Auszeichnung der besten Publikation 2020

(Jubiläumsfonds der Stadt Wien für die ÖAW)

Uroš Matić wird für seine Monographie Body and Frames of War in New Kingdom Egypt. Violent Treatment of Enemies and Prisoners, Philippika 134, Harrassowitz Verlag Wiesbaden 2019, ausgezeichnet.


Body and Frames of War in New Kingdom Egypt. Violent Treatment of Enemies and Prisoners (2019) deals with the relation between violence and the bodies of enemies and prisoners of war in New Kingdom Egypt (ca. 1550-1070 BC). Military campaigns of the New Kingdom pharaohs did not only enlarge the territorial domain of the Egyptian state but also affected foreign peoples and landscapes. The effects of military campaigns are quintessentially violent. They are primarily directed at foreign military and secondarily on non-combatants and landscape. Archaeological, textual and pictorial sources on New Kingdom Egyptian military violence in the Levant and Nubia (torture, mutilation, execution) are examined with various methods. Numerous attestations of caging, branding and marking, cutting off hands, cutting off phalli, cutting off ears, eyes gouging, strangling, burning, impaling and decapitation of enemies are analysed in detail and compared with treatments of the dead in the Underworld and criminals in ancient Egypt. The textual and visual representations of violent treatments of enemies and prisoners of war were examined through the lens of "frames of war" (J. Butler). These "frames of war" dictate how actual events are transformed into textual and visual media. Three main "frames of war" were identified in course of the study: religion, hunt and gender. Foreign enemies are framed as non-human forces threatening the order, and are therefore coming forth in text and images as Underworld entities. At the same time they are compared with animals and are coming forth as the pray of the Pharaoh. Ultimately, they are framed as feminine and are coming forth as weak enemies, based on the gender power relations in New Kingdom Egyptian society itself.

Uroš Matić also for the first time comprehensively compares divine and state violence in ancient Egypt. He discusses evidence from physical-anthropology (skeletal remains) and chooses a constructivist approach to textual and pictorial representations of violence. Bodies of enemies are understood as objects and media of violence. Several theoretical models are consulted in the examination of the material. In line with the recent ontological turn in anthropology and archaeology, it is argued that there was a difference in violent acts committed by the king and those committed by the soldiers. The king treats the enemies in the same way as deities and demons treat the dead in the Underworld. The violence committed by soldiers, on the other hand, is mundane and has no religious background. This difference strengthened the divine nature of the king.


Der Preisträger

Uroš Matić hat das Masterstudium im Fach Archäologie 2011 an der Universität Belgrad abgeschlossen; er promovierte 2017 im Fach Ägyptologie an der Universität Münster. Von Jänner 2018 bis Juni 2019 hatte Uroš Matić eine Postdoc-Stelle am Institut für Ägyptologie und Koptologie der Universität Münster und war Gastforscher am Institut für Orientalische und Europäische Archäologie der ÖAW. Seit Juli 2019 arbeitet Uroš Matić als wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (Postdoc-Stelle, 55 %) am Österreichischen Archäologischen Institut, Zweigstelle Kairo, im Rahmen des FWF-Projekts P31791.