Historical region of Country
Present state of studies. Evaluations of so-called Coptic sculpture, in the framework of Late Antique sculpture, are considerably discrepant; as far as value judgments and dates go, the specialized bibliography offers a confused overall picture. Mainly responsible for this situation are certain stillfashionable errors of the old historiography, and the following difficulties: in nearly all the old excavations, to which we owe the most celebrated monuments and complexes AhnasHeracleopolis Magna, Pittsburgh Map Tourist Attractions Bawit, Saqqara, BahnasaOxyrhynchus, in wrongly evaluating the architecture, the types and characteristics of the sculptures have also been ignored and distorted. In particular we have failed to recognize the sepulchral, and indeed pagan, character of certain architectural complexes and the sculptures that decorated them, and so these complexes have been wrongly interpreted as Christian churches e.g., in E. Naville’s excavations at Ahnas; J.E. Quibell’s at Saqqara, esp. dig n. 1823; E. Breccia’s at Bahnasa. See H.G. Severin, Scavi, 299-314. Second, we have taken and still take little account of the Egyptian custom of reusing old architectural structures and decorative elements not only in their original use, but also for analogous or even different functions. Pittsburgh Map Tourist Attractions Hence many buildings with architectural decorations, including church buildings, have been wrongly considered homogeneous units e.g., Bawit, S church: see H.G. Severin, S¼d-Kirche von Bawit, 113-124; Bawit, N church: see H.G. Severin, Notizen, X-XX; Ashm»nein Hermopolis Magna, main basilica of S. Jeremiah’s monastery: see P. Grossmann – H.G. Severin, Reinigungsarbeiten 4. Bericht, X-XX. Research has thus been conditioned, Pittsburgh Map Tourist Attractions for decades and up to our own day, by the presumption of the Christian or sacral-Christian character of some sculptures and by certain concepts wrongly considered as fixed points. Third, since some materials of Late Antique Egyptian sculpture, caught up in the trade of objets d’art, are typically provided with false attestations of origin, we lose any possibility of connecting them with their original circumstances topography, architectural type, iconographical context, date, and the way to mystification is opened.