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Archeology -Bronze Age Mediterranean Island Cultures and the by Knapp

By Knapp

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The brain was fished out through the nose, and the internal organs were removed through an incision in the side. Only the heart was wrapped up and set back in place; the other organs were placed in canopic jars, vases with lids in the form of an animal or human head. The remaining soft tissue and fluids were dissolved by a solution of natron and resin and pumped out of the body through the anus. This first phase was carried out in the name of purification. Everything “foul,” that is, everything perishable that could represent a danger to the goal of achieving an eternal form, was removed from the body.

18 Death and Culture As our first thesis stresses, Egyptian culture was one of those societies that do not accept death but rather rebel against death as an empirical fact with all the power at their disposal. This rebellion assumed the form of religion, that is, the creation of a counterworld. That was our second thesis. I do not mean, however, that these counterimages sketched by religion cover up the empirical world and make it disappear; on the contrary, rather, they generate an excitement for the always remembered, and in this excitement all the more brightly illuminated, factual world.

This erudite concept, which is the opposite of “perspective,” designates a purely additive stringing together or aggregating of elements without organizing, structuring principles that would make them appear to be parts of a superordinate whole. These peculiarities are particularly clear in Egyptian art; Brunner-Traut, though, would like to see in them a trait that reaches far beyond art and into Egyptian thought, perception, and conceptualization in general. According to her theory, Egyptians cast a dissecting glance at the world, one that perceived only individual details and was incapable of seeing larger unities.

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