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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54158
Doc. No:TL24112
Call number:‭3292068‬
Main Entry:Joshua Aaron Roberson
Title & Author:The Book of the Earth: A study of ancient Egyptian symbol -systems and the evolution of New Kingdom cosmographic modelsJoshua Aaron Roberson
College:University of Pennsylvania
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:1071
Abstract:The Book of the Earth belongs to the genre of ancient Egyptian compositions known as "Underworld Books," depicting the locales and beings encountered by the sun god during his nightly travels. The Book of the Earth was employed exclusively in royal burial chambers during Egypt's Ramessid Period (Dynasties 19-20). Following the dissolution of the New Kingdom (c. 1081 BC), elements from the book began to appear in private contexts, continuing in use through Greco-Roman Period, with the latest known exemplar dating to the first century of the Common Era. The present study represents the first comprehensive treatment of all currently known texts and images associated with the Book of the Earth and includes examinations of the book's architectural contexts, iconography, orthography, and grammar, in addition to the complete transcription, transliteration, and translation of all related texts. An examination of the architectural context and iconography of the primary New Kingdom corpus has revealed a series of criteria by which the Book of the Earth appears originally to have been differentiated from other Underworld compositions. The distribution of this material suggests that the supposed "book" actually consisted of a series of modular tableaux selected on a more or less ad hoc basis, organized consistently into a bi-partite composition. This composition, in conjunction with certain celestial representations, was intended to transform the sarcophagus chamber into a functional model of the Egyptian akhet, the locus of solar rebirth from which the deceased hoped to affect his or her own perpetual resurrection. As the book made the transition from royal to private burial contexts, various abbreviated arrangements suitable for use upon a single wall surface, papyrus, etc., came to replace the more elaborate arrangements found earlier in the New Kingdom. In these later recensions, the directionality of the composition and its association with the horizon, etc., were preserved in the prominence given to images of the double lion Aker and other centrally placed, symmetrical tableaux.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Language, literature and linguistics; Ancient; Book of the Earth; Cosmographic models; Egyptian; Funerary architecture; Mortuary religion; New Kingdom; Underworld books; Ancient languages; Religious history; Archaeology; 0289:Ancient languages; 0324:Archaeology; 0320:Religious history
Added Entry:University of Pennsylvania