Representation of Female Lute Players in the 18th Dynasty tombs and other Related-Objects

Document Type : Original Research Articles



Music was played an important role in ancient Egyptian society, and the lute was among the stringed instrument known in ancient Egypt like a harp and a lyre. Lute was introduced to Egypt during the new Kingdom, due to the Egyptian contacts with Asia and, played by men and women alike. Female lutenist was part of ancient Egyptian musician ensemble playing usually in banquets. This paper focuses on female lutenists as professional musicians especially in the tomb scenes during the 18th dynasty and other related objects. Moreover, the paper deals also with the scenes of female lutenists shown on banquets and represented in the marshes and drawing on ostraca.  These lutenists were professional young girls, playing music and dance at the same time. They commonly appear in scenes as nude or nearly nude. This representation is an artistic motif preferred by the artist to portray female lutenists, and it had also its religious connotation that benefited the deceased by regenerating and rebirth him after death. The main objective of the paper is to highlight the female lute player as a professional musician and dancer in the tomb’s scenes, fragmented stone blocks, ostraca, a votive bed, and carved unguent spoons. Besides, it is an attempt to explain their nudity comparing with other musicians in ancient Egypt with their artistic and religious connotations. 


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