The Arrangement of the Images of Tomb Owners as Lector-Priests in Old Kingdom Tombs

Kulikov Fedor I.

The analysis of decorations of Old Kingdom private tombs demonstrates that the images of their owners depicted as lector-priests are arranged in the places related with passages. One can often see them on the jambs and thicknesses of the entrances to the tomb and to the chapel, as well as on the false doors and on the pillars. Pillars were apprehended by the Egyptians as separating space in the same measure as solid walls, which can be confirmed by the fact that the scenes characteristic of the walls with the entrance often appear by the pillars. This localisation of the figures of the lector priests can be explained by the particularities of rituals that took place in the chapel. The study of the iconography of the tomb owner as a lector-priest allows us to assert that Egyptian artists often tried to combine various iconographic types (each having its own attribute in one) figure. Thanks to that a single image could play several roles in the programme of the tomb decoration.

Keywords: Ancient Egypt, Old Kingdom, private tombs, mastaba, lector-priests, iconography