Concepts in Middle Kingdom Funerary Culture presents a collection of archaeological and philological papers discussing how ancient Egyptians thought, and modern scholars may think, about Egyptian funerary practices of the early 2nd millennium BCE.
Targeting the concepts used by modern scholars, the papers address both general methodological questions of how concepts should be developed and used and more specific ones about the history and presuppositions behind particular Egyptological concepts. In so doing, the volume brings to the fore occasionally problematic intellectual baggage that have hindered understanding, as well highlighting new promising avenues of research in ancient Egyptian funerary culture in the Middle Kingdom and more broadly.
"New and insightful suggestions are made, many of which challenge the basic frames of reference of Western Egyptological study, from funerary practice to issues of identity. The methodological models should be of considerable interest to those studying aspects of the HB and ancient Levant related to funerary culture, where studies have often tended towards the etic."
-David Beadle, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 44.5 (2020)
Rune Nyord, dr.phil. (2010), is Assistant Professor of Ancient Egyptian Art and Archaeology at Emory University. He is the author numerous papers on ancient Egyptian language, religion, and art, as well as of the monograph Breathing Flesh (Museum Tusculanum, 2009).
“The volume’s contributors take a range of broadly emic approaches to challenging and reformulating etic concepts in studies of Middle Kingdom funerary culture. The seven essays do not disappoint in their variety and rigorous engagement with the archaeological record, after Nyord’s exploratory introduction which recognises both the difficulties and possibilities provided by applying emic models to an ancient culture (…) New and insightful suggestions are made, many of which challenge the basic frames of reference of Western Egyptological study, from funerary practice to issues of identity. The methodological models should be of considerable interest to those studying aspects of the HB and ancient Levant related to funerary culture, where studies have often tended towards the etic.”
- David Beadle, in Society for Old Testament Study Book List 2020
PrefaceList of Figures and Tables
1 Introduction: Egyptian and Egyptological ConceptsRune Nyord
2 Projection of Self in Middle Kingdom Tombs and CoffinsSusanne Bickel
3 The Concept of ‘Letters to the Dead’ and Egyptian Funerary CultureSylvie Donnat
4 How ‘Royal’ (and How ‘Mythical’) Are the Coffin Texts? Reflections on the Definition, Function, and Relativity of Some Etic Concepts in a Middle Kingdom Funerary Text CorpusKatja Goebs
5 How ‘Funerary’ Are the Coffin Texts?Alexandra von Lieven
6 Burial Demography in the Late Middle Kingdom: a Social PerspectiveGianluca Miniaci
7 The Concept of ka between Egyptian and Egyptological FrameworksRune Nyord
8 Who Am I? An Emic Approach to the So-Called ‘Personal Texts’ in Egyptian ‘Funerary Literature’Harco Willems Index
All interested in ancient Egyptian funerary practices, particularly of the Middle Kingdom, and their modern interpretation, including academics, advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students, and educated laymen.