chapter  6
29 Pages

The preservation of order

Images in the landscape
WithLaurel Bestock

Egyptian images of violence in the landscape are surprisingly rare and exhibit both meaningful similarities to and notable differences from the Sasanian images at Naqsh-e Rustam. The particularly royal tradition of images on living rock is much more restricted in amount and location than prehistoric and Predynastic imagery in the landscape; pharaonic pictures on rocks are found in connection with quarry and mine sites. In most cases, human conflict is not a theme in pharaonic rock art, early or late. The exception comes from a series of smiting images in the Sinai dated to the Early Dynastic Period and Old Kingdom. The first smiting scene known from the landscape is a somewhat abstract one, dated to the First Dynasty King Djer. Three further images from the First Dynasty are known in the Sinai: two from the reign of king Den and one of uncertain attribution but possibly from the reign of king Semerkhet, penultimate king of the Dynasty.