Advanced

Non-textual marking systems at Gebel el Silsila : From Dynastic signifiers of identity to symbols of adoration

Nilsson, Maria LU (2015) In * PR: Book chapter: ‘Non-Non-Textual Marking Systems in Ancient Egypt (and Elsewhere) (Lingua Aegyptia Studia Monographica 16), ed. by J. Budka, F. Kammerzell, and S. Rzepka, Hamburg 2015, 81-105. 16. p.81-105
Abstract
In Gebel el Silsila the quarry faces are cluttered with literally thousands of pictorial and textual representations; together they form a window of information to the ancient activity in the area and provide us with a prosopography of its workers and an idea of the ancients’ contemporary ideology. The more complex category of representations is quarry marks, a form of graffiti that appears in abundance with some 5000 examples, dating from the New Kingdom to early Roman Imperial times. Engraved into the surface, the marks are all executed technically in the same way, carefully carved with a metal chisel. They are located as singulars or in linear series in all the cardinal directions and all over the full heights of the quarry faces,... (More)
In Gebel el Silsila the quarry faces are cluttered with literally thousands of pictorial and textual representations; together they form a window of information to the ancient activity in the area and provide us with a prosopography of its workers and an idea of the ancients’ contemporary ideology. The more complex category of representations is quarry marks, a form of graffiti that appears in abundance with some 5000 examples, dating from the New Kingdom to early Roman Imperial times. Engraved into the surface, the marks are all executed technically in the same way, carefully carved with a metal chisel. They are located as singulars or in linear series in all the cardinal directions and all over the full heights of the quarry faces, measuring between c. 10 cm up to sometimes 1.5 m in height. Their character is comparable with contemporary script systems, concrete pictograms, abstract geometrical patterns, etc. and as such they fall into the category of pseudo script or non-textual marking systems. They are often considered as signifiers of identity, with the referent assumed to be an owner, contractor, a single workman or a group, etc. Other practical considerations of use include marks for transportation, positioning, height and depth, etc., but this paper aims to explore also alternative meanings and discuss a possible progression from marks that originally signified work or workmen to more complex religious expressions. As a work still in progress, this paper is a summary of results achieved thus far. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Egyptology, Ancient History, Non-textual marking system, Pseudo-script, symbolism, Ptolemaic, Roman, Quarry, Quarry marks, Gebel el Silsila
in
* PR: Book chapter: ‘Non-Non-Textual Marking Systems in Ancient Egypt (and Elsewhere) (Lingua Aegyptia Studia Monographica 16), ed. by J. Budka, F. Kammerzell, and S. Rzepka, Hamburg 2015, 81-105.
editor
Budka, Julia; Kammerzell, Frank and Rzepka, Slawomir
volume
16
pages
81 - 105
publisher
Widmaier Verlag (Hamburg)
ISBN
978-3-943955-16-3
project
Pseudo script in Gebel el Silsila, a query into quarry marks, characters, codes and magic
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
94485314-7691-4b12-843b-506d106427d5 (old id 4927510)
date added to LUP
2015-01-15 11:37:06
date last changed
2016-04-16 10:17:38
@misc{94485314-7691-4b12-843b-506d106427d5,
  abstract     = {In Gebel el Silsila the quarry faces are cluttered with literally thousands of pictorial and textual representations; together they form a window of information to the ancient activity in the area and provide us with a prosopography of its workers and an idea of the ancients’ contemporary ideology. The more complex category of representations is quarry marks, a form of graffiti that appears in abundance with some 5000 examples, dating from the New Kingdom to early Roman Imperial times. Engraved into the surface, the marks are all executed technically in the same way, carefully carved with a metal chisel. They are located as singulars or in linear series in all the cardinal directions and all over the full heights of the quarry faces, measuring between c. 10 cm up to sometimes 1.5 m in height. Their character is comparable with contemporary script systems, concrete pictograms, abstract geometrical patterns, etc. and as such they fall into the category of pseudo script or non-textual marking systems. They are often considered as signifiers of identity, with the referent assumed to be an owner, contractor, a single workman or a group, etc. Other practical considerations of use include marks for transportation, positioning, height and depth, etc., but this paper aims to explore also alternative meanings and discuss a possible progression from marks that originally signified work or workmen to more complex religious expressions. As a work still in progress, this paper is a summary of results achieved thus far.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Maria},
  editor       = {Budka, Julia and Kammerzell, Frank and Rzepka, Slawomir},
  isbn         = {978-3-943955-16-3},
  keyword      = {Egyptology,Ancient History,Non-textual marking system,Pseudo-script,symbolism,Ptolemaic,Roman,Quarry,Quarry marks,Gebel el Silsila},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {81--105},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xb9d8c58)},
  series       = {* PR: Book chapter: ‘Non-Non-Textual Marking Systems in Ancient Egypt (and Elsewhere) (Lingua Aegyptia Studia Monographica 16), ed. by J. Budka, F. Kammerzell, and S. Rzepka, Hamburg 2015, 81-105.},
  title        = {Non-textual marking systems at Gebel el Silsila : From Dynastic signifiers of identity to symbols of adoration},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2015},
}