Current PhD Projects
From the Early Dynastic Period (3000-2686 B.C.E.), the Egyptian rulers not only controlled the access to numerous paths connecting the Nile valley and the deserts, they also organized expeditions outside the country’s traditional borders with the aim of exploiting the neighbouring regions, as well as taking direct control of important trade routes to Sinai, the Levant and Nubia. During the Old Kingdom (2686-2160 B.C.E.) and even more so during the First Intermediate Period (2160-2055 B.C.E.) and the Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 B.C.E.), it is possible to observe the desire to open Egypt to the rest of the world, both in maritime and land-based trade.
This project aims to investigate the network of trade routes that during the First Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom connected Egypt with its neighbouring countries: the Levant and the Eastern Mediterranean, the Sinai Peninsula, Nubia and the deserts.
To have an historical approach to this subject, both written and archaeological sources will be considered as well as the diachronic study of trade routes over different geographical areas, in order to have a more comprehensive view on a subject that is still often treated in a sectorial manner. Thus, it will be possible to outline how these routes changed – or did not change – over time; to research the reasons why some were preferred over others; and to provide a comparative perspective – currently lacking – on the different ways ancient Egyptians penetrated the various areas according to the goods sought after and the relations established with the inhabitants of the places touched by these routes.
Several museums worldwide have enriched their collections with many artifacts from Egypt between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Among these collections, lithic tools have been rarely investigated, due to the paucity of information concerning original contexts.
Despite the paucity of information, the information potential for the Predynastic and the Old Kingdom period remains very high. Taking advantage of a broader archaeological framework, including well-known stratigraphic contexts and radiometric data, these collections can now be critically reviewed to improve the understanding of the socio-cultural and economic communities that produced these. The Ph.D. project aims to define the original contexts and the chronology of some lithic collections currently stored in several Italian museums (Museo del Civiltà, Museo Archeologico di Firenze, Museo Egizio di Torino, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo di Bracciano) and aims is to analyze the elements of continuity and discontinuity of the flint artifacts between Predynastic and the Old Kingdom. Combining techno-typological data, archive documents and historical maps of some Egyptian contexts such as el-Amrah, Hammamieh, wadi-el Sheikh and the Fayum Oasis, the project goal is to understand the production processes of stone tools. The research is also part of the CNR-ISPC project ‘PrEMuC – Prehistoric Egypt in Museum Collections’.
Since the Old Kingdom, Byblos was one of Egypt’s major trading partners in the Levant. The frequent contacts, continuous during almost all the Bronze Age, led to a process of assimilation of some Egyptian socio-cultural elements, visible in the local production of Egyptianizing artefacts, the use of hieroglyphs and the hybridization of local and Egyptian deities. This phenomenon, which reached its greatest expressions in the Late Bronze Age, is undoubtedly already in existence in the Middle Bronze Age. Egypt, however, actively participated in the political and economic affairs of the Levant also during the 3rd millennium BC. Numerous material and textual sources, both Egyptian and Levantine, testify to these contacts, but it is not always clear what was the degree of interaction and reception of the Egyptian culture in Byblos during the Early Bronze III and IV. This project aims to outline the evolution of the phenomena of assimilation and hybridization of Egyptian culture in Byblos between the Early Bronze and the Middle Bronze Age. The goal is to identify when the phenomenon araised, how it developed and what were the main differences.
Érika Rodrigues De Maynart Ramos
This Ph.D. project aims to investigate the reorganisation of society in the Third Intermediate Period based on evidence provided by funerary practices in Egyptian necropolises. Given the material reorganization of some necropolises in a time when the reuse and repurposing of sacred mortuary spaces played a major role as an expression of these new, reshaped social relations, the project aims to scrutinise who had the right to the reuse of tombs and funerary equipment. Considering economic pressures and social transformations brought in the XI century B.C., the research approaches the shifts in burial practices as social strategies to maintain a necropolis community and its agency in the world of the living by (re)creating memory and collective engagement. The funerary equipment often reused in the Third Intermediate Period Egypt comprised, for example, vessels, jars, shabtis, sarcophagi, and also parts of earlier tombs were added to new architectonic structures, such as stone slabs. The recent studies on reuse have pointed to earlier excavation reports’ avoidance in analysing the presence of new burials to ancient tombs, and provided updated conclusions on the contexts of Third Intermediate Period burials. These had been initially largely categorised as ‘intrusive’ burials. By gathering archaeological evidence from different sites in Egypt, the project aims to understand the patterns of reuse of the mortuary equipment during that time in order to unveil what prerogatives can be traced between the new elites and the ancient goods they had the right to own and repurpose. In the same way, the project also aims to refresh the historical debate on the crisis the Egyptian elites suffered from the Late New Kingdom and how new elites found opportunities to negotiate their status through the material culture.
The primary function of scarabs during all the periods during which they were used in Egypt was amuletic, yet scarabs were often used as the most prevalent type of seal for public administrations. The use of seals for both public and private purposes to secure rooms, containers, and correspondence reached a high point in the Middle Kingdom, attested by the variety of private and institutional names and patterns of the seals and their use within sophisticated control systems including counter stamping. The study of public accounting and administrative documents is fundamental about the royal properties and temples. What was the value of sealings in themselves, were they counted, and in this case when and by whom, were they considered receipts of sorts, how were they disposed of? These are fundamental questions for painting a fully fledged picture of administrative practices besides the simple act of recording in writing: the latter practices, however, would not have been recorded, if not occasionally, in texts and thus they can only be grasped at by an internal analysis of the material evidence. The mode of disposal of an item tells us about how it was valued, at least in a given context. This keyword lay at the heart of the investigation: to review all evidence relating to how seal impressions were discarded in order to attempt at reconstructing a lost dimensions of accounting and this approach can only depend upon the context of retrieval of the sealings. It is necessary to consider not only where but also what was discarded in order to asses its value.
The influx of immigrants into Egypt after the conquest by Alexander the Great and later by Augustus caused deep transformations in its social and cultural structure in a clearly multicultural way. Under these foreign dominations, the exploitation of plants also changed: new plant species were imported, and new crops established to satisfy the tastes and habits of the newly arrived inhabitants. The project aims to study the introduction of some of these new plants and foreign species in Egypt during the Greco-Roman and Late Antique period (332 BC-641 AD), trying to understand their relationship with the socio-political changes of the time and whether or not their introduction caused variations in particular areas of human culture. The project uses both data from recent archaeobotanical reports and plant material preserved in museums from older excavations (late 19th-early 20th century). Although the use of museum material is limited by understanding its actual provenance, accurate data collected in their documentation may reveal some useful details and considerations that are not normally available in published reports. The partly still unexplored archival documentation also helps to better place them in context. Starting from these data, the study of each plant species considered is then integrated first by examining its presence in the texts (Greek, Demotic and Coptic papyrus and ostraca) and then, as a support on the possible uses of the plant, with classical texts. The aim is to try to reconstruct in a coherent historical model possible cultural changes and transfer of knowledge in the use of particular plants due to the contact between different cultures that are intertwined in Greek-Roman Egypt and the Late Antique period.
The shabtis of the Egyptian collection of the Museo Civico Archeologico of Bologna represent a heterogeneous unpublished nucleus, made up of over 487 artefacts. They are part of a collection – the third in Italy, after Turin and Florence – which has a long and complex history, and their archaeological context is mostly lost. Despite this, reconstructing a biography of the artefacts could help to formulate a hypothesis of provenance. Through a multidisciplinary analysis of the shabtis of Bologna and the comparison between the collected data and other antiquities outside the collection, it is sometimes possible to proceed backwards from the current location to the context(s) in which they were used and even produced. The aim is to provide different methodological approaches to defining and contextualising a nucleus of unpublished and decontextualised materials. This will contribute, moreover, with new elements and data which allows to re-discuss some core themes like the connection between the rising cult of Osiris and the origin of the shabti phenomenon or to debate approaches and consideration related to textual evidence, especially the shabti spell. This research would like to underline the crucial role of material culture in “reading the past”, showing how archaeology and egyptology are fully active in the valorisation of historical and cultural heritage.
Concluded PhD Projects
Mona Akmal M. Ahmed Nasr
Demonology is a still under-explored area of the Egyptian religion. The Egyptians, like most of the contemporary Near Eastern populations, believed in the existence of intermediate supernatural entities, which cannot be assimilated to real divinities and yet extraneous to the human world. These entities were seen in an ambivalent way: they could be guardians and protectors, as often happens in funerary texts, or dangerous entities carrying diseases and suffering.
My doctoral project intends to study the religious practices used by the Egyptians to protect themselves and to remove the threat of these demonic entities in the context of daily life (therefore ritual and royal protection rituals will be excluded). Starting mainly from textual sources (magical, medical, ritual and personal papyrus), but also when possible from archaeological remains, we intend to analyze the phenomenon both from a religious point of view (conceptions of the supernatural of the Egyptians) and from a social point of view (spaces and protagonists of the exorcistic ritual, origin and production of magical texts). The comparative approach will also have an important place to highlight the connections, similarities and influences between Egyptian conceptions and those of neighboring peoples and cultures (in particular Mesopotamian, Palestinian and Ugaritic cultures).
The aim of the work is to provide a clear overview of the phenomenon, a body of texts representative of exorcist practice and a religious, anthropological and social interpretation of an important aspect of Egyptian religion and culture such as the supernatural. What we want to achieve, by studying the relationship that the Egyptians had with the supernatural, is a greater understanding of the world view and the cosmos they had.
The eastern desert and southern Sinai formed for the Egyptians, from the dawn of the Pharaonic age as predynastic expeditions in Wadi Hammamat (ca. 3100 BC) and under the reign of King Den (ca. 2900 BC) in Wadi el already show -Homr, a fundamental resource for the supply of stones and minerals. In these places geographically and politically on the margins of Egypt, inhabited and crossed by mostly nomadic populations, the members of the pharaonic mining expeditions arrived periodically.
Inevitable, therefore, was the contact of different cultures: that of the Egyptians and those of the “foreign” communities who worked side by side with them in the quarries. The current state of the art shows how studies on these peripheral areas and the extractive activities connected to them, as well as on the social and cultural structure that inhabited them, have so far only enhanced the prosopographic, administrative and economic aspect of the sources.
Holistic studies are rare, oriented towards understanding social, cultural and economic dynamics, underlying the processes of acquiring raw materials and deducible from integrated archaeological and textual sources. The gap between epigraphic and archaeological data, therefore, also remains in some of the most recent publications.
This research work aims to investigate the social and cultural milieu of the mining areas of the eastern desert and southern Sinai, through a combined analysis of textual and archaeological sources. Indeed, the sources integrated between them reveal a complex reality, in which “invisible actors” such as the pastoral or semi-nomadic populations of the desert (for example, Nubians and Canaanites) play a fundamental role in the creation and diffusion of innovations and goods .
During the New Kingdom it is possible to observe a wide variety of types of sarcophagi that have followed one another over time, including, for example, the black-painted sarcophagi with yellow decoration, the subject of my research project. Although in the past they have been examined by some scholars (Niwinski 1988, Dodson 1998, Taylor 2001), they have only been the subject of partial investigations, never thorough or extensive.
The ultimate goal of this project is to be able to offer an exhaustive reference work in this field of study. My investigation line therefore aims to create a catalog of the sarcophagi in question, published and unpublished, and to carry out an analytical study on iconography, construction techniques, decoration techniques, the type of paints used and funeral texts, as well as on the differences that they exist within the class of sarcophagi in accordance with geographical and social specificities.
The acquisition of all these data will make it possible to carry out a search for the elements common to the various cataloged specimens, both at an iconographic / decorative level (themes, style and decorative techniques) and at a linguistic level (types of similar inscriptions or with shared elements and graphic styles ). It is hoped that this study will lead to highlighting any principles that could lead an isolated object within a better defined historical and / or geographical context and to identify a classification method for this type of sarcophagi.
In Palazzo Schifanoia, the historic seat of the Civic Museums of Ancient Art in Ferrara, an unprecedented Egyptian collection is kept, which falls within the framework of nineteenth-century Egyptomania that spread to Europe after the first scientific expeditions to Egypt. Among the rare examples of private collections of the time, the collection consists largely of the acquisitions of Massimiliano Strozzi Sacrati (1797-1866), noble exponent of one of the main Ferrarese families, who spent about a year between the spring of 1845 and the first months of 1846, traveling along the Nile Valley. Upon his return to Italy, the Marquis set up a public exhibition in his own home and, upon his death, he inherited almost all the pieces at the University Museum of Ferrara. From this nucleus was born the current set of Egyptian finds of Palazzo Schifanoia which, over the decades, has grown thanks to other donations that have brought a great heterogeneity of contexts – funerary, cultural and domestic – and dating, going from Predynastic to the Greco-Roman period.
The doctoral project thus aims to study each object of the collection, through photographic documentation, metric measurements, translation of the hieroglyphic texts present and identification of published parallels. In addition, we will try to reconstruct the context of origin thanks to the archival research of the original museum notes, travel diaries and autographed notes by Strozzi Sacrati and other donors. The final objectives therefore consist in the drafting of the general catalog, the correction of the current inventory sheets and the reconstruction, through the study of the nineteenth-century archival documents, of the historical-social fabric in which the collection was formed.
Anna Giulia De Marco
The village of Deir el-Medina, located in the Theban hills, represents one of the richest sources of information for the knowledge of Egyptian society. In particular, research carried out in the economic field has shown the existence of a free market in which the inhabitants of Deir el-Medina could increase their profits by exploiting their artisan skills for the production and sale of objects intended for private individuals.
This project aims to identify the different artisan shops that operated in Deir el-Medina in the New Kingdom (1550-1069 BC) through the study of objects, assisted by the analysis of textual sources. This will lead to a broader understanding of the figure of the craftsman and the society in which he lived, analyzing the various socio-economic aspects involved.
In particular, the main object of investigation will be the wooden material, preserved at the Egyptian Museum in Turin, in all its forms (statuary, objects for funeral use, furniture, work tools, tools for daily use) analyzed in parallel with the hieratic administrative texts written on papyrus and ostraca, also belonging to the collections of the Egyptian Museum.
The data obtained will be entered into a database allowing for cataloging, integration and their interaction. This will facilitate the study and interpretation of the framework in question, allowing the achievement of three main objectives: to identify the workshops, to frame the craftsman within the Egyptian society of the New Kingdom, to propose new contributions for economic studies.
Homophony, that is, when a phoneme or nexus has more than one counterpart in the corresponding writing system, poses an intriguing question to the linguist: why does the centuries-old drawing process not reject the numerous “duplicates”?
Seeking bi-uniqueness at any cost is modern deformation, all the more singular as there are no local examples of what we are looking for elsewhere (no natural system of the contemporary West, English at its head, is regularly biunivocal). In the hieroglyph, however, there are “too many” homophones. For example, of the twenty-seven uniliters, twenty-two have a Coptic correspondent shared with another unilitter and nine with more than one.
By means of an etymological analysis of the lexemes affected by the phenomenon, I intend to determine the original values of some of them at the source, i.e. in the TdP, where traditional transliteration risks hiding several important isoglosses: the thesis I want to demonstrate is that a profound revision based on comparative-reconstructive of Egyptian phonology may be able to clarify the reason for many of these aporias, eliminating the “false” homophonies (ie those in which it is our transliteration that opacifies the differences in pronunciation between several lexemes) and providing historical reasons- linguistic for the “real” ones (for example, a confluence of several phonemes of the protolingua in a single phoneme).
The research project sees the study of ceramics pertinent to the reality of ancient Sudanese Nubia, focusing in particular on the area between the current towns of Shendi and Begrawiya, immediately south of the ancient capital Meroe. In particular, the research proposes a systematic analysis of the ceramic artefacts found during the campaigns carried out so far on the Abu Erteila site, using an archaeometric as well as stylistic-typological approach.
Starting from the New Kingdom the ushabti – the funerary statuettes representing the deceased – (Bovot 2003, Schneider 1977, Aubert, Aubert 74, Petrie 1903) were often placed inside containers such as wooden caskets, terracotta caskets and vases, according to a practice that testifies up to the Ptolemaic Age.
After some preliminary work (Chappaz 2003, Aston 1994, Cooney 1975) this project aims to systematically study the whole class of objects, through a preliminary, but complete, census of the published and unpublished specimens, preserved in museums around the world, mentioned in excavation reports or from ongoing excavations. This work will be followed by an in-depth analytical study aimed at determining, above all, the date and place of origin, and the division into typological classes. Of particular importance will be: determine why starting from the New Kingdom the ushabti were arranged inside containers in the shape of pre-dynastic chapels (itrt chapels);
study the porta-ushabti vessels, hitherto completely neglected by the Egyptological literature; analyze the evolution of Late and Ptolemaic ushabti porta-ushabti boxes and distinguish them, if possible, from canopic boxes.
The analysis of all relevant archaeological sources, such as textual, material and pictorial ones, will also allow you to focus on certain collateral aspects, such as the transmission of iconographic models from one object to another or the creation of specific styles and models of certain local craft areas and shops.
This doctoral thesis aims to retrace the steps that led the Pisan Egyptologist to compile the successions of the Egyptian dynasties, obtained from the original monuments compared with other written sources. In this type of work he had been preceded by Champollion in 1824, when the French scholar had come to Turin to study the Drovetti Collection; it was then continued by both with the Franco-Tuscan expedition to Egypt in the years 1828-29, during which the two scholars were able to compare the historical data with the monumental ones and thus find confirmations or denials. The publication of such a monumental work as I Monumenti dell’Egitto e della Nubia was of considerable importance for the progress of Egyptological studies, because unlike the Description de l’Égypte, considered an exceptional work in that historical period, I Monumenti use philological science for the first time to corroborate or deny classical sources. By analyzing and interpreting the Egyptian inscriptions, the two Egyptologists of the Expedition made the original monuments become “talking stones” capable of helping scholars, even those to come, in the difficult and slow reconstruction of the history of ancient Egypt.
The research concerns the ceramics from the tombs identified in the area of the Temple of Millions of Years of Amenhotep II in West Thebes, which has been under excavation since 1997 under the direction of dr. Angelo Sesana (Center of Egyptology Francesco Ballerini – Como).
The tombs investigated have generally returned few elements of the original kits, with the exception of ceramics, found in large quantities and in a variety of styles. This was therefore examined in its context of discovery to make the most of its potential for historical and cultural reconstruction.
The first goal we set ourselves was to define in detail the progressive evolution of the necropolis over its long history. For each of the three macro-phases identified – Middle Kingdom, Third Intermediate Period – Late Period and Ptolemaic Period – the characteristics of the different funeral structures and the peculiarities of the archaeological deposit were presented.
The analysis of the ceramic types found, integrated with that of the residual elements of the equipment, has allowed us to reconstruct with considerable detail the phases of occupation, reuse or plundering of some tombs, chosen as a significant sample of the entire necropolis. The long chronological excursus allows you to follow the evolution of the shapes and offer an overall view of the different productions, even in the absence of a single stratigraphic deposit.
The individual case studies also allowed the study of specific issues, in particular the relationship between funerary ceramics, laid as funeral equipment, and cult ceramic, used to perform the rites in honor of the deceased during and after the funeral ceremony.
Lastly, the analysis of ceramics proved to be the only tool capable of identifying some moments of use of the site (such as that of the Ptolemaic period) not only previously unidentified, but also, to date, not suspected by others materials and not associated with specific structures.
The reign of Amenemhat IV constitutes an interesting area of Egyptological investigation placing itself in a fundamental moment of Egyptian history: after the crisis of the First Intermediate Period ended, Egypt gained again power and prosperity thanks to the reunification and innovation work undertaken by the sovereigns XII dynasty. With the Second Intermediate Period the foundations of Egyptian society will again be questioned and the foundations for the New Kingdom will be created. The definition of the role and position of Amenemhat IV is fundamental to clarify what were the reasons and mechanisms that led to the end of the XII dynasty. The apparent inconsistency of the reign of this sovereign hides considerable complexity in defining the identity and dynamics of succession, as well as a significant presence of the king both within the country and in relations with neighboring states.
Only the critical examination of the documentation allows the reconstruction of the portion of history in which the kingdom of this sovereign fits. This analysis is based precisely on the material evidence of the reign of Amenemhat IV, the different types of documents have been classified and examined in relation to their context of origin. A first group (Group A) includes the documents found in Egypt; the second (Group B), the documents from the peripheral areas of the country and finally the third group (Group C) are part of the testimonies found outside the borders of Egypt.
The exhibition follows the chronological order: from the beginning to the end of the kingdom.
The subject of the thesis is the study of the ceramics of the M.I.D.A.N.05 tomb of his court and of the area adjacent to Dra Abu el-Naga (West Thebes). In order to find a method of classification and description of ceramics, the methods adopted by Egyptian ceramic scholars from the 70s of the twentieth century are compared. The method was then applied to the ceramic in the studio and made it possible to draw chronological, commercial, cultural and funerary information about the M.I.D.A.N. 05 grave. The thesis is accompanied by a paper catalog and an online database.
Alessandro Ricci (ca. 1795-1834) was a Sienese doctor and draftsman who between 1817 and 1822 traveled to Egypt and Nubia in the service of Henry Salt and William J. Bankes. He was hired to carry out an epigraphic survey of several archaeological sites in Sinai, Siwa Oasis and Nubia. Ricci has left an account of his explorations, of which this thesis represents the Cirtic edition: Travels of Doctor Alessandro Ricci.
In Chapter 1, an attempt is made to define the state of relations between Tuscany and Egypt in the first half of the 19th century. Chapters 2-4 represent Ricci’s biography. Chapter 2 discusses Ricci’s personality and his cultural background. Chapter 3 deals with the first travel experience in Egypt between 1817 and 1822. Chapter 4 outlines the revision of the manuscript, participation in the famous Franco-Tuscan expedition (1828-29), illness and death (1834 ). Chapter 5 focuses on Ricci’s archaeological, naturalistic and ethnographic collections. In Chapter 6 the Travels are discussed as a text: the history of its writing, the codicological characteristics, the topics covered, the structure and the narrative style. Finally, Chapter 7 is dedicated to the reconstruction of the tables that Ricci originally attached to the manuscript. The critical edition of the Travels follows, with more than a thousand explanatory notes, detailed tables and maps of the regions visited.
This PhD thesis deals with the problem of topographical and geographical reconstruction of the Menfi site – the ancient capital of Pharaonic Egypt – during the Saitopersian era, based on an interdisciplinary methodological approach that provides for the comparison between philological, archaeological and geomorphological indications .
This work deals with long debated and still open issues such as the actual extension of the ancient city, the location of the White Wall and the other Mephite toponyms, the existence of the so-called “Mene dam” described by ancient historians.
The thesis gives ample space to the paleoenvironmental context of the Middle Ages for a better understanding of Menfi’s geographic strategicity.
Finally, we will try to obtain new information from the study of some images of the area, taken by the American spy satellite Corona (1959-72), which photograph a landscape still largely spared by the drastic environmental changes brought about by the recent expansion of the suburbs of Cairo.
The results made it possible to elaborate a topographical reconstruction which – albeit virtual – appears consistent with the known topographical indications.
“Egypt has no place in a work on the history of mathematical astronomy”. With these words, Otto Neugebauer, the greatest scholar of the exact sciences in the ancient world, introduced the section dedicated to Egyptian astronomy, in his essay “A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy”.
Neugebauer was right: except for the elaboration of the 365-day calendar, the Egyptian documentation so far reached us seems to reveal a substantial lack of interest in applied astronomy, that is, that complex of mathematical knowledge developed for the purpose of studying and predicting phenomena and the characteristics of the motion of celestial bodies.
Despite the apparent absence of important driving factors such as astronomy or astrology, in Egypt there continued to be a millennial tradition, textual and figurative, which had its unique, large and evocative stage in the sky. A powerful catalyst allowed this tradition not only to survive for a long time but even to change and integrate halogen conceptions, phenomena not frequent within the well-known conservative attitude of Egyptian religious culture.
The study deals with the iconographic and textual sources of the Ancient and Middle Kingdom in an attempt to recompose the architecture of that religious thought into a coherent framework.
This study analyzes the least investigated aspects of the expeditions that the Egyptians organized and conducted, throughout the Pharaonic period, from the Nile valley, to the coasts of the Red Sea, and then sailed to a country of location still unknown: Punt. The primary objective of these shipments was the periodic supply of precious materials, such as frankincense, myrrh, ebony, ivory and gold.
The iconographic and textual sources were initially examined, in order to carry out a careful study on what traces remain today of the possible passage of the expeditions, especially in the Eastern Desert. Where there are no tangible elements, hypotheses have been developed, attempting to provide them with the highest degree of plausibility.
This also proceeded for the realization of a hypothetical route, selecting which could be the safest and logistically valid landing places and the most sensible maneuvers, based on very precise criteria, with the fundamental help of an expert, and the software used also by the Italian Navy.
Finally, a parallel and direct comparison was made between the marineries of the great civilizations that sailed in the Red Sea since the most remote ages: Egyptians, Phoenicians and Greeks. The result of such a comparison is interesting in its linearity.
Paolo Del Vesco
Is it possible to reconstruct a system of religious beliefs starting from archaeological documentation? And if so, in what way and within what limits? For the most part, the debate has focused on the history of archaeological research in the religious field and on the definition of the most correct methodology for a profitable approach to these problems. The fact that the most desirable direction of research has often been indicated in the need for a multidisciplinary approach highlights the existence of interpretative limitations inherent in the archaeological document. On the one hand, the peculiarities of archaeological research compared to the methodologies of other historical disciplines and the possibilities offered by it in the study of the most varied aspects of ancient civilizations have often been emphasized, more rarely the emphasis has instead been on those that must be considered real boundaries for an archaeological approach to the world of religion. So what are the limits beyond which it is not possible to study the beliefs and cults of an ancient society such as the Egyptian one through an analysis restricted to the elements of material culture that have come down to us? From what point instead we must elect other types of documentation, such as the textual one, for example, or other disciplines, to “guide sum”, exploiting the potential of different research methodologies, to go into the exploration of the less “beaten” territories in the field of beliefs religious of ancient Egypt? The research proposed here moves from these questions, starting from the study of a specific case: the analysis of the so-called “votive beds” and the system of objects and beliefs related to them.
Attempt to understand a typology of religious titles of late Egypt, interpreting all the available sources in a historical-social key. Observation of a cultural ‘fashion’ that has produced artistic, literary, documentary and cultural events but has never been studied as a whole.
Edition of 50 unpublished demotic, Greek and bilingual texts from Medinet Madi (Fayum – Egypt), with historical introduction relating to the socio-economic events of the temple of Narmuthis in the age of the Antonins and the Severans (II-III century after Christ).
This thesis is part of a research activity carried out at the Department of Historical Sciences of the Ancient World and related to the study of a particular type of sarcophagi in Ancient Egypt, the so-called rishi or feathered sarcophagi, in order to reconstruct a segment of history of the Second Intermediate Period.
The main objective of the following work is to identify a method of classification and dating of rishi sarcophagi. The types of classes identified are 5 and have allowed, thanks to some chronological synchronisms, to more precisely circumscribe the dates of the use of this type of sarcophagus in ancient Egyptian culture. In conclusion, the matrix from which this particular type of sarcophagus seems to have originated was also identified.
This thesis is a careful study of all the iconographic aspects of the processions of gods rerpresented in the book of the Day. Comparing the different sources, it has been possible to create clusters of divinities and to classify them according to their function within the diurnal solar journey. Of fundamental importance has been the study of the tomb of Ramose Tt 132. The careful analysis of the iconographical programme of this unpublished tomb has enabled the author to identify cluster of divinities in KV 9 and attempt a subdivision of the divinities depicted on the walls of the royal tombs. This thesis has also shown that in the study of the NK Books of the Netherworld the iconographical aspect is as important as the filological one.