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date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Monumental reliefs and inscriptions constitute an important body of evidence scholars use to reconstruct Egyptian history. Beyond their artistic and textual content, monumental inscriptions are useful for historical inquiry because they often display evidence of alteration, erasure, and palimpsest. Although investigating how and why monumental inscriptions were altered is vital to reconstructing Egyptian history, historians must be careful to avoid modern value judgments. Terms like “usurpation” and “damnatio memoriae” are anachronistic or culturally inappropriate for interpreting the motives of the Egyptians in altering or erasing monumental reliefs. Historiographical case studies on late Eighteenth Dynasty and Ramesside royal inscriptions consider the issue of epigraphic data on reinscribed royal names and the issue of hypothetical coregencies between Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten and of Seti I and Ramesses II to explore the possibilities and limitations of using epigraphic sources to reconstruct Egyptian history.

Keywords: alteration, coregency, damnatio memoriae, Eighteenth Dynasty, epigraphic data, erasure, palimpsest, Ramesside, reinscribed, usurpation

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