The ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts form the oldest sizable body of religious texts in the world. Discovered in the late nineteenth century, they had been inscribed on the interior stone walls of the pyramid tombs of third-millennium kings and queens. From their content it is clear that they were concerned with the afterlife state of the tomb owner, but the historical meaning of their emergence has been poorly understood. This book weds traditional philological approaches to linguistic anthropology in order to associate them with two spheres of human action: mortuary cult and personal preparation for the afterlife. Monumentalized as hieroglyphs in the tomb, their function was now one step removed from the human events that had motivated their original production.
Harold M. Hays, Ph.D. (2006) in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago, is Assistant Professor of Egyptology at Leiden University. He has published extensively on the Pyramid Texts and ancient Egyptian ritual practice.
Table of contents
Chapter One Performance Settings and Structures
Chapter Two Groups and Series of Pyramid Texts
Chapter Three Categories of Pyramid Texts
Chapter Four Interface of Groups and Categories
Chapter Five Recapitulation
Coda Types of Pyramid Texts and Their Interface with Groups
Listing One Pyramid Texts by Typology and Disposition
Listing Two Sequences of Pyramid Texts
Listing Three Subsequences of Pyramid Texts
Listing Four Typological Motifs of Pyramid Texts
Plans of Texts in Royal Pyramids
Charts of Groups of Texts in Royal Pyramids
Egyptologists as well as all those interested in ancient Near Eastern religions, ritual and performance theory, redaction criticism, and linguistic anthropology.