Priest Service as Depicted in Chapels of Old Egyptian Private Tombs: Some Principles of Composition

Kulikov Fedor I.

The author undertakes a comparative analysis of how regular priest service was depicted in private tombs: their composition, the meaning of the scenes and possible order of the rite. Two main stages of the priest service are defined: purification of the altar with water and incense and purification of food, subsequently directed to the false door. It appears that in the scenes depicting regular priest service the artists often used the principles of combined iconographic forms. The objects held by the priest, his cloths, attitude and cult attributes were functionally meaningful and indicated the character of the acts. Combining the attributes (some of them to be guessed from hints only) Egyptian artists made the depicted characters polyfunctional and thus successfully realized a complex idea on limited space of the walls.

Keywords: ancient Egypt, Old Kingdom, priest service, private tomb
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