Today we were lucky to have Dr Reg Clark, of Swansea University speaking at the Egyptian Society Taunton, as the first speaker in their 2017/2018 season.
In this lecture Dr Reg Clark began by saying that this issue has been somewhat overlooked, as until recently most scholarly discussion of tomb security in ancient Egypt tended to be included only as part of a larger work.
He then took us, in fascinating detail through some of the main developments in the architecture and security of both royal and private tombs – from the early pit burials in ancient Egypt, through to the Fourth Dynasty pyramids and mastabas.
He discussed whether many of the familiar architectural elements in Egyptian tombs were in fact the result of this need to protect the tomb, rather than the consequence of monumental or religious considerations.
He also stated that the pyramid itself could in fact be about being the greatest possible mass and ‘footprint’ to cover and protect the entrance to the tombs – and that made me think!
Having written my own talk on this period, I was aware of the changes – which I had viewed primarily as architectural developments, which indeed they were. However, Reg’s approach that they were not just to reflect the status of the individual pharaohs; they were also prompted by the desire to protect both the pharaoh and his funerary goods for eternity, gave me much food for thought.
It was an original and interesting re-look at the funerary monuments, and one which I enjoyed very much indeed. Thanks Reg.