Sunday, April 22, 2018

ARCE Meetings - Day 2 (Continued)

     Day 2 of the annual ARCE meeting continued with Dr. Ogden Goelet (of New York University) discussing "Insights into Ritual at the Abydos Temple of Ramesses II".

     Like most Egyptian temples, this one is divided into three parts. At the front is a peristyle court where the general public could worship. Behind this area was an octostyle count (called octostyle because it had eight columns) which was restricted to priests and the elite. At the rear of the temple was a second octostyle court and three cult rooms.

     During festivals the cult statue of the god was frequently paraded on a small barque (boat) carried on poles by the temple priests. Dr. Goelet feels that the rear portions of the temple were too small for a barque to be carried and suggests that a small shrine may have been used instead.

     Like all Egyptian temples, this one had many texts and scenes carved on its walls, including the "Litany of Horus", which is an offering ritual that appears as far back as the Pyramid Texts. There is also a scene of Ramesses being rejuvenated by drinking cow's (Hathor's) milk, while in chapel G there is another scene of Ramesses being rejuvenated, this time by a "baptism" that shows the water being poured on him as streams of Ankhs (life) and Was scepters (dominion).

     Adela Oppenheim of the Metropolitan Museum discussed the museum's recent work at Lisht South and the pyramid complex of Senwosret III in a talk entitled "The Metropolitan Museum 2017 Season at Lisht South and the Pyramid Complex of Senwosret III, Dashur".

     The museum started the season by doing conservation and restoration work in the burial chamber of Senwosretankh at Lisht South, which is well known as it has a copy of the Pyramid Texts in it. Then the work switched to Dashur and the South Temple of Senwosret III's pyramid complex. On the Southwest side of the temple are a number of boat pits (one of the boats they contained is in the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh). The temple itself is now limited to mud brick sub-foundations and the exact layout of the temples rooms cannot be determined at this time. The decorative program is very fragmented. There were intrusive burials found as well as a post-Middle Kingdom pit lined with blocks placed in all sorts of random directions. A lintel was also found that has what Dr. Oppenheim referred to as a "Bird Stare Down", with Nekhbet and Horus facing each other and seeming to want to see who will blink first.

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