Matmar: revisiting burial practice of the non-elite during the Third Intermediate Period

Humphreys, Ruth (2010). Matmar: revisiting burial practice of the non-elite during the Third Intermediate Period. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.


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This thesis engages with two areas which have been historically overlooked in the study of Egyptian archaeology: the Third Intermediate Period (TIP) and the history of the non-elite. It is an attempt to demonstrate the benefits of a reconsideration of existing site data and dated reports, using modern theoretical and statistical techniques, in order to broaden our understanding of the non-elite classes in Ancient Egypt. The chosen trial dataset is the TIP grave corpus from Matmar in Middle Egypt, originally excavated by Guy Brunton between 1928-31. After evaluating the original excavation report and updating Brunton’s results in line with current understanding, SPSS chi-squared and cross-tabs analysis was carried out in an attempt to isolate any relationship between: sex, age, burial location, coffin style, amulet inclusions. In turn the results were interpreted to shed light on local perceptions of sex and gender, religious practice and economy. The statistical analysis demonstrated a strong link between the sex and age of the individual and the choice of grave goods. The results also disputed some of Brunton’s original conclusions and assertions regarding practice at the site. The exercise itself successfully demonstrated the benefits of revisiting older site reports, although the statistical methodology utilised for this study would require further refinement before application to other sites would be possible.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology (CAHA)
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization


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