Virginia Emery

  • Fellowship Dates 2011-2011
  • Research Topic The Palace in Ancient Egypt: Toward a Definition of Form and Function
  • Fellow or Grant Type Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
  • Affiliation Pre-doctoral candidate University of Chicago

This research catalogues each known and excavated palace site attested from the early dynastic period until the 26th dynasty – 25 sites in all. It focuses on the chronological development of the forms of palace architecture and the relationship of those forms to the functions of palaces. It provides diagnostic definitions for palaces as they are encountered archaeologically and brings palaces into the discourse concerning monumental Egyptian architecture that heretofore has focused primarily on temples and funerary monuments. This analysis of space as delimited by architectural features requires the examination of the sites in person, even those sites where standing architecture is no longer visible to understand each site in context as a specific place within the broader archaeological landscape.

This research seeks to situate the palace as an institutional installation through observation, and to collect information not currently available in published reports and descriptions. It systematizes, as much as possible, the data available pertaining to each site for the purpose of comparison. Research methodologies compare published maps and plans with visible remains, assess the accuracy and level of detail of what is published and add observations and photographic documentation. This research provides a foundation for a more complete understanding of the form and function of palaces in ancient Egypt, and broader comparisons of Egyptian palaces to contemporary ancient Near Eastern palaces, as well as future investigations of the relation of Egyptian palace architecture to Egyptian temple architecture.

TopicsArchaeology, Architecture, Egyptology, Information SurveyThemeArchaeological SitesHistoric PeriodFirst Intermediate Period, Late Period, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom, Old Kingdom, Predynastic/Early Dynastic, Second Intermediate Period


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