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‘Better to Dwell in Your Own Small House’: Households of Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt in Context - 27-2

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.

FECHA /DATE/ DATA: 27-28/04/2018

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: A.D. White House, University of Cornell (Ithaca, NY, USA)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Associate Professor Caitlín Barrett; Jennifer Carrington

INFO: web - -


Formulario de inscripción / registration form / forma di registrazione


Day 1 (Friday, April 27): A.D. White House

9:00am Introduction Caitlín Barrett and Jennifer Carrington (Cornell University)

9:30am Households in Spatial Context: Settlements, Neighborhoods, and Urbanism

· Bethany Simpson (UCLA), “Neighborhood Networks: The Civic and Social Organization of Accessways in Ancient Karanis”

· Gregory Marouard (University of Chicago), “Tower-Houses and Multi-Storey Houses of Hellenistic Period in the Delta and Fayum Agglomerations: A Solution to the Urban Pressure within Egyptian Towns and Villages”

· Response: Adam Smith (Cornell University)

· Discussion

11:30am Lunch

1:00pm Households in Social Context: Families, Individuals, and Social Performance

· Sabine R. Huebner (University of Basel), “Inheriting a House in Roman Egypt: Transmissions of Houses and Households in Their Legal and Social Contexts”

· Youssri Abdelwahed (Minia University), “Unsafe Houses in Graeco-Roman Egypt”

· April Pudsey (Manchester Metropolitan University), “If These Walls Could Talk: The Changing House in Marriage, Parenting and Kinship Strategies”

· Response: Jonathan Boyarin (Cornell University)

· Discussion

3:30pm Coffee

5:00pm Keynote address

Dorothy J. Thompson (Cambridge University), “The Papyrus Trail: Houses and Households in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt”

6:30pm Reception

Day 2 (Saturday, April 28): A.D. White House

9:00am Households in Practice: Activities of Daily Life

· Anna Boozer (Baruch College, CUNY), “Domestic Discard: The Making and Unmaking of Romano-Egyptian Houses”

· Richard Alston (Royal Holloway, University of London), “Modes of Production and Reproduction in Egyptian Villages”

· Ross Thomas (British Museum), “Figurines and the Material Culture of Domestic Religion”

· Response: Verity Platt (Cornell University)

· Discussion

11:30am Lunch

1:00pm Expanding the Household: Dwelling Practices in Monastic and Military Contexts

· Darlene Brooks Hedstrom (Wittenberg University), “Three Monks and a House: The Archaeology of Monastic Households in Egypt”

· Jennifer Gates-Foster and Melanie Godsey (UNC Chapel Hill), “Abandonment and Assemblage: The Ptolemaic Fort at Bir Samut, Egypt”

· Response: Astrid Van Oyen (Cornell University)

· Discussion

3:00pm Coffee

3:30pm Responses: Perspectives from Pharaonic Egypt and the Classical World

· Miriam Müller (University of Leiden)

· Lisa Nevett (University of Michigan)

4:30pm Closing Address Caitlín Barrett and Jennifer Carrington (Cornell University)

5:00pm Reception

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