Publisher’s note: Examining a wide range of archaeological data, and using it to explore issues such as the sexual body, mind/body dualism, body modification, and magical practices, Lynn Meskell and Rosemary Joyce offer a new approach to the Ancient Egyptian and Mayan understanding of embodiment. Drawing on insights from feminist theory, art history, phenomenology, anthropology and psychoanalysis, the book takes bodily materiality as a crucial starting point to the understanding and formation of self in any society, and sheds new light on Ancient Egyptian and Maya cultures.
The book shows how a comparative project can open up new lines of inquiry by raising questions about accepted assumptions as the authors draw attention to the long-term histories and specificities of embodiment, and make the case for the importance of ancient materials for contemporary theorization of the body. For students new to the subject, and scholars already familiar with it, this will offer fresh and exciting insights into these ancient cultures.
Comment (from this Blueprint): pp. 23-29 offer a useful discussion of the materiality of the Mayan conception of human beings.