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GLOSSARY


 

Duat

Duat was the ancient Egyptian word for the place where humans live after they die. Other names used were netherworld, afterworld, underworld, sky world and Land of the Gods.


 

Hieroglyphs

Hieroglyphics are an early form of writing using phonograms, logograms and determinatives arranged in horizontal and vertical lines.


 

Hypostyle

A hypostyle hall has a central roof that is higher than its side roofs, like the Gothic cathedrals in Europe.


 

Kohl

A mixture of ground galena (a black mineral), sulphur and animal fat that was used as eye make-up. It also alleviated eye inflammations and protected the eyes from the glare of the sun.


 

Papyrus

An aquatic plant that grows in marshes along the Nile. The species of papyrus grown during pharaonic times is now extinct.


 

Pylon

A pylon is a large sloping wall found at the entrance to temples. It consists of two massive towers built in a trapezoid shape that flank the portal. At Karnak Temple, a series of pylons mark the entrance to numerous temples that were added to this site by a succession of kings.


 

Sarcophagus

A stone container encasing one or more coffins (derived from a Greek word for "flesh-eating").


 

Scribe

A person who writes documents. Clerks, copyists and learned men who held positions in the bureaucracy were scribes.


 

Stele

Stelae are inscribed, upright stones that could be used as boundary markers, to celebrate a victory, to honour the gods, or for many other purposes. They were most often used as funerary markers on which the deceased were featured, in the presence of the gods, and a list of provisions and offerings was inscribed to provide sustenance in the afterlife.

The inscriptions on pharaohs' steles often boasted about their exploits. One of the common themes was the pharaoh's superior ability to make wise decisions. Narratives recount how pharaohs asked their courtiers for advice then rejected the suggestions given in favour of their own plans.


 

Theban Triad

The Theban Triad consists of the three principal gods of Thebes, the capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom, which was located at the present-day site of Karnak and Luxor. The three gods are Amun, his consort, Mut, and their divine child, Khonsu. Amun is sometimes depicted with the head of a ram, or a man with a tall double-plumed crown. Mut was depicted first with the head of a vulture and then as a woman with a crown. Khonsu, a moon god, is seen as a youth with a side lock of hair and a crown consisting of a crescent moon and lunar disk. He is also sometimes shown with the head of a hawk adorned with a crescent moon and lunar disk.



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