Abstract

A Change in Female Status: What Happened to their Titles?
Lisa Sabbahy (The American University in Cairo)

In the Old Kingdom, many women held titles which indicated they were in charge of other people, serving, for example, in the position of overseer. Women also held titles of priestess for the goddess Hathor, the most important female goddess, as well the goddess Neith, although not as often. By the beginning of the Middle Kingdom, women no longer had titles indicating any type of responsibility, and only a very few women, all wives of high officials, held a priestess title. The changed role and status of women in the early Middle Kingdom has never really been explained. The focus of this paper will be to address social and economic change from the end of the Old Kingdom to the early Middle Kingdom, and how that affected the status of women.


Debt Bondage in Late Period Egypt (8th–5th Century BC)
Ella Karev (University of Chicago) 

This paper argues that debt bondage was not practiced in Egypt’s Late Period. Self-sales into slavery and the inclusion of children in lists of security in loans of this period have been previously offered as evidence of debt bondage, arguing that self-sales were intended to satisfy debts or that seizure of children was precipitated by debtor default. But there is no actual evidence for these in practice. This paper examines these self-sales and loan contracts, determining that in no case was a person seized for security, and self-sales were not a result of debt. Instead, creditors likely pursued punitive measures such as fines or high interest. The clauses about seizure in loans were therefore notional rather than actionable, representative of social rather than financial capital at stake. Excluding debt bondage allows us to explore other motivations for self-sale and ask other questions regarding social practice, family life, and credit systems.


Music in Ancient Egypt and its link with Greece
Felipe Aguirre (University of the Balearic Islands) 

Throughout its more than three millennia of history, the land of the Nile saw the birth of one of the most fertile and multifaceted cultures of antiquity. It forged a number of civilisational paradigms whose traces can still be felt in modern times. Musical practice, as one of the essential elements of any human collective, was not only one of the axes of religious, ritual, political and everyday actions in Egyptian society, but also an ethical and aesthetic model that would also inspire the Hellas. By trying to assess the depth and scope of this legacy, it is also possible to better understand the worldview of these two cultures, which are as close in geography as they are in some of their most important vital premises.


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