Faux et Faussaires en Art égyptien View publication
Royal stelae are one of the most
important sources for reconstructing the history of pharaonic Egypt.
They document a variety of royal actions: military campaigns;
construction work in temples; donations of statues and barques to
temples; gifts of cult instruments and other offerings. During the 18th
Dynasty they play an increasingly significant role in the demonstration
of royal power. Hitherto, a strictly historical approach has determined
how these monuments are viewed by scholars and a fresh approach is now
needed, asking such questions as: for what purpose was a stela erected?
where? by whom? and what was the nature of its visual appearance? Such
an investigation has to be based on the premise that royal stelae are
official monuments which reflect how pharaoh wished to present himself.
The stelae combine picture and text in one monument which also draws
its meaning from the architectural context in which it stands. An
important question is to determine the target group for whom the stelae
were intended. Some were clearly intended to be read by or declaimed to
a large audience while others were addressed primarily to the gods.
This book is intended to serve as a source book and the main part
consists of the documentation of each stela followed by an analysis of
the totality of the stelae. The study includes unknown or poorly
published monuments and offers new readings and observations based on
an examination of the original monuments. Beside the most familiar
"historical" stelae, the book also deals with a group of
small stelae which have been of peripheral interest until now because
of their short or even missing texts. The book pulls all the
information together in trying to establish the evolution, meaning and
function of royal stelae in the 18th Dynasty before the Aton religion
took over. The study demonstrates that the stelae were embedded in the
king's ritual activity.