A Different Perspective of the Reserve Heads in Ancient Egypt

Document Type : Original Article



Reserve head is a depiction of an anonymous person’s head, showing extremely high details of the facial features and sometimes the hair line. They were usually made out of limestone and started to appear from the end of the Old Kingdom. They were usually found partially damaged, especially the ears, or the neck. Many scholars generally discussed the usage of the reserve heads, however this research is focused on the signs of damage; use it as an evidence to confirm the perception that the reserve heads were used as a way of cursing of the deceased. This perspective was not discussed in details before by scholars dealing with the reserve heads. The research started with a detailed description of the reserve heads, through the collections found. It also discussed most of the researches and arguments which dealt with their use, explaining the appearance of attacks and signs of violence on most of the reserve heads in specific parts. Then the research proved that the purpose of these heads was not as reserve head but to be used as a substitute head for the purpose of performing execration rituals on the deceased and harm him in his afterlife. 


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