Friday, 2 December 2011

Rewriting History: A Look at Vandalism in 18th-Dynasty Egypt

C. Cutulle

In history as today, vandalism is an act imbued with meaning. This is certainly true of two 18th-Dynasty Egyptian examples—that of the Pharaohs Hatshepsut and Akhenaten. Hatshepsut’s rise to power as king was at the expense of her young stepson—the rightful Pharaoh. Years after her death, vandalism in the form of the removal of any references or images associated with Hatshepsut’s kingship is evident. Akhenaten’s striking religious reforms landed him the same fate. Through analysis, we are able to ascertain the desired result of this vandalism: rewriting Egyptian history to include only that which was orthodox.

Target audience: Audience specifically educated in the liberal arts such as art, history, archaeology, anthropology, etc.


  1. This poster project on vandalism presented me with an opportunity to explore in-depth two key instances of vandalism in ancient Egypt that I have always known about in a very superficial sense. Since I am quite interested in Egyptian history, and hope to work with Egyptian artifacts one day, this seemed like the perfect subject for me to pursue. Technically, I wanted the poster to be bold and intriguing by using certain font types and colors. To draw an audience in, I wanted the pictures to be the focus of the poster. The format was constructed with the idea of using the pictures to lead the viewer's eyes from the top of the poster to the bottom, ultimately towards the text. In the end, I hoped to produce a poster that enticed viewers and educated them about a different type of vandalism that concerned rewriting history.
    Cassy C.

  2. I enjoyed reading this and I think the images are VERY grabbing.
    Your poster made me consider whether, up to a certain extent, all vandalism could be seen as arbitrary attempts to re-write history (not sure if this can be done in a democratic way, actually!). I will look at the others under the same light and come back here.
    Also, I wanted to ask you what you think of the examples you used. That is, are these acts of 'historic vandalism', or 'history re-writing' useful for anything? Do you think we would know so much about the context where they occurred if they had not happened?


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