Thursday, April 05, 2012

New Book: Egyptianizing Figurines from Delos


Egyptianizing Figurines from Delos. A Study in Hellenistic Religion

By Caitlín E. Barrett

This book investigates Hellenistic popular religion through an interdisciplinary study of terracotta figurines of Egyptian deities, mostly from domestic contexts, from the trading port of Delos. A comparison of the figurines’ iconography to parallels in Egyptian religious texts, temple reliefs, and ritual objects suggests that many figurines depict deities or rituals associated with Egyptian festivals. An analysis of the objects’ clay fabrics and manufacturing techniques indicates that most were made on Delos. Additionally, archival research on unpublished notes from early excavations reveals new data on many figurines’ archaeological contexts, illuminating their roles in both domestic and temple cults. The results offer a new perspective on Hellenistic reinterpretations of Egyptian religion, as well as the relationship between “popular” and “official” cults.

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