Back to All Events

EDINBURGH Jennifer Turner: Sensory experiences in the temple - the significance of statue inscriptions & their placement

  • Augustine United Church 41 George IV Bridge Edinburgh EH1 1EL (map)

The sacred space of the temple became a very popular place to dedicate your statue (or the statue of a loved one), particularly in the Third Intermediate Period. The temple was a safe, secure, and sacred space that contexts allowed the deceased subject to experience and be repeatedly immersed in the sensual experiences that took place, from sights of divine and royal images to sounds of instruments, chanting and ritual performances and activities within the temple complex. 
By considering various Third Intermediate statues from the Karnak cachette, this talk will explore what the placement of text upon the statue surface can tell us about creating a statue, how this can enhance the described sensory experiences of the deceased, and other insights into practical and symbolic motivations for the placement of text such as the temple orientation and wider surroundings. Understanding the text’s location as a significant factor in the statue’s establishment may also provide further insights into the object-viewer interaction and function of the monument as a whole, and ultimately how the statue subject hoped to contribute to and experience the temple activities in their intangible state.

Jennifer Turner is a PhD student at the University of Birmingham, and her research considers the significance of text placement and content as part of the statue’s creation process, as well as evidence of various themes within Third Intermediate Period statue biographies, including the use of the ‘statue voice’, and draws on a sample of over 200 statues from the Karnak cachette.
She also works as Collections Assistant for the Eton Myers collection on loan to the University of Birmingham from Eton College, and acts as Forum Coordinator for Birmingham Egyptology. In October 2018, she took on the role of Local Ambassador for Birmingham for the Egypt Exploration Society.