head in the Glyptotek is attributed to Amenemhat III, based on careful comparison to securely dated statues of that king. Indeed, examination of stylistic and iconographic details can help contextualize sculpture, as will be illustrated by statues representing kings of the late Middle Kingdom. However, the study of iconography is based solely on material that survives, and at times it can be misleading.

This becomes particularly clear when we examine the two colossal seated statues, Cairo JE 45975 and JE 45976, which date to the late Middle Kingdom but were reworked under Ramesses II. Despite a commonly accepted iconographic dating criterion, I will argue that they were originally made for king Senwosret III.

Pause kl. 14.15-14.45

PindsvinForedrag 3 kl. 14.45-16.00:
A world in miniature: moulding images in the Middle Kingdom Egypt (2050-1650 BC),
v. Gianluca Minici, Senior Researcher, University of Pisa

The imaginary world of ancient societies has been populated by a large number of images, which were often reproduced in small models and statuettes. A diagnostic category of objects for Middle Kingdom plastic arts is represented by small figurines made of faience.

Flodhest-ÆIN-1588These faience models -usually between 5 and 15 cm- portray a broad range of animals taken both from the wild fauna and from the domestic environment, as for example the famous roaring hippopotamus ÆIN 1588. They include also a limited range of human figures principally representing “dwarves” and female figures deprived of the lowest part of the legs, and composite animal-human creatures, such as Aha/Bes or Ipi/Taweret.

Faience figurines were often found together with other categories of objects, such as ivory tusks, cuboid rods and feeding cups, which have been interpreted as tools for the protection of mother and child during pregnancy and childbirth. A comparative approach with other Middle Kingdom images taken both from other sources of the material culture and visual representations will contribute to understand the reasons behind particular inclusion and seclusion of iconographic motives on the faience figurines.

Workmen’s marks at Deir el-Medina and the Valley of the Kings

CG24105

Mødedato: Torsdag d. 27/10 2016, kl. 19

Lokale: KUA 23.0.49

v. Daniel Soliman, Post-doctoral research fellow, ToRS, Københavns Universitet

The workmen who constructed the tombs of the royal family during the New Kingdom are very well attested. Much of their daily lives can be reconstructed thanks to the many objects discovered in and around the houses and tombs in the village where they lived, the site of Deir el-Medina.

In addition, a very large number of textual data about the tomb builders and their work has survived on ostraca from the village and the construction sites in the Valley of the Kings. The workmen therefore belong to one of the most studied communities of ancient Egypt.

It is less well known that every individual workman possessed a personal sign, an identity mark, which was often used as an indicator of personal property. Series of these identity marks were also inscribed on ostraca. Such ostraca were poorly understood by Egyptologists, but recent research has revealed much about the meaning and the date of these pieces.

This talk will discuss the usage of the marking system in the community of Deir el-Medina, and highlight the importance of the marks for the study of the construction of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Particularly interesting are the objects with identity marks from the Eighteenth Dynasty, a period which is less well documented.

 

Workmen’s marks at Deir el-Medina and the Valley of the Kings

CG24105

Mødedato: Torsdag d. 24/11 2016, kl. 17.30

Mødetid er kl. 17.20, døren låses!

Antikmuseet på Aarhus Universitet,
Victor Albecksvej, Århus C, bygning 414

v. Daniel Soliman, Post-doctoral research fellow, ToRS, Københavns Universitet

The workmen who constructed the tombs of the royal family during the New Kingdom are very well attested. Much of their daily lives can be reconstructed thanks to the many objects discovered in and around the houses and tombs in the village where they lived, the site of Deir el-Medina.

In addition, a very large number of textual data about the tomb builders and their work has survived on ostraca from the village and the construction sites in the Valley of the Kings. The workmen therefore belong to one of the most studied communities of ancient Egypt.

It is less well known that every individual workman possessed a personal sign, an identity mark, which was often used as an indicator of personal property. Series of these identity marks were also inscribed on ostraca. Such ostraca were poorly understood by Egyptologists, but recent research has revealed much about the meaning and the date of these pieces.

This talk will discuss the usage of the marking system in the community of Deir el-Medina, and highlight the importance of the marks for the study of the construction of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Particularly interesting are the objects with identity marks from the Eighteenth Dynasty, a period which is less well documented.