Joann Fletcher on Women in Ancient Egypt


Joann Fletcher shares her thoughts in the Guardian about women in ancient Egypt.

"It is a little-known fact that ancient Egypt was populated almost entirely by men. Or at least, this is the impression one would gain from reading many of the publications about ancient Egypt in in which women appear as some sort of minority sub-group. Many works deal exclusively with a male elite of kings, priests and scribes.
Take the case of a married couple from around the 14th century BC whose intact tomb, discovered in Luxor by the Italians in 1906, still contained their mummified bodies and hundreds of personal belongings, now displayed in the superb Museo Egizio in Turin. From the title of the official tomb publication, La tomba intatta dell'architetto Kha nella necropoli di Tebe, (The Intact Tomb of the Architect Kha in the Necropolis of Thebes) you'd think that only the husband, Kha, had been buried there. His wife, Meryt, barely gets a look in.
So why does that matter? Because the way that Meryt has been rendered almost invisible is symptomatic of the way in which the status of women within ancient Egyptian society is still too often underplayed."


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