This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Private Life In New Kingdom Egypt, By Dr. Lynn Meskell

1412 words - 6 pages

Dr. Lynn Meskell attempts to disclose everyday ancient Egyptian life in her monograph, Private Life in New Kingdom Egypt. As the title reveals, her work is focused on New Kingdom Egypt, particularly the 18th and 20th Dynasties, between 1539 and 1075 BCE. The book synthesizes material relating to domains of lived experience and social interaction, particularly in the village of Deir el Medina, the community of workmen employed to build New Kingdom royal tombs. Much of her work has been based on the largely overlooked wealth of evidence from the 18th Dynasty cemeteries of the village. She makes use of texts from the village, as well as incorporating material and textual evidence from other sites and contexts, seeking a thorough integration of textual, visual, and archaeological material. Her thesis sets out “to present the complexity and sophistication of Egyptian society” (2) and to “argue that the template of the life cycle coheres more closely with the Egyptian evidence than … traditional categorizations” as was outlined in her first chapter (93). She further claims that “Textual, pictorial, and archaeological evidence makes clear that the cycle itself was open to gendered differences” (93).
Therefore, chapters 2 through 7 present the overall framework of the individual lifecycle, moving from “becoming a person” (chapter 3) to courting, marriage, and divorce (chapters 4, 5) and finally, explorations of sexuality and sensuality centered on the individual body, in life (chapters 5, 6) and in death (chapter 7). Many of the discussions within this setting focus on women’s lives and the thematization of female bodies in different domains. The author takes a negative stance regarding the social position of women in ancient Egyptian society and their ability to play an active role in shaping the world around them.
Meskell sees women in ancient Egypt as oppressed and there are times when this focus is taken too far. For instance, when confronted with texts demonstrating that women did actually own land, she adds the comment, “Yet it is easy to envisage situations where women’s husbands curbed their economic activities” (110). Similarly, in response to the texts that indicate women received one third of the joint marital property following a divorce, she asserts, “…these ideal scenarios must have been moderated by serious forms of exploitation” (110). Finally, Meskell relegates divorced women to a life of insecurity and poverty, although to do so uniformly is to ignore the substantial evidence for the incorporation of unmarried women into extended family households.
The reader is left to wonder, then, whether Meskell had herself fallen into the trap that she warned of at the beginning of the book: “There is a great risk of missing the cadences and characteristics of that other culture. It is vital to remain aware of this separation and dangerous to assume too great a certainty and familiarity with others from the past” (2). The reviewer has always...

Find Another Essay On Private Life in New Kingdom Egypt, by Dr. Lynn Meskell

What does the archaeological evidence of Tutankhamen's Tomb reveal about the burial practices of Pharaohs in the New Kingdom Egypt?

2204 words - 9 pages different tombs of the New Kingdom Pharaohs a conclusion can be made on the relevancy of King Tutankhamen's tomb artefacts.The artefacts in King Tutankhamen's Tomb discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter reveal that the Burial Practices of New Kingdom Egyptians were based around their strong belief in the after/or second life, heavily relied on religious symbolism and placed emphasis on ritual acts. These factors are implied through the analysis of

Life in Ancient Egypt Essay

1921 words - 8 pages and gave them something to live for. There was an afterlife to look forward to and a spiritual rule of law that would take care of them until then. Also there was a state that was created by the religion to lead the people correctly. Therefore, the most important role that religion played in Egypt was that gave people the spiritual definition and structure for the ordered life that they lived. Egyptian religion revolved around death and the

Agriculture and Food Production in the Old Kingdom Egypt

3725 words - 15 pages general overview of the more popular resources yielded by agriculture and food production in Old Kingdom Egypt. The Nile is of particular importance, as it was the source of life in Egypt. Egypt’s crop fields are the product of the fertile kamat soil. Egypt’s primary concern was on cereal crops that’s yields had various functions. Egypt’s marshlands provided Egypt with plants that could provide oil as well as building materials. It was also a source

Daily Life In Ancient Egypt

1039 words - 4 pages Daily Life In Ancient Egypt What comes to mind when you picture the word "Egypt"? Perhaps pharaohs, pyramids, pictures, gods, goddess, decorations, and maybe even freaky looking people. That's not all that was behind this fascinating country, there was much more that went on beyond the bigger picture. Well I'm here to enlighten you about the daily life of the normal everyday Egyptians. Their daily life was much more different than what the

The Psychology of Inspiration in Prose Poems by Lynn Emanuel

3289 words - 13 pages Portraits in Pain: The Psychology of Inspiration in Prose Poems by Lynn Emanuel Reconstructing notions such as potentiality and inspiration, Emanuel’s prose poems, whose thematic range spans from involvement with the paintings of her renowned father Akiba Emanuel (a model and ‘pupil’ of Matisse) to the ‘portraits’ of Gertrude Stein, illuminate the interrelationship between language and world, and the psychology of inhabiting both

The Increase of Gender Equality in Ancient Egypt’s New Kingdom

533 words - 2 pages BIBLIOGRAPHYPrimary Sources"Isis nursing Horus." Bronze. Late Period, Dynasty 26 or later. Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati. http://www.cincinnatiartmuseum.orgShows the importance of pregnancy and fertility of women in Ancient Egypt."Figure Vase: Woman holding a swaddled infant." Red burnished terracotta. New Kingdom, Mid-Dynasty. The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn.Shows the importance of pregnancy and fertility of women in Ancient EgyptPtah-hotep

The Development of Religious Archetecture in New Kingdom

727 words - 3 pages The expansion of the political and economical power during the New kingdom, led to the devotion of resources to the religious architecture; numerous new temples were constructed while the pre-existing temples were renovated. Individual Pharaohs endeavored to out do their ancestors, not only in the construction of their own mortuary temples, but also in the establishment of worship temples of their deities. Kings of this period abandoned the

"The New Pearl Harbor" by Dr. David R. Griffin

3554 words - 14 pages said. He does not claim to know what happened. He is at least honest. Part 2: A critical challenge to Griffin's thesis This is what I found on state department's website in response to a new book published by two british authors called: 9/11 Revealed The Attack on the Pentagon The book suggests that American Airlines flight 77 was not hijacked and flown into the Pentagon but that, instead, "a smaller, more manageable plane painted in American

New Life In America

735 words - 3 pages A New Life in America Till about the age of 9 years old, I was living in a small country called Sri Lanka; also known as the "teardrop island of India." When I was young, I thought Sri Lanka was the greatest country in the world. I had amazing friends, all of my family lived there, I played sports, I sang, danced and played musical instruments---life was great for me. Now that I reminisce about the life in Sri Lanka, I realized that Sri Lanka

Book Report on A Very Private Life by Michael Frayn

2525 words - 10 pages Entry 1)I chose to read 'A Very Private Life', which was written by Michael Frayn, because the book is considered a classic in many literary circles, and it is relatively short, which for my time-limited purposes increases it's attractiveness quite considerably. I, however, soon found out that the seemingly simple plot is impregnated with considerably more complicated and meaningful themes and messages, that the author skilfully struggles to

Stereotypes in Beans of Egypt, Maine by Carolyn Chute

1106 words - 4 pages A commentary on class division and the unaccepted social behavior of the lower class in our society, the Beans of Egypt, Maine by Carolyn Chute. A commentary on class division and the unaccepted social behavior of the lower class in our society, the Beans of Egypt, Maine by Carolyn Chute successfully uses stereotypical characters to tell it's story. Each character, or group of characters, the reader meets in the novel is reflective of

Similar Essays

New Kingdom Egypt Essay

2185 words - 9 pages maintaining control. In their endeavour to maintain ma'at (truth) the pharaohs began to change the nature of the Egyptian state. These pharaohs set Egypt gradually, but not entirely by design, on a course of imperial expansion and firmly established the image of the "warrior pharaoh". By looking at the tasks facing each of the first three pharaohs of New Kingdom Egypt and their policies, we can see how they transformed New Kingdom Egypt. First

Queens Of The Ramesside Dynasty In New Kingdom Egypt

926 words - 4 pages Ancient Egypt - Ramesside QueensAlthough not as influential as the queens of Dynasty XVIII, the Ramesside queens continued to play a prominent role. In the New Kingdom, the Queen became much more prominent and powerful. She acquired in her own right secular and religious titles that carried with them genuine jobs to do and estates with land, servants and administrators to provide an independent income. The title God's Wife of Amun provided the

The Boundary Stele: Religious Beliefs Influence Town Planning In New Kingdom Egypt

1473 words - 6 pages In addition Amenhotep IV’s mother Tiye was a strong Queen and was very much interested in Aten, having schooled Amenhotep IV the religion of the Aten. She was also known for hating the Priests of Amon and did not stand by imperialism. Queen Tiye was a powerful force and was at her husband’s side as evidenced in “monumental statues and numerous royal monuments and private tomb” provide (Arnold 1997:7). Tiye’s role seemed to encompass her in both

The Position Of Royal Women Throughout New Kingdom Egypt

911 words - 4 pages detailed, however it is primarily interested in the Pharaoh and his male associates. Rarely do women get a mention. The reality is that Egyptian society during the New Kingdom, was dominated by menThe occasional references to the elite women and Queens, is generally in recommendation to the Pharaoh. Almost all Egyptian recordings are of an impersonal nature, in an attempt to conform to the stereotypical model Egyptian Royal. Subsequently, little is