OUR EXAM IS NOW SCHEDULED FOR WILSON 302 at Wednesday, 9am
Below is a section for questions, answers and discussion regarding exam material. Right here I will spell out some of what we discussed tonight regarding exam format. First, it will be approximately 60/40 in terms of weight towards the second half of the class, but the essay questions will be broad based, asking you to compare and contrast material from different eras. There will probably be 8 slide IDs and either one or two essays. If there is one essay, there will be three-four short answers as well. The essay will be a choice between options but if I give short answers, they will be non-optional. Check for an update tomorrow night about the final format (if it matters - the things you should study are exactly the same).
A note to people who were not at the review session: just because there are no images up, don't ignore it! There are very few images from the late Ramesside period, which is also largely absent from the text (from all texts, in fact). But we talked about it in class and you are responsible for it. Tonight I will post a page of photos that are for reference to these issues only (this will be on the images page). As images, they will not be on the exam (I put them up too late). As representations of ideas that you may be asked to discuss in essays or short answers, they are totally fair game. So use them to illustrate your notes as you study.
Good luck to all! This has been such an awesome class - I am rooting for you all to rock the exam.
QUESTIONS REGARDING THE EXAM (you may post, answer one another, discuss, etc. Prof. B will weigh in on any question whether one of you has answered it as well or not):
Posted at May 05/2009 10:52AM:
Prof. B: Exam format update: The exam will consist of 8 slide IDs (4 points each), 4 short answer questions (8 points each) and 1 essay (36 points - you'll have a choice between two topics).
What's the significance of this image? http://proteus.brown.edu/ancientegyptianart2/admin/image.html?imageid=8147281
Posted at May 05/2009 05:12PM:
Prof. B: I hope Mike and Aparna give their two cents here, too. But it's a depiction of one of the four buildings Amenhotep IV built at Karnak. It's called the Hwt Bnbn (Mansion of the Benben) and we don't know where the building itself was located but we know what it looks like from reliefs on dismantled blocks. They show Nefertiti but NOT Amenhotep IV which has led to much discussion of the possible use of the building and the role of N in the Amarna changes. Here she's shown giving offerings and burning incense to the Aten, while wearing a typically Hathoric crown. The Hathor crown is related to rather traditional roles for Egyptian queens while offering on her own (or with a daughter as here) and the Aten itself of course are not exactly run of the mill.
Posted at May 05/2009 05:34PM:
rriecken: I was wondering what is the significance of Tutankhamun's blue head? http://proteus.brown.edu/ancientegyptianart2/admin/image.html?imageid=8148163
Could someone please remind me which presentation the pair statue of Yuni and Renenutet comes from? I cannot find a specific reference to it in my notes but am guessing it is from Michael's presentation on sexuality due to the date.
Posted at May 05/2009 06:54PM:
rriecken: Emily, that image did not come from my presentation (I don't know where it originated), but you could reference the dominance depicted in the husband-wife relationship
Posted at May 05/2009 08:16PM:
Prof. B: The Blue Head is a fake! Yuni and Renenutet are from Katrina's talk on the role of Egyptian women. (Irrelevantly, the Mets are winning and the Yankees are losing, both of which are GOOD.)
Posted at May 05/2009 08:30PM:
Leslie: Why does Akhenaten have shabtis in his tomb? If he got rid of the idea of an afterlife, did the idea that the deceased will have to perform work in the afterlife (and therefore need shabtis) remain throughout the Amarna period?
Posted at May 05/2009 08:49PM:
Prof B: Such a good question. The notion of an afterlife isn't totally gone, just really changed (like the tomb as a place of sleep and the dead as taking part in religious ritual in this life in some fashion). Shabtis are seriously hard to explain, especially as they have pretty clear Osirian associations. I think the best explanation is that the rigid categories we draw are not the same rigid categories that Akhenaten drew. Yes, he was something of a religious fanatic with clear convictions and a clear will to change things. But the amount of material dealing with private worship of fertility figures indicates that perhaps these weren't considered part of "religion" in the same sort of institutional sense that we want to lump them with because we label them "gods". Shabtis perhaps also occupy a sort of gray area - something that seems specifically "religious" in the old, polytheistic sense to us but that was more nuanced to Akhenaten. That said, they seem not to have served exactly the same function in the Amarna period as they did earlier and later. The royal ones have replaced the standard shabti inscription with the king's names, and they avoid most of the traditional shabti iconography. So this is a seriously good question - if you strip a shabti of its iconography and text, then what is it? Why include it in a burial at all? What is going through Akhenaten's mind when he commissions these? Such good questions, and ultimately not answerable on current evidence.
Posted at May 05/2009 08:53PM:
zach: On week 10 there is a picture of the plan of Medinet Habu... it has little letters in brackets and big blue letters... which ones go with the plan?? confusing?? haha
Posted at May 05/2009 09:12PM:
Prof B: Another good question! The letters go with the small ones in red. The big blue ones go to a key talking about the architectural elements of the plan but I figured you'd had that in spades with the Ramesseum, etc, so I only gave you the key to the relief scenes.
For what it's worth, I will stop responding here at 11:30pm or when the Mets win, whichever comes first.
Emily: In case anyone else was wondering, I realized that I'd been assuming that the slide IDs were drawing from only the post-midterm slides, while the short answers and essay would be covering the entire semester. But I checked with Dr. Bestock, and all slides are fair game for IDs. Hope this helps! '
Posted at May 05/2009 09:44PM:
zach: The late Ramesside slides: The cryptographic statue of Ramesses II: What are the elements that spell out his name again? Ra. then the child.?
Posted at May 05/2009 09:55PM:
Prof B: Ra=the sun disc. Mes=child (he's sucking his finger). Sw=the plant he's gripping. So together, Ra-mes-su, or Ramesses! There are others of these too, playing in different ways. (Mets still winning and have just scored twice in the 9th.)
Posted at May 05/2009 10:25PM:
Kari Best: Whats the significance of the sky goddess Nut in the burial chamber from the Presentation slide? Same question regarding Kiya and her child from Amarna?
Posted at May 05/2009 10:38PM:
rriecken: Judging by the emphasis that you have placed on the transition from scenes of daily life to personal piety, etc, we should take away the idea of the development of sin and damnation. The conception of sin and damnation are Ramesside Period constructs, but couldn't the same be said of earlier periods, for instance, if you're heart was judged to be heavier than the feather of ma'at (meaning you didn't live a good life in accordance with ma'at), then the gobbler would eat your heart and you wouldn't have an afterlife, you would be in a sort of limbo damnation. So couldn't it be argued that the concept of sin and damnation coincide with the advent of this scene from the book of the Dead? Or am I missing something?
Posted at May 05/2009 11:20PM:
Aparna: Hey Morgan! In response to your question about the scene from the Mansion of the Benben Stone, this scene shows Nefertiti adoring the Aten, a visual rhetoric that is classic Amarna. However, she is also showing wearing the traditional Hathoric crown, which associates her with the iconographic tradition of preceding Queens in that she is relating herself and her role as Queen to important themes of resurrection, rebirth, motherhood. In a way, this scene relates to the idea of continuity between the Amarna and Pre-Amarna periods, but keep in mind that there are also several instances especially at Amarna where Nefertiti abandons the iconography of her predecessors.
Posted at May 05/2009 11:24PM:
Prof B: In response to Kari: In this case we're looking at the ceiling of a royal tomb (daily life scenes never were a valley of the kings thing - that's a development in private tomb decoration). Nut is one of the very early gods, part of the process of creation. She swallows the sun at night and gives birth to it in the morning. Royal tombs of the entire NK have had a preoccupation with what happens to the sun at night (that's the whole point of the Amduat) because that is what the king has to link to in order to have a good afterlife. So in many ways this is a supremely appropriate thing to stick on the ceiling of a royal New Kingdom tomb; on the other hand, it doesn't appear until the Ramesside period.
Kiya is an historical problem - we know next to nothing about her. This is true of much of the late Amarna Period. This piece is important because it's a depiction of the intimacy and favor of the sun that we expect of the Amarna period, but its subject is not Akhenaten and Nefertiti and their kids. The Amarna royal family is a complicated beast (not surprising really for a NK royal family). You could go a zillion ways with this, talking about Amarna style, Amarna religion, the Amarna royal family, etc.
Mets won! Good luck studying tonight and see you guys tomorrow.
The figure of Nut is from a private tomb! It is the tomb of Djehuty (TT 11), an official during the reign of Hatshepsut. His tomb is one of the examples we have of 18th Dynasty private tombs in Thebes with decorated burial chambers, a trend that is usually attributed to the Ramesside tombs. Although none of the decorated burial chambers of this group are standardized, they all have decoration comprised of spells from the Book of the Dead or scenes specifically related to the Afterlife - no 'daily life' scenes appear in the substructures. Nut is an important decorative ceiling element in royal tombs as well, so perhaps the presence of her image in this tomb could be an argument for a usurpation of royal prerogative by a high official. Either way, the decorated burial chambers of 18th Dynasty officials represent one of the many developments in tomb architecture and decoration during the New Kingdom that display a continuum in religious thought, not just a pre-Amarna/post-Amarna divide.