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Abstract

Early in the 18th Dynasty, the Egyptian kings conquered their southern neighbors, the C-Group, Pan Grave, and Kerman populations of Nubia. After the conquest, there were significant changes in the material culture of the region, as evidenced by new Egyptian-style mortuary practices and the presence of Egyptian pottery in burials. This “Egyptianization” of the local population has been discussed by many scholars; however, discussions are generally focused on the burials of the Nubian elites who were integrated into the Egyptian administrative structure and who built elaborate Egyptian-style tombs. While many non-elite cemeteries were excavated in Lower Nubia during the UNESCO salvage campaign in the 1960s, only one, Fadrus, received any robust analytical treatment. Other cemeteries, while published, are rarely discussed in the literature. However, given the cultural variation present in Lower Nubia prior to the conquest, it should be expected that other cemeteries might have acculturated to different extents, or even resisted adopting Egyptian culture entirely. ,This dissertation makes use of recent methodological developments in the field of mortuary studies and new theoretical frameworks of cultural change to perform a quantitative and qualitative analysis of several cemeteries in the Princedom of Tekhet, a region excavated by the Sudanese Joint Expedition to Lower Nubia and the Oriental Institute Nubian Expedition. In order to better describe the nature of the material, this analysis adopts a cultural entanglement framework, which aims to archaeologically identify and highlight the creative potential of liminal spaces. As a model, it considers objects not only by their culture of origin, but also how they are used and how visual motifs and manufacturing processes can be “entangled” in colonial situations. Ultimately, the application of this framework aims to present a more nuanced picture of the changes in Lower Nubia during the 18th Dynasty.,The first part of this study involves reevaluating the dates of the tombs within the two concessions through the creation of an updated ceramic typology. The application of this typology demonstrates in many instances that the original dates assigned by the excavators were incorrect, and thus significantly alters our understanding of the socioeconomic changes brought about by the Egyptian occupation, particularly the time frame in which these took place. It seems evident that certain Nubian populations began burying their dead in Egyptianized fashion in the early 18th dynasty, not long after the conquest. The greatest number of Egyptianized burials date to the mid-18th dynasty, while evidence for late 18th dynasty burials are rare, suggesting that most of the Egyptianized cemeteries were no longer in use by that time. Changes to the economic and administrative system in the region were likely key players in these changes.,The second part of this study consists of a statistical analysis of the OINE and SJE tombs, following three main lines of investigation – changes in socioeconomic status over time, the effects of age and gender on burial treatment, and a search for evidence of cultural entanglement in the burial record. The analysis shows that there was significantly more variation, both intra- and inter-cemetery, than has previously been thought – different populations and individuals adopted aspects of Egyptian culture in varying ways. The continued existence of traditional Nubian-style burials alongside more Egyptianized cemeteries further emphasizes the fact that the Egyptianization of Lower Nubia involved a complex, culturally entangled web of individuals and groups, drawing on customs from different cultures as needed.

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