Issue 1, 2018

T. A. Sherkova

Fantasticheskie obrazy v dodinasticheskom i rannedinasticheskom Egipte [Fantastic images in Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt]

Images of fantastic animals are typical for archaic cultures on stage of transmission from late chiefdom to early state. Egyptians incorporated serpopards in battle scenes and scenes with beasts hunting their prey on ritual items of the Naqada III culture, ceremonial palettes are among others. To find out a symbolical meaning of these images, the whole compositions on palettes should be analyzed as iconographical texts describing the world by using cultural codes. All (except one) compositions are symmetrically organized and have a center element dominating among the rest. This last symbolizes the source of life, the primal burning heel that appeared from ocean depths. Serpopards are located near the central circle or even form it with their necks twisted, which means that they were considered connected with sun (fire). It is also obvious that these beasts were believed to be a chief’s (king’s) defenders.

Ancient Egypt, Naqada III, ceremonial palettes, iconographical texts, symbolical meaning, model of the Universe, mythological consciousness, serpopards, serpents.

Original language — Russian.

DOI: 10.24411/2686-9276-2018-00009

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