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Archaeology of Empire in Achaemenid Egypt$
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Henry Colburn

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474452366

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474452366.001.0001

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Representation and Identity

Representation and Identity

(p.131) 4. Representation and Identity
Archaeology of Empire in Achaemenid Egypt

Henry P. Colburn

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter considers the construction of individual identities and their representations in various visual media. The prevailing view has been that the 27th Dynasty was characterized by artistic poverty brought on by Achaemenid rule. A reexamination of the dating criteria used to create the corpus of Late Period sculpture demonstrates that this ‘poverty’ is a modern scholarly construct. Moreover, these criteria are more frequently used to exclude objects from the 27th Dynasty than to attribute objects to it. The examples of Egyptian art that can unequivocally be assigned to the Achaemenid period are illustrative of a wide range of approaches to and experiences with the empire. These include the statue of Darius found at Susa, the stelae erected along the Red Sea canal, funerary monuments, personal votives, and the naophorous statues of Horwedja, Ptahhotep and Udjahorresnet. Based on these example, it seems that ethnicity was not a clear predictor either of one’s relationship to the empire or of how one conceived of one’s own identity.

Keywords:   Statues, Darius, Udjahorresnet, Identity, Djedherbes

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