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Domestic space in ancient Egypt: sensorial experience and negotiations in foreign lands

Grant number: 20/13319-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2021
Effective date (End): August 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Ancient and Medieval History
Principal researcher:Marcelo Aparecido Rede
Grantee:Thais Rocha da Silva
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The research aims to understand domestic space in Egypt during the Middle and New Kingdoms (c. 1975-1069 BCE). It is intended to identify the main architectural features and domestic activities in the settlements that housed a specialized workforce. These sites were usually planned and allocated by the Egyptian state and theirarchaeological evidence shows various types of interaction between the government and the inhabitants of these settlements. In mapping these interactions, it is necessary to identify the type of domestic experience of the inhabitants taking into consideration sensory aspects of the houses, such as light, ventilation, maintenanceand control of temperature, visibility, odours and sounds. These elements can be understood as creative responses of these communities to a model of state housing. The research explores a new field that received little attention by sensorialarchaeology and the history of the senses, especially for not giving attention to thedomestic environment. These sensorial experiences are fundamental to understand the ways of living and the relationship that people established with the landscape in which they lived. This initial survey will focus on two archaeological sites, Tell el-Dab'a and Amara West, two regions of Egyptian territory that had a strong foreignpresence during the Middle Kingdom (c. 1975-1650) and the New Kingdom (c. 1650-1069). The combination of Egyptian architectural elements from the houses combined with foreign features will allow us to identify and understand the diversity of responses of these populations to the landscape and to the presence of the Egyptianstate. (AU)

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