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The Tekenu and ancient Egyptian funerary ritual

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posted on 2022-03-28, 19:06 authored by Glennise D. West
The Tekenu is a much neglected figure in the literature on the ancient Egyptian funerary ritual. Scholars have tended to examine specific occurrences in isolation or focussed on one form while avoiding other examples. These works are appraised in the Literature Review. There is, in fact, even some contention as to what is a Tekenu. Part 1 of this study is devoted to the formulation of the Corpus Catalogue. Firstly criteria are established which will enable one to conclude what is, and what is not, a Tekenu. Forty-six occurrences of the Tekenu are identified. The time span of occurrences extends from the late Old Kingdom, to the Middle Kingdom, through the New Kingdom and up to the Saite Period. Four distinct forms of Tekenu are recognised and these are further subdivided to aid analysis. A detailed catalogue is then constructed. Part 2 contains the analysis of the primary sources. These are divided into textual references, pictorial representations and context. For tombs TT 20 Mnṯ.w-ḥr-ḫpŝ=f and TT 100 Rekh-Mỉ-Rē, a narrative involving the Tekenu is suggested. Part 3 examines the possible origins of the Tekenu from the pre-pharaonic period up to the New Kingdom. These include the cattle culture, early dynastic figures, standards and the Opening of the Mouth ceremony. The last chapter summarises the findings of this study and proposes that the Tekenu may serve a purpose which, to date, has not been explored.


Table of Contents

1.1. Introduction -- 1.2. Literature review -- 2. Aims and method -- 3. Typology: criteria and creation -- 4. Corpus Catalogue -- 5. Textual preferences, pictorial representations and context -- 6. Special, complex scenes: TT 20 and TT 100 -- 7. Cattle culture, early dynastic figures and standards -- 8. The Tekenu and the Opening of the Mouth ceremony -- 9. Summary and conclusions -- Appendices.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 382-400

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ancient History

Department, Centre or School

Department of Ancient History

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Naguib Kanawati


Copyright Glennise Dale West 2017 Copyright disclaimer:




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