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H 245 x W 175 mm

246 pages

21 figures, 14 tables (11 colour pages)

Published Jun 2020

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781789695434

Digital: 9781789695441

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Graeco-Roman Egypt; Middle Kingdom; consanguinity; marriage; kinship; Pharaonic

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Archaeopress Egyptology 29

‘Blood Is Thicker Than Water’ – Non-Royal Consanguineous Marriage in Ancient Egypt

An Exploration of Economic and Biological Outcomes

By Joanne-Marie Robinson

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This volume presents, for the first time, evidence for non-royal consanguineous marriage in ancient Egypt. The evidence was collated from select sources from the Middle Kingdom to the Roman Period, and it has been used to investigate the potential economic and biological outcomes, particularly beyond the level of sibling and half-sibling unions.



Acknowledgements ;
Abbreviations ;
Glossary ;
Ancient Egyptian Chronology ;
Papyri and ostraca ;
Chapter 1: Ancient Egyptian marriage and kin terms, definitions of consanguinity and consanguineous marriage ;
Chapter 2: Consanguinity in historical context: evidence from select sources for consanguineous marriage in ancient Egypt, the Near East, Greece and Rome ;
Chapter 3: The use of inheritance and matrimonial goods as economic strategies in non-royal consanguineous families ;
Chapter 4: Consanguineous marriage in Deir el-Medina and economic impacts: family interrelationships, occupations, offspring, and expectations of altruism and reciprocity ;
Chapter 5: Biological outcomes of non-royal consanguineous marriage: prevalence, impact and perceptions of abnormality in ancient Egypt ;
Chapter 6: Conclusion ;
Appendix 1: Table of probable or possible non-royal consanguineous marriages from select sources ;
Appendix 2: Details of consanguineous and affinal links between consanguineously married couples in Deir el-Medina ;
Appendix 3: Number of known children in the eight family trees in which there are consanguineous marriages ;

About the Author

Joanne-Marie Robinson is a Visiting Scholar at the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology at the University of Manchester. She holds a PhD in Egyptology and has worked as a lecturer, writer and advisor for television and radio programmes focusing on religion and history.