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
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
5. Divine Kingship and the Royal Ka
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
9. Co-regency in the 25th Dynasty: A Case Study of the Chapel of Osiris-Ptah Neb-ankh at Karnak
Section II: People
10. The Egyptianization of Egypt and Egyptology: Exploring Identity in Ancient Egypt
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
13. The Value of Children in Ancient Egypt
Caroline Arbuckle MacLeod
14. Orientalizing the Ancient Egyptian Woman
15. The Ancient Egyptian Artist: A Non-Existing Category?
Dimitri Laboury and Alisée Devillers
16. Hellenistic Warfare and Egyptian Society
17. Revealing the Invisible Majority: "Hegemonic" Group Artefacts as Biography Containers of the "Underprivileged" Groups
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
21. Urban versus Village Society in Ancient Egypt: A New Perspective
22. Reassessing the Value of Autobiographical Inscriptions from the First Intermediate Period and "Pessimistic Literature" for Understanding Egypt’s Social History
23. Othering the Alphabet: Rewriting the Social Context of a New Writing System in the Egyptian Expedition Community
24. Language Policy and the Administrative Framework of Early Islamic Egypt
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"
27. The Body of Egypt: How Harem Women Connected a King with his Elites
Kathlyn M. Cooney, Chloe Landis and Turandot Shayegan