“Houses in Greco-Roman Egypt: Arenas for Ritual Activity”

Posted on

The BA Antiquities Museum is organizing a lecture titled “Houses in Greco-Roman Egypt: Arenas for Ritual Activity”, to be held on Tuesday, 31 October 2017, at Afterlife Section, Antiquities Museum, Bibliotheca Alexandrina Main Building (B1 level), at 3:00 pm. The lecture will be given by Dr. Youssri Abdelwahed, lecturer of History and Archaeology of Egypt in the Graeco-Roman Period, Tourist Guidance Department, Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, Minia University. He will discuss different forms of ritualistic activities performed in houses of Graeco-Roman Egypt. The lecture draws on the rich archaeological records of rural housing and evidence from literature or papyrological references to both urban and rural housing. The lecturer critically considers the literature as a relevant to the topic in order to identify the research gap. Researcher attempts to reconstruct the structure of the urban and rural houses in Greco-Roman Egypt in the light of papyri and archaeology. This aims to establish the physical and spatial framework for the rituals considered in the following chapters. In line with this reconstruction of the domestic properties is the reconstruction of the architectural layout and use of the domestic pylon. The lecturer deals with two rituals enacted before the front door of the house, namely the sacrifice of fish on the 9th of Thoth and the sacrifice of pigs on the 15th of Pachon. He considers the ritual of the illumination of lamps for the goddess Athena-Neith within and around houses on the 13th of Epeiph. The lecturer highlights the use of the house as an arena for social types of rituals associated with dining, birthdays, the mallokouria, the epikrisis, and marriage. The researcher explores the religious sphere of houses, which is obvious from domestic shrines, wall paintings with religious themes, and figurines of Egyptian and Graeco-Roman deities uncovered from houses. Researcher deals with mourning rituals, which the house occupants performed after the demise of their family members and their beloved animals such as dogs. conclusion, he summarizes his lecture and draw out its implications, suggesting that the house was the locus of social, religious, and funerary rituals in Greco-Roman Egypt.