Lukas Bohnenkämper

Functional Elites of the Middle Kingdom - Communication Media and Group Identity(ies)


The dissertation project investigates how the functional elite(s) of the Middle Kingdom (11th-12th dynasty, ca. 2070/2060-1800/1790 B.C.), consisting of high officials (viziers, high priests, district administrators, city administrators, etc.), used specific representational or communicative media such as landscape, architecture, image and text elements to create a group identity.) used specific representational or communicative media such as landscape, architectural, pictorial, and textual elements to discursively construct a distinct group identity or office-related/regional group identities. In this context, groups are not understood as given units of a social system or network, "but always exist in the gradual measure of generalization of group identity and symbolic external boundary. The processes of establishing identity and boundary can be understood as 'institutionalization‛." (J. Fuhse, Gruppe und Netzwerk-eine begriffsgeschichtliche Rekonstruktion, Berliner Journal für Soziologie 16, 2006, 259). The sources evaluated with regard to this question include tombs, stelae, and statues from funerary and temple contexts, as well as rock inscriptions from foreign areas from which resources were procured. Sources from the 13th-16th/17th dynasties (ca. 1800/1790-1560/1540 BC) serve as exemplary comparative material.


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