The evident significance of landscape in ancient Egypt has been fruitfully examined by a number of scholars, but much of this work has focused on sites with importance to the central state, such as Abydos, Amarna, and Luxor. Yet, the transformation of landscapes through attention to distinctive topographical features, architectural intervention in such features, and the construction of architectural monuments that became prominent features of the landscape, occurred throughout the country. Through continuous interaction with their landscape, Egyptian communities created visual environments that may be viewed as analogous to the visual environments of such monumental works as temples and elite tombs. Landscape, monuments, and images were visually comprehended through structured frameworks of visuality, by embodied viewers with varying bases of knowledge, experience, and access. Transformed landscapes were thus necessarily experienced differently by different communities within the larger Egyptian population. This talk will consider how these regional environments contributed to regional identities during the Old Kingdom, and how they may be linked to variations in provincial material and visual culture.
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Dr. Deborah Vischak received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA and PhD. from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. She has traveled throughout Egypt, worked on excavations at Giza and Abydos, and conducted field research throughout the Nile Valley from Saqqara to Aswan. Deborah was a Mellon Post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, and a Post-doctoral Research Associate and Lecturer in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. She has also taught at City College, Barnard College, NYU, and the Pratt Institute, and is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Queens College.
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