Presentation on theme: "WOMEN. Position always lower than that of men holding same position Had courtly & priestly positions Some were artisans and tradespeople Prime function."— Presentation transcript:
Position always lower than that of men holding same position Had courtly & priestly positions Some were artisans and tradespeople Prime function was to be in the home Women don’t appear to have been taught to read or write (exc. Nebet) No account of a women’s life is completely intact
QUEENS Two Types: Mother of the King Wives of the King MOTHER OF KING WAS MOST IMPORTANT High status marked by elaborate tombs Kings may have had more than one wife: Khafre, Teti, Pepi I & II – Several wives Userkaf, Sahure – One wife
QUEENS... Difficult to distinguish them from other rich women Mid 4 th Dynasty - Queen Mothers shown wearing Vulture cap and holding an ankh/wadj: Vulture Cap Wadj Queen Khentkaus II Uraeus
QUEENS TITLES.... Some were religious: Suggested the Queen was in proximity to the Gods Some were associated with the court Some stated her position – Queen regent, Queen Consort Queen Ankhenesmeryre II – mother of King Pepy II (Q.R) ‘Everything she says is done for her’ - Five queens in OKE hold this title
Role of the Queen Provide a male heir Sexual partner to her husband Represented Hathor: Priestess for the god Thoth & two bull gods Carrying out earth ritual activities Perform Female cultic activities Maintain an image projected by the goddess
THE PRINCESSES.... Some do not appear to have been married Some married high ranking officials or kings Priestesses for goddess Hathor sometimes Neith No Princess was a priestess for a male God except the cult of their grandfather Some people were given the title Princess even though they were not the King’s daughters.
FEMALE COURTIERS Women who attended the court Lower Status to Princesses Married to middle ranking and higher officials Some not married at all TITLES: (Modelled on those of males) ‘She whom the king knows’ ‘Royal Ornament’ Highest Ranking non royal female was ‘Sole Royal Ornament’ Companion Held Priesthoods as well
FEMALE COURTIERS Others who held similar titles but did not attend court Were women of rank From the provinces Rank comes from position held by their husbands Akhim – Provincial woman – ‘The wife of the God Min’
VIZIER NEBET ?Served under Pepy I Held titles associated with vizierate Held titles as daughter of the Gods Held title of hereditary princess
Roles of Female courtiers Physicians Stewards Hairdressers Manicurists
LOWER CLASS WOMEN Artisans and Craftswomen who appear to have been paid for their work Some reliefs depict women selling stock at the markets – indication of a relative amount of freedom Serf women were at the lowest end of the social scale and appear on reliefs showing them harvesting, baking and brewing beer.
Roles of Lower Class Women Grinding Corn, preparing food & beer Funeral mourners Weaving, spinning, washing Singers, Dancers & Musicians Servants in nobles’ houses Child Care Working in fields especially at harvest
Burials of Women Large number buried in same tombs as their husbands Sometimes wife of tomb owner appears next to husband in funerary statue (in comparable size) – important as indication of life after death Appear in tomb paintings and reliefs – although sometimes left out Some independent women had their own tombs – Sons may have organised it for their mothers Examples of women who held official positions at court and were not married. Neferesres – Overseer of pleasures, Overseer of all the pleasures of the King of Lower Egypt, Overseer of Royal Dancers... Shared her tomb with a ‘tomb partner’, not married.