Feeling sleepy? It’s time for bed!

The Manchester AE Soc lecture WILL go ahead this Monday (5th March).  7:30pm Manchester Conference Centre, Sackville Street, Manchester, M1 3BB. We look forward to seeing you!

Manon Schutz – ‘To die, to sleep’ — The Meaning of Beds in Ancient Egypt

Photo: RBP

Bed of Hetepheres

The bed is a piece of furniture which everyone in modern day England uses or at least knows. However, as it seems so familiar to us, we tend to project our own understanding of beds and the ideas related to them—especially that of the nightly sleep—to beds in other cultures. In the case of Egyptian beds, however, one might wonder whether it is legitimate to compare objects that are not only geographically, but also chronologically apart, even though their form is similar to our modern counterparts. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that all the beds known to us stem from tombs, not the domestic area. Thus, the aim of this talk is to analyse the function of beds in the funerary context of ancient Egypt and their role as connecting link between sleep and death.

Manon is a doctoral candidate and Clarendon scholar at Mansfield College, University of Oxford. In her thesis ‘Sleep, Beds, and Death in Ancient Egypt’, she is analysing the function of the bed in the funerary context of ancient Egypt from Predynastic times to the Graeco-Roman Period, especially in its role as protector and guarantor of rebirth. Inher Magister Artium thesis, which she completed at the University of Trier (Germany), as well as her Master of Studies thesis for the University of Oxford, she analysed coffins from the Roman Period. She was also involved in the publication of the Egyptian collection housed in the Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art in Luxembourg.

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