Through a combined study of funerary texts and related funerary material (wooden coffins, walls decoration of funeral chambers), the 4-year MORTEXVAR project (Earlier Ancient Egyptian Mortuary Texts Variability July 2019 – June 2023, University of Alcalá) aims to reconnect Texts and Materiality.
Directed by Dr. Carlos Gracia Zamacona, the interdisciplinary (philology, linguistics, palaeography, archaeology and cultural studies) the MORTEXVAR project aims to understand the construction and use of funerary texts between the Old and Middle Kingdom (2350-1550 BC). Using the variability of formulae and usage as an explanatory notion for changes and persistence of usage, the project examines different questions related to the ritual and its ideological interpretation, the archaeological traces left by this funerary ritual and its socio-cultural function. The questions of the formation and philological transmission of texts dedicated to ensuring a life beyond death for the ancient Egyptian elite, their close link with their supports (coffins and decoration of the walls of the burial chambers) will be at the heart of this research.
Within the MORTEXVAR team, Gersande Eschenbrenner Diemer is in charge of the study of wooden furniture and the identification of coffin production workshops. She also studies the means used to make wood an “active tool” through the use of prophylactic processes such as the application of a “magically protective” red pigment and the use of protective formulas masked by the coffin’s joints.
The project MORTEXVAR is closely linked with the RIIPOA research group, which brings together Spanish-speaking archaeologists and philologists specialising in the Near East.