The Sacred Baboons of Khonsu [Paperback]

Gábor Scheriber(Author)

ISBN: 9786155766350 | Published by: Archaeolingua | Series: Series Minor | Volume: 44 | Year of Publication: 2022 | Language: English 176p, H9.21 x W5.71, color and grayscale
Status: Not Yet Published - Available for pre-order

The Sacred Baboons of Khonsu


The short period of the last indigenous kings of the 30th dynasty (380–343 BC) meant the beginning of a late renaissance of pharaonic culture and religion all throughout the country, including the Upper Egyptian sacred city, Thebes. Great new building projects, comparable in scale with earlier enterprises of the times when Egypt reigned supreme, were initiated in the sacred precincts of Thebes, whose monumental legacy, still visible today, served as a guideline for later temple building programs, and determined the structure and framework of the Theban sacred landscape for the last centuries of the ancient religion.

This book is about the history and Theban role of a small, virtually unknown cult. At the center of this cult stood the Living Baboon, a special zoomorphic avatar of the youthful god of the Theban triad, Khonsu, and the sacred apes that were the earthly incarnations of the god. It is thus one of the animal cults that became ever more popular from the Late Period onwards, exerting a significant influence on Egyptian religious practice.

The South Khokha Project of the Theban expedition of Eötvös Loránd University has been excavating the Theban rock-cut tomb -400- since 2007. In the tomb which was originally built in the New Kingdom and remained in use until the Roman Period, the expedition unearthed in 2015 and 2016 a secondary shaft tomb with the finds of a group burial dated to the Ptolemaic Period. Part of this group burial belongs to one family, the so-called Teos family, and at least two of its male members, the great man of the family, Teos, and his son, Petenephotes, were in the service of the cult in the early Ptolemaic Period. Their burial goods, which are also extremely interesting from an art historical perspective, display a series of official titles that include hitherto unknown designations, allowing us to gain an insight into the activities of the cult personnel.

Table of Contents

I. A Theban find: I.1. The history of Theban tomb
I.2. The finds from Structure 4 and the burial of the Teos family
I.3. Teos and Petenephotes
I.4. The cult of the Living Baboon
II. The cult of sacred animals: II.1. The notion of the sacred animal and the forms of animal cults
II.2. The selection of the sacred animal
II.3. The inauguration and office of the sacred animal
II.4. The death and burial of the sacred animal
II.5. Wadi Gabbanet el-Gurud, Qasr el-Aguz and the Khonsu temple in Karnak
III. The priesthood, mortuary ritualists, and temple personnel of the Living Baboon: III.1. The priesthood of the Living Baboon and the management of the cult: Hor and the two Teoses from Tanis
III.2. The mortuary ritualists of the Living Baboon: Pelaias and Harsiese
III.3. The temple personnel of the Living Baboon: Totoes, Phatres, Teos, and Petenephotes
III.4. Teos at work
III.5. The Teos and Nesmin families
III.6. The pectoral of Petenephotes

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