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Religion within the Home
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Styler78
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:51 pm    Post subject: Religion within the Home Reply with quote

I love the fact that there were National Gods/ Goddesses, localised Gods and Godesses and also those who the every day egyptian worshipped at home in their own way.

I am aware of Bes being worshipped at home for the aiding of a good childbirth and Bast(et) being protectress of the home. What i am now looking at is whether each family had their own choice of gods to worship at home or whether it is fairly standardised.

Would an Egyptian have worshipped (for example) Osiris or Ammun at home or would they have simply had a choice of whichever god/ goddess they chose and left the bigger gods to festival days and pilgrimages?

All help is appreciated here. Very Happy
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Segereh
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Religion within the Home Reply with quote

Styler78 wrote:
What i am now looking at is whether each family had their own choice of gods to worship at home or whether it is fairly standardised.

As the only city, left almost entirely "intact" in a way...
Deir el-Medina makes for both an excellent and a bad example.
Excellent, as every house seems indeed to have had a "personal" shrine.
Bad, as it is believed these shrines were mainly for the cults of Ahmose-Nefertari and Amenhotep I.
Those being the patron-deities of the city, so closely related to the tombs of Western Thebes.

You can understand why it's an example of mixed relevance.
Other cities would not have been conceived and planned like Deir el-Medina.
And other cities would not have had such a homogenous function and population.
So it could well be that "family piety" was different in other cities.
But unless some other (but "normal") city is excavated in its entirety...
All you can go on is fragmentary information, not always a good base for a statement.
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Styler78
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Segereh, thanks for the information.

I fully understand what you said when you stated the mixed relevance.

Any conclusions, at least for now, would be mere speculation on the basis of Deir El Medina alone. Here the local deities were worshipped by all and that makes sense to me.

I will have to bide my time. Do you happen to know if Deir El Medina has any evidence of the ancestor cult worship as well as the local gods?

Thanks
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neseret
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Styler78 wrote:
Do you happen to know if Deir El Medina has any evidence of the ancestor cult worship as well as the local gods?


See:

Demarée, R. J. 1983. The Ax iqr n Ra-Stelae: On Ancestor Worship in Ancient Egypt. Egyptologische Uitgaven. J. G. Borghouts, E. van Donzel, H. van Voss and T. te Velde. Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten.

Concerning ancestor worship in Deir el Medina.

See also:

R. J. Demarée and J. J. Janssen, Eds. 1982. Gleanings from Deir el-Medîna. Leiden: Nederlands Institute voor het Nabije Oosten.

In specific:

Borghouts, J. F. 1982. Divine Intervention in Ancient Egypt and Its Manifestation. In R. J. Demarée and J. J. Janssen, Eds., Gleanings from Deir el-Medîna: 1-70. Leiden: Nederlands Institute voor het Nabije Oosten.

Other works on popular religion in ancient Egypt:

Baines, J. 2001 (1985). Fecundity Figures: Egyptian Personification and Iconography of a Genre. Oxford: Griffith Institute.

Bell, L. 1985. Aspects of the Cult of the Deified Tutankhamun. In P. Posener-Kriéger, Ed., Mélanges Gamal Eddin Mokhtar, I: 31-59. Cairo: IFAO.

Bomann, A. H. 1991. The Private Chapel in Ancient Egypt. A Study of the Chapels in the Workmen's Village at El Amarna with Special Reference to Deir el Medina and Other Sites. Studies in Egyptology. London: Kegan Paul International.

Dunand, F. 1997. La Consultation Oraculaire en Égypte Tardive: L'Oracle de Bès à Abydos. In J.-G. Heintz, Ed., Oracles et prophéties dans l'antiquité: actes du Colloque de Strasbourg, 15-17 juin 1995.: 65-84. Travaux du Centre de recherche sur le Proche-Orient et la Grèce antiques 15. Paris: De Boccard.

Friedman, F. D. 1994. Aspects of Domestic Life and Religion. In L. L. Lesko, ed., Pharaoh's Workers: The Villagers of Deir el Medina: 95-117; 174-181. Ithaca/London: Cornell University Press.

Lloyd, A. B. 1989. Psychology and Society in the Ancient Egyptian Cult of the Dead. In J. P. Allen, J. Assmann, A. B. Lloyd, et al., eds., Religion and Philosophy in Ancient Egypt: 117-133. Yale Egyptological Studies (YES) 3. New Haven: Yale University.

Montet, P. 1966. Wie die alten Ägypter lebten. Das Altertum (Berlin) 12: 67-74.

Pinch, G. 1993. Votive Offerings to Hathor. Oxford: Griffith Institute.

Roberts, A. 1995. Hathor Rising: The Serpent Power of Ancient Egypt. Devon: Northgate Publishers.

Romano, J. F. 1989. The Bes-Image in Pharaonic Egypt. (2 Vols). Ph.D. Dissertation (Unpublished). Department of Fine Arts. New York:New York University.

Sadek, A. I. 1988. Popular Religion in Egypt During the New Kingdom. Hildesheimer Ägyptologische Beiträge 27. A. Eggebrecht. Hildesheim: Gerstenberg.
Stevens, A. 2003. The Material Evidence for Domestic Religion at Amarna and Preliminary Remarks on its Interpretation. JEA 89: 143-168.

HTH.
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Segereh
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can also consult online:
Karen Exell's short "Ancestor Bust" (UCLA) or
K. Griffin's "An Ax iqr n Ra Stela from the collection of the Egypt Centre, Swansea" which also has an extensive bibliography, and
R.V. Mccleary's "Ancestor Cults at Terenouthis" concerning the Greek period.
These may give a nice outline/example of the principles of ancestor cult.

(Warning: the last 2 files open directly in pdf-format).
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Styler78
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Neseret and Segereh,

I now have loads of information to get through- i appreciate that.

Do any of you know if we are any closer to find a second "intact" village?

It would be helpful if we could uncover a village from a different sector of Egypt (not just the workmen's families), to see how they vary (or not) and to find out more about the "average" Egyptians, rather than nobility or royalty,

Very Happy
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Styler78 wrote:


Do any of you know if we are any closer to find a second "intact" village?



Maybe Amarna? They have found many houses there and know a bit about who may have lived where.

This is the website for the Amarna research project
http://www.amarnaproject.com/index.shtml

There's a model of the city.

They used to have a database of objects found at the different sites from the excavations in the first half of the 20th century. I don't know if that is still available. I have browsed through that and it's very interesting to see the objects found. Quite a few mentions of Bes and Taweret if I remember correctly.
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Styler78
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am currently reading a paperback about Akhenaten, so i will look out for the Amarna excavations, thanks for the reference point Anneke

If only the Delta could be excavated easier, so we could have some of the records from there. That could shed some light, providing the records still exist under water..

Smile
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Leena
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh what wonderful reading lists! I wonder if my credit card has recuperated already from my last shopping spree... Bought books for my Egyptology studies at the Manchester University.

So many books, so little time...

I do believe they found little god statues and amulets in Amarna - people worshipping their own traditional gods while the official religion was something totally different...

Leena Smile
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Styler78
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank You Leena.

I will look that up. I am currently reading a book on Akhenaten and Amarna and will look forward to seeing if it mentions the god statues.

My guess is that these statues would have been around or before year 5 of Akhenatens time at Amarna as he didnt start his monotheistic revolution until around this time as far as i am aware. Would be great to hear that during the monotheistic times there were still people living in Amarna who continued to worship gods other than the Aten.

Do you have any links or recomended reading for me on these statues?

Thanks
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might be interested in reading this.
Barry Kemp has been director of the Amarna Project since its beginning, in 1977. While not specifically about the statues found in Amarna, he answers several intesting questions:

http://www.archaeology.org/online/interviews/kemp.html

It is my understanding that those statues found were not dated to Akhenaten's earlier period, but were from the homes of the more common people in Aketaten. (Armana)
In other words, while paying lip-service to the Aten, the old gods/goddesses did not loose a lot of their appeal to the people.
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Anubis12896
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Religion within the Home Reply with quote

Styler78 wrote:
I love the fact that there were National Gods/ Goddesses, localised Gods and Godesses and also those who the every day egyptian worshipped at home in their own way.

I am aware of Bes being worshipped at home for the aiding of a good childbirth and Bast(et) being protectress of the home. What i am now looking at is whether each family had their own choice of gods to worship at home or whether it is fairly standardised.

Would an Egyptian have worshipped (for example) Osiris or Ammun at home or would they have simply had a choice of whichever god/ goddess they chose and left the bigger gods to festival days and pilgrimages?

All help is appreciated here. Very Happy
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Leena
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not have such links at the moment - but I can ask from my fellow students if they have them. Will post if they are wiser than yours truly Smile

Leena
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Leena
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, here goes:

Nicholas Reeves 'Egypt's False Prophet: Akhenaten' 2005 London: Thames and Hudson' page 139

"None the less, the citizens of el-Amarna and Egypt generally seem to have struggled to accommodate their king's vision, glorifying not only publicly but in private letters the new reality as they once had the old - but, we may guess, ultimately with little conviction. The populace were grateful for their fine town and what for many will have been a superior standard of living, with well-designed accommodation and a secure income, but, given the magico-religious basis of medicine and so many othre aspects of daily life, their need for the old gods was practical as much as spiritual. The constancy of this need is underlined by the not infrequent discovery at el-Amarna (and not always in post-Akhenaten contexts) of illicit images of the old gods - including thoth, Ptah, and not surprisingly, Bes and Thoeris, the deities of the hearth."

Leena Smile
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Styler78
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can imagine there must have been a pretty severe punishment for anyone "caught" worshiping the old pantheon of gods within the Armana area.

This is only my current way of thinking, rather than fact, but Akhenatens vision was clearly not accepted by all of his citizens. Maybe there would have been some leniency in fazing out the old way of thinking and veering towards the newer idea of Monotheistic religious belief.

It must have caused much frustration for Akhenaten and indeed Nefertiti trying to radically change the thought pattern of the inhabitants of Armana.

Would this be the reason for the "window of appearances" i.e bribery? I mean something like "we are showering gifts upon you, therefore we expect you to follow our lead?

I guess that ancestor worship continued throughout the reign of Akhenaten, as this did not directly go against the new religious idealism.

These are all just my thoughts, but i am interested to know if any of you can give more guidance.

Thanks
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