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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Predynastic dancing Egyptian figurine
Author:Relke, JoanISNI
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa (ISSN 0022-4200)
Geographic terms:Egypt
Subjects:religious art
Stone Age
External link:https://doi.org/10.1163/157006611X599190
Abstract:In 1962, Peter Ucko wrote his landmark work, 'The interpretation of prehistoric anthropomorphic figurines', challenging and permanently changing the prevailing view of prehistoric figurines as representations of a universal great mother goddess. His work focused on the Predynastic figurines of Egypt, and concluded that there was nothing divine about them. They were probably dolls, ancestor figures, talismanic pregnancy aids, tools for sex instruction and puberty rites, twin substitutes in graves and concubine grave figurines. Since then, this group of figurines has received minimal attention. Using Ucko's four-stage methodology, this study more closely examines these figurines in the context of Ancient Egyptian culture and religion, with specific attention to the contemporary Sudanese religious beliefs and practices, which may share roots with Predynastic Egyptian culture. The study concludes that some Dynastic religious beliefs and iconography relating to female deities can be recognized in many of these figurines, and can be traced back to prehistoric Nilotic rituals. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]