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by Archaeology Newsroom

Royal Ancestor Worship in Deir el-Medina during the New Kingdom

Yasmin El Shazly

Yasmin El Shazly, Royal Ancestor Worship in Deir el-Medina during the New Kingdom, Abercromby Press, 2015. Pages: xx + 287 pp.; 73 figs. ISBN: 978 0 9930920 2 2

Ancestor worship—both royal and private (i.e., non-royal)—formed a major part in the religious life of the inhabitants of the ancient Egyptian settlement of Deir el-Medina, and images of royal ancestors figured prominently on their private monuments.

This book focuses on the post-mortem deification of royal figures—the means by which worship was enacted, what it meant for the participants involved, and the relationship between these “deities” and the living. It also discusses the position of deified royal ancestors within the ancient Egyptian divine hierarchy, as well as the effect that social status had on the degree of access that an individual could have to his/her gods. The evidence used is mainly restricted to material dating from the New Kingdom (18th-20th Dynasties), ranging from scenes in tombs at Deir el-Medina to personal stelae, offering-tables, door-jambs, and non-literary sources written on papyri and ostraca from the village. This fascinating new work also contains a detailed catalogue of those monuments from Deir el-Medina on which evidence for royal ancestor worship can be detected.

About the Author

Dr Yasmin El Shazly is Head of Documentation at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, and Assistant to the Minister of Antiquities for Museums Affairs. She has also taught at the American University in Cairo, Cairo University and AMIDEAST. Dr El Shazly earned her BA from the American University in Cairo in 1998 and her MA (2002) and Ph.D. (2009) from Johns Hopkins University.