Negotiating identity in Middle Kingdom Egypt /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Macarthur, Elise Victoria, author.
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2016
Description:1 electronic resource (422 pages)
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
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Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
Notes:Advisors: Nadine Moeller Committee members: Janet Johnson; Brian Muhs.
This item is not available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 77-12(E), Section: A.
Summary:The focus of this dissertation is a study of "social identity" using mortuary data from elite cemeteries in the Memphite-Faiyum region of Egypt during the Middle Kingdom. Social identity is defined here as the processes by which individuals and collectives are distinguished among themselves and in relation to others. These processes, or practices, can be understood by investigating the ways in which materials and artifacts are used. In mortuary contexts, these practices involve the participation and performance of rituals relating to the burial of the deceased. Here, one is presented with the social identity of a deceased individual as perceived by the surviving members of the community who buried him or her. This unique perspective provides insight into the social identity of the deceased as well as that of the greater community. In doing so, this dissertation thus explores "individual" as well as "collective" social identities for Middle Kingdom Egyptians buried in the Memphite-Faiyum region.
The mortuary data for this study comes from elite cemeteries because they are well-represented by archaeological, textual, and iconographic information. As a result, these data sets offer the most direct point of access into the consideration of Middle Kingdom Egyptian social identity. The case study that is presented in this dissertation is believed to be especially fruitful. Indeed, the tombs in the Teti Pyramid Cemetery form one of the largest, most concise, and best published core groups of non-royal, elite, Middle Kingdom burials. Moreover, its burials are known to display a mix of traditional and innovative styles, which may be connected to regional variation, and which are considered in terms of its relationship to social identity.
The methodology formulated for this dissertation has been specifically designed to create a framework for social identity that explores accessible dimensions of mortuary practice, which relate to the tomb, its grave goods, the body, and the deceased individual. Moreover, this methodology takes into account local and regional scales of Egyptian social practice. This dissertation employs a multi-dimensional approach to a systematic analysis of mortuary data.
The ultimate goal of this investigation is to recognize, explore, and ultimately comprehend similarities and differences, as well as patterns and deviations among burials at different levels of practice, which ultimately allows for a nuanced consideration of ancient Egyptian social identity.