Citation

The Great Green and the Great Sand Sea: Marine symbolism in the Egyptian desert.

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Abstract:

This paper explores the possibility that the ancient Egyptian conception of the desert was analogous to the conception of the sea. Using archaeological, textual, and representational evidence, this idea is examined in order to nuance our understanding of the ancient Egyptian approach to and experience of desert environments.
A primary emphasis is placed on the relationship between desert and marine expeditions in ancient Egypt, which can be compared in their goals and social organization. Both the desert and the sea are barriers, separating Egyptians from foreigners physically and culturally. Travel across both is difficult and requires specialist knowledge. This travel is rewarding, however, especially in terms of trade: both the desert and the sea were conduits for bringing valuable commodities into the Nile Valley. How did these commonalities affect lived experience of both environments, especially considering that many marine expeditions would have started with a trip across the desert, and many desert mining expeditions included a sailing voyage?
Additional attention is given to how these experiences shaped and were influenced by the cosmological associations of desert and sea. By examining ancient representations of and in the desert, religious texts that compare or conflate watery and desert environments, and considering the cults of deities that had dominion in both spheres, this paper explores evidence that the symbolically potent associations of water were sometimes applied to arid landscapes as well. This idea provides an alternate lens for viewing the ancient Egyptian attitude toward desert environments.
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Association:
Name: American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) Annual Meeting
URL:
http://www.arce.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1389226_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Hackley, Laurel. "The Great Green and the Great Sand Sea: Marine symbolism in the Egyptian desert." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) Annual Meeting, University Park Hotel, Tucson, AZ, Apr 20, 2018 <Not Available>. 2018-10-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1389226_index.html>

APA Citation:

Hackley, L. D. , 2018-04-20 "The Great Green and the Great Sand Sea: Marine symbolism in the Egyptian desert." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) Annual Meeting, University Park Hotel, Tucson, AZ <Not Available>. 2018-10-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1389226_index.html

Publication Type: Best Student Paper Proposal
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper explores the possibility that the ancient Egyptian conception of the desert was analogous to the conception of the sea. Using archaeological, textual, and representational evidence, this idea is examined in order to nuance our understanding of the ancient Egyptian approach to and experience of desert environments.
A primary emphasis is placed on the relationship between desert and marine expeditions in ancient Egypt, which can be compared in their goals and social organization. Both the desert and the sea are barriers, separating Egyptians from foreigners physically and culturally. Travel across both is difficult and requires specialist knowledge. This travel is rewarding, however, especially in terms of trade: both the desert and the sea were conduits for bringing valuable commodities into the Nile Valley. How did these commonalities affect lived experience of both environments, especially considering that many marine expeditions would have started with a trip across the desert, and many desert mining expeditions included a sailing voyage?
Additional attention is given to how these experiences shaped and were influenced by the cosmological associations of desert and sea. By examining ancient representations of and in the desert, religious texts that compare or conflate watery and desert environments, and considering the cults of deities that had dominion in both spheres, this paper explores evidence that the symbolically potent associations of water were sometimes applied to arid landscapes as well. This idea provides an alternate lens for viewing the ancient Egyptian attitude toward desert environments.


 
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