1887
Volume 24, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6732
  • E-ISSN: 1570-6001
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Abstract

Abstract

This chapter examines the earliest writing and related marking practices from Egypt (c.3300 / c.3100–c.2750 BCE), namely graphical marks on ceramic jars and small labels of bone, ivory and wood. In contrast to research focusing on production, this material is examined here from the perspective of consumption. Whether through ‘reading’ or other forms of semantic meaning-making, the author argues that such acts were never neutral, but rather situated within a web of embodied and multisensory processes. These are examined on two recursively related levels: firstly, that of micro-relations, including intersections between embodied perception of marking technique, size, shape, colour and format of signs; and secondly, macro-relations between text-objects and the embodied practitioner within particular cultural spaces. Although this early evidence presents many interpretive challenges, this chapter attempts to demonstrate the value of developing more context-sensitive reconstructions of written culture as part of lived experience – experience for which the body was a fundamental vehicle and mediator.

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