The Gazelle in Ancient Egyptian Art Image and Meaning
Abstract: This thesis establishes the basic images of the gazelle in ancient Egyptian art and their meaning. A chronological overview of the categories of material featuring gazelle images is presented as a background to an interpretation.An introduction and review of the characteristics of the gazelle in the wild are presented in Chapters 1-2. The images of gazelle in the Predynastic material are reviewed in Chapter 3, identifying the desert hunt as the main setting for gazelle imagery.Chapter 4 reviews the images of the gazelle in the desert hunt scenes from tombs and temples. The majority of the motifs characteristic for the gazelle are found in this context. Chapter 5 gives a typological analysis of the images of the gazelle from offering processions scenes. In this material the image of the nursing gazelle is given particular importance.Similar images are also found on objects, where symbolic connotations can be discerned (Chapter 6). References to healing and regeneration are found, particularly in relationship to the context of the objects.The gazelle is found in a divine context in a limited material (Chapter 7). A discussion of these sources sees a focus on the gazelle as representative for the desert mountains as the setting for death and rebirth. This relates to the gazelle as a feminine image with a connection to the models of female divinity (Chapter 8).
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