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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe high degree of correlation existing between the subject matter visually depicted on Early Dynastic Egyptian objects and the year-names represented hieroglyphically on the Palermo Stone--an historical annal from the Fifth Dynasty--suggests that much Early Dynastic imagery was meant to serve as a dating device, a kind of pictorial year-name, based on the important event or events that occurred within the year. The selection of the historic events referred to in these year-names appears to be based on their compatibility with certain festivals associated with the king. These festivals express the theoretical model of kingship and therefore can be used to reconstruct the king's primary roles and responsibilities during the Early Dynastic Period. Such duties include the unification, protection and expansion of the king's realm--both Earthly and Cosmic; the insuring of the irrigation and fertility of the land; the foundation and dedication of important buildings and temples; and the reaffirmation and magical rejuvenation of his primeval powers as expressed in such festivals as the Sed.