Have we really “come a long way, Baby”?

March 11, 1997
  • umichnews@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR—They had greater legal, social and economic autonomy than anywhere else in the world at the time. And evidence of their status will be displayed in “Women and Gender in Ancient Egypt: From Prehistory to Late Antiquity” March 14- June 15 at the University of Michigan’s Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.

This exhibition will examine the importance of gender in Egyptian culture, how gender was represented in ancient Egyptian art and the definitions of gender and gender roles in ancient Egypt where both biological sex and socially constructed gender were key factors in a person’s life. The experience of both women and men will be covered as well as the presence of gender ambiguity and non-standard “third” gender categories of that place and time.

The impact of gender on political power, religion, economic status, mortality, private life and sexuality in ancient Egypt emerges from different categories of evidence, including birth certificates, tombstones, coins, papyri, grave goods, fertility figures, and amulets.

Artifacts drawn from U-M’s Papyrology Collection and collections obtained by the University from Karanis, Terenouthis, and Dimai during the 1920s and 1930s will be on display at the Kelsey Museum following a lecture by Jennifer A. Sheridan of Wayne State University titled “Not at a Loss for Words: The Economic Power of Literate Women in Late Antique Egypt.” Sheridan’s lecture, at 7 p.m. March 14, will be in Auditorium C, Angell Hall, with a reception following at the Kelsey Museum.

Papyrology CollectionKaranis