The funerary cartonnage from Kellis in the Dakhleh Oasis : a comprehensive examination

2017-02-21T05:13:50Z (GMT) by Pecher, Yvonne K.
The intent of this dissertation is to present the available archaeological data for the cartonnage head and chest coverings, footcases and accompanying fragments found in the Kellis 1 Cemetery and North Tombs of Kellis (located in the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt) dated to the Roman Period, in the hope that this study may add clarification and some new insights to these complex social ideas and to our understanding of the Egyptians' desire to preserve some type of identity in death. In order to ascertain the types of identity present at Kellis, I will be establishing how these individuals represented themselves, or, rather how their families presented them in death. A secondary aim of this study is to elucidate the importance of self-preservation and presentation to the Egyptians living in a multicultural society (Egyptian-GreekRoman) and how they dealt with the different traditions inherent within these cultures. I will also be attempting to determine whether the cartonnage head and chest coverings from Kellis can be interpreted as realistic or 'true' representations of their owners and explore the context they appear in, both religiously and socially. This will include a discussion of the iconography of the cartonnage, whether there are any similarities or differences to neighbouring regions, such as that of the Bahariya and Kharga Oases. In this way, it will be possible to isolate any unique traditions, religious and burial, present at Kellis from the Nile Valley, as well as any regional traits. Moreover, I will endeavour to distinguish the social class of the individuals represented by the cartonnage coverings and discuss why they used different aspects of self-representation, such as hairstyles, jewellery, costume, religious motifs et cetera to convey such class distinction. In presenting the data, it will also become necessary to examine the context of the tombs in which the coverings were found, and helpful to analyse the mummy in its entirety, even though only a small number of the cartonnage pieces were found still attached to the bodies of the deceased.