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Diary of Margaret Isabella Jones - Great Mesopotamian Archaeologist

Mesopotamia is one of the most oldest civilisation in the world. In ancient civilisations, a woman’s life revolves around marriage and bearing children from childhood.

Today, you will viewing contents from the diary of Margaret Isabelle Jones, a famous archaeologist well known for her work in Mesopotamia, Persia and Ancient Egypt. You will be reading her diary content written while she was on a dig at the city of Nuzi after excavations at Assur, Mari, Sumer, Ur, and a few others - present day Iraq and Syria.

Lienü Zhuan: Nurturing the Ideal Woman in Han Dynasty

Prior to the Qing Dynasty (1644), education for women in China was scarce and even if provided, they were restricted to the teaching of moral values and family traditions (p.277). This was also the case during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE to 220 CE), by which the Lienü Zhuan (Categorized Biographies of Women), assembled by Han scholar Liu Xiang, was one of the few books dedicated for women’s moral education. Thus, Lienü Zhuan was influential in teaching women ethics during the Han Dynasty, as the exemplary biographies of honorable women found in this book demonstrated the expected virtues that women ought to cultivate and learn from during that period.

Interview with a Queen

For our project, we have decided to do an interview with the ancient Egyptian Queen Ahmose Nefertari. We crown her woman of the year 1543 BCE and she steps into the studio to provide her thoughts on issues that affect women in her society, focusing heavily on religious issues. She is able to provide an inside scoop on the entire situation as she is both part of the royal family and holds an esteemed position in Amun's Temple. Despite the gender gap during her time, Queen Nefertari managed to come to power and accomplished many feats during her reign. Now Queens hold a position of incredible power and affluence, potentially setting the stage for all women to increase their status as well. While we might not face the exact same issues, there are parallels we can draw between ancient Egypt and modern society. Enjoy! 

For more information, please check out the links below!

Content Sources:

Ahmose-Nefertari (c. 1570–1535 BCE). (2007). In Anne Commire & Deborah Klezmer (Eds.), Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages (Vol. 1, p. 24). Detroit: Yorkin Publications.

Breasted, James Henry., & Library of Robert Duncan (State University of New York at Buffalo). (1959). Development of religion and thought in ancient Egypt. New York: Harper.

Cooney, Kara. (2014). The Woman Who Would Be King (First ed.). New York: Crown Publishers

Graves-Brown, Carolyn. (2010). Dancing for Hathor. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. 

Isis: Mythic goddess of egypt. (1991, Jun 30). Women in Action, , 27. 

J. Paul Getty Museum., & Getty Conservation Institute. (1992). In the tomb of Nefertari: Conservation of the wall paintings. Malibu, Calif.: J. Paul Getty Museum.

Khalil, Radwa., Moustafa, A. Ahmed., Moftah, Marie. Z., & Karim, A. Ahmed. (2017). How Knowledge of Ancient Egyptian Women Can Influence Today's Gender Role: Does History Matter in Gender Psychology? Frontiers in Psychology

Roberts, Alison. (. M. (1997). Hathor rising: The power of the goddess in ancient Egypt. Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions International.

Teeter, Emily. (2011). Religion and ritual in ancient Egypt. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Wilkinson, H.Richard. (2003). The complete gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt. New York: Thames & Hudson.


Media Sources:

Ausschnittbearbeitung NebMaatRe, Ahmes Nefertari Grab 10, 2009, public domain

K. Faulmann, Amenhotep I, 1881, public domain

Karl Richard Lepsius, Lepsi ah nef, 1849-1859, 

Keith Schengili-Roberts, OsirisStela-AmenhotepIAndAhmoseNofretari BrooklynMuseum, 2007, CC-BY-SA-2.5

Marcus Cyron, EgyptMuseumBerlin2007066 a2, 2011, CC BY-SA 1.0

Robert James Hay, Fragment of painting from the tomb of Kynebu Thebes, Egypt, 20th Dynasty, 1868, via The British Museum

Unknown author, Head of Nefertari-aahmes, Queen of King Aahmes, Conqueror of the Hiesos, 1884, CC BY-SA 2.5

Unknown Artist, Egypte louvre 086 stele, 2004, CC BY-SA 3.0