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The erased pharaoh
Douglas College student research essay submitted as partial requirement for Anthropology 2112 course. Faculty sponsor to submit this essay to DOOR: Dr. Laurie Beckwith.
Modern bias is a huge obstacle within archaeology, due to the nature of studying the far away past by people born in the near present. The understanding of gender is heavily effected by modern bias, and often researchers interpret gender of the past in the same way that they understand it today. Gender is a social construct with many connotations of what it means to be feminine and to be masculine, and those connotations have seemingly always looked different as well as the conceptualization of gender in general. Matić (2016) argues that Ancient Egypt has been interpreted as having a binary understanding of gender, but recently feminist and queer theories have begun re-interpreting gender in Ancient Egypt outside of that binary theory. He ultimately argues that evidence for a ‘third gender’ in Ancient Egypt is scarce, but that it still did not function exactly like today as he cites, among other instances, the warrior goddess Neith who is said to be two thirds male and one third female. Gender can also be represented differently in death, as men were sometimes seen as the regenerative sex, and it is conjectured that if women wanted to be reincarnated they needed to be represented as a man once buried (Cooney, 2010). Moreover, in ancient Egyptian law men and women of the same status were treated as mostly equal, as women could own property, and try or be tried in court (Tyldesley, 2012). Yet, the role of women is still under appreciated in modern literature such as Tyldesley’s (2012, pp. 5) characterization of believing that the man was not in total control of his household as a “naive” belief.
ArchaeologyFeminist archaeologyWomen--Egypt--HistoryExcavations (Archaeology)--Egypt--Valley of the KingsPharaohsQueens--Egypt
Not peer reviewed