Macquarie University
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Identifying the women of Early Dynastic Egypt: an analysis of the women’s funerary stelae/slabs from Abu Rawash, Helwan, and Abydos

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posted on 2022-03-28, 11:24 authored by Susan A. Kelly
The study of women’s historiography worldwide, historically, was largely neglected until the feminist movement advocated for the inclusion of women’s contributions to world history. The inclusion of ‘women and gender’ studies in Egyptology commenced in the late 1980’s, however, the predominance of literature pertains to the Pharaonic period. To date, little concentrated analysis dedicated to the women of Early Dynastic period (3150 – 2890 BC) has been undertaken. The thesis investigates the roles of the women in the early Egyptian society, through the examination of the biographic details recorded on their funerary monuments. The multi-disciplinary investigation combines a textual, and a new sociological approach, to the women’s titles recovered from the cemeteries of Abydos, Abu Rawash and Helwan. The evaluation into the previous scholarship regarding the titles uncovers androcentric characterisation of the women as concubines associated with the harem, which has masked the women’s participation in the society. The textual analysis re-evaluates the titles objectively and situates the women’s involvement contextually, providing new insight into the society of Early Dynastic Egypt. The study offers an anthology of the women’s Early Dynastic stelae that provides a framework for the developments and changes to women’s roles throughout the different period of Egyptian history.


Table of Contents

Volume One. Chapter One. Ancient Egyptian women’s historiography -- Chapter Two. Research program -- Chapter Three. Archaeological context -- Chapter Four. Early Dynastic stelae -- Chapter Five. Early Dynastic philology -- Chapter Six. Examination of the titles -- Chapter Seven. The discussions and sociological implications -- Chapter Eight. Conclusion -- Bibliography. Volume Two. Anthology of Early Dynastic women's stelae.


Theoretical thesis. Includes bibliographical references

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ancient History

Department, Centre or School

Department of Ancient History

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Yann Tristant


Copyright Susan. A. Kelly 2016. Copyright disclaimer:






1 online resource (2 volumes) illustrations

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