DECKER, Wolfgang und Michael HERB, Bildatlas zum Sport im Alten Ägypten. Corpus der bildlichen Quellen zu Leibesübungen, Spiel, Jagd, Tanz und verwandten Themen. Teil 1: Text und Teil 2: Abbildungen, Leiden etc., E.J. Brill, 1994 = Handbuch der Orientalistik / Handbook of Oriental Studies. Erste Abteilung: Der Nahe und Mittlere Osten / The Near and Middle East, 14/1-2. (19 x 24 cm; Teil 1: XX, 1009 p.; Teil 2: 450 pl.). ISBN 90-04-09974-3
This standard work is a systematically organized and complete documentation of the iconographic source material concerning sport in a wide sense, i.e. physical exercise, games, hunt, dance etc. In the introduction the author explains the difference between the Egyptian and Classical concepts of sport. Egyptian sport is rather pleasure (sDAj-Hr). Then the rationale behind the authors' structuring of the corpus is presented. A first criterion is the king as actor in sporting activities. To varying degrees, the first four general themes are determined by the royal presence. In the other four the king is not attested in a direct role. The authors stress that more definitive opinions on sport in Ancient Egypt can only be found in an integrated approach of iconographic and textual sources.
The following general themes and specific themes cover the whole field of sport in Ancient Egypt. I, cult scenes, subdivided in cultic running of the king (A); the erection of the skeleton of the sHnt building (B); hitting the ball (C); and throwing the ball into the four directions of heaven (D). II, archery: shooting at a target (E); the composite bow and its gear (F); selected archery scenes (G). III, chariotry: original chariots and the composing parts (H); selected scenes of chariot driving and horse training (I). IV, hunting: the hunt in desert and steppe (J); the hunt in the papyrus thicket (hippopotamus hunting, fishing, bird chasing, bird catching with the net). V, fighting: wrestling (L), stick fight (M), boxing (N); fish spearing (O). VI, games: elementary forms of games (P), such as ball games, khazza lawizza, equilibrium games, tests of strength and fitness, fighting games, games played in rest or seated position, counting games, and varia; board games (Q), such as the snake game or the senet game and pieces in scenes and as actual object. VII, acrobatics and dancing: acrobatics (R), such as squatting on the heels, exercise on the ground, handstand and somersault; dances (S), such as the mww dance, pair, mirror and formation dancing, free style in the public and the private spheres, pleasure dancing, the harvest dance, and foreign dances. VIII, aquatic activities (T): figure swimming as represented on archaic seal impressions, selected swimming scenes, unguent spoons with the swimming girl motif, selected documents on rowing and paddling. All documents have a number following the letter referring to the specific theme. Each is presented in the same way: label title, place, date, material, description, and bibliography.
Extensive bibliography, indexes of place names and buildings (also in an arrangement by the names - transliterated and in our alphabet - of the persons or deities venerated there), the objects in museums and collections, a source list to the illustration material in the second part, a chronological table. At the end separate maps to the themes, as a reference tool to the topographic distribution of the documents (to each a chronology of the documents is added). Some addenda on p. 1008-9. The part with the illustrative material follows the order of the main part, each illustration being provided with the document reference number and a caption.