Peter Robinson
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The Manchester ‘funeral’ ostracon
A sketch of a funerary ritual
in Mummies, magic and medicine in ancient Egypt
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In 1913, Sir Alan Gardiner published a brief paper about an ostracon that he had bought from an antiquities dealer in Luxor and subsequently donated to Manchester Museum. The ostracon carries an image of a funeral ritual taking place in and around a shaft tomb and its burial chamber, and represents a number of figures within the ceremony. Gardiner ascribed the piece to the pre-Ramesside period, but as there was no contemporary text upon it, there are few clues that can give the present-day scholar any idea of its purpose or what it actually depicts. This paper will evaluate the image drawn upon the ‘Manchester Funeral Ostracon’, and by breaking down the image into its component parts; it will attempt to assess the meaning of the drawing in relation to funerary ritual and architecture from the Theban necropolis, and to parallel images in the Book of the Dead, in order to investigate its purpose amongst the artwork and ritual of the New Kingdom.

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Mummies, magic and medicine in ancient Egypt

Multidisciplinary essays for Rosalie David


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