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Mittwochsvortrag am 13. März 2019

Beginn: 18:30 Uhr

Ort: Ägyptisches Museum der Universität Bonn, Regina-Pacis-Weg 7, 53113 Bonn

Eintritt: € 2,50 / 2,00 (ermäßigt)


Vera Rondano, Ph.D. cand. (Los Angeles)

The Economy of Human Resilience:

Exploring Economic Growth during Political Instability in Ancient Egypt 


Foto: Working on funerary artifacts in the Egyptian Museum in Turin. © Museo Egizio, Turin

(Engl. Abstract der Referentin:)

This talk addresses two main questions: How can we quantify economic growth in a pre-monetary society? How can significant economic growth be possible during a time of political instability? 

Traditional approaches associate the elaborate funerary art of the New Kingdom (c. 1550–1070 BC) and Third Intermediate Period (1070–664 BC) in Egypt with higher social inequality and concentration of wealth, whereas the less visually appealing work of the Late Period (664–332 BC) is taken as a sign of economic decline. I argue that what some consider to be artistic decline in the Late Period marks a decrease in social inequality, increased social mobility, and broader distribution of wealth. This socio-economic perspective can change the way modern audiences perceive historical cycles and societal “collapse” by examining collapse in terms of societal transformation through the positive lens of cultural as well as political resilience. During times of collapse, what may to us look like artistic decline could be a manifestation of complex social changes during which reorganization goes hand in hand with the renegotiation of the value of artifacts. Since funerary artifacts constitute the most abundant type of archaeological evidence from Egypt, my research work aims to measure economic growth and distribution of wealth in the Egyptian society of the first millennium BC by means of determining levels of efficiency in the production system of the funerary industry. In this talk, I will present some case-studies that will illustrate my point.

Vera Rondano received joint degrees in Classics and Oriental Studies and a Masters of Philosophy in Egyptology from the University of Oxford, specializing in religious practices from the Late to the Roman Period. Her master’s thesis investigated the methods of assemblage and decorative patterns of a number of provenanced mummy-nets from the Theban area, today kept by the Museo Egizio in Turin, Italy. Currently, she is a PhD candidate at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology in Los Angeles under the supervision of Kara Cooney. Starting from September 2019, she will be one of the Predoctoral Art History Fellows at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where she will complete her doctoral dissertation.



Das Vortrags- und Ausstellungsprogramm im ersten Halbjahr 2019

Vortragsprogramm 2019/1 vorn
Vortragsprogramm 2019/1 hinten



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