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Distributed for Museum Tusculanum Press

Breathing Flesh

Conceptions of the Body in the Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts

The ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts form a corpus of ritual spells written on the inside of coffins from the Middle Kingdom (c. 2000-1650 BCE). The spells are part of a long Egyptian tradition of equipping the dead with ritual texts ensuring the transition from the state of a living human being to that of a deceased ancestor. The Coffin Texts provide a rich material for studying ancient Egyptian conceptions of the body by providing insights into the underlying structure of the body as a whole and the proper function of individual parts of the body as seen by the ancient Egyptians. Drawing on cognitive linguistics and phenomenological anthropology, Nyord presents an analysis of the conceptualisation of the human body and its individual parts in the Coffin Texts. Also discussed are the ritual conceptualisation and use of powerful substances such as ?magic?, and the role of fertility and procreation in ancient Egyptian mortuary conceptions.

661 pages | 8 x 11.5 | © 2009

Culture Studies

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Table of Contents

List of Figures

1. Theory and Method
Part I: Conceptual Structure
2. The Torso and Its Organs
3. The Head
4. Extremities
5. Reproductive Organs and Hind Parts
6. Bones and Body Fluids
7. The Body as a Whole
Part II: Cultural Models
8. Powers in the Belly
9. Procreation
Part III: Prototypes
10. The Reconstituted Body

Bibliography and Abbreviations
Dansk resumé
    Primary sources
    Components of humans and divinities
    Mythological beings and places
    Analytical concepts
    Metaphors, image schemata and domains
    Egyptian words in transliteration

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