Ancient literary and artistic sources characterize ancient Egyptian women as wives, mothers, and daughters who derived their status and identities from associations with their male relatives. For most of Egyptian history women shared their husbands tombs’ as the subordinate companion. Three and two dimensional images depict women as devoted companions who kneel at the feet of their husbands or with a supportive arm draped around her husband, who strides forward with purpose. This normative value has resulted in a tendency to discuss women as one-dimensional subjects whose identities were defined by men.
In the last two decades, Egyptology has seen a number of studies published to add depth and dimension to discussions of women, and my research belongs to and builds upon this trend. My approach is archaeological and anthropological and examines, through material culture, the ways in which ancient Egyptian women actively participated in and transformed societal practices.