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Essay / Research Paper Abstract
A paper which looks at the British Museum statue of Sesostris III, in the context of ancient Egyptian social culture in general and Sesostris' reign in particular. The focus of the paper is on the development of art in ancient Egypt, the relationship between identity and representation, and the ways in which the statue can be interpreted in view of these cultural factors. Bibliography lists 35 sources.
36 pages (~225 words per page)
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is derived, and the ways in which it both reflects and structures the ideological parameters of that culture. However, when we are considering ancient Egyptian artwork, this is even more
of a priority. Before we can look in detail at this particular representation of Sesostris III, we need to establish the historical, cultural and artistic context in which the image
is set: the historical background which gave rise to the reign of Sesostris, and the developments in Egyptian artistic form and structure which culminated in this specific representation.
Let us begin, therefore, with a brief overview of the development of Egyptian culture. Egyptian civilisation, as it evolved, had a major influence on other ancient
civilisations: this is evident in Greek art and science, Jewish and Christian religious scriptures, the evolution of written language, and so on. As Damjanovic (2005) points out, much of our
knowledge of ancient Egypt derives from artwork, and especially that connected with funerary ritual; temples and tombs were built to last. During the pre-dynastic period, as Scott (2005) points out,
we see the transition from nomadic to settled lifestyle, with the appropriate developments in craftwork and the construction of artefacts. This is also the point at which burial customs start
to change, a significant development given the importance of funerary ritual and art in later stages of the cultures evolution. As what had been
temporary seasonal hunting camps became settled village enclaves, burials which had previously taken place in cemeteries located centrally moved further and further towards the outskirts of the settlements. Scott theorises
that this marks the beginning of a fear of the dead which was not present earlier, but acknowledges that he has no evidence for this supposition. At any event, this