Advanced

Symbolae sacrae : Symbolic formulae for protection and adoration within the quarries of Gebel el-Silsila

Nilsson, Maria LU (2018) In Demon Things
Abstract (Swedish)
Within the grand sandstone quarries of Gebel el-Silsila is a vast amount of unique symbolic representations; stylized iconographic and pseudo-scripted signs and marks that to some extent signify deities and their protection against demons, evil and mishaps. Like written protective formulae, these marks were placed within the quarries to symbolically safe-keep the quarry workers, and for expressing gratefulness once the work had been completed. For such reason a single quarry face/wall could be incised with more than 300 marks with no apparent order of distribution; some carved immediately adjacent adoration texts or dedications. In total, thus far, some 5000 quarry marks have been documented and analysed by the current archaeological... (More)
Within the grand sandstone quarries of Gebel el-Silsila is a vast amount of unique symbolic representations; stylized iconographic and pseudo-scripted signs and marks that to some extent signify deities and their protection against demons, evil and mishaps. Like written protective formulae, these marks were placed within the quarries to symbolically safe-keep the quarry workers, and for expressing gratefulness once the work had been completed. For such reason a single quarry face/wall could be incised with more than 300 marks with no apparent order of distribution; some carved immediately adjacent adoration texts or dedications. In total, thus far, some 5000 quarry marks have been documented and analysed by the current archaeological concession (Lund University).
This paper aims to present a selection of quarry marks that can be associated with the metaphorical world of the ancients (chiefly early Roman) with focus on assigned protective deities (eg. Bes, Min, Horus, Amun, but especially the local Agathodaimon Pachimesen); the ever assimilating daemon Shaï; apotropaic figures (anguipedes, akephaloi, Harpocrates, Tutu); liminal beings; and marks used for protection, adoration, respect and gratefulness. It is an attempt to broaden the perspective of traditionally accepted ancient apotropaia, and incorporate superstitious representations communicated by a group of hard working men within the quarries of Gebel el-Silsila. The material presented is based on preliminary conclusions.
(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
in press
subject
keywords
Gebel el Silsila, Fieldwork, Archaeology, ancient religion, Epigraphy, demonology
in
Demon Things
editor
Szpakowska , K.; Weber, F.; and
publisher
The Wilkinson Egyptology Series
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0f896260-472a-4793-883f-691658fd9505
date added to LUP
2018-01-18 10:28:51
date last changed
2018-05-29 11:22:05
@inbook{0f896260-472a-4793-883f-691658fd9505,
  abstract     = {Within the grand sandstone quarries of Gebel el-Silsila is a vast amount of unique symbolic representations; stylized iconographic and pseudo-scripted signs and marks that to some extent signify deities and their protection against demons, evil and mishaps. Like written protective formulae, these marks were placed within the quarries to symbolically safe-keep the quarry workers, and for expressing gratefulness once the work had been completed. For such reason a single quarry face/wall could be incised with more than 300 marks with no apparent order of distribution; some carved immediately adjacent adoration texts or dedications. In total, thus far, some 5000 quarry marks have been documented and analysed by the current archaeological concession (Lund University).<br/>This paper aims to present a selection of quarry marks that can be associated with the metaphorical world of the ancients (chiefly early Roman) with focus on assigned protective deities (eg. Bes, Min, Horus, Amun, but especially the local Agathodaimon Pachimesen); the ever assimilating daemon Shaï; apotropaic figures (anguipedes, akephaloi, Harpocrates, Tutu); liminal beings; and marks used for protection, adoration, respect and gratefulness. It is an attempt to broaden the perspective of traditionally accepted ancient apotropaia, and incorporate superstitious representations communicated by a group of hard working men within the quarries of Gebel el-Silsila. The material presented is based on preliminary conclusions. <br/>},
  author       = {Nilsson, Maria},
  editor       = {Szpakowska , K. and Weber, F.},
  keyword      = {Gebel el Silsila,Fieldwork,Archaeology,ancient religion,Epigraphy,demonology},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {The Wilkinson Egyptology Series},
  series       = {Demon Things},
  title        = {Symbolae sacrae : Symbolic formulae for protection and adoration within the quarries of Gebel el-Silsila},
  year         = {2018},
}