The Scents of Love and
Sexuality in Ancient Egypt

Date(s): 3/30/23
Start time: 12:00 AM
Calendar: Google or iCal

Michael C. Carlos Museum (Emory University)
571 South Kilgo Circle
Atlanta, GA 30322

Type: Education & Lectures

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Ancient Egyptian love lyrics are full of olfactory symbolism. Attraction, love, and lovemaking were all embodied by olfactory metaphors. The sense of smell was the paramount sensory perception for expressing love in ancient Egyptian poetry. Some of these love poems are so imbued by scents that one can actually “smell the scenes” they describe. In this lecture, PhD researcher, and experimental archaeologist Dora Goldsmith from the Freie Universität Berlin, will discuss how love poems, together with other genres of texts, such as hymns to deities, medical texts, and myths, reveal that the sense of smell played a decisive factor in sexual attraction and practices of the ancient Egyptians.

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