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The MORTEXVAR conference

Individuals, groups, tracers

The conference intends to reflect on a pre-print collective volume of the MORTEXVAR project, which includes 17 contributions about different aspects of variability as the main criterium to retrieve information from the sources. This criterium articulates in three leads to inspire a structure of the collective work:

  • Individuals. Study cases that are particularly telling not only about their individuality but about how and why they are exceptional within the bigger picture.

  • Groups. Study cases of groups that may constitute substreams within mainstream traditions or minor streams outside the mainstream.

  • Tracers. Elements of variability in the mainstream that allow us to trace change, innovation or disparity processes, including errors and corrections.

Captura de pantalla de 2022-08-19 18-50-05.png

Coffin of Iqer from Gebelein, 11th dynasty, detail. Photograph: Museo Egizio, Turin, C00761.

The idea

The three leads aim to provide a holistic picture to assess the connections between what are usually seen as “elements” of a “system” and the “system” itself; and to ultimately review those two concepts (element, system) which are critical to the Western conceptual frame.


This procedure (book plus conference) contrasts with the usual conference plus proceedings volume academic standard. It permits feedback on an already matured work with which all the contributors are familiar. In doing so, it has the advantage of allowing a more precise and unimprovised feedback on the contributions and, not less unimportantly, on the three leads proposed to inspire a structure of the collective work produced around the operative concept “variability”.


The resulting book and conference are expected to offer a showcase covering fields of study that englobes archaeology, history, philology, linguistics, visual arts and multidisciplinary approaches.


Access to the conference is free upon registration.

Email to stating your name, affiliation (if applicable) and brief motivation to register.

Sessions will be recorded and made available after the conference on the MORTEXVAR Youtube channel.


  • YouTube
  • YouTube
  • YouTube

All times CET

14 September - Individuals


Chaired by Zsuzsanna Végh, University of Edinburgh


14:00 – 14:15 h. Presentation

14:15 – 14:30 h. Julia Hamilton, Macquarie University, Sydney

Secondary epigraphy and interaction with transfigured dead: The case of Nikauizezi, Saqqara

14:30 – 14:45 h. Veronika Dulíková & Marie Hlouchová Peterková, Charles University, Prague

The decorated coffin of the king’s ornament Setib buried at Abusir

14:45 – 15:00 h. Angela McDonald, University of Glasgow

Putting intentions in their place: materialising meaning through spatial dynamics in Appeals to the Dead

(In absentia). Jean-Pierre Pätznick, Université Paris-Sorbonne, Paris

From Khenti-Mentiu to Khenti-Imentiu: Mirror of the evolution of the royal funerary sphere from the Early Dynastic to the Osirian revolution in the Old Kingdom

15:00 – 15:15 h. César Guerra Méndez & Carlos Gracia Zamacona, Universidad de Alcalá

Osiris, as written in the Pyramid Texts and the Coffin Texts

15:15 – 15:30 h. Break

15:30 – 17:00 h. Discussion


15 September - Groups

Chaired by Rune Nyord, Emory University, Atlanta

14:00 – 14:05 h. Presentation

14:05 – 14:20 h. Seria Yamazaki, Waseda University

Repeating the ritual under the ground: Performance of the royal object ritual in the Middle Kingdom

14:20 – 14:35 h. Juan Carlos Moreno García, CNRS, Paris

dmjw, n(j)wtj “citizen” in the Pyramid Texts and the Coffin Texts in the context of the social and political changes that occurred in Egypt at the turn of the 3rd millennium BC

14:35 – 14:50 h. Christelle Alvarez, Brown University

New spells, new compilations, and the concept of variability in sequences of Pyramid and Coffin Texts

14:50 – 15:05 h. Anne Landborg, Independent scholar

Becoming Wind? Considerations on transformation and identification in marginal Coffin Text spells

15:05 – 15:15 h. Yannick A. Wiechmann, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

The many ways of escaping from the fishing net: Regarding variability and prehistory of a spell group

(In absentia). Antonio J. Morales, Universidad de Alcalá


15:30 – 15:45 h. Break

15:30 – 17:00 h. Discussion


16 September - Tracers

Chaired by Andréas Stauder, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris


14:00 – 14:05 h. Presentation

14:05 – 14:20 h. Jorke Grotenhuis, University of California, Berkeley / The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Variation in the graphical form of the first-person stative ending in the Coffin Texts

14:20 – 14:35 h. Gersande Eschenbrenner Diemer, Universidad de Alcalá

(Re)connecting artefacts and thinking in the afterlife: the case of funerary wooden models

14:35 – 14:50 h. M. Victoria Almansa-Villatoro, Harvard University

Variation as a Social Device: “Middle Egyptianisms” in Old Kingdom Letters

14:50 – 15:05 h. Dina Serova, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Problematizing linguistic variation in the Coffin Texts: A case study on spell CT 335

15:05 – 15:15 h. Elisabeth Kruck, Universität Wien

Occurrences of grave goods and their representations on coffins: A concept of substitution?

(In absentia). James P. Allen, Brown University, Providence

Scribal factors in the transmission of the Pyramid Texts

15:30 – 15:45 h. Break

15:30 – 17:00 h. Discussion & announcement of the MORTEXVAR database.

Registered attendees

Leire Olabarria, Birmingham

Beatriz Noria, Alcalá

Mallaury Guigner, Montepellier

Foy Scalf, Chicago

Wantje Fritschy, Leiden

M. Jesús Menéndez, Alcalá

Sika Pedersen, Alcalá

Lucía Díaz-Iglesias, Madrid

Charles Herzer, New York

Peter Blair

Daniel Méndez, La Laguna

Jordan Miller, Oxford

Paula Veiga, Lisbon

Jean-Baptiste Poussard, Montpellier

Pedro Sáez, Alcalá

Emilio Bosio, Buenos Aires

José Alba, Jaén

Emily Whitehead, Atlanta

Kari Askeland

Paz Schaffhauser, Santiago de Chile

Magaly López, Alcalá

Franz Luaghammer

Colin Fauré, Paris

Amy Wilson

Nieves García Centeno, Alcalá

Shinichi Kato

Ilaria Cariddi, Florence

Orly Goldwasser, Jerusalem

Marissa Knudson

Caroline Lovelace, Swansea

Elizabeth Leaning, Auckland

André Müller, Zurich

David Bruegger, Manchester

Christa Ohlendorf, Bonn

Mailén Correa, Buenos Aires

Miona Miyazaki, Tokyo

Gonzalo Gómez, Alcalá

Irene Aboy

Doris Topmann, Berlin

Motoharu Arimura, Tokyo

Kristina Hutter, Vienna

Mariela De Giuda, Montevideo

Gabriel Valenzuela, Santiago de Chile

Mariano Bonanno, Buenos Aires

Adriana Noemí Salvador, Alcalá

Susana Soler, Barcelona

Haleli Harel, Jerusalem

Gisela Rodriguez, Springfield MA

Joanna Popielska, Warsaw

Organised by

Carlos Gracia Zamacona

with the assistance of María Ribes Lafoz and Ernesto Graf

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