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Title: The Predynastic Dancing Egyptian Figurine
Contributor(s): Relke, Joan R (author)
Publication Date: 2011
DOI: 10.1163/157006611X599190
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Abstract: In 1962, Peter Ucko wrote his landmark work, 'The Interpretation of Prehistoric Anthropomorphic Figurines', challenging and permanently changing the prevailing view of prehistoric figurines as representations of a universal great mother goddess. His work focused on the Predynastic figurines of Egypt, and concluded that there was nothing divine about them. They were probably dolls, ancestor figures, talismanic pregnancy aids, tools for sex instruction and puberty rites, twin substitutes in graves and concubine grave figurines. Since then, this group of figurines has received minimal attention. Using Ucko's four-stage methodology, this study more closely examines these figurines in the context of Ancient Egyptian culture and religion, with specific attention to the contemporary Sudanese religious beliefs and practices, which may share roots with Predynastic Egyptian culture. This study concludes that some Dynastic religious beliefs and iconography relating to female deities can be recognised in many of these figurines, and can be traced back to prehistoric Nilotic rituals.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Religion in Africa, 41(4), p. 396-426
Publisher: Brill
Place of Publication: Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN: 0022-4200
Field of Research (FOR): 210103 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas
220499 Religion and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified
210105 Archaeology of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Levant
210310 Middle Eastern and African History
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 950501 Understanding Africas Past
950406 Religious Traditions (excl. Structures and Rituals)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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