SCORCHED EARTH: VIOLENCE AND LANDSCAPE IN NEW KINGDOM EGYPTIAN REPRESENTATIONS OF WAR

UROŠ MATIĆ

Abstract


Death and destruction of peoples and lands are the reality of war. Since the Old Kingdom the destruction of enemy landscape is attested in Egyptian written sources and the number of attestations increases in the following periods, culminating in the New Kingdom. This is also the period when the first visual attestations of enemy landscape destruction appear. In this paper I will explore the actors, targets and acts concerning violence against enemy landscapes together with the use of landscape elements as metaphors for the violent treatments of enemies during the New Kingdom. The study shows that there are differences in representations of treatments of Syro-Palestinian and Nubian landscapes, which could be related to the reality of war itself, as monumental enemy fortresses did not exist in Upper Nubia, at least not on the same scale as in Syria-Palestine. This real difference went hand in hand with the ancient Egyptian construction of the Other as unsettled. Thus, urban landscapes of Syria-Palestine are objects of violence in the visual record where they are reduced to unsettled landscapes through destruction and desolation. It is also shown that this reality of war is additionally framed through Egyptian rules of decorum ascribing most of the destructions of landscape to the king and only some to the soldiers.

Keywords


violence, war, landscape, New Kingdom, Egypt, Syria-Palestine, Nubia

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.19090/i.2017.28.7-28

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