Society and Death in Ancient Egypt: Mortuary Landscapes of the Middle Kingdom

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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521119832
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/2009
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet Richards is assistant professor of Egyptology and Assistant Curator for Dynastic Egypt in the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan. She is Project Director for the University of Michigan's excavations in the Abydos Middle Cemetery, and co-editor of Order, Legitimacy and Wealth in Ancient States.

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Table of Contents

1 Social differentiation and the notion of class 13
2 Egyptian society through text and image 19
3 Society, settlement, and votive behavior 32
4 People, death, and the "tomb problem" in Egypt 49
5 Mortuary landscapes in the Middle Kingdom : belief and practice 75
6 Burial at the center : Haraga and Rigga 88
7 Cemeteries past, present, and provincial : Abydos 125
Conclusion. The Egyptian Nile Valley in the Middle Kingdom : history, politics, and society 173
App Abydos North Cemetery project 1988 : Middle Kingdom burials 181
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