The Interplay of Motifs Reflecting the Doorkeeper’s Duties - Form and Function

Document Type : Original Article


Associate Professor, Tourist Guiding Department Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, Alexandria University, Egypt


Doorkeepers form part of the workmen community about whom the information is occasional. The figured motifs of the doorkeepers hint at their role in securing a place efficiently. Though less informative small-scaled motifs may seem to be, they provide useful information regarding the lives of individuals. One of such motifs is the doorkeeper whose figure was not an ornamental motif; rather a functional one. Subject of the current research is defining, detecting and reassessing the status of doorkeepers in the ancient Egyptian society by means of the interpretation of the interplay of motifs in the scenes. In this respect the doorkeepers’ gestures, attitudes and attributes are valuable sources of information. Unlike other workers and artisans, the doorkeeper’s work was in the palace interiors and store rooms. The originality of the subject in the New Kingdom makes the doorkeeper motif a remarkable addition to the scene repertoire of daily life activities, this time within the palace. Interpreting the iconography and the interplay of motifs in the scenes enable a better understanding of the doorkeeper’s role.