Functional copper objects and models in funerary context during the Early Dynastic Period
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Ever since the discovery of the Predynastic in 1895 by William Matthew Flinders Petrie and James Edward Quibell, great numbers of copper objects have been discovered (fig. 1). However, the study of these objects has been confined to either typological or metallurgical analyses, with seemingly no credence paid to their symbolic aspects (Anfinset 2010; Hassan et al. 2015; Kmošek et al. 2018; Rademakers et al. 2018; Rehren – Pernicka 2014). By combining archaeological and textual data, it is possible today to partly reconstruct the symbolism behind the use of copper objects in funerary context. The aim of this research is to highlight a phenomenon which took place during the transition between the First and the Second Dynasty: the change of the status of copper artefacts found in the tombs. It is possible to see that the size of the objects, and their functionality, changed greatly during this time. Diverse explanations for the phenomenon will be reviewed and a new explanation will be given thanks to a more detailed study of the artefacts and the general context of that time.
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