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Pharaohs in Action - an oddity

 
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Nefertari1
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Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 66
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:57 am    Post subject: Pharaohs in Action - an oddity Reply with quote

I've often wondered why it is that in depictions of pharaohs in their chariots, that they appear to be holding their bow in a strange way. See below as an example.



The bow is held in the right hand. The bowstring and arrow are in the left hand. Nothing wrong so far but if you look at the bowstring and the arrow, you notice they are in fact behind the pharaoh, not in front where you would expect to see them. It makes it look like the pharaoh has his head through the bow. It's a strange anomoly and I wondered if anyone has an explanation for it?
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tnrees
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Joined: 09 Jul 2005
Posts: 497
Location: Taunton, UK

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard it was so the string did not hide the pharohs face. Presumably they did not want to show him with the bow in the other hand as this would make him left handed.
Does anyone know about the egyptians view on left handedness?Many peoples did not like it.
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Osiris II
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Joined: 13 Mar 2004
Posts: 914
Location: Long Beach, CA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not absolutely sure, but I think that the convention of not using the left hand is more of an Islamic thing than AE.
There are many representations of people using left hands in Egyptian art. The one that comes immediately to mind is on Namer's palette. The man standing behind the king has the king's sandals in his left hand.
The use of the left in modern Egypt is seen as a mark of dis-respect. The left is used while going to the bathroom. Using the left to eat, to touch people, etc. is viewed poorly.
I'm left-handed. Imagine, if you will, the looks I got when eating at cafes in Cairo! Very Happy
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Meresankh
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Posts: 253
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's interesting. I wonder why being left handed should matter?

Yes, I can imagine the looks you get, Osiris II Shocked
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Osiris II
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Joined: 13 Mar 2004
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Location: Long Beach, CA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's simply a matter of social views.
Another I find strange is never showing the soles of your shoes (when your sitting) to the person to which you are speaking.

The left hand thing I can kind of understand. Formerly, it was quite common for people to eat with the hand. Scooping food up with bread and taking it to the mouth with the right hand. The left was NEVER used because that was the hand that you used when you went to the bathroom.
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tnrees
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Joined: 09 Jul 2005
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Location: Taunton, UK

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sinister comes from the Latin for left and 'the left hand path' was used for consorting with the devil so left handed people were viewed with suspician
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