Kekes Phd review

Speaking Bodies: an approach to the Egyptian and Aegean ritual gestures of the Bronze Age


Non verbal communication constitutes a fundamental element of human behaviour. People in antiquity performed a great variety of postures and body movements during their daily associations, the demonstration of loyalty and submission to the ruling class, the worship of their local deities etc. The study of gestures occurring in art and literature of the ancient world is a particular research field that is increasingly attracting scholarly interest.

The present doctoral research focuses on a comparative study of the Egyptian and Aegean ritual gestures during the Bronze Age and expands into the following thematic areas:

  • The analysis of the methodology that is followed in the research. Matters of terminology are addressed, while thirteen interpretation criteria, the combined examination of which can help the researchers to interpret the ancient gestures, are presented and analyzed.
  • The typological classification of the Egyptian and Aegean ritual gestures and their interpretation.
  • The analysis of references of ritual gestures in Egyptian sources and their correlation with gestures appearing in Egyptian iconography.
  • The detection of the ritual significance of the human body in the Egyptian and Aegean perception and the implementation of gestures in the scope of various ritual proceedings.
  • The identification and analysis of potentially common Egyptian and Aegean ritual gestures.

A comparative study of Egyptian and Aegean cultures in the field of gestures has never been implemented before. Potentially common Egyptian and Aegean ritual gestures could demonstrate a close relationship both in symbolic and ideological level between the aforementioned civilizations.

Christos Kekes

PhD Prospectus