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(H/F) Doctoral contract "The royal cult at Karnak"

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Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UMR5140-MARPEL-001
Date of publication : Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Marc GABOLDE
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

— Title of the study: « The royal cult at Karnak down to the end of the 18th Dynasty »

— Acronym: KarnakCulteRoyal

— Description of the thesis project:

« As extensively documented, the great temple of Amun-Ra at Karnak is clearly a divine sanctuary dedicated to the cult of a major deity - Amun Ra- — synthetized at the eve of the Middle Kingdom (11th Dynasty). However, it appears that Karnak may also have been – fundamentally — the center of a royal cult.

This possibility was scarcely considered since the paramount presence of Amun-Ra and his liturgies overshadowed other aspects of the temple purpose.

Was this royal cult consubstantial to the theology elaborated by the Theban clergy of the Middle and New Kingdom?

This study will cover a time span starting at the beginning the religious history of the site in the Middle Kingdom to the end of the 18th dynasty. It will first focus on the places where the royal cult was performed, more precisely on the chapels devoted to the cult of statues of the ruler.

An important part of this project will be connected with the monumental complex of Amenhotep I which is one of the main programmes carried out by the CFEETK. It will also be linked to the study of the royal chapels of Thutmose III which succeeded at the same place and with the same function to those of Amenhotep I.

Spacial positioning will need to be studied. Procession circuits should be investigated as well as the choices between naos, niches or chapels.

The study will attempt to define the nature of the royal cult at Karnak : cult of the ruler, cult of the kings, cult of the kingship or cult of the ancestors.

It will be necessary to review the object of the cult : the statues, seated or standing, in stone, wood or metal, their movable (carried in processions) or immobile character. It will deal, somehow, with the status of the royal statues in the temple.

The reliefs objects of specific worshipping practices will be taken into account together with the representations in relief of real 3D statues.

The study will pay attention to the different liturgies implemented at Karnak in connexion with the royal cult: the daily ritual, the decade ritual or the jubilee ritual. The dynastic dimension of theses practices will be evaluated.

It will also be essential to explore the connections between the architectures and decoration on the one side and the liturgies they housed as known through the papyri on the other side.

These points are just samples of those which may be explored during this research.

Work Context

— The University Paul-Valéry-Montpellier 3 ; Research Unit UMR 5140 « Archéologie des sociétés méditerranéennes (ASM) comprising the Research team Égypte nilotique et méditerranéenne ENiM (thesis director Pr. Dr. Marc Gabolde) ; Doctoral School 60 « Territoires, Temps, Sociétés et Développement » (ED60 TTSD) ; Regional Direction 13 of CNRS (DR13)
With possibility of co-direction or of co-supervision with another university.

— The Service and Research Unit (USR) 3172 of the CNRS at Karnak – i.e. the Egyptian-French Center for study of the Karnak Temples (CFEETK) — the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA).

— At the application date, the candidate must be at least finishing for next September his Master 2 grade in Egyptology.

Constraints and risks

- The study will require the presence of the doctoral student at Karnak for a significant part of her/his research time.
- The candidate will accept that the work carried out for her/his thesis and which relates to the work of publication of the monuments of Karnak will also be integrated (under her/his name) in the collective work of editing undertaken by the CFEETK, with the needed adaptations.

- Karnak is located in Upper Egypt about 700 km south from Cairo

Additional Information

- A Curriculum Vitae,
- A Master degree diploma certificate (Master 2), or a provisional certificate from the administrative / pedagogic responsible with academic transcript if the diploma is not yet edited.
- A cover letter.

Deadline : 25/06/2020

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