Women in Ancient Egypt by Barbara Watterson

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Synopsis

Women in Ancient Egypt is a detailed and fascinating study of the often overlooked contributions made by women of all classes to the social, and sometimes the political, history of ancient Egypt.

Using evidence gleaned from written records, monuments, sculpture, tomb-paintings and the material found in tombs, including objects and human remains, Barbara Watterson has been able to build up an intriguing picture of the lives led by ancient Egyptian women, lives that were free of the restraints normally placed upon women in the rest of the ancient world, allowing them to exercise a full part in society, recognized as equal with men under the law. The types of occupations and careers open to women are described, as are their domestic and personal lives - marriage, health and childbirth; family life; running a home; clothing, jewelery and beauty preparations. The women whose lives are fleshed out in this book are largely the 'little people' of history, women who rarely exercised any power outside the domestic sphere. In contrast, however, the final chapter deals with those women, surprisingly few in number, whose influence on the political affairs of their country was considerable and, in some cases, legendary, with a small number of royal women able to ascend the throne of Egypt and rule as female kings.

The book is supplemented by a series of superb illustrations, detailed references and a comprehensive bibliography. It is an entertaining survey of the role of women in ancient Egypt, written in an authoritative yet highly readable way.
 

About Barbara Watterson

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Barbara Watterson received her doctorate from the University of Liverpool. She is currently a freelance lecturer in Egyptology, working, in particular, in Adult Education. Her other books include The Egyptians, Introductory Egyptian Hieroglyphics and Gods of Ancient Egypt. She lives on the Isle of Man.
 
Published December 31, 1991 by Amberley. 192 pages
Genres: History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Women in Ancient Egypt

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Upon marriage a woman kept her own property - something that didn’t happen in England until the 1882 Married Women’s Property Act - and she could leave her property to whomever she wished.

Mar 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Women in Ancient Egypt