Sie sind auf Seite 1von 42

Alexandra Verbovsek, Burkhard Backes, Catherine Jones (Hrsg.

)
Methodik und Didaktik in der gyptologie


GYPTOLOGIE UND
KULTURWISSENSCHAFT


herausgegeben von

Jan Assmann
und
Hubert Roeder
Band IV



Alexandra Verbovsek, Burkhard Backes,
Catherine Jones (Hrsg.)


Methodik und Didaktik
in der gyptologie

Herausforderungen eines
kulturwissenschaftlichen Paradigmenwechsels
in den Altertumswissenschaften












Wilhelm Fink
Gedruckt mit freundlicher Untersttzung

der gyptologischen Forschungssttte fr Kulturwissenschaft (FKW)
der Ruprecht-Karls-Universitt Heidelberg,

der Exzellenzinitiative der LMU Mnchen
(Mentoring-Programm fr exzellente Nachwuchswissenschaftlerinnen)

und des Deutschen Akademikerinnenbundes e.V.














Bibliografische Information der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek

Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek verzeichnet diese Publikation in der Deutschen
Nationalbibliografie; detaillierte bibliografische Daten sind im Internet ber
http://dnb.d-nb.de abrufbar.

Alle Rechte, auch die des auszugsweisen Nachdrucks, der fotomechanischen Wiedergabe und
der bersetzung, vorbehalten. Dies betrifft auch die Vervielfltigung und bertragung einzelner
Textabschnitte, Zeichnungen oder Bilder durch alle Verfahren wie Speicherung und bertragung
auf Papier, Transparente, Filme, Bnder, Platten und andere Medien, soweit es nicht 53 und
54 UrhG ausdrcklich gestatten.

2011 Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Mnchen
(Wilhelm Fink GmbH & Co. Verlags-KG, Jhenplatz 1, D-33098 Paderborn)

Internet: www.fink.de

Einbandgestaltung: Alexandra Verbovsek, Burkhard Backes und Eva Hofmann
(Foto mit freundlicher Genehmigung des Griffith Institute, University of Oxford)

Printed in Germany
Herstellung: Ferdinand Schningh GmbH & Co. KG, Paderborn

ISBN 978-3-7705-5185-9
Inhaltsverzeichnis


Vorwort der Reihenherausgeber ...................................................................... 13

Vorwort der Herausgeber ................................................................................ 15


Alexandra Verbovsek
Schlaglichter. Desiderata und Perspektiven der gyptologischen
Methodik und Didaktik .................................................................................. 17


I Kulturwissenschaft und Altertumswissenschaften

Manfred K. H. Eggert
Archologie Historie Philologie. berlegungen zur
Disziplinaritt in den Altertumswissenschaften ............................................... 31

Amr El Hawary
Forscher Texte Kontexte. Auf der Suche nach
einer gyptologischen Kulturwissenschaft ........................................................ 53

Gerhard Lauer
Vom Nutzen und Nachteil des Cultural turn fr
die Geisteswissenschaften ................................................................................ 65

Maria Michela Luiselli
Themen der modernen Kulturwissenschaft innerhalb
der Untersuchung der altgyptischen Religion ................................................ 81

Katharina Philipowski
Fragmentaritt als Problem historischer Kultur- und
Textwissenschaften ......................................................................................... 91


II Didaktik und Akademische Lehre

Martin Bommas
Kulturwissenschaft(en) und gyptologie im Spannungsfeld
multiethnischer Hochschullandschaften am Beispiel der Lehre
altgyptischer religiser Texte ....................................................................... 107
Inhaltsverzeichnis 6
Jacco Dieleman
Teaching Ancient Egyptian Literature .......................................................... 125

Ulrike Fauerbach
Altgyptische Architektur. Ein Curriculumsentwurf zu Methodik
und Thematik .............................................................................................. 133

Stefanie Samida
Didaktik in den Altertumswissenschaften. Zur Struktur
und Bedeutung einer Archologiedidaktik .................................................... 153

Jean Winand
Teaching Ancient Egyptian. Between Linguistics and Philology ................... 173


III Methodik

III.1 Archologie und Bauforschung

Julia Budka
Fundmaterial aus Grbern. Mglichkeiten und Grenzen der
archologischen Interpretation und ihre didaktische Vermittlung ................. 185

Irene Forstner-Mller und Wolfgang Mller
gyptische Archologie im deutschsprachigen Raum.
Tradition, Standard, Status und Ausblick ..................................................... 205

Martin Shlhof
Bauforschung und gyptologie .................................................................... 217

Pierre Zignani
Another Reading of the Egyptian Temple. Towards Architecture ................. 227


III.2 Kunst-, Bild- und Medienwissenschaft

Valrie Angenot
A Method for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics
(with Application to the Small Golden Shrine of Tutankhamun) ................. 255

Dominik Bonatz
Funktionen des Bildes in Altvorderasien ....................................................... 287
Inhaltsverzeichnis 7
Melinda Hartwig
An Examination of Art Historical Method and Theory. A Case Study .......... 313

Susanne Muth
Ein Pldoyer zur medientheoretischen Reflexion oder: berlegungen
zum methodischen Zugriff auf unsere historischen Primrquellen ................. 327

Regine Schulz
In oder Out. Gedanken zur Aufarbeitung altgyptischer
Bilderwelten ................................................................................................. 347

Alexandra Verbovsek
Das Ende der Kunst? Kulturwissenschaftliche Perspektivierungen der
gyptologischen Kunstwissenschaft ............................................................... 359


III.3 Museologie

Martin von Falck
Museologischer Anspruch und museumsgyptologische Wirklichkeit.
Theorie und Praxis ....................................................................................... 405

Katharina Flgel
Museologie und Museumsdidaktik ............................................................... 423

Katja Lembke
Prsentation von Originalen. Subjektivitt versus Objektivitt
im Museum .................................................................................................. 437


III.4 Linguistik, Philologie und Literaturwissenschaft

Burkhard Backes
Zur Anwendung der Textkritik in der gyptologie.
Ziele, Grenzen und Akzeptanz ...................................................................... 451

Leo Depuydt
Zu Lehr- und Lernbarkeit des gyptischen Verbs. Wie viele typisch
mittelgyptische sDm.f-Formen gibt es eigentlich? Neun! ............................... 481

Matthias Mller
gyptische Phonologie? Mglichkeiten und Grenzen linguistischer
Modelle bei der Beschreibung des Lautsystems einer extinkten Sprache ........ 509
Inhaltsverzeichnis 8

Joachim Friedrich Quack
Textedition, Texterschlieung, Textinterpretation ....................................... 533

Henrike Simon
Der gyptologische Gattungsbegriff als Mehr-Ebenen-Modell.
Metadiskursive berlegungen zur Systematisierung
gattungstheoretischer Anstze in der gyptologie ......................................... 551


III.5 Geschichts- und Sozialwissenschaft

John Baines
Egyptology and the Social Sciences: thirty years on ........................................... 573

Christopher Eyre
Source Mining in Egyptian Texts. The Reconstruction of Social
and Religious Behaviour in Pharaonic Egypt ................................................ 599

Werner Hu
Methodische Schwierigkeiten bei der Begegnung von Alter Geschichte
und gyptologie ........................................................................................... 617

Ludwig D. Morenz
Perspektiven auf die Formierung der gyptischen Kultur. Ein Pldoyer
fr eine kulturwissenschaftlich geffnete Historiographie ............................. 627

Lutz Popko
Zum Einfluss des Historikers auf die Historie am Fallbeispiel
Amenhoteps II. ............................................................................................ 649


III.6 Religionswissenschaft

Jan Assmann
gyptische Religion: Probleme und Wege ihrer Beschreibung
und Deutung. Ein Erfahrungsbericht ........................................................... 669

Martin Fitzenreiter
Eine archologische Perspektive auf die Beschreibung
der altgyptischen Religion ........................................................................... 703

Inhaltsverzeichnis 9
Jrgen Mohn
Theologieaffine Religionstypen oder Religion im Medium von Mythos
und Ritual im Alten gypten? Anmerkungen zur Adaption religions-
theoretischer Begriffe anhand von Jan Assmanns Unterscheidung
zwischen primrer und sekundrer Religion .................................................. 725

Hubert Roeder
Zwischen den Sthlen. Zugangsbeschreibungen zur altgyptischen
Religion zwischen Transdisziplinaritt und Eigenbegrifflichkeit .................... 739


Farbtafeln 1-10 ............................................................................................. 769


Adressenverzeichnis ...................................................................................... 781


A Method for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics

(with Application to the Small Golden Shrine of Tutankhamun)

Valrie Angenot (Bruxelles)


Abstract
This article proposes a methodology, which can be applied with the aim to determine
whether some ancient Egyptian images bear underlying layers of meaning, or should be
understood at face value. In most cases pertaining to hermeneutics, some clues are to be
found inside the images that appear as anomalies when considered at the literal level of
interpretation. The proposed methodology is then applied to one of the most studied
panels from the golden shrine of Tutankhamun, depicting the king pouring water into
Ankhesenamun's hand.
1 Introduction
1.1 Definition
Hermeneutics is the branch of discourse theory that deals with interpretation and
with the analysis of underlying layers of meaning that exceed the literal significa-
tion of visual or textual motives. Hermeneutics also investigates and attempts to
account for the mechanisms operating to produce those underlying meanings.
Hermeneutic discourses use semiotics as a means of expression. However, a
purely functional semiotic system (such as the highway code for example) ought
to be clear and univocal, allowing only one interpretation, whereas hermeneutic
depictions and texts are characterized by polysemy.
Polysemy is generated by different processes that I will attempt to sum up and
describe below. These means are common to most human discourses, being a
trace of human mind organization, language articulation and imaged pattern pro-
duction. However, their particular use and the typical form they adopt are reflec-
tions of epistemological specificities, and are thus narrowly connected to the civi-
lization that produced them.
1.2 Fields of application
Certain types of discourses specifically show a spontaneous recourse to herme-
neutics. These may belong to sacred as well as to secular domains.
Valrie Angenot 256
1.2.1 Sacred discourse
Christian exegesis is one of the best examples of a hermeneutic category that is
familiar to western and contemporaneous civilizations, despite taking its roots in
remote and distant contexts. In his teaching, Jesus typically uses parables, which
are fully realistic daily life stories,
1
with the aim of allowing his interlocutor to
reach the mysteries of faith and the path to eternal life through the quest and un-
derstanding of hidden significance.
The derived Middle Age heroic literature or the mystical art of Dutch and
Flemish Renaissance painters such as Pieter Aertsen (1508-1575) are also char-
acterized by the use of equivocal motives aimed at generating hermeneutic levels
of signification.
2
These artistic domains best illustrate evangelical mottos such as
Blessed are the eyes which see (Luke 10:23), Seeing they may see, and not
perceive (Mark 4:12), Blessed are your eyes for they see (Matthew 13:16). The
use of multi-layered expressions is thus strongly connected to epistemology as a
cognitive way of understanding and translating the world. In this particular mys-
tical context, hermeneutics serves as a tool to spiritual edification. I intend to
demonstrate below that Egyptian sacred discourses also commonly resort to her-
meneutical devices, even though their motivations might be quite different from
that of Christian exegesis.
1.2.2 Secular discourse
The use of deviated ways of expression may have different causes or purposes and
is therefore not restricted to mystical language; some secular discourses may also
make use of hermeneutics. For instance, fables or folk tales often hide a criticism
of society. Le Chne et le Roseau by Jean de la Fontaine, for example, appears as a
critical comment on Louis XIVs politics, hidden under the appearance of an in-
nocent fable; Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault is a highly erotic tale
covering up a criticism of morals and society of the classical age. The fact that the
latter, charged with heavy sexual allusions, has nowadays turned into a childrens
bedtime story, shows how meaning can be lost in only a few centuries. What
implications does this have for Egyptian culture that is even further from us in
space and time? However, if one pays attention, signs are still there to be read, for
those who have eyes to see, to help them reach the intended message. In secular
discourses, the motivation behind hidden messages is often connected to right
and censoring (politics, sexual contents ), but also to prowess, poetry, humour
and wittiness.

1
ANGENOT, M., Structures hermneutiques de lvangile de Luc, in: A. Mingelgrn/A. Nysen-
holc (eds), critures Maurice-Jean Lefebve (1983), 67-78.
2
HOUGHTON, C., This was Tomorrow. Pieter Aertsens Meat Stall as Contemporary Art, in: The
Art Bulletin 86, 2004, 277-300.
A Method for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics 257
1.3 Egyptology and hermeneutics
Egyptology so far has shown a strong resistance to considering what has been
called for centuries daily life scenes as more than mere anecdotic depictions of
happy moments, entertainments, or snapshot-like illustrations of life at the time of
the pharaohs.
3
And yet, their funerary, religious, ritualistic or else propagandistic
contexts alone ought to already incite one to seek for underlying meanings. How-
ever, an increasing number of Egyptologists nowadays recognize there is more to
these scenes than their literal meaning, thus following the paths opened by stud-
ies undertaken between the 60s and 70s, mostly by the School of Brussels in
Egyptology,
4
but also by German scholars such as Wolfhart Westendorf and
Hartwig Altenmller.
5
Others seem to be open to the idea that there might be
hidden meaning under these likely depictions of the empirical world, but de-
mand tangible proofs of their existence.
6
Without pretending to bring a definitive
set of evidences, as only a natives confirmation would be liable to validate them,
I would like to draw here a number of patterns that should be looked into as be-
ing clues to the existence of derived meanings underlying the literal one in seem-
ingly petty or trivial scenes.
2 Method
This section encompasses a summary of the results brought by different past
7
and
current works
8
on the question of Egyptian hermeneutics. The leading paths to
these results will not be extensively developed again here. Their validity shall be

3
FEUCHT, E., Fishing and Fowling with the Spear and the Throw-stick Reconsidered, in: U. Luft
(ed.), The Intellectual Heritage of Egypt (1992), 157-169.
4
Particularly Philippe Derchain who dealt with hermeneutics without using its specific language.
See articles such as DERCHAIN, P., La perruque et le cristal, in: Studien zur Altgyptischen Kultur
2, 1975, 55-74; IDEM, Le lotus, la mandragore et le persa, in: Chronique dgypte 99-100, 1975,
65-86; IDEM, Symbols and Metaphors in Literature and Representations of Private Life, Royal
Anthropological Institute News 15, 1976, 7-10.
5
WESTENDORF, W., Bemerkung zur Kammer der Wiedergeburt im Tutanchamungrab, in:
Zeitschrift fr gyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 94, 1967, 139-150. ALTENMLLER, H.,
Darstellung der Jagd im alten gypten (1967).
6
WALSEM, R. VAN, The Interpretation of Iconographic Programmes in Old Kingdom Elite
Tombs of the Memphite Area, in: C. Eyre (ed.), Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress
of Egyptologists (1998), 1205-1213.
7
Mostly ANGENOT, V., Pour une hermneutique de limage gyptienne, in: Chronique dgypte
80, 2005, 11-35, and IDEM, Copy and Reinterpretation in the Tomb of Nakht, in: K. Muhle-
stein (ed.), Proceedings of the International Conference: Evolving Egypt Innovation, Appropriation,
and Reinterpretation in Ancient Egypt (forthcoming).
8
ANGENOT, V., Smiologie et hermneutique de limage gyptienne ancienne, and IDEM, Semiotics
and Hermeneutics, in: M. Hartwig (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Ancient Egyptian Art (both
to be published).
Valrie Angenot 258
sustained by the examples referred to and by the demonstration of their appli-
cation on the small golden shrine of Tutankhamun, below at 4.
2.1 Defining the norm
The first methodological step to a hermeneutic process is to define what should
be considered the norm proper to the specific genre taken into account. The fact
that animals or plants have the ability to talk in folk or fairy tales does not pertain
to hermeneutics. It constitutes the zero-level of interpretation, that of generic
convention.
9
In the same way, the fact that superheroes in comics or novels
(Superman, Batman, Zorro ) appear totally unrecognizable as soon as they take
off their glasses or put on a black silk mask does not require any interpretation as
such.
10
One has just to admit it as a conventional rule. Interpretation comes after,
when one identifies who the actors of those typically Manichean fights stand for,
and who or what should be considered a threat to contemporaneous society.
Principles of Egyptian depictions have been described by Heinrich Schfer.
11

Even though some aspects could sometimes be developed, extended or specified,
it is a good synopsis of what should be considered the norm in ancient Egypt.
The use of different scales, different points of view on one and the same object,
profile, standardized shapes, colours etc., all pertain to the establishment of the
semiotic convention.
2.2 Detecting anomalies
Once we have put aside all the conventional elements, and in the case we are
dealing with a polysemic discourse, some anomalies might emerge that do not
make sense at the literal level of interpretation whereas they do at a derived one.
The presence of these anomalies may have three main and often linked
causes: (1) they have been intentionally used by the artist to help the receptor
reach the hermeneutic levels; (2) they are induced by a depiction constraint, typi-
cally when expressing undepictable concepts; (3) they are induced by berdeter-
minierung. These three cases are developed below.
What is methodologically important to recall is that the anomalies present at
the literal level of signification are clues serving as bridges to reach the other her-

9
However, it often appears as a tool allowing metaphors to work (e. g.: a wolf = a seducer; an oak
= the king etc.).
10
This convention might take its roots in identical patterns found in fairy or folk tales. In Little Red
Riding Hood, the little girl does not recognize the wolf as not being her grandmother simply be-
cause he has donned a nightcap and put glasses on his muzzle.
11
SCHFER, H., Principles of Egyptian Art, (2002).
A Method for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics 259
meneutic layers. At these levels, they will cease to be anomalies and instead har-
monize in a superior coherence.
2.2.1 Within the image
2.2.1.1 Preternatural elements
Looking at plate 1 and plate 2a, the viewer will intuitively consider reading
plate 1 on a hermeneutic mode, whereas he might not directly suspect the pres-
ence of underlying meaning in plate 2a. What makes the difference between the
two? The answer is of course the preternatural elements in plate 1 that are lacking
in plate 2a.
12

Considering the lower register in plate 1, few people will indeed believe to be
looking at the anecdotic, decorative and picturesque image of a man and his wife
working their field, because of the generalized preternatural ambiance that sur-
rounds the scene, which places it at another level of signification.
13
Having identi-
fied the divine and symbolical environment, one can easily understand that these
people are not working earthly soil but rather the Fields of Reeds (sx.t-iArw) in the
netherworld that will assure their sustenance after death. This identification will
then trigger the memory of a certain amount of funerary texts and mythical allu-
sions likely to assure understanding of all the motives displayed in the scene.
Even if only a small number of scholars read this tomb wall literally, many
would still consider such an interpretation as invalid for earlier models in identi-
cal funerary contexts, at a time when the use of preternatural elements in private
tombs did not correspond to the epistemological climate. The heuristic steps de-
scribed below might help them overcome some of their reluctances.
14

2.2.1.2 Rupture of isotopy
Anomalies can be more discrete than a profusion of preternatural elements.
Sometimes, a simple rupture of isotopy should already ring a bell. Considering
the same agricultural register in plate 1, without its surrounding environment,
the perfectly pleated garment of Sennedjem, as well as the elegant dress and
braided long hair of Ity should be considered anomalies at the literal level. These
are in no way adapted to arduous duties that require ease of movement; they
therefore constitute a rupture of isotopy.

12
For the latter see ANGENOT, V., Smiologie et hermneutique.
13
Preternatural elements were put forward as regards texts by MUHLESTEIN, K., Empty Threats?
How Egyptians Self-Ontology Should Affect the Way We Read Many Texts, in: Journal of the
Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities 34, 2007, 115-130.
14
However, I will not focus on the Old Kingdom in this article, but rather on the Eighteenth Dy-
nasty iconography.
Valrie Angenot 260
Heterotopic garments and accessories often manifest the presence of hidden
layers of signification in Egypt, such as the multiplication of Hathoric elements
donned by the deceaseds wife in the fishing and fowling scenes around the reign
of Amenhotep III (vaporous transparent dress, heavy wig, sistrum, menat ).
15

The difficulty here is to determine what is pertinent or not to be worn in differ-
ent situations and at specific epochs. Who still knows nowadays that it was both
anachronistic and totally inappropriate for a little village girl to wear a red rid-
ing hood (or rather a red chaperon), and that this obvious index was, at the time,
the main anomaly in the tale?
16

2.2.1.3 Use of tropes
2.2.1.3.1 Metaphor, metalepsis
Considering plate 2b, one would probably, as with plate 1, intuitively switch to a
hermeneutic mode of interpretation. The reason is the anomalies lying at the lit-
eral level [a long-eared cat cutting a snake with a knife at the foot of a tree] are far
too distant from what one might expect to encounter in the empirical world, for
the reader not to promptly move into subvisual realms. Drawing from his cul-
tural background or from his knowledge of the Egyptian civilization, the viewer
will therefore identify the cat as a cultural metaphor
17
embodying the suns ally;
the snake as its paradigmatic counterpart standing for the suns enemy; and the
iSd tree as the sacred Heliopolitan persea tree. His focus would thus adapt to the
actual topology of the scene for his interpretation to slide into its mythical impli-
cations. It is only after switching to a hermeneutic mode that the reader will un-
derstand the scene as evoking the big cat of Heliopolis putting the foe Apophis to
death during the suns nightly journey; yet another Manichean and cosmic battle
the outcome of which the fate of the world depends on.
18

In visual semiotics, symbols
19
are, by definition, a type of sign that should be
understood at a non-literal level, as they are used to depict undepictable concepts
or complex ideas. For instance, even though the ankh sign is motivated by a tro-
pological transfer using successive metonymies, it represents an idea, [life], lack-
ing materiality. Therefore, the penis sheath
20
used to convey the concept should
not be taken at face value. It should be deciphered as a metonymy [surrounding
part for surrounded part]: belt and sheath for the penis it contains, doubled by

15
ANGENOT, V., Pour une hermneutique, 21.
16
Ibidem, 22.
17
On metaphor see GOLDWASSER, O., From Icon to Metaphor (1995).
18
In this case, the hieroglyphic text also helps identify the scene. For the textual element as inter-
pretant, see 2.4.1.
19
In Charles S. Peirces classification: icon/symbol/index. PEIRCE, C., Collected Papers (1931-
1958).
20
BAINES, J., Ankh-sign, Belt and Penis Sheath, Studien zur Altgyptischen Kultur 3, 1975, 1-24.
A Method for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics 261
another metonymy [instrument for action]: male genitalia for procreation, and
by another metonymy [antecedent for consequent]: procreation for life.
This rhetorical language shows how some figures of speech (tropes) were used
to elaborate symbols,
21
but also to mitigate other types of significance transfers.
Figures of speech are also, by definition, figures that stand for something else,
which is not said or cannot be expressed. Therefore the use of rhetorical figures is
often the mark of the presence of underlying layers of meaning.
22

I have mentioned metaphor, metonymy and synecdoche. Another interesting
trope is metalepsis, a figure of speech that disrupts the logical connection between
antecedent and consequent, before and after, and subverts the homogeneity in
the logic of narration. To say it shortly, metalepsis presents a certain kind of
anachronistic contradiction that, of course, always constitutes an anomaly at the
literal level of signification.
In a previous article I presented two types of metalepses: the throwstick
reaching the birds neck while still in the deceaseds hands in fowling scenes, and
the adult king sitting on his wet nurses lap or being suckled by her.
23
In the first
case, without the apotropaic intention lying behind the composition, the meta-
lepsis would have been useless; while in the second case, if the king were not con-
sidered a newborn when passing his coronation rituals, such representations
would appear incongruous or even absurd.
2.2.1.3.2 Forced symmetry (simile)
Another well-known figure of speech is the simile. I feel it should be dealt with
separately because of the visual impact it generates that ought to be understood as
bearing a notifying function.
24

In fishing and fowling scenes, the gesture of the two figures of the deceased are
forced to look alike with an aim of translating their semiotic equivalence. As they
are not equivalent at the literal level (fishing does not equate to fowling), it means
their common signification lies elsewhere.
25

Note that a double depiction of the same person or element inside one of the
frames determined by the Egyptian code of depiction
26
does not pertain to

21
What we commonly call symbols, as symbols are yet another type of figure of speech. DU-
PRIEZ, B., Gradus, les procds littraires, (1984), 436-439.
22
ANGENOT, V., Regarding the Use of Tropes and Schemes in Egyptian Iconography (unpublished).
23
ANGENOT, V., Pour une hermneutique, 20 f., 31 f.
24
In semiotics, signs may have two main functions: one is notifying (it notifies that there is mean-
ing to seek for), the other one is signifying (it conveys the meaning).
25
That is at the apotropaic, trophic, entertainment and regenerative levels. See ANGENOT, V.,
Pour une hermneutique, 20 and below at 3.1.
26
ANGENOT, V., Cadre et organisation de lespace figuratif dans lgypte ancienne, in: T. Lenain
(ed.), Cadres, Seuils, Limites (forthcoming).
Valrie Angenot 262
convention or to the zero-level of interpretation defined earlier. It constitutes an
anomaly that requires interpretation.
27

The fishing and fowling case also raises the question of cultural icons (see be-
low 2.3) as the comparative element does not necessarily have to be physically
present to validate the comparison.
Other less obvious forced symmetries in compositional patterns should be
considered in the same way, such as the forced symmetry between the viticultural
scenes and the clapnet hunting sequence in the tomb of Nakht (TT 52).
28

2.2.1.4 berdeterminierung
The term berdeterminierung (over-determination, surdtermination) was first
used by Sigmund Freud in psychoanalysis to designate the multiple factors lying
behind the confusion in the narrative consistency of dreams, as a formation of the
subconscious meant to produce an effect, e. g. a cathartic message or wish-fulfil-
ment.
29
These elements are organized in different chains of signification that pos-
sess their own coherence, each requiring a particular interpretation. Dreams and
psychology are definitely domains of hermeneutic application. The human mind
being built on that pattern, it is not surprising that some common ways of figu-
rative expression may emerge from distinct civilizations. Our task here is of
course not to compare incommensurable objects of study but to put forward
mechanisms of meaning-production common to human societies.
Over-determination first comes with the impossibility of expressing with mo-
tivated images
30
concepts lacking materiality. The Egyptians thus had to draw
from the empirical world elements that would best stand for and represent those
concepts through their concrete presence. In doing so, they tied a web of connec-
tions between immanence and transcendence, between the empirical world and
the world of ideas, thus setting up pragmatic phenomena as visual ambassadors
for abstract or complex notions.
With time and epistemological changes, new parallelisms may have appeared
as more valid and likely to reinforce the intended message. The fishing and
fowling scenes are the best example of this phenomenon. Between the Old King-
dom and the end of the reign of Amenhotep III, these apotropaic scenes con-
nected to rebirth were charged with new values prone to strengthen their effi-
ciency.
31
These new values were added to the previous ones through iconographic

27
ANGENOT, V., Pour une hermneutique, 17 f.
28
Extensively analysed in ANGENOT, V., Copy and reinterpretation.
29
FREUD, S., Die Traumdeutung (1900).
30
This means with images showing a strong visual connection between the term signified and its
empirical reality.
31
For example the generalized Hathorization of women by the end of the 18
th
dynasty contribut-
ing to the sexual metaphor (birth rebirth), the sxmx-ib text in the mAA formula (entertainment
revitalization of the ka), etc.
A Method for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics 263
details, thus creating a set of inner contradictions at the literal stage of reading.
Very few elements were suppressed with time to level these anomalies,
32
which
makes me believe they were also intended as such to facilitate understanding. Our
example in 4 shows that, by the time of Tutankhamun, berdeterminierung
had become a common form of expression in which the time factor no longer
played a role.
33
By the end of the 18
th
dynasty, one feels that the more motivated
a scheme is, the more valuable it appears. This practice is characteristic of what
we may term non-Cartesian thought where logic is not identified with the princi-
ple of non-contradiction. In a world where every immanent experience is the ma-
nifestation of transcendence, berdeterminierung is a corollary outcome.
2.2.1.5 Indices
In Peirces classification,
34
index is a kind of sign that is materially connected to
the thing it stands for, in that it is a sensible trace of a phenomenon. Very often
index is not especially meant to signify but however conveys meaning, just like
clues
35
in a crime scene.
Atonist iconoclasm has left interesting indices that highlight the fact that there
is more to certain scenes than what seems to be depicted. In the banquet scene in
the tomb of Ramose (TT 55), the vizier is sitting on a chair, inhaling perfume
from a jar. Under his chair a goose was originally depicted that was hacked out of
the wall in Antiquity. What could have passed for an anecdotic scene of a mans
daily activity with his household animals is revealed by this index to actually be-
long to another stratum of signification. The goose was not just any goose; it was
hacked out as being a hypostasis of Amun, the hated god in Atenist times, which
places the scene not only at an earthly level but also at a mythical one.
36
The vizier
was under the protection of the god in order to perform his resurrection in a
scene of vivification through sustenance and social connectivity.
37


32
The only one I can think of is the royal shendit that was replaced by a classical loincloth at the
time of Amenhotep III (but never before!). The hieroglyphic formula accompanying these scenes
also changed with time, until it adopted its final and most satisfying form at the beginning of the
18
th
dynasty (ANGENOT, V., La formule mAA ( regarder) dans les tombes prives de la dix-
huitime dynastie. Approche smiotique et hermneutique [to be published]).
33
The new ideology was expressed through new motives in which layers of meaning were immedi-
ately accumulated, cf. infra 4.
34
Cf. supra, note 19.
35
Indices in French.
36
See the same hacking in the fishing and fowling scene in the tomb of Nakht (TT 52). SHE-
DID, A., The Tomb of Nakht (1996), 58.
37
On death as social isolation and the role played by the banquets in social connectivity during the
New Kingdom, see ASSMANN, J., Tod und Jenseits im Alten gypten (2003), 54-88.
Valrie Angenot 264
2.2.2 Within the text
Some anomalies may also pertain to the text rather than to the images. In such
cases, we may assume that the anomaly was intentionally meant to be significant.
A good example of textual anomaly appears on the ivory chest from the treas-
ury of Tutankhamun. The scene (pl. 3) depicts what could pass for a trite episode
of the life of an ancient Egyptian royal couple. Ankhesenamun is depicted offer-
ing her husband a bunch of flowers. The king leans on his staff, inhaling the
perfume of the lotuses, while saluting his wife in a gesture of respect.
The text carved above their heads is quite short, limited to the couples titles
and names:


Ankhesenamun: @m.t nsw wr.t nb.t tA.wi (anx=s-n-Imn)| anx.ti
The great royal spouse, lady of the Two Lands, Ankhesenamun, may she
live.
Tutankhamun: NTr nfr nb tA.wi (Nb-xpr.w-Ra)| (&wt-anx-Imn HqA-Iwnw-
Smai)| mi Ra
The beautiful god, lord of the Two Lands, Nebkheperure Tutankhamun,
ruler of the Southern Heliopolis, like Re.
Although already short, this text was further amputated of one element. The mi
Ra, like Re coming after Tutankhamuns name does not make sense by itself.
The recurring consecrated expression usually following a kings names and titles
is of course di anx mi Ra, may he be given life like Re.
38
The di anx is thus miss-
ing. But if it is missing from the text, it is not missing in the image. Indeed, of-
fering a bouquet of flowers in ancient Egyptian also reads di anx(.w).
By generating an anomaly in the text, the artist incited the viewer to search for
the missing part in the image and therefore to identify the visual pun hidden un-
der the depiction (on visual puns see 2.5 below). Without the textual anomaly,
we might have missed the deeper meaning of this outwardly picturesque scene.
39


38
See for example the royal throne of Tutankhamun.
39
For a deeper analysis of the scene, the presence of another visual pun and the nature of the life
offered by Ankhesenamun to Tutankhamun, see ANGENOT, V., Smiologie et hermneutique.
A Method for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics 265
2.3 Evocation of cultural icons
As mentioned in 2.2.1.3.2, visual parallelisms do not especially require the sec-
ond half of the comparison statement to be physically present on an artefact or a
wall to be valid, especially when the referenced element is an icon,
40
strongly an-
chored in everybodys mind.
It is clear that the fishing and fowling scenes ought to be paralleled with the
widely spread cultural icon of the king smiting his enemies. The visual simile is so
strong, and the referenced element so deeply present in the Egyptian iconic land-
scape from dynasty 0 on, that it seems almost impossible not to evoke it when
viewing fishing and fowling scenes. This implicit comparison shall thus bring
their apotropaic function to the readers mind, helping him equate fish and fowl
with enemies that the deceased has to fight to accomplish his resurrection.
In the same way, it is hard to believe that the weighing scenes depicted in
some Theban tombs, in relation with the activities of the workshop of the divine
offering of Amun, would not recall the weighing of the deceaseds heart in front
of the tribunal of Osiris. Let us never loose sight that those scenes appear in a
funerary context. In the tomb of Menkheperraseneb (pl. 4a), the weighing of
metal scene is so similar to the psychostasy depicted in the Book of the Dead,
41

that even the scribal apparatus seems to mimic the Devouresss shape (pl. 4b).
Some textual elements presented in the next paragraph seem to confirm the
equation and also point in a similar direction.
2.4 Presence of an interpretant
2.4.1 Textual interpretant
In most contemporary, and sometimes ancient artworks as well, the title attached
to the artefact usually serves as an interpretant.
42
But other textual elements may
also help reach a better understanding. Pieter Aertsens painting, a posteriori
called Christus in het huis van Martha en Maria,
43
features two inscriptions dis-
cretely cast in the decor: one on the flagstone paving (Luc X), the other carved
on the fireplace (Maria heeft uitvercoren dat beste deel). These textual elements
are there to help the viewer identify the small figurative scene in the background

40
The term icon being used here not in its Peircean sense, but in that of a representative depiction
or culturally marked recurring motive.
41
I chose the vignette from the Book of the Dead of Hunefer (pBM 9901), because it is well pre-
served and particularly similar to the weighing scene in TT 86, but the psychostasy motive was
widespread from mid-18
th
dynasty onwards and always adopts the same general form.
42
RIFFATERRE, M., Smiotique de la posie (1983), 130 f.
43
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien: http://www.convivialiteenflandre.org/index.php?option=com
_content&view=article&id=154:fiche-dhistoire-de-lart-nd5-le-peintre-pieter-aertsen&catid=58:
histoire-de-lart [22.2.2010], fig. 5.
Valrie Angenot 266
of the painting, and help him to decipher the huge still life in the foreground in
light of the biblical episode of the Christ visiting St. Lazarus sisters.
44
Flemish
Renaissance writers, artists and painters sometimes left us notes or comments on
their work, which may of course be used as interpretants as well.
45
But for ancient
Egypt, it is rare to find such comments on artefacts, and nobody will ever come
back from the past to validate our intuitions and understanding of artworks. We
must therefore build a method that has, on the one hand, proved its efficiency in
other fields, and that can, on the other hand, be applied to Egyptian iconogra-
phy.
The weighing scene in the tomb of Menkheperraseneb (pl. 4a) appears as the
visual counterpart of a mAA formula,
46
describing the composition as the deceased
watching the workshops of the temple of Amun and the activity of craftsmen.
Very exceptionally (thus abnormally), the mAA formula is followed, after the
tomb owners name and titles, by a little bibliographic text in which Menkheper-
raseneb mentions all the realizations he has accomplished on behalf of his king,
being a confident to him and the director of his works. He adds that he has ac-
complished his duties without failing and was praised for that.
47
Even though
such a statement is rooted in the reality of Menkheperrasenebs earthly career, it
cannot but evoke the justification of his life actions that he will have to testify for
in front of the divine tribunal during psychostasy. The composition thus plays on
the ambiguity of two possible readings of such scenes; one leading to an imma-
nent understanding, the other to a transcendental one, using evocation of cultural
icons and textual interpretant to convey the message. The different schemes em-
ployed for that aim combine to reinforce the impact and efficiency of the image.
Other textual interpretants may carry the meaning in a clearer way, not only
titles of books, poems, paintings etc., but also morals in folktales, for example.
The moral written by Perrault at the end of Little Red Riding Hood used to make
it clear that the tale was dealing with the endangered virtue of young girls when
confronted with seducers. It is not a surprise if, now that it has turned into a
childrens bedtime story, the interpretant has been erased from most of the
books. In ancient Egypt, text is rarely used as a label or a legend to an image. In-
stead, the Egyptians usually preferred to play on the semantic value of both
means of communication to avoid intertextual tautology.
48
This is why texts
sometimes remain vague in regards to the images intents, even though they help
the reader refocus on the right reading mode.
49


44
For an in-depth analysis: STOICHITA, V., Linstauration du tableau (1999), 16-26.
45
HOUGHTON, C., This was Tomorrow.
46
ANGENOT, V., La formule mAA.
47
DAVIES, N. DE G., The Tombs of Menkheperrasonb, Amenmose and Others, (1933), 11, pl. X-XVI.
48
ANGENOT, V., Discordance entre texte et image, in: Gttinger Miszellen 187, 2002, 11-22.
49
For another example with the song of Bata used in connection with threshing scenes, see AN-
GENOT, V., Smiologie et hermneutique.
A Method for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics 267
2.4.2 Visual interpretant
In other cases, visual interpretants may also be present to make explicit meta-
phoric depictions. In the above-mentioned painting by Pieter Aertsen, the Bibli-
cal scene is there to help interpret the tropes and visual puns hiding in the still
life in the foreground. In Egypt, visual interpretants may be present, notably
during periods when visual schemes were being set, such as in the Palette of
Narmer. In this early artefact marking the establishment of Egyptian depiction
conventions and layout, the image of the Upper Egyptian king smiting his
Northern enemy is translated under the form of a tropologic group
50
showing a
human-headed papyrus strip of land held on a nose-leach by a human-armed fal-
con.
51
If this motive derives from the bigger depiction of the king, the latter serves
to make it explicit, thus establishing, between the two semiotically equivalent
images, the mode in which Egyptian metaphoric depictions are set. The unlikely
aspect of the upper right motive, through the use of tropologic terms, makes us
switch to a hermeneutical mode; the most lifelike image helps to interpret it. On
the reverse of the palette is another metaphor, this time lacking abnormal ele-
ments: a bull is depicted knocking down a man, in the vicinity of a convention-
ally depicted fortress. The presence, on the other side, of the king smiting his en-
emy helps us to understand that we are not witnessing the narration of a true
event during which a bull attacked a fortress, but are instead looking at another
metaphorical variation on the theme of the king conquering his foes.
2.5 Puns and visual plays
As the hieroglyphic writing system makes extensive use of puns and plays on
homonymic values, it is not surprising to find similar mechanisms in depictions,
since the boundary between text and image is somewhat vague in Egypt.
52
Thus
as the sign for goose translates the sound sA, the same sign

was used to
represent its homonym sA son and then further used in all the words in which
that sound appeared as in sAw beam

through a rebus mecha-
nism. The Egyptians seem to have been keen on using the same technique in im-
age, even though very few of these puns that might actually be quite widespread
have been noticed by scholars so far. The most famous and now accepted ones
were spotted by Wolfhart Westendorf in scenes from the small golden shrine of
Tutankhamun, for which he equated cTi, to shoot (arrows with a bow) with cTi

50
Using metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche and personification all at once.
51
GOLDWASSER, O., From Icon to Metaphor, 4-19.
52
VERNUS, P., Des relations entre textes et reprsentations dans lgypte pharaonique, in: cri-
tures 2, 1985, 45-66; BAINES, J., On Functions of Writing in Ancient Egyptian Pictorial Re-
presentation, in: P. Taylor (ed.), Iconography without Texts (2008), 95-126.
Valrie Angenot 268
to beget, to ejaculate, to procreate; and qmA throw the stick with qmA
create.
53
We already came across a visual pun in 2.2.2. (pl. 3), which was vali-
dated by a textual anomaly. We shall discuss other examples in 4 dealing with
the application of our method.
3 Interpretation
3.1 A superior coherence
All these elements would be useless if they did not result in an interpretation.
However, in most cases, if these signs manifest themselves as being schemes re-
quiring an interpretation, they usually do not indicate which meaning they
carry.
54
In semiotics, this function is called notifying value. It is our role to dis-
cover and reconstitute the intended message that is their signifying value. How
hard a task this appears most of the time! It is only our knowledge of ancient
Egypt and our ability to free ourselves from our own intuitive habits that could
lead us to the path of rightful interpretation. However, there exists one indication
that we are approaching the truth. This is the point where all the anomalies we
have noticed would not appear as anomalies any longer, but instead unify in a higher
coherence.
3.2 Hermeneutical levels
Because of the multi-motivated character of some motives (berdeterminierung),
the above-mentioned coherence might not emerge from one single level of inter-
pretation but may often be multiple. The famous Italian semiotician Umberto
Eco has determined, as concerns Christian exegesis, at least five levels of inter-
pretation on which the Exodus episode could be read: the literal level, the moral
level, the allegorical level, the mystical level and the anagogical level.
55
For the
fishing and fowling scene, I was able to ascertain seven layers of interpretation,
either generating anomalies at the literal level of interpretation or being backed
up by interpretants:


53
WESTENDORF, W., Bemerkung, 142.
54
The presence of an explicit textual interpretant is probably the only exception to this rule.
55
ECO, U., Luvre ouverte (1962), 19.
A Method for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics 269
Levels Meaning Signs, interpretants, anomalies
1. Literal Fishing and fowling
2. Trophic Nourishment with the
catch of the hunts
Proximity of explicit scenes as in-
terpretant (reception of country goods
among which are fish and fowl)
3. Physical Stimulation of the ka
through entertainments
Text as interpretant: sxmx-ib mAA, n kA
n
4. Sexual Act of creation through
sexual intercourse
Visual pun cTi, rupture of isotopy
(clothes of protagonists esp. wife),
Hathoric ambiance
5. Ritual Act of creation through re-
enactment of ritual actions
Visual pun qmA, forced symmetry to
notify it
6. Apotropaic Capture of chaotic forces
as enemies
Simile of cultural icons, forced
symmetry, metalepsis, rupture of
isotopy (royal shendit)
7. Mythological Divine presence (Amun),
re-enactment of divine
actions (solar cycle)
Index (hacked geese), simile on
cultural icon (remotivation of gesture
in TT 69), preternatural/ metaphoric
elements (irradiating Wasserberg in
TT 69), index (cats golden eye in
TT E2)

rebirth
As the interpretation of the scene must lie at the point where all these elements
would unify in a higher coherence, we should aim to find a common denomina-
tor for them. As stimulation of the ka, sustenance, eviction of chaotic forces, re-
creation and re-enactment of divine cycles are all conditions required to reach a
common goal which is rebirth, we may assume that rebirth is what was signified
through such scenes. And as rebirth is a notion that works very well in a funerary
context where these scenes are to be found, we may trust that we have reached,
with our interpretation, the original intents of the designers of the motive.
56

From an immanent versus transcendent point of view, we can thus state that
fishing and fowling is the empirical motive that best stands for the abstract no-
tion of rebirth and the wish for its permanent accomplishment, as it is able to
transpose in reality the largest amount of its different mandatory aspects. This is
the reason why the literal level is never to be neglected when considering Egyp-
tian iconography. It stands as the summary of all the other levels, encompassing

56
For a detailed analysis, see ANGENOT, V., Pour une hermneutique.
Valrie Angenot 270
them all. It also serves to anchor in space and time a conceptual and timeless no-
tion and to provide it with a material reality.
This list of hermeneutical levels is in no way exhaustive and should be adapted
to each circumstance.
4 Application
4.1 The small golden shrine of Tutankhamun: Tutankhamun and
Ankhesenamun at leisure
In order to conclude with a detailed application of the above precepts, I would
like to analyse a panel that was considered by some as the most problematic
57

among the scenes depicted on the small golden shrine of Tutankhamun; that is
the one where the king is shown sitting on a stool and pouring water into his
wifes hand (pl. 5). This scene appears problematic because it is one of the few
daily life motives to be found on the shrine that is unfamiliar to Egypts ances-
tral iconographic reservoir.
58
Its newness presents grounds for a fresh hermeneutic
analysis.
The literal meaning makes this panel the depiction of an anecdotic intimate
moment between the royal couple, showing the king pouring water into the
queens hand leaning lasciviously on his knees. An intimate moment, indeed, but
its degree of intimacy is induced by iconographical details that unveil its exact
nature. The broad collar the king is wearing is exceptionally adorned with man-
drake fruits, a bunch of which he also holds in his hand. Mandrakes are known to
bear sexual connotations in Egypt and in the contemporary Near East;
59
their
unusual and repetitive appearance in this panel of the shrine should thus be in-
terpreted as a semiotic sign referring to these notions.
Even though it is not rare in ancient Egypt, the bare breast of the queen is also
exceptional in her depictions. It is actually the only place in her known iconogra-
phy where it occurs. It therefore constitutes an anomaly that might induce the
identification of the visual pun intended here.
60
The side lock in Ankhesenamuns
hair, although not unusual in her iconography, only occurs three times on the

57
EATON-KRAUSS, M./GRAEFE, E., The Small Golden Shrine from the Tomb of Tutankhamun
(1985), 33.
58
At the exception maybe of bird hunting with bow and arrows which only displays a new version
of a familiar motive through remotivation of the action depicted.
59
MANNICHE, L., Sacred Luxuries (1999), 100-102; DERCHAIN, P., Le lotus, la mandragore, 65-
86.
60
Bare breasts could be connected either to sexuality or to maternity and breast-feeding and thus to
rebirth (most often that of the king at the time of his coronation). But the boundary between
sexuality and maternity is tenuous in Egypt as witnessed by Hathors attributions. See also the
ostracon in the Louvre showing a woman breast-feeding a baby with her wig disordered and her
servant bringing her a mirror and a kohl tube: WOZNY, D./SIMOES, I. (eds), Parfums et cosm-
tiques dans lgypte ancienne (2002), 99.
A Method for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics 271
shrine: once in the erotically connoted bird hunt with the bow, and once with
the offering of the palm branches of the heb-sed.
61
The lock was associated with
the Hathoric world, which sets the actual ambiance in which the scene takes
place.
62

Pouring water is to be read cTj mw in Egyptian , a very ambiguous
expression using a verb that encompasses many homonyms, among which, to
sow, to strike, but also to spear and to have sexual intercourse
63
as already pointed out above. Mw (water) is a term that may also be
used for seed or semen ,
64
the whole thus implicitly signifying the act
of begetting or procreating as demonstrated by Wolfhart Westendorf.
65
The
exceptional and evocative shape of the vessel Tutankhamun is holding leaves little
room to doubt regarding this interpretation.
Having unveiled the visual pun, Westendorf suggests equating the queens
mouth with a metaphoric vulva.
66
However, other puns might be lying under-
neath. The action of drinking is to be read xnp which is homonymous to
xnp

,
67
usually translated as to receive (semen), notably in the mythical
episode of the conception of Horus.
68
The determinative, (sometimes ),
clearly shows an action performed with the mouth/face, which suggests reception
of semen through oral sex. Marc Orriols-Llonch has recently demonstrated, with
examples drawn from mythological passages, that semen ingestion was considered
by the Egyptians a fertile sexual performance likely to lead to procreation.
69
An-
other verb might reinforce the idea of a visual pun on drinking = ingestion of
semen: nwH ,

to drink (usually alcohol),
70
also possesses its homonym:
nwH ,
71

an act of copulation

equated by Hans Goedicke with oral sex.
72

Therefore what we are witnessing here is indeed a very intimate moment of a
couples life. The analysis of the occurrences of the words mentioned above also

61
EATON-KRAUSS, M./GRAEFE, E., The Small Golden Shrine, pl. XIX.
62
WESTENDORF, W., Bemerkung, 141.
63
Wb IV, 347, 12.
64
Wb II, 52, 11.
65
WESTENDORF, W., Bemerkung, 141.
66
Ibidem; cf. Wb II, 391, 7: A generic term for opening?
67
Wb III, 291, 1.
68
ORRIOLS-LLONCH, M., Semen Ingestion and Oral Sex in ancient Egyptian Texts, in: Proceed-
ings of the Tenth International Congress of Egyptologists (forthcoming), 9 f.
69
Ibidem.
70
Wb II, 224, 3. This verb appears in Hathors epithet as Lady of drunkenness, nb.t nwH. Hathor
is also the goddess of love and maternity. The double entendre between Lady of drunkenness
and Lady of begetting should in no way be considered fortuitous.
71
Wb II, 224, 1.
72
GOEDICKE, H., Unrecognized Sportings, in: Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 6,
1967, 101.
Valrie Angenot 272
demonstrates that the sexual meaning intended with the pun is strongly con-
nected to mythological creational actions, which shall be confirmed shortly.
Indeed, this sexual encounter does not seem to be limited to earthly consid-
erations. There seems to be a cosmic signification to it that can be deduced from
the paraphernalia worn by the royal couple. First of all the shebiu-collar the king
is wearing is particularly prominent in this relief. Ray Johnson showed that, after
his first heb-sed, Amenhotep III was systematically depicted with the shebiu-collar.
He also demonstrated that after his rejuvenation process, he had merged with all
the major gods of Egypt and had become himself the dazzling sun, his name from
then on being written with a cryptogram taking the appearance of the sun god
whom he had become.
73
Towards the end of his reign, Akhenaten himself seems
to have donned the shebiu-collar and probably ruled as the living sun disc for a
while.
74
Even though Tutankhamun could not have celebrated a heb-sed and
might not have merged with the sun god before his death, it seems likely that the
presence of the shebiu in this depiction alludes to his solar role. It is also attested
that when he died, the king of Egypt would unite and be assimilated with the sun
god Re and that the shebiu-collar is an indication of this union. It is noteworthy
that, apart from the golden shrine, the only artefact on which Tutankhamun
wears the shebiu is his innermost sarcophagus. The shebiu is fashioned there as
emerging from a lotus flower, which reinforces the solar aspect of this piece of
jewellery. At a cosmic level, Tutankhamun must thus be considered here as a
manifestation of the sun [god].
Ankhesenamun is also attributed a special cosmic role through the specific and
heterotopic crown with cows horns, enclosing the sun disc and two long, straight
feathers that she is wearing. Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt has demonstrated
that this crown was worn by queens when they embodied the star [and goddess]
Sothis while accomplishing the ritual of making the sun rise on New Years day.
75

It means that the (sexual) reunion of the king and the queen is also that of the
two celestial bodies, that meet once a year to mark the beginning of a new cosmic
cycle, announcing on earth the return of the inundation that brings fertile sedi-
ments to Egypts soil.
76
Ankhesenamun is also wearing interesting earrings that
may recall the hieroglyphic sign wbn, to shine or to rise , and thus allude to
her cosmic role.
From both the cosmic and the sexual levels, reaching the mythical interpreta-
tion is an easy step to take. From the First Intermediate Period on, the act of
creation started to require a feminine principle for its accomplishment.
77
This

73
JOHNSON, R., Images of Amenhotep III in Thebes. Styles and Intentions, in: L. Berman (ed.),
The Art of Amenhotep III (1990), 37-42.
74
Ibidem.
75
DESROCHES-NOBLECOURT, C., Amours et fureurs de la Lointaine (1995), 41-43.
76
Note that sowing seed is also to be read cTi mw. There might thus be another pun in the pour-
ing of water by Tutankhamun, alluding this time to the inundation, to its fertile action and to
the upcoming agricultural works of the season of peret.
77
ORRIOLS-LLONCH, M., Semen Ingestion, 1.
A Method for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics 273
feminine principle was called Dr.t=f, his hand, referring to the first version of
the Heliopolitan myth in the Pyramid Texts where Atum, then regarded as an
androgynous divinity, procreated his children, Shu and Tefnut, through mastur-
bation.
78
At the mythical level, Ankhesenamun embodies the feminine principle
who receives the sun gods semen, first in her hand and then by swallowing it in
an aim to procreate; all actions performed by the sole god Atum in the earliest
version of the myth. As underlined by Marc Orriols-Llonch, both hand and
mouth play an important role in creation and in the conception of Shu and Tef-
nut,
79
and should not therefore be viewed as metaphors for vulva in this specific
case, but rather be taken at face value.
The text seems to back up the mythical interpretation. Ankhesenamuns name
is here followed by anx.ti r nHH, whereas on fifteen out of the seventeen panels
decorating the shrine she is referred to as anx.ti or anx.ti D.t. The choice of the
cyclical eternity performed by the sun god instead of the permanent eternity D.t
should not be seen as fortuitous.
The crown that the king is wearing, the khepresh or blue crown, will lead us to
another level of signification. It is often called the war crown, but Bernard
Mathieu has demonstrated that it was donned by the king when accomplishing
transformation rituals such as the ritual passage of coronation
80
during which, as a
hereditary prince, he is reborn in a new form, that of the king. Although he is al-
ways depicted as an adult, the king is considered a newborn needing the assis-
tance of a wet nurse, who can be either mortal or divine.
81
The mortal wet nurse
of Tutankhamun is now well known from her tomb discovered in Saqqara,
82

where she is depicted with Tutankhamun sitting on her lap, her breast unveiled
or at least iconographically shown.
83
In this scene, Tutankhamun wears the
khepresh as he does when suckled by his divine wet nurse, the coronation goddess
Weret-Hekau, on a golden necklace found inside the golden shrine itself.
84
On
the necklace, the goddess is depicted as a human-headed cobra, wearing the exact
same crown Ankhesenamun is wearing in our scene. She suckles the king, hold-
ing her breast to his mouth. The kings neck is circled by a coloured beaded
necklace that might evoke a shebiu.
85
I will call this level of meaning the political
one, to distinguish it from the others, even though coronation has a wider impact
on a kings life than just being political. It also involves the transformation and

78
ORRIOLS-LLONCH, M., The Hand of God, in: Second International Congress for Young Egypto-
logists (forthcoming).
79
ORRIOLS-LLONCH, M., Semen ingestion, 3.
80
MATHIEU, B., Lavnement de Pharaon. Un thme iconographique et littraire sous les Ramss,
in: C. Ziegler (ed.), Les pharaons (2002), 225.
81
ANGENOT, V., Pour une hermneutique, 29, 31.
82
ZIVIE, A., La tombe de Maa mre nourricire du roi Toutankhamon et Grande du Harem (2009).
83
Just like Ankhesenamuns breast is shown in our scene. The relief in the tomb of Maa was re-
carved to display the breast more clearly as it was hidden by her arm in the original version.
ZIVIE, A., La tombe de Maa, 30 f.
84
EATON-KRAUSS, M./GRAEFE, E., The Small Golden Shrine, 7.
85
The shebiu on Tutankhamuns coffin also shows blue and red pearls.
Valrie Angenot 274
rebirth of the Pharaoh,
86
the cosmic and mythical re-enactments through rituals,
renewal and guarantee of Maat, and the beginning of a new calendar cycle.
Due to the discovery of the shrine in the kings tomb, all of these elements
could associate to create a resurrectional level of understanding to our scene: re-
birth through sexual intercourse, through re-enactment of mythological episodes
and through allusion to another form of rebirth, i. e. coronation. The shebiu-col-
lar only donned by Tutankhamun on his sarcophagus, the lotus he holds in his
hand and the lion-legged stool he sits upon could point in this direction.
The different levels of interpretation may thus be summed up as follows:
Levels Meaning Signs, interpretants,
anomalies
1. Literal King and queen at leisure
2. Sexual Sexual intercourse, procreation,
birth.
Visual puns: cTi, nwH, xnp mw,
semiotic elements: mandrakes,
kings recipient, queens breast,
Hathoric side lock
3. Cosmic Union of the sun and Sothis,
New Year, inundation.
Rupture of isotopy: queens
crown, shebiu-collar, earrings
4. Mythical Queen as hand serving crea-
tion, primeval times.
Queens hand as vessel, textual
element (nHH), addition of sex-
ual and cosmic levels
5. Political Coronation, new reign, new
calendar.
Kings crown, presence of a
necklace with Weret-hekau
breastfeeding the king inside
the shrine, queens breast
6. Resurrectional Rejuvenation and rebirth. Semiotic elements: lotus, kings
stool, context of discovery

Beginning of a new cycle,
return, re-enactment
4.2 Superior coherence
What is the common denominator between birth, New Year, creation, new
reign/calendar, rebirth? They all indicate through over-determination the
initiation of a new cycle, the eternal return (nHH) or re-enactment of events occur-
ring and performed in all space and time: in the sky (cosmic level), on earth (po-

86
Marked by the attribution of a new name, the coronation name.
A Method for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics 275
litical level), in the netherworld (resurrectional level), in the past (mythical level)
and in the present (sexual level).
The new cycle in question could be that of post-mortem rebirth. Nevertheless,
if the golden shrine does not appear incompatible with a funerary context, it is
probable that it was not designed for that purpose originally. Being analysed
alone, the scene would be best classed as funerary. However, as in any analysis,
one should always consider its context, that is, in this case, not only the archaeo-
logical context it was found in, but also the other scenes depicted on the shrine.
Considering those, a seventh level of interpretation emerges.
On the other panels that are not the usual or revisited daily-life scenes
(mostly hunting scenes) serving hermeneutical purposes, the king receives liba-
tions and is stimulated, dressed, adorned, anointed and revered as would a divine
statue. It is possible that the royal statue that might have originally been con-
tained in the shrine
87
received a daily cult and was the object of such rituals,
maybe taking place in the palace.
88
The rituals on the statue would stand for those
performed on the living image (twt anx) of the sun god (Itn/Ra) that is his earthly
manifestation: Tutankhamun.
89

7. Ritual Accomplishment of the cultic
rites on the living image (twt
anx) of the (sun) god.
Rituals accomplished by the queen
on the other panels, summary of
all the other levels as re-enactment
of cyclical patterns
Ritual, re-enactment and initiation of universal cycles are thus the keywords that
surface from our analysis of the panel on the one hand, and its contextualisation
on the other. The rituals are those accomplished here and now to re-enact the
solar cycle and extend the creation performance of in illo tempore. They might
have been performed on a daily basis, unless they were only staged when initiat-
ing major cycles such as the dangerous passage to the New Year through its epa-
gomenal days. The overall presence of the queen performing these rituals on all of
the panels suggests the emphasis is particularly put on her role as the instrument
of that accomplishment. Using a different method, Gay Robins came to the con-
clusion that the golden shrine functioned in the cult of the divine aspect of the

87
EATON-KRAUSS, M./GRAEFE, E., The Small Golden Shrine, 3 f.
88
As suggested by Gay Robins who is preparing a publication of the shrine with a whole new analy-
sis: ROBINS, G., The small golden shrine of Tutankhamun, in: David Silverman Festschrift
(forthcoming). See also OCONNOR, D., Reading the Small Golden Shrine of Tutankhamun, in:
U. Hartung/V. Mller (eds), Zeichen aus dem Sand (2008).
89
Unless the statue never existed. The footprints on the base might imply it was intended for a
statue. However such a base could appear a bit unstable for an object that must have been carried
and moved. The king, as the living image of the sun god, could have stood in the flesh as the
object of the cultic rites, as suggested by the decoration of the shrine.
Valrie Angenot 276
king performed in the palace by the queen as ritualist, with the purpose of con-
stantly renewing the kings divine aspect.
90

However, in the so-called daily life scenes of the shrine, the king is the one
who is active and performing, whereas the queen plays a more passive role. Over-
all, it is the royal couple that appears as the guarantor of the eternal renewal of all
cycles and therefore as the engine of the march of the universe, in all spatial and
temporal dimensions.
4.3 Daily life scenes and royal couple intimacy at the time of Tutankhamun
In spite of the restoration of the traditional cults, Egypt will never be the same as
it was before the Amarna Period. Akhenaten dramatically changed this civiliza-
tion in all its aspects, from art to language, through religion, cults and conception
of kingship. The time of Tutankhamun inherited those changes and despite
rejecting some was deeply marked by them.
During the Atenist reform, following his premature heb-sed, the king becomes
the embodiment of the living god on earth. The cult of divine icons is from then
on transferred onto his person. The divine statues are no longer exhibited to the
people during festivals,
91
but the king in the flesh performs epiphany through
processions and window appearances at the palace. The apartments in the palace
are assimilated to parts of the temple and bear the same names.
92
There are no
longer statues of the god, but instead he manifests himself under his phenome-
nological form and under that of his son, Akhenaten, the beautiful child of the sun
disc. The king has become a living statue, a living image of the god. Moreover,
there is little doubt this was the idea lying behind the choice of Tutankhatens
name at birth. The private life of the royal couple Akhenaten/Nefertiti thus as-
sumes the ritualist function formerly attached to the divine cult. We are wit-
nessing a theological shift, writes Robert Vergnieux, when the king eats, it is
like he is making an offering to the god; when the royal couple anoints and
dresses, they perform the rituals of dressing up and maintaining the divine stat-
ues; when Akhenaten drinks, he makes a libation on the divine altar.
93
We may
add that when the royal couple has sex, they re-enact creation.
94
They have be-

90
ROBINS, G., The Flying Pintail Duck, in: Abstracts of the Tenth International Congress of
Egyptologists (2008), 215 f.
91
This seems to have continued during the reign of Akhenatens successor, Neferneferuaton, al-
though she was the initiator of the restoration. ASSMANN, J., Ocular Desire in a Time of Dark-
ness, in: A. Agus/J. Assmann, (eds), Ocular Desire, Sehnsucht des Auges (1994), 13-29.
92
ANGENOT, V., A Horizon-of-Aten in Memphis?, in: Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyp-
tian Antiquities 35, 2008, 1-20.
93
VERGNIEUX, R., Amenophis IV et les pierres du soleil (1997), 191.
94
See the bed scenes on some talatats from Akhenatens temple in Karnak showing the king
leading Nefertiti to the royal couch: TRAUNECKER, C., Amnophis IV et Nfertiti. Le couple
royal daprs les talatates du IX
e
pylne de Karnak, in: Bulletin de la Socit Franaise dgyptologie
107, 1986, 17-44, pl. 11.
A Method for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics 277
come a living metaphor of the divine spheres, a phenomenological manifestation
of the mystery of cosmos and creation.
With the golden shrine of Tutankhamun, we have the extension of these prin-
ciples. The intimacy of the couple has remained, beyond the Restoration, the re-
enactment of creational acts and the guarantor of cosmic process and order.
Plate 6 shows how rituals performed on the living image of the god (the king),
95

manifested through the couples intimacy, are strongly connected to cosmic or-
der. On this belt buckle from his treasury, the ritualistic intimacy of Tutankh-
amun and his wife is presented as the heart and core of the stability of the cos-
mos,
96
and is associated with the offering of Maat by the king as a sphinx. This
solar manifestation of royalty guarantees cosmic order in the whole universe (sky,
earth and the netherworld) that it frames both sides of the focal scene.
97

4.4 Egypt and (non-)Cartesian thought
Trying to make a choice among the hermeneutical levels described above can
only be reductive. Choosing the literal one, while rejecting the others, amputates
the message of its most important parts; whereas uniting the different interpreta-
tions brings a superior meaning to light. Some analyses of the shrine recognize
the pertinence of the coronation interpretation, the validity of the sexual meta-
phor, or admit the funerary value of the object, and yet reject them outright in
the name of Cartesian logic that requires a choice and refuses to allow a pheno-
menon to undergo over-determination.
98
But the ancient Egyptians were no
Cartesians. They did not identify logic with the coherence of one rational and
sufficient choice inside rigidly shaped boundaries. On the contrary, they encour-
aged over-determination because their worldview knew no sharp limits between
realms,
99
which considered immanence and transcendence as mutual manifesta-
tions. This is how eclectic meanings can mingle inside one composition without
generating contradiction, but instead uniting to deliver a stronger and superior
meaning. By the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty, the more motivated a visual
pattern is, the stronger its efficiency appears.
Coming to the conclusion that the golden shrine documents the ideological
role of Ankhesenamun as a queen, thus transposing the traditional role of the

95
In this case anointing and offering the breath of life through a bunch (anx) of lotuses held to his
nose (see visual pun in 2.2.2 and 2.5).
96
With the heraldic pillars separating the sky and the netherworld, and the royal couple in the
middle.
97
The universal role of Maat might have been assumed by Ankhesenamun herself through such
rituals, as suggested by C. Traunecker as regards Tiy and Nefertiti, see TRAUNECKER, C., Amn-
ophis IV et Nfertiti, 27 f.
98
EATON-KRAUSS, M./GRAEFE, E., The Small Golden Shrine.
99
MUHLESTEIN, K., Empty Threats?, 116.
Valrie Angenot 278
spouse in ancient Egypt into the royal sphere,
100
not only sounds reductionist, it
also appears ethnocentric. Of course the literal meaning should not be neglected
as it provides a frame to meaning and interpretation; and it happens to be par-
ticularly significant in this specific case. But what is to be seen is that the above-
mentioned role of the spouse (or rather of the royal couple) has deeper implica-
tions than merely social ones, participating in the reactivation of cosmic cycles
and daily re-enactment of the movement of the astral bodies.
If there is one ultimate methodological approach that should be thoroughly
sought after, it would be to try to set aside the epistemological bases our thought
patterns grew up on, and to impregnate them, to as great an extent as possible,
with what we may assume to have been the mind of Egypt.
101

Illustration references
Pl. 1: Shedid, A. G., Das Grab des Sennedjem (1994), 80.
Pl. 2a: Gros de Beler, A., Les anciens gyptiens (2006), 160.
Pl. 2b: Wulleman, R./Kunnen, M./Mekhitarian, A., Passage to Eternity (1989), 130.
Pl. 3: Saleh, M./Sourouzian, H., Die Hauptwerke aus dem gyptischen Museum, Kairo
(1986), Nr. 188.
Pl. 4a: Davies, N. de Garis, The Tombs of Menkheperrasonb, Amenmose and Others,
(1933), pl. 11.
Pl. 4b: Naville, E., Das aegyptische Todtenbuch I (1886), 136.
Pl. 5: Wiese, A./Brodbeck, A. (eds), Toutankhamon. L'or de l'au-del (2004), 263.
Pl. 6: James, T. G. H., Tutankhamun (2000), 254.
Bibliography
Angenot, M., Structures hermneutiques de lvangile de Luc, in: A. Mingelgrn/A. Ny-
senholc (eds), critures Maurice-Jean Lefebve (1983), 67-78.
Angenot, V., Discordance entre texte et image. Deux exemples de lAncien et du Nouvel
Empire, in: Gttinger Miszellen 187, 2002, 11-22.
Pour une hermneutique de limage gyptienne, in: Chronique dgypte 80, 2005, 11-
35.
A Horizon-of-Aten in Memphis?, in: Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian
Antiquities 35, 2008, 1-20.
Cadre et organisation de lespace figuratif dans lgypte ancienne, in: T. Lenain (ed.),
Cadres, Seuils, Limites (forthcoming).
Copy and Reinterpretation in the Tomb of Nakht. Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics,
in: K. Muhlestein (ed.), Proceedings of the International Conference: Evolving Egypt
Innovation, Appropriation, and Reinterpretation in Ancient Egypt (forthcoming).

100
EATON-KRAUSS, M./GRAEFE, E., The Small Golden Shrine, 29.
101
ASSMANN, J., The Mind of Egypt. History and Meaning in the Time of the Pharaohs (1996). For
the New Kingdom, see especially Part IV.
A Method for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics 279
La formule mAA ( regarder) dans les tombes prives de la dix-huitime dynastie.
Approche smiotique et hermneutique (to be published).
Semiotics and Hermeneutics, in: M. Hartwig (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to An-
cient Egyptian Art (to be published).
Smiologie et hermneutique de limage gyptienne ancienne (to be published).
Regarding the Use of Tropes and Schemes in Egyptian Iconography (unpublished).
Altenmller, H., Darstellung der Jagd im alten gypten (1967).
Assmann, J., The Mind of Egypt. History and Meaning in the Time of the Pharaohs (1996).
Ocular Desire in a time of Darkness. Urban festivals and Divine visibility in Ancient
Egypt, in: A. Agus/J. Assmann (eds), Ocular Desire, Sehnsucht des Auges (1994), 13-29.
Baines, J., Ankh-sign, Belt and Penis Sheath, Studien zur Altgyptischen Kultur 3, 1975,
1-24.
On Functions of Writing in Ancient Egyptian Pictorial Representation, in: P. Taylor
(ed.), Iconography without Texts (2008), 95-126.
Davies, N. de G., The Tombs of Menkheperrasonb, Amenmose and Others, (1933).
Derchain, P., La perruque et le cristal, in: Studien zur Altgyptischen Kultur 2, 1975, 55-
74.
Le lotus, la mandragore et le persa, in: Chronique dgypte 99-100, 1975, 65-86.
Symbols and Metaphors in Literature and Representations of Private Life, in: Royal
Anthropological Institute News 15, 1976, 7-10.
Desroches-Noblecourt, C., Amours et fureurs de la Lointaine. Cls pour la comprhension des
symboles gyptiens (1995).
Dupriez, B., Gradus, les procds littraires (1984).
Eaton-Krauss, M./Graefe, E., The Small Golden Shrine from the Tomb of Tutankhamun
(1985).
Feucht, E., Fishing and Fowling with the Spear and the Throw-stick Reconsidered, in:
U. Luft (ed.), The Intellectual Heritage of Egypt. Studies Presented to Lszl Kkosy by
Friends and Colleagues on the Occasion of His 60
th
Birthday (1992), 157-169.
Goedicke, H., Unrecognized Sportings, in: Journal of the American Research Center in
Egypt 6, 1967, 97-102.
Goldwasser, O., From Icon to Metaphor. Studies in the Semiotics of the Hieroglyphs (1995).
Gros de Beler, A., Les anciens gyptiens. Guerriers et travailleurs (2006).
Houghton, C., This was Tomorrow. Pieter Aertsens Meat Stall as Contemporary Art, in:
The Art Bulletin 86, 2004, 277-300.
James, T. G. H., Tutankhamun. The Eternal Splendour of the Boy Pharaoh (2000).
Johnson, R., Images of Amenhotep III in Thebes. Styles and Intentions, in: L. Berman
(ed.), The Art of Amenhotep III. Art Historical Analysis (1990), 37-42.
Manniche, L., Sacred Luxuries. Fragrance, Aromatherapy, and Cosmetics in Ancient Egypt
(1999).
Mathieu, B., Lavnement de Pharaon. Un thme iconographique et littraire sous les
Ramss, in: C. Ziegler (ed.), Les pharaons (2002), 225-233.
Muhlestein, K., Empty Threats? How Egyptians Self-Ontology Should Affect the Way
We Read Many Texts, in: Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities 34,
2007, 115-130.
Naville, E., Das aegyptische Todtenbuch der XVIII bis XX Dynastie, aus verschiedenen Ur-
kunden zusammengestellt und herausgegeben I (1886).
OConnor, D., Reading the Small Golden Shrine of Tutankhamun, in: U. Hartung/
V. Mller (eds), Zeichen aus dem Sand. Festschrift fr Gnter Dreyer (2008).

Valrie Angenot 280
Orriols-Llonch, M., Semen Ingestion and Oral Sex in Ancient Egyptian Texts, in: Pro-
ceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Egyptologists (forthcoming).
The Hand of God. Atums Masturbation in the Heliopolitan Cosmogony, in: Second
International Congress for Young Egyptologists. Erotica, Erotism and Sexuality in Ancient
Egypt (forthcoming).
Riffaterre, M., Smiotique de la posie (1983).
Robins, G., The Flying Pintail Duck, in: Abstracts of the X
th
International Congress of
Egyptologists (2008), 215 f.
The Small Golden Shrine of Tutankhamun. An Interpretation, in: David Silverman
Festschrift (forthcoming).
Saleh, M./Sourouzian, H., Die Hauptwerke aus dem gyptischen Museum, Kairo (1986).
Schfer, H., Principles of Egyptian Art (translated from German by J. Baines) (2002).
Shedid, A. G., Das Grab des Sennedjem. Ein Knstlergrab der 19. Dynastie in Deir el
Medineh (1994).
The Tomb of Nakht (1996).
Stoichita, V., Linstauration du tableau (1999).
Traunecker, C., Amnophis IV et Nfertiti. Le couple royal daprs les talatates du IX
e

pylne de Karnak, in: Bulletin de la Socit Franaise dgyptologie 107, 1986, 17-44.
Walsem, R. van, The Interpretation of Iconographic Programmes in Old Kingdom Elite
Tombs of the Memphite Area. Methodological and Theoretical (Re)considerations, in:
C. Eyre (ed.), Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Egyptologists (1998),
1205-1213.
Vergnieux, R., Amenophis IV et les pierres du soleil (1997).
Vernus, P., Des relations entre textes et reprsentations dans lgypte pharaonique, in:
critures 2, 1985, 45-66.
Westendorf, W., Bemerkung zur Kammer der Wiedergeburt im Tutanchamungrab, in:
Zeitschrift fr gyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 94, 1967, 139-150.
Wiese, A./Brodbeck, A. (eds), Toutankhamon. L'or de l'au-del (2004).
Wozny, D./Simoes, I. (eds), Parfums et cosmtiques dans lgypte ancienne (2002).
Wulleman, R./Kunnen, M./Mekhitarian, A., Passage to Eternity (1989).
Zivie, A., La tombe de Maa mre nourricire du roi Toutankhamon et Grande du Harem
(2009).
A Methodology for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics Plate 1

Agricultural works in the tomb of Sennedjem (TT 1)
Valrie Angenot Plate 2

a) Fording a stream in the mastaba of Ty




b) Mythical scene in the tomb of Inherkhau (TT 359)
A Methodology for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics Plate 3

Ivory chest from the tomb of Tutankhamun, daily life scene
Valrie Angenot Plate 4

a) Weighing of metal in the tomb of Menkheperraseneb (TT86)




b) Weighing of the heart in the Book of the Dead of Hunefer (pBM 9901)
(image mirrored for comparison with a)
A Methodology for Ancient Egyptian Hermeneutics Plate 5

Scene from the golden shrine of Tutankhamun (KV 63)
Valrie Angenot Plate 6

Golden belt buckle from the treasury of Tutankhamun (KV 63)