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Title: Egyptian corn-mummies
Author: Centrone, M. C.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2005
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This research focuses on the study of Egyptian corn-mummies. The aim is to systematically record and analyse this class of objects in terms of form, decoration, representational theme, archaeological and cultural context, chronology and use. The present catalogue comprising 91 specimens (over 10 of which have not been previously studied) makes it possible to define the artefacts as mummiform objects, 35-50 cm long, made from a mixture of earth and grain, wrapped in resin-soaked linen bandages and often provided with Osirian wax mask and four small packages interpreted as the Sons of Horus. The mummies, identified as representation of Osiris, are commonly placed in decorated wooden falcon-headed coffins which are the main key for dating the objects to a period between the late Third Intermediate Period and the early Ptolemaic Period. Tehne, Meydum, El-Sheik Fadl, Tuna el-Gebel and Wady Qubbanet el-Qirud are the necropolises where the corn-mummies have been found. They have been chosen in view of the strong association of Orisis with the local cult. These data form the basis of the interpretation in the light of literary, pictorial and archaeological related evidence, associated religious beliefs and symbolic concepts. Corn-mummies illustrate the complex relationship between grain, embodying the idea of renewal as living substance whose life and death follows a cyclic pattern, and the notion of rejuvenation through the figure of Osiris. The sprouting of the grain represents a striking manifestation of the forces of rebirth and growth under the control of Osiris, the imperishable principle of life. It follows that the process of assembling grain and earth in the shape of Osiris ought to be considered not as a mere process of manufacturing grain packages but as a ritual involving the preservation of the cosmic cycle of death and rebirth, the maintenance of the Creative Order.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available