Eva Mol Mphil
Eval Mol will subsistute the education programm of the Byvack chair in 2015 and 2016
Thesis Title: Egypt in material and mind, The use and perception of Aegyptiaca in Roman domestic contexts of Pompeii
Dr. M.J. Versluys
Prof. dr. N. Sojc
The purpose of this PhD-research is to investigate the use and perception of Egyptian artefacts, both imported and locally produced, in Roman domestic contexts. Egypt as a cultural phenomenon in the Roman world and its associated material remains should be studied bottom up, and be holistically interpreted from the context in which they are attested. Only then we will be able to reach a more profound significance of Egyptian reception by a Roman audience.
This study will therefore embark upon Aegyptiaca in domestic contexts, where the Egyptian material is treated not as an isolated category as has been obtained in the past, setting it apart from what was Roman, but next to all the household goods and cultural influences that make up the domestic material of a Roman house. My case study shall be directed to a few carefully selected houses in Pompeii, on account of which I hope to come to a hypothesis on how Egyptian elements were used and perceived by means of aesthetic and phenomenological analyses. These analyses (space syntax, GIS, SOI, augmented reality and visibility analyses combined with aesthetic approaches that aim at art response such as Gombrich and especially Gell 1998) will focus on the social aspects of human engagement with space and objects. The hypotheses generated by the case studies and by a broader GIS-analysis of the distribution of Aegyptiaca in the city of Pompeii, will put to the test examining other domestic contexts in the wider Mediterranean and will subsequently be able to give a deeper and more social significant and integrated understanding of Egypt as perceived by the Romans.