Egyptology Glossary: Ancient Egypt and Egyptology has a bewildering array of confusing names and terminology, this Egyptology Glossary will hopefully go some way to describe many of the most common words and phrases.
Egyptology Glossary
Egyptology Glossary

Egyptology Glossary

Ancient Egypt and Egyptology has a bewildering array of confusing names and terminology, this Egyptology Glossary will hopefully go some way to describe many of the most common words and phrases.

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Canon of Proportions
Canon of Proportions

The depictions of figures in the Old Kingdom, Middle and New Kingdoms are very similar, from one tomb to another; they are always in the same proportion in the composition of the figure. Figures in Egyptian art are drawn to a canon of proportions; the only time when this changes is during the Amarna Period.

In the Old Kingdom the artist used guidelines through the body, to work out the proportion of the body, and key lines could be expanded or contracted to fill the available wall space. Later, they developed a more sophisticated technique using a grid instead of lines. The figure would be drawn up on a grid. This grid system was applied not only to the human figure but also to birds, fish and animals.

Added: 30/05/2009

Canopic Jars
Canopic Jars

Four jars used to store the preserved internal organs of the deceased. Each jar is representative of one of the four sons of Horus. The term comes from the Greek , Canopus, a demigod venerated in the form of a human headed jar.

Added: 30/05/2009

Cartouche
Cartouche

A French term used by Egyptologists for the ornamental oval frame that surrounds the name of a king, a queen, or a deity in inscriptions.

Added: 30/05/2009

Chantresses
Chantresses

These weren’t priests as such but rather trained musicians who would sing in the temples as part of the liturgy. They would have been women of noble or high-class birth.

Added: 30/05/2009

Clerestory Lighting
Clerestory Lighting

This is a series of stone grids between the top of the wall and the temple roof. Sunlight would filter through these slotted grids, so that it would look like a forest, with the columns of the hypostyle hall providing the tree trunks carved in stone.

Added: 30/05/2009

Cloisonné
Cloisonné

Involved bending metal to shaped, which are then soldered a metal base plate called cloisons – and then inlayed with faience, glass or semi-precious stone cemented into place. This type of work is especially found in the Middle Kingdom. A good example being the Riqqeh Pectoral. One pectoral belonging to a princess of the 12th Dynasty contained 372 separate pieces of inlay.

Added: 30/05/2009

Coffin Texts
Coffin Texts

These were inscriptions and spells inside coffins that were intended to help the deceased on the journey to the Underworld. They were developed in Herakleopolis during the 1st Intermediate Period and were a development from the Pyramid Texts, which had been placed only in royal tombs during the 5th and 6th Dynasties of the Old Kingdom. Whereas the Pyramid Texts were only made available to the royalty of the Old Kingdom, the Coffin Texts were accessible to anyone who could afford them. Many of the spells contained within the Coffin Texts would eventually evolve into the New Kingdom "Book of the Dead". Both the Pyramid Texts and the Coffin Texts include more than one version of the destination of the deceased: they may travel the sky with the sun-god Re or they may pass down into the underworld of Osiris.

Added: 30/05/2009

Conceptual Art
Conceptual Art

(aspective art) Conceptual art represents in picture form what a person or object actually is. It is concerned with the essential components that makeup an object or person rather than how it looks from the standpoint of the artist.

Added: 30/05/2009

Corveé Duty
Corveé Duty

Labour exacted in lieu of taxes by public authorities.

Added: 30/05/2009

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