2016 Student Research Conference:
29th Annual Student Research Conference

He Who Rises on the Horizon with Four Faces: The Iconography of the Ram in Ancient Egypt
Matthew S. Treasure
Dr. Sara Orel and Dr. Julia DeLancey, Faculty Mentors

The ancient Egyptians pantheon of gods was filled with a menagerie of deities who were based on both the human and animal form. In fact, numerous surviving artworks from antiquity show that the Egyptians perceived similarities between several deities who were based on the ram, namely, Banebdjed, Heryshef, and Khnum. These three individual gods, nevertheless, had separate origins, mythologies, and independent cult centers and temples at different geographic locations. By the late New Kingdom (c. 1100 BCE), however, Egyptian artists began to use the same symbols in order to depict each of the aforementioned gods, thereby creating much ambiguity in the art. This paper, therefore, analyzes the visual content in various images which depict ancient Egyptian ram gods. It also examines selected images using the three-step method devised by the art historian Erwin Panofsky in order to better understand the chosen artworks? underlying messages and overarching themes.

Keywords: Religion, God, Sheep, Banebdjed, Amun-Ra, Egypt, Khnum, Ancient

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion
Art - Art History
History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: -1
Location: OP 2210
Time: 2:30

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