NEXT MINI-LECTURE IN TORONTO IS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18TH
- On Friday, November 18th at 6:30 pm, The SSSEA will present the
next in its Mini-Lecture series, "VANQUISHING THE BEAST: Hunting
Hippopotami In Ancient Egypt" by Sherine ElSebaie. Sherine is an
advanced doctoral student in Dept. of Near and Middle Eastern
Civilizations at University of Toronto. The lecture will take place
in Rm. 323, 4 Bancroft Ave. on the main campus of the University of
Toronto. If you need directions, go to
http://www.geocities.com/ssea.geo or email us at ssea@...
VANQUISHING THE BEAST: Hunting Hippopotami in Ancient Egypt
During ancient times, the entire Valley of the Nile was
populated with hippopotami, a species of animals quite disliked by
the ancient Egyptian agricultural community, since the heavy
gluttonous hippos devoured the fields and ruined the cultivations.
Hunting those large animals appears as a necessary security
measure. Furthermore, hippo hunting took a religious and ritual
character: vanquishing this animal as a symbol of the harmful forces
of chaos and disorder was represented in many private mastabas from
the Old Kingdom onwards.
The aim of this presentation then is to look carefully into
these scenes, explain the depicted technique used by the ancient
Egyptians to hunt this large amphibian, and compare those scenes
with the royal representations of hippo hunting. The argument builds
up by scrutinizing mythological, mortuary, and secular ancient
Egyptian texts mentioning the hippos in order to reveal how
intricate the concept of hippo hunting was. Finally, a brief
conclusive discussion attempts to demonstrate how, next to their
religious significance, the representations of hippo hunting also
bear a strong political implication.