Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Tradition, innovation and archaism in ancient Egypt : manipulations in artistic design on 25th and 26th Dynasty coffins
Author: Williams, Allison Michele
ISNI:       0000 0004 7428 515X
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Thesis embargoed until 01 Aug 2023
Access from Institution:
This thesis is a presentation and discussion of relevant themes surrounding the iconography of coffins from the 25th and 26th Dynasties. These themes include key art design concepts familiar within the canon of ancient Egyptian art — tradition, innovation and archaism. The data set consists of 224 coffins, from Egypt, Europe, North America and the UK, predominantly of Theban origin, which are examined in depth in appendix 1. Chapter One introduces the aims and limitations of the thesis. It explores tradition, innovation and archaism, and how these concepts are embedded within the Egyptian sense of self. Chapter Two focuses on dating criteria. One objective of this thesis was to create a way of formulating relative chronology for coffins. The focus for relative chronology is on two prominent families. These families share a strong genealogical connection to earlier kings or God’s Wives of Amun, thus establishing historical anchors, allowing for an attempt at the dating of coffins without any archaeological context or further familial information. Another key objective also seeks to assess the efficacy of sequential dating through stylistic criteria. This is done through a model created to demonstrate a phasing system of iconography throughout family generations. Chapter Three presents a new typology that separates inner, middle and outer coffins through distinct structural and iconographic features. The analysis of gods and their iconography depicted upon 25th and 26th Dynasty coffins is examined, in order to ascertain patterns of design. Earlier preceding coffin types are presented, as model for the continuation of certain iconographic schemes. Stone coffins are offered as comparandum to ascertain the uniqueness of Theban wooden coffin decoration. Chapter Four explores northern material, used to demonstrate regional variation occurring in both the north and south, and also to highlight certain trends that are used in both. It also explores tradition, innovation and archaism, and how these concepts are then utilized in the analysis of coffin iconography. Each concept is in some way applied to the coffin design scheme. A distinct relationship exists between tomb decoration and coffins design, with similar elements of tradition, innovation and archaism present in tomb and coffin decoration. Coffins of this period act as a substitute when tombs are no longer available. This thesis offers a new perspective on coffin iconography. The genealogical records explored alongside key stylistic criteria facilitate a relative chronology, which can be used for undated coffins. A functional typology is established, and acts as an efficient referencing tool. A combination of tradition, innovation and archaism are present on many of the coffins, which demonstrates their interconnectivity. This connection shows the importance of these concepts in the expression of funerary culture. Coffins also act as a microcosm when placed within sets of two or more coffins. This microcosm highlights the importance of coffins as funerary equipment and how the exploration of the specific iconographic programs can help understand the funerary setting of the early Late Period.
Supervisor: Chauvet, Violaine ; Eyre, Christopher Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral