Representation and Text: Two Languages of Ancient Egyptian Culture

Bolshakov Andrei O.

The paper is devoted to representation and text as two means of communication between the human world and the supernatural worlds in Ancient Egypt from the Old Kingdom to the Ramesside epoch. Qualitative immanent differences between the language of representations and the language of texts predetermine the differences between the spheres of their application. Representations make the world of the Ka realistic in the sense that it reproduces the earthly life, while texts form the fantastic Götterwelt. The two languages are incompatible, untranslatable and unconvertible and, thus, they originally existed independently, isolated from each other. They started merging in the Middle Kingdom Book of Two Ways, where representations and texts formed a single composition, and they finally lost their independence in the period of the Eighteenth Dynasty when the two components were entirely integrated in the Amduat and other Books of the Netherworld.