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Living on Sacred Ground: The Priests’ Houses in the Temple of Amun in Karnak

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As the largest religious complex in Egypt, the site of Karnak has attracted impressive scholarly interest. However, since the research mainly focused on the more alluring architecture of the temples, comparatively little attention has been given to dwellings built on this sacred ground. Such remains offer an interesting opportunity to study how secular and ritual culture can intermingle at a site of religious significance. In this talk, I will present the recent archaeological investigations of a residential quarter located within the precinct of the temple of Amun in Karnak. During the First Millennium BC, this quarter was almost continuously occupied by priests performing their cultic service, away from their families. Their material culture, social and religious status, as well as their diet have been established by a multidisciplinary approach to excavations and post excavation studies. We will discuss to what extent the material evidence reflects the ideal of piety of the Egyptian priests as represented in writing and formal art.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Sciences Group series.

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