The ritual of the i̓šd tree: a reconstruction

Marazzi, Mary Ann (2021). The ritual of the i̓šd tree: a reconstruction. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis reconstructs a possible sequence of events of the ritual of the i̓šd tree of ancient Egypt. The main piece of evidence is the Festal Wall Stela of Ramesses IV. I̓šd tree scenes have been discovered on temple walls from the reigns of Thutmosis I to Hadrian. Reliefs and captions are examined and are supplemented by texts from other monuments including stelae, obelisks, and statuary. The scenes are analysed by their locations within the temples with respect to interior and exterior locations, wall registers, cardinal directions, and number of participants depicted. The stages of the ritual that occur most often in the scenes are the deities writing on the i̓šd tree, the king being presented with his sd festivals, and the king kneeling in front of the tree. Once thought to be a royal tree where a miracle happened, the thesis concludes that i̓šd tree scenes are part of the legitimisation of a king’s claim to the throne and relate to the coronation as a ritual of status elevation through reciprocal actions rather than divine right. The purpose of these scenes is to aid in the dissemination of knowledge regarding the king’s titulary, years of rule, and numbers of sd festivals as divine gifts from the gods. This ritual takes place in both the divine and human planes and shows changes in decorum relating to the amount of information about the king that is available to the general population of ancient Egypt.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology (CAHA)
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CN Inscriptions. Epigraphy.
P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology


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