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Persians And Egyptians: Cooperation In Vandalism?

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Chapter Summary

Two anthropomorphic sarcophagi of black greywacke flanking the entrance to the Egyptian gallery of the Hermitage Museum are the largest monuments in its Egyptian collection and, at the same time, one of the earliest by the date of acquisition. All the names and titles of the owners of the sarcophagi are chiseled off, as well as a record of the filiation of Iahmes; the suffix pronouns . designating Nekhtbastetru are also erased everywhere. The practice of destruction of names and representations existed in Egypt from of old and had two aims: first, the name could be erased for inscribing another one over it in order to usurp a monument; second, it was a method of depriving enemies of their next life. Another possibility is the mutilation of the sarcophagi as a result of vandalism by the Persians.

Keywords: Egypt; mutilation; Persians; sarcophagi; vandalism



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