Mob Rule and Personal Relations in an Egyptian Village

One night, an angry mob marched across the Egyptian village Deir el-Medina with the intention of beating up a woman. The woman’s crime? She had been sleeping with a married man for the past eight months.  “Your people – their old and their young, both men and women – were on the move at night. They … More Mob Rule and Personal Relations in an Egyptian Village

A Brief Account of Marriage

Marriage in Egyptian villages was a pretty informal affair. Few legal documents were written concerning marriage, and few texts discuss particulars – unless something goes wrong. The most important aspect of marriage was cohabitation. Early periods of Egyptian history refer to the entering and leaving of houses, while Coptic texts typically refer to spouses ‘sitting’ together. … More A Brief Account of Marriage

Kittens for Bastet

*Co-written with Luigi Prada; read his bio here. On 20th April, either 202 or 178 BCE, an embalmer named Onnophris wrote to Machatas, an official (epistates) in the village of Tanis in the Fayum semi-oasis, concerning kittens he had donated to the cat-goddess Bastet (also known by her Greek name of Boubastis), or at least … More Kittens for Bastet

Facing the Dead? Framing Mummy Panels from Hawara

*Guest post by Campbell Price; see his bio here. Among the most popular objects in many museum archaeology displays, the lifelike mummy panel portraits from Graeco-Roman Egypt hold a special place in the history of representing the human face. Manchester Museum’s first international touring exhibition, ‘Golden Mummies of Egypt’, offers a chance to re-examine the … More Facing the Dead? Framing Mummy Panels from Hawara