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Labeling Ancient Egyptian Complex-Media Varnishes as “Imperial”

Christian de Vartavan


The appearance—and subsequent disappearance—of complex-media varnishes in ancient Egypt coincides chronologically with the rise and fall of Egypt’s imperial ambitions in Asia, and analysis of the constituent oleoresins suggests this is no coincidence. It is therefore suggested that these varnishes be labeled as “imperial,” a useful contribution not only to the history of ancient Egyptian power and trade, but also to ancient Egyptian art and art history in general.


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