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Archaism

Abstract

Certain features of ancient Egyptian culture display a conscious return to bygone times. Texts, architecture, and works of art often referred to elements of the remote past. This revival of the past is known as “archaism,” provided that there was a substantial gap in time between the model and the copy, and that the elements referred to had fallen out of use. Archaism appears to have been an elite phenomenon and is found in the royal as well as the (elite) non-royal sphere. It occurred during the Pharaonic Period, from at least the Old Kingdom onward, and was most obvious during the Third Intermediate and Late Periods.

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