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22/04/2017 - 07:00hs

Lecture in São Paulo to cover women in Ancient Egypt

Dissimilarities between film portrayals of the Egyptian female figure and the real lives of women in the time of the pharaohs will be addressed in ‘Women and everyday life in Ancient Egypt,’ on April 24th.

São Paulo – What was life like and what was the role of Egyptian women in the era of the pharaohs? Dissimilarities between the idealized portrayal of females from that time and the actual daily lives of Egyptian women hundreds of years ago will be the subject of the lecture “Women and everyday life in Ancient Egypt.” The speaker will be Egyptologist Thais Rocha, and the lecture will happen next Monday (24), 7 pm in São Paulo. The event is organized by the group Lente Cultural.

Holding a master’s from the University of São Paulo (USP) and pursuing a doctorate degree from Oxford University, in the United Kingdom, Rocha is currently studying documentation from 16th century Egypt’s New Empire era. According to her, the image of Cleopatra that was immortalized by Elizabeth Taylor in the movies is far removed from the reality of women in Ancient Egypt.

She explains that records of those women’s lives are found in letters and in marriage, divorce and funeral papers. “Looking at these documents, one gets a different picture of those women,” she says.

Rocha is doing specific research into the village of Deir-el Medina. Located in the area of Tebas, the village was home to elite families whose men devoted themselves to building tombs for the pharaohs.

“The wives who would stay back in the villages were responsible for managing the household. They had servants, daughters and mothers-in-law who’d live in the house and who’d perform specific activities as well,” she says.

According to Rocha, men were paid for their work in grains. Supplies and water were provided by the government. It was up to the women to handle the food that would arrive in the village. “Those women were tasked with receiving the supplies and trading them in for other items in markets outside the village,” she explains.

Egyptian women also played a prominent role when it came to religion. “The priestesses were an important part of religious cults,” Rocha points out.

Deir-el Medina comprised 68 houses, and objects from those houses are scattered throughout different museums around the world. Rocha revealed that she should travel to Egypt soon in order to see the site. She has been studying Deir-el Medina since October 2015, and expects to keep going for another year and a half.

Culture in the spotlight

Rocha’s lecture is one of the first actions of group Lente Cultural. Created by four friends who work in culture, it aims to offer courses and discussions at affordable prices in São Paulo.

In addition to Arab issues, the group’s subject matters include cinema, astrology, design, etc. For more on the activities of Lente Cultural, go to www.facebook.com/lentecultural.com.br.

Quick facts

Lecture ‘Women and everyday life in Ancient Egypt’
April 24, from 7 pm to 9:30 pm
Martins Fontes Bookstore Auditorium, Avenida Paulista, 2nd floor
BRL 45.00
Registration required. Send your name, phone number and email address to contato@lentecultural.com.br

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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