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‘Better to Dwell in Your Own Small House’: Households of Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt in Context
April 27, 2018 - April 28, 2018
Sponsored by: Conference at Cornell University, Ithaca NY
“One of the major developments in 21st-century Classical and Egyptian archaeology has been a flowering of multidisciplinary and theoretically engaged research on houses and households. Within the study of Greco-Roman Egypt specifically, research on houses and households has similarly burgeoned substantially over the past two decades. In a region where scholarly attention has often historically focused more on monumental temples, tombs, and elite material and visual culture, a focus on households and domestic life provides crucial new perspectives on everyday dwelling practices and the interactions of families and individuals with larger social and cultural structures. Household archaeology continues to reshape and revolutionize scholarly conceptions of the lived experience of social hierarchy, religion, gender, ethnicity, and identity in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt.
Accordingly, this conference brings together perspectives from contemporary research on houses and households in both Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt. In so doing, we also seek to place the archaeology of Greco-Roman Egypt in dialogue with recent theoretical and comparative research on households, dwelling, and daily practice. In order to best explore that potential, the theme and structure of this conference are intentionally multidisciplinary. Our speakers represent a broad range of disciplines, including archaeologists, papyrologists, historians, and art historians. In order to facilitate further dialogue, we have also invited respondents whose work has made important contributions to household archaeology for earlier historical periods in both Egypt and the Classical world.”