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

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

Paperback

By (author) Janet Richards

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 264 pages
  • Dimensions: 186mm x 244mm x 16mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 17 September 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521119839
  • ISBN 13: 9780521119832
  • Illustrations note: 88 line figures 29 tones 2 tables
  • Sales rank: 457,134

Product description

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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Author information

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.

Review quote

Review of the hardback: 'Egyptology is often criticised for an insufficient amount of theory being applied to the evidence; Janet Richard's book, Society and Death in Ancient Egypt: Mortuary Landscapes of the Middle Kingdom, puts paid to that criticism. It combines anthropological/archaeological theory with hard data to come up with a thorough, balanced analysis of burials and what they tell us about social organisation in ancient Egypt in the Middle Kingdom (and indeed in other periods). ... Richard's book is an exemplary piece of work on the application of theory to evidence ... The methodology is sound, her points are cogently argued, and the examples well chosen. The writing is fluid and elegant, making it a joy to read. This book will serve as a template for other works of this nature, and is a book that should grace every scholar and student's bookshelf.' PalArch, Netherlands Scientific Journal Review of the hardback: '... well-written and informative ...' Ancient Egypt

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.