Palace and Temple: 5th Symposium on Egyptian Royal Ideology. Edited by ROLF GUNDLACH and KATE SPENCE. Konigtum, Staat und Gesellschaft fruher Hochkulturen, vol. 4,2. Wiesbaden: HARRASSOWITZ VERLAG, 2011. Pp. viii + 210, illus. 58 [euro] (paper).
Palaces and temples were the two main architectural settings for the display and exercise of royal power in ancient Egypt. Several articles in this volume touch on interrelationships between these contexts. Irene Forstner-Muller explores evidence of three ritual activities displaying a blend of Egyptian and foreign elements from a palace at Avaris (modern Tell el-Dab'a), believed to belong to King Chajan, a Fifteenth Dynasty Hyksos ruler. All of these activities have parallels from temple contexts. A foundation ritual deposit, strongly indicative of Egyptian cultural practices, was found beneath a building more Near Eastern in architectural form. A group of round pits in Building A were filled with a mixture of typical household pottery and common animal bones. Another group of pits, in Building B, displays wider arrays of both pottery, including signs of trade and ritual vessels absent in the other set of pits, and animal bones. Forstner-Muller suggests that these represent the remains of cultic feasts. Although Egyptian pottery forms dominate in both sets of pits, the pits themselves do not appear to have parallels from purely Egyptian contexts. Such pits are also associated with temple contexts at Tell el-Dab'a and Near Eastern palaces.
Christine Raedler analyzes the inscriptional evidence concerning ten high priests of Memphis from the early Ramesside Period, to summarize what they reveal about their titles, social background, social ranking at court, and supervisory role. She emphasizes the association of the high priests of Memphis with both the palace, as members of the court, and the temple that they served. Katharina Zinn summarizes the current state of research on ancient Egyptian libraries from both temple and palace contexts. She comes to the conclusion that decorative motifs in clearly labeled libraries, like those in the Ptolemaic temples at Edfu and Dendera, cannot help us identify rooms which served as libraries in earlier temples.
Rolf Gundlach re-examines the Berlin Leather Roll (pBerlin 3029), generally recognized as a celebration of the building of Re-Harakhte's temple at Heliopolis, in which the king addresses his courtiers (a Konigsnovelle). He suggests that the rite was, in...