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Between the kingship and the cult: the god's wives of Amun (12th-6th centuries B.C.)

Grant number: 20/03090-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2020
Effective date (End): September 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Ancient and Medieval History
Principal researcher:Marcelo Aparecido Rede
Grantee:André Shinity Kawaminami
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Since the beginning of the New Kingdom (c. 1550-1069 B.C.) until the First Persian Domination Period (c. 525-404 B.C.), the cult of Amun in the Ancient Egypt became increasingly stronger in relation to the pharaohs. One of the strategies adopted by the kings before this situation was to indicate royal women to occupy the office of "the God's Wife of Amun". The women who held this title conducted various rites and they became very prominent over the centuries, being represented performing rituals reserved before only to the kings and gods in the Egyptian iconography. This office was interpreted by the historiography mainly as a pharaonic strategy to control the power of the priesthood of Amon directly and thus keeping the Egypt unified. However, when we analyze the iconographic reliefs and the funerary material culture of the 20th to 26th dynasties' god's wives, we can reflect about the agency of theses priestesses in order to understand them not as a simple passive expression of a dichotomic relationship between the kingship and the cult, but as central elements in a tripartite relationship of "Egyptian Kingship - God's Wife - Cult of Amun" - since they acted actively in political, religious and social questions in the region of Thebes. (AU)

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