Herihor in art and iconography: kingship and the gods in the ritual landscape of Late New Kingdom Thebes

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Abstract

For much of pharaonic history Herihor did not exist, then after a short span of life he existed only as a memory, perhaps only as a rarely noticed name on a wall. Yet strange as it may appear, it is not the brief period of Herihor’s lifetime which informs much of the present study in that there is no attempt to present a biographical account. In the short period of Herihor’s existence some, perhaps a relatively large percentage, was in infancy and maturation, and that was followed by the time during which he took an active role in shaping his world: the floruit of Herihor. Even for this time little can be said with certainty about Herihor the man. Of his interests and desires, his hopes and expectations, there is nothing to give any firm basis for opinion. He rose to high office, but whether as a consequence of his own will and actions or as a figurehead representing the will of others remains unknown, and perhaps unknowable. What does remain from the floruit of Herihor amounts to little more than a few artefacts
and the relatively large amount of textual and iconographic inscription within the monuments of Karnak, a central location in the Theban ritual landscape. These inscriptions tell not so much of Herihor the man, but of the ideological influences which evolved during the preceding span of pharaonic history. These were the influences which created societal structure in the world of Herihor’s experience, the cultural background informing his time in power and which now forms the primary
focus of this exploration of Herihor’s reign.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherGolden House Publications
Number of pages191
ISBN (Print)978-1-906137-38-0
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

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