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The ideological significance of flint in Dynastic Egypt

Graves-Brown, C.A.; (2011) The ideological significance of flint in Dynastic Egypt. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis examines a little understood aspect of Dynastic Egypt—that of the ideology of flint. Ideology is defined as the way flint is thought of rather than used. This study is unique in examining long term chronological changes in flint ideology against the background of increased metal use, and in using together text, iconography, and archaeology: studies of Egyptian ideology traditionally privilege text. Metaphor theory is employed as an important tool to aid this study. While metaphor is frequently used in Egyptological studies of Egyptian religion, its use is rarely explicit. The dataset brings together unpublished artefacts in British museum collections; a first hand analysis of lithics from Panhesy’s house at Amarna; finds cards from recent excavations at Memphis; and textual sources, several of which have not been considered before in relation to the ideology of flint; as well as published data on Egyptian lithic material. Chronological changes in ideology surrounding flint during the Bronze and Iron Ages, a time of flint decline, are considered. Because the nature of flint decline in Egypt has been assumed rather than known, I attempt to quantify the process. Conclusions show that the ideology of flint was far from static but only loosely related to the kinetic decline of flint. Flint is shown to be connected with the goddesses who are the Eye of Re, with Re himself, with snakes and lions. New facets of flint ideology are uncovered, including the connection of the material with the northern sky and the link between the treatment of New Kingdom Theban flint concretions and the religious landscape of the area.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:The ideological significance of flint in Dynastic Egypt
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Printed copy of thesis is comprised of two volumes
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Institute of Archaeology

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