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Title: Manifestations of elite culture in Egypt's First Intermediate Period
Author: Godenho, Glenn
ISNI:       0000 0004 2670 9528
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis is an investigation into the inscriptional and archaeological contexts of Ancient Egyptian social display, with particular emphasis on the Late Old Kingdom First Intermediate Period. As a result of the political fragmentation of Egypt at the end of the Old Kingdom, the traditional role of royal patronage was demoted, and the role of individual self-reliance and-resource was privileged in elite self-presentations. At the same time a growing regionalisation of the expression of elite culture is visible from the late Old Kingdom onwards, particularly in terms of regional tomb development. Through investigation of funerary inscriptions, architecture, and material remains, my work seeks to demonstrate how individuals at this time intended to present themselves, exploring the social and political motivations behind their crafted landscapes. The primary case-study for the thesis is the tomb complex of Ankhtifi near Mo'alla (Upper Egypt, 40 km south of Luxor). It is a key tomb from the period, notably because its lengthy inscription and monumental size exemplify the developments in self-presentation at this time. The thesis examines Ankhtifi's arrangement of elements in his tomb complex, within the context of the local landscape, tracing the ways in which Ankhtifi inscribed himself into the landscape to meet political ends. It is evident that Ankhtifi, as local ruler, pursues a legitimation strategy that presents him functioning in many of the roles of the absent king. One manifestation of this is in the choice of rhetorical and verbal tropes in his biography, which serve as generic antecedents for Middle Kingdom Konigsnovelle. Archaeologically, Ankhtifi's tomb complex occupies a dominant position within the necropolis at Mo'alla. Recent fieldwork at the tomb by Liverpool University has produced results which have significantly augmented my research. Since 2002, epigraphic and excavation work, and survey of the wider necropolis have shown Ankhtifi's tomb to be a large, culturally significant complex which dominates the mortuary landscape. The monumental size, style and setting of his tomb complex within the necropolis is reminiscent of Old Kingdom pyramid complexes, albeit on an altered scale given Ankhtifi's status and available resources. Ankhtifi never overtly claimed kingsllip, so that his monumental and inscriptional self-presentation is that of a local ruler, and as such deals with regional concerns of his lifetime. The tomb complex is a monumentalisation of the landscape in order to construct and maintain social memory; a crafted landscape that can be understood in terms of the social and economic arrangements that existed in that place and at that time. The thesis therefore provides further insights into political and social life at a regional level during this period. It also details a specific case-study of how the social, ideological, and political transformations of the First Intermediate Period culminated in the patterns ofrulership and provincial control evident in the Middle Kingdom.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available