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 Miniaci, 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.