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Rethinking the materiality of Abydos stelae
Alcalá de Hernares
Conferencia; Current Research in Egyptology 2019; 2019
Institución organizadora:
Universidad de Alcalá
The historical-archaeological analysis of a site artifacts propose conceptualizations and classifications -from selected theoretical-methodological frameworks- for the ordering and creation of databases, among other contributions. Throughout this process the artifacts are included in categories (and subcategories) that in many cases become diffuse. This presents different problems; on one hand that of defining objects as actors of a particular technological, social or ideological function; when they are supposed inseparable in practice. On the other hand that of differentiating features that have utility value from those that do not. The use of functional terms for certain artifacts supposes an analytical functionality by providing categories of analysis that suppose and presuppose a direct relation between their form and function.In the field of Egyptology, the case of the Abydos site is a good example of an uncritical application of the stelae concept. Since the first excavarion works started in the mid-nineteenth century by Auguste Mariette and Flinders Petrie, and more recently by the University of Pennsylvania research group, hundreds of these objects have been found, rendering it an important case study. In this paper, we first present the multiplicity of categories and the absence of clear theoretical frameworks that allow to systematize and problematize the stelae. Secondly, we will consider the theory of materiality, allowing us to advance in new theoretical-methodological proposals for the reconceptualization of the stelae of Abydos.