Birmingham Egyptology

Forum report available: crowns and royal iconography

On Friday 19th June, Prof. Katja Goebs presented some of her recent research on Egyptian crowns. The report is now available on the ‘Last Session‘ page of the Forum tab. This thought-provoking Forum showed how interconnected various strands of Egyptian belief could be, but also highlighted similarities in various cultures (ancient and modern) and their languages.

Amongst the more humorous of parts of the session was a short video Prof. Goebs played of ostriches dancing and twirling, a strange behavioural trait often seen in the morning – many such videos can be found on the internet. This was likely observed by ancient Egyptians, perhaps informing some of their beliefs, and, as Prof Goebs pointed out, it is also reminiscent of a segment in Walt Disney’s much more modern Fantasia (1940) with ostrich ballet dancers!

During the session, attendees were shown how we might ‘read’ crowns. In doing so, Prof. Goebs demonstrated the important contribution of each feature of a headdress as more than just decoration, and also emphasised the Egyptian tendency to prioritise the information presented over realism; where these crowns are sometimes too elaborate to have been worn (or even to have been real crowns), they could be represented being worn in art. Through that medium they could serve as sophisticated purveyors of information with various layers of symbolism.

Leave reply

Login to post a comment.

Back to Top