Cette conférence constitue la première séance mensuelle du séminaire interdisciplinaire de recherche « The Individual and his Body in the Ancient Mediterranean Basin » organisé par Alice Mouton.
This talk discusses dominant ancient Egyptian conceptions of the body with particular focus on the religious domain. An underlying idea of great importance is the conception of the human body as a vessel whose contents is ordinarily hidden, but can be revealed under particular circumstances. This idea plays a role in the social and administrative sphere, where especially persons of authority show a great interest in techniques for revealing the contents of the bodies of those they rule.
In religious practice, the model underlies widespread conceptions of the acquisition and use of ritual power, and in the funerary sphere, the transformation of the body and its contents becomes of key importance for the regeneration of life. The presentation also discusses the nature of bodily difference in ancient Egyptian thought, as well as attempting to tackle the difficult question of what we can mean with the notion of ’body’ when dealing with a culture without the notion of a separate physical domain usually serving as the backdrop of the notion.