Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 1:00 pm (EST) Mar 20, 1pm EST SSEA Toronto Online Talk
Dr. Christina Geisen (University of Cambridge, England)
Title: “How Did the Ancient Egyptians Experience their Natural Landscapes? A Journey to Mountains and Caves”
- Abstract: It is well known that the ancient Egyptian perception of the world was highly influenced by Egypt’s natural environment. The country’s geographical features and phenomena were mythologised and integrated into the overall world view. This paper is drawn from a broader research project concerning ancient Egyptians’ awareness and understanding of their surrounding landscape, as well as its exploitation, and how their religious interpretations of these phenomena exemplify the interplay of geography and religion. Apart from a general introduction to the project, the talk will present first results of the study, focusing on mountains and caves. Various lemmata used by the Egyptians to designate both natural features are introduced and their usage explained. The latter will not only outline the chronological development of these terms, but also whether some words refer to religious aspects connected to a specific geographical feature of a mountain or a cavern. An examination of classifiers (determinatives) for these lemmata, which reveal how ancient Egyptians observed these features and codified this knowledge in their language, is included as well.