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The afterlife of Egyptian statues: a cache of religious objects in the temple of Ptah at Karnak

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 September 2017

Guillaume Charloux*
Affiliation:
French-Egyptian Centre for the Study of the Temples of Karnak, Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, CNRS/USR 3172, BP 63, Luxor, Egypt
Christophe Thiers
Affiliation:
French-Egyptian Centre for the Study of the Temples of Karnak, Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, CNRS/USR 3172, BP 63, Luxor, Egypt
Mohammad Abd Al-Aziz
Affiliation:
French-Egyptian Centre for the Study of the Temples of Karnak, Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, CNRS/USR 3172, BP 63, Luxor, Egypt
Mona Ali Abady Mahmoud
Affiliation:
French-Egyptian Centre for the Study of the Temples of Karnak, Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, CNRS/USR 3172, BP 63, Luxor, Egypt
Stéphanie Boulet
Affiliation:
LabEx Archimede, University Paul-Valéry Monpellier 3, Site Saint Charles, Route de Mende, F-34199 Montpellier cedex 05, France
Camille Bourse
Affiliation:
French-Egyptian Centre for the Study of the Temples of Karnak, Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, CNRS/USR 3172, BP 63, Luxor, Egypt
Kevin Guadagnini
Affiliation:
French-Egyptian Centre for the Study of the Temples of Karnak, Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, CNRS/USR 3172, BP 63, Luxor, Egypt
Juliette Laroye
Affiliation:
French-Egyptian Centre for the Study of the Temples of Karnak, Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, CNRS/USR 3172, BP 63, Luxor, Egypt
Ahmed Mohammed Sayed ElNasseh
Affiliation:
French-Egyptian Centre for the Study of the Temples of Karnak, Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, CNRS/USR 3172, BP 63, Luxor, Egypt
*
*Author for correspondence (Email: guillaume.charloux@cnrs.fr)

Abstract

The relationship of statues to the deities they represent is reflected in the special treatments they were often accorded during and after their primary use and display. In 2014 an unusual favissa—an intentionally hidden cache of religious objects—was discovered in the temple of Ptah at Karnak in Egypt. Such caches are generally poorly documented and difficult to date. The favissa contained numerous fragmentary statuettes and figurines, including 14 representing Osiris, carefully arranged around a larger central statue of Ptah. By comparing this cache with evidence from other Egyptian favissae, a hypothesis is proposed to explain the creation of such caches: the Osirian burial of an artefact, in this case the deposition of the ‘deceased’ statue of the god Ptah and its assimilation with Osiris, the god of rebirth.

Type
Research
Information
Antiquity , Volume 91 , Issue 359 , October 2017 , pp. 1189 - 1204
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2017 

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