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"Women in the Desert?: The Changing Demographics of Settlement in Egypt's Eastern Fronteir Under the Romans"

Fri, November 2, 2007 | PAR 201

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Because the Eastern Desert of Egypt was a frontier during the 1st-5th centuries CE, it has often been assumed that it was populated solely by Roman military units, traders and nomads who made their home in the harsh desert conditions. In recent years, archaeological survey and excavation in the region has shown that the population of the Eastern Desert during the Roman Period was more diverse than previously thought and that some settlements included women and children. This paper will consider the diverse roles of women in the desert as revealed both through this new archaeological evidence and through historical documents. In doing so, we will evaluate how their presence and activities change our preconceptions of frontier (and gender) dynamics in Roman Period Egypt.

Sponsored by: Center for Women's and Gender Studies

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