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Social Aspects of Ancient Egyptian Domestic Architecture

Aikaterini Koltsida


How important is the study of the domestic architecture of a society in order to reveal the everyday life of its inhabitants? How significant is the space within which people live and interact in order to understand the structure and function of a family? How much does the space influence the relationshAs developed among the people living under the same roof? Is there a characteristic house plan to cover the everyday basic needs of an ancient Egyptian? These are amongst the questions addressed in this study. In the area of Egyptology, early studies concerning settlement archaeology were focused on town planning, architectural design, or literary sources. There have even been studies that completely denied the existence of cities in ancient Egypt. It is only during the last decades that the anthropological approach has been added to Egyptology to define social relationshAs. The aspects of urbanisation and domestic architecture have seemed to be recognised by Egyptologists as issues that are both of major importance and worthy of enquiry for archaeological investigation. However, there has been no recent complete comparative study giving a room–to–room analysis of the domestic architecture. Moreover, most of the studies consider houses as ground plans, trying to identify the origins of architectural characteristics, or the social differentiation between the inhabitants of the different house types. In this study, the author looks at the function and use of a domestic unit and the everyday life of its occupants.