1st Edition

Ancient Egyptian Society Challenging Assumptions, Exploring Approaches

    440 Pages 46 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    440 Pages 46 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume challenges assumptions about—and highlights new approaches to—the study of ancient Egyptian society by tackling various thematic social issues through structured individual case studies.

    The reader will be presented with questions about the relevance of the past in the present. The chapters encourage an understanding of Egypt in its own terms through the lens of power, people, and place, offering a more nuanced understanding of the way Egyptian society was organized and illustrating the benefits of new approaches to topics in need of a critical re-examination. By re-evaluating traditional, long-held beliefs about a monolithic, unchanging ancient Egyptian society, this volume writes a new narrative—one unchecked assumption at a time.

    Ancient Egyptian Society: Challenging Assumptions, Exploring Approaches is intended for anyone studying ancient Egypt or ancient societies more broadly, including undergraduate and graduate students, Egyptologists, and scholars in adjacent fields.


    1. Investigating Ancient Egypt’s Societies: Past Approaches and New Directions

    Danielle Candelora, Nadia Ben-Marzouk, and Kathlyn M. Cooney

    Section I: Power

    2. Power and the Study of Ancient Egyptian Society

    Nadia Ben-Marzouk

    3. Hidden Violence: Reassessing Violence and Human Sacrifice in Ancient Egypt

    Roselyn A. Campbell

    4. Making the Past Present: The Use of Archaism and Festivals in the Transmission of Egyptian Royal Ideology

    Jeffrey Newman

    5. Divine Kingship and the Royal Ka

    Jonathan Winnerman

    6. Trade, Statehood, and Configurations of Power in Ancient Egypt (Early-Middle Bronze Age)

    Juan Carlos Moreno García

    7. The Social Pyramid and the Status of Craftspeople in Ancient Egypt

    Caroline Arbuckle MacLeod

    8. Ancient Egyptian Decorum: Demarcating and Presenting Social Action

    John Baines

    9. Co-regency in the 25th Dynasty: A Case Study of the Chapel of Osiris-Ptah Neb-ankh at Karnak

    Essam Nagy

    Section II: People

    10. The Egyptianization of Egypt and Egyptology: Exploring Identity in Ancient Egypt

    Danielle Candelora

    11. Ancient Egyptian "Origins" and "Identity"

    S. O. Y. Keita

    12. Eight Medjay Walk into a Palace: Bureaucratic Categorization and Cultural Mistranslation of Peoples in Contact

    Kate Liszka

    13. The Value of Children in Ancient Egypt

    Caroline Arbuckle MacLeod

    14. Orientalizing the Ancient Egyptian Woman

    Jordan Galczynski

    15. The Ancient Egyptian Artist: A Non-Existing Category?

    Dimitri Laboury and Alisée Devillers

    16. Hellenistic Warfare and Egyptian Society

    Christelle Fischer-Bovet

    17. Revealing the Invisible Majority: "Hegemonic" Group Artefacts as Biography Containers of the "Underprivileged" Groups

    Gianluca Miniaci

    18. Reevaluating Social Histories: The Use of Ancient Egypt in Contemporary Art

    Nicholas R. Brown

    Section III: Place

    19. People of Nile and Sun, Wheat and Barley: Ancient Egyptian Society and the Agency of Place

    Kathlyn M. Cooney

    20. Shifting Boundaries, Conflicting Perspectives: (Re)establishing the Borders of Kemet Through Variable Social Identities

    Danielle Candelora

    21. Urban versus Village Society in Ancient Egypt: A New Perspective

    Nadine Moeller

    22. Reassessing the Value of Autobiographical Inscriptions from the First Intermediate Period and "Pessimistic Literature" for Understanding Egypt’s Social History

    Ellen Morris

    23. Othering the Alphabet: Rewriting the Social Context of a New Writing System in the Egyptian Expedition Community

    Nadia Ben-Marzouk

    24. Language Policy and the Administrative Framework of Early Islamic Egypt

    Jennifer Cromwell

    25. New Methods to Reconstruct the Social History of Food in Ancient Egypt: Case Studies from Nag ed Deir and Deir el Ballas

    Amr Khalaf Shahat

    26. Stop and Smell the Flowers: A Re-Assessment of the Ancient Egyptian "Blue Lotus"

    Robyn Price

    27. The Body of Egypt: How Harem Women Connected a King with his Elites

    Kathlyn M. Cooney, Chloe Landis and Turandot Shayegan


    Danielle Candelora is Assistant Professor of Ancient Mediterranean History at SUNY Cortland and co-director of excavations at South Karnak. She received her PhD in Egyptology from UCLA. Her research focuses on immigration in ancient Egypt, the reception of foreigners, strategies of identity maintenance and advertisement.

    Nadia Ben-Marzouk is Postdoctoral Fellow at Tel Aviv University and the University of Zurich. Her research explores craft production, producers, and modes of technological transmission in the Bronze and Iron Age Levant, Egypt, and east Mediterranean. She received her PhD from UCLA.

    Kathlyn M. Cooney is Professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA. Her research in 21st Dynasty coffin reuse focuses on the socio-economic and political aspects of funerary and burial practices in ancient Egypt.