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Individuality in tomb scenes from the Old and Middle Kingdom
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 09:18 authored by Natasha Nicolette Baramilis
Although scenes that decorate the walls of tombs are frequently described as typical, many contain features that allow for them to differentiate themselves from one another. Individuality is expressed through the representation of personalised features which often depict specific people who take part in specific events. In some cases, these rare features are immediately obvious and are acknowledged to be distinctive or even unique. Yet, when the minor details of seemingly typical scenes are studied, they too often reveal elements suggesting the phenomena may be more widespread than initially thought. The research conducted for this thesis has been focussed on gathering a substantial corpus of scenes expressing individuality to explore the extent to which tomb scenes may commemorate actual events which occurred during the life of the tomb owner. A diverse range of examples, dating to the Old and Middle Kingdoms, have deliberately been selected from a wide variety of themes for the purpose of discovering the degree to which the scenes in question were present throughout tombs from the period. The thesis produced seeks to contribute to an area that has been understudied, with the aim of drawing attention to the need for ongoing research. It seeks to challenge any interpretation of scenes being dismissed as typical and stresses the importance of examining scenes in greater depth to ascertain the purpose of their inclusion in each tomb and their possible significance to each tomb owner.