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In Society and Death in Ancient Egypt, Janet Richards considers social stratification in Middle Kingdom Egypt, taking as the point of departure the assumption that a 'middle class' arose during this period. By focusing on the entire range of mortuary behavior, rather than on elite remains, she shows how social and political processes can be reconstructed. Richards demonstrates that the roots of the middle class can be traced to the later Old Kingdom and First Intermediate Period. Combining information from excavations, ancient Egyptian texts, and decorative reliefs and statuary, the book weaves together a wide variety of sources that aid us in understanding how Middle Kingdom Egyptians thought about society and death and how their practices and landscapes relating to death reveal information about the living society.Read more
- Focuses on entire range of mortuary behavior rather than just the practices of the elite
- Reconstructs social and political processes of the Middle Kingdom through their mortuary landscapes and practices
- Includes a variety of information sources including recent excavations, ancient texts, and decorative reliefs and statuary
Reviews & endorsements
"In addition to determining differences, both within cemeteries and between cemeteries, Richards furnishes compelling evidence of class distinctions among nonelite graves. The book should be of interest to scholars and advanced students of archaeology, anthropology, and Egyptian funerary beliefs." - Denise M. Doxey, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
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- Date Published: September 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521119832
- length: 264 pages
- dimensions: 246 x 189 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.48kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. The Study of Ancient Social Systems:
1. Social differentiation and the notion of 'class'
2. Egyptian society through text and image
3. Society, settlement, and votive behavior
Part II. Society and Death in Egypt:
4. People, death and the 'tomb problem' in Egypt
5. Mortuary landscapes in the Middle Kingdom
6. Burial at the center: Haraga and Riqqa
7. Cemeteries past, present, and provincial: Abydos
Conclusion: The Egyptian Nile Valley in the Middle Kingdom: History, politics, and society.
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