Abstract: The Wall of the Crow Cemetery in Giza, Egypt: Remembering the Children


This paper will give a brief overview of the non-elite Saite and Roman period Wall of the Crow Cemetery in Giza, but will mainly concentrate on the differential patterns of child-burials in the Saite material, which diverge from those of adults not only in terms of spatial arrangement within the cemetery, but also in terms of the amount and type of burial goods and bodily treatment they received. Differential burial patterns in child graves are not uncommon, in Egypt or elsewhere, and are usually thought to reflect actions of the families of the deceased rather than the identities of the children themselves. Since the evidence for the Egyptians’ view of children and childhood is rather sparse outside of the mortuary record, it is difficult to interpret the meaning behind the difference in burial rites between children and adults. However, the location of the Wall of the Crow Children’s Cemetery has a strong association with fertility today, which may be retained from ancient times. This, along with the motifs of some of the burial items, may point to an additional aspect of the mortuary behavior at the Giza cemetery.



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