Monuments décorés en bas relief aux noms de Thoutmosis II et Hatchepsout à KarnakMIFAO 123

During a student handling session at the Egypt Centre, Swansea University, two relief fragments from Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahari were identified. Both fragments had been cut from the walls of the temple, most likely in the late 19th century, before arriving in Swansea via the Wellcome collection in 1971. One fragment contains two columns of text (W351b) while the second depicts the head of a figure (W1376). This paper examines these two fragments, identifying the head of the figure as Hatshepsut’s daughter, the God’s Wife of Amun Neferure.
Hatshepsut was a queen who became a regent, later taking on the titles of a king.
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The article aims at characterising forms and functions of the uses of Middle Kingdom art in royal and court productions during the Thutmosid Period. In order to assess this artistic phenomenon as a conscious revival and not just a survival of the Past and of tradition, the analysis starts with a brief examination of the disruption that was felt and expressed during the Second Intermediate Period. It then goes on investigating the evolution of the references to Middle Kingdom art from the dawn of the 18th Dynasty to the time of Hatshepsut and Thutmosis III, when certain sorts of artistic quotations replaced a global renaissance of Middle Kingdom forms of expression. Special attention is paid to the relationship between creativity and archaism under the reign of Hatshepsut, and the article concludes with some theoretical deductions on the study of Ancient Egyptian archaism and a tentative definition of how innovation was conceptualised in Ancient Egyptian culture.
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