Cultural Interaction and Funerary Art in Graeco-Roman Egypt.

Kelly-Anne Pike


This paper expands upon the idea that funerary art and architecture in Graeco-Roman Egypt were creations of the cultural syncretism experienced by the Egyptian and non-Egyptian peoples through religion, myth, and beliefs in the afterlife. Although differences in socio-economic status and traditions existed in this period due to the division of the different ethnic groups, funerary motifs show all groups shared with each other the belief that the dead were sacred.  Therefore, the goal of this paper is to prove that although ethnic groups are by no means unified in their approach to everyday political, social, or educational matters, death binds them together, allowing for interaction in the funerary sphere. The examination of various material artifacts (coffins, masks, wooden portraits etc.) and combinations of different architectural styles, along with depictions of gods and goddesses used for mortuary rites, relay that ethnic boundaries were put aside in order to honour and protect the dead.  

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