Clare Fitzgerald

  • Fellowship Dates 2011-2011
  • Research Topic Image as a Tool of Spatial Organization in Ramesside Theban Tombs
  • Fellow or Grant Type Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
  • Affiliation Pre-doctoral candidate Emory University

During the 19th dynasty in ancient Egypt, the subject matter and decorative program of the non-royal rock cut tombs located on the west bank at the ancient city of Thebes changed dramatically from those of the preceding 18th dynasty. Although Egyptologists have long studied the lavishly decorated Theban tombs constructed for elite Egyptians of the 18th and 19th dynasties, there has been little in depth examination of the reasons for these changes, how they might have affected the ways in which the ritual spaces of the tomb functioned and whether they reflected changing funerary beliefs. The changes seen in the exterior elements of Theban tombs at the beginning of the 19th dynasty coupled with the marked innovations in decoration on the interior surfaces suggest that the tomb space has became more sacralized in the 19th dynasty, but this supposition has not been rigorously investigated.

This research explores this largely neglected issue of decoration as an instrument of spatial organization in Ramesside period Theban tombs, asking: What are the changes that arose at this time? How did these decorative novelties alter the ways in which funerary space functioned? To what extent are the differences between 18th and 19th-dynasty tomb chapels indicators of changes in funerary beliefs? Studying the tombs helps us to understand more about social values in the Ramesside period as well as religious concerns. Image and location work together to create meaning in ancient Egyptian architecture, and this study of Ramesside Theban tombs focuses on the intersection of these two factors. This research considers tomb decoration in context and seeks to understand the wall decoration and sculpture in the spaces where they are found.

TopicsArchaeology, EgyptologyThemeArchaeological Sites, Pyramids, Tombs & TemplesHistoric PeriodNew KingdomLocationLuxor/Thebes


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