Sniffing out the Gods: Archaeology with the Senses

Abstract

All knowledge of the world is shaped by the way our senses perceive it. In archaeology, and especially in Egyptological studies, a visual approach has predominated the analysis of ancient material remains. When viewed from a sensory-based framework, however, a new, dynamic dimensionality of the material record might be revealed. This approach to the study of the past promises to open both innovative and rewarding avenues for exploration. Such work fosters an environment for interdisciplinary study involving researchers in such diverse fields as neuroscience, psychology, ethnography, and the digital humanities. This paper aims to explore the applications of sensory analysis to Egyptology by focusing on New Kingdom tomb depictions of banquets and relevant mortuary texts to champion this paradigm as one that has potential to truly humanize the past.

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Price, R., (2018) “Sniffing out the Gods: Archaeology with the Senses”, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 17(1), p.137-155.

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Robyn Price (University of California, Los Angeles)

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