Liverpool Egyptology Seminar: Mommie Dearest – Mothers in Old Kingdom Private Tombs

5:00pm - 6:00pm / Thursday 7th June 2018
Type: Seminar / Category: Department / Series: Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology Seminar Series
  • Suitable for: All welcome.
  • Admission: Free.
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The aim of this paper is to present some preliminary results of research meant to bring together a broad range of evidence, both iconographic and textual, about the place and role mothers in the iconography private tombs.

The project obviously builds upon an extensive body of scholarship about the role of women in funerary context; the objective, here, is to focus specifically on the presence of the mother-figure to (re-)assess the nature of their presentation in the decorative programme of private tombs: Were mothers, as it has been argued, filling the role of the spouse when no such figure existed? If so, was the iconography / text adapted in presenting the female partner as ‘gestational carrier’, rather than sexual partner? or was the nature of kinship a feature secondary to them being equally the source of life?

In order to foster discussion and questions from the audience, we have asked the speaker to recommend some preliminary readings to set up the research background for the talk.

• Bryan, B. M., 'Hatsheptsut and Cultic Revelries in the New Kingdom', in Galan, Bryan and Dorman (eds), Creativity and Innovation in the Reign of Hatshepsut: Papers from the Theban Workshop 2010 (SAOC 69; Chicago, 2014), 92-123.
• Roth, A. M., 'The Absent Spouse: Patterns and Taboos in Egyptian Tomb Decoration', JARCE 36 (1999), 37-53.
• Roth, A. M., 'Father Earth, Mother Sky: Ancient Egyptian beliefs about conception and fertility', in Rautman (ed.), Reading the Body: Representations and remains in the archaeological record; Philadelphia, 2000), 187-201.