In Society and Death in Ancient Egypt, Janet Richards considers social stratification in Middle Kingdom Egypt, taking as the point of departure the assumption that a 'middle class' arose during this period. By focusing on the entire range of mortuary behavior, rather than on elite remains, she shows how social and political processes can be reconstructed. Richards demonstrates that the roots of the middle class can be traced to the later Old Kingdom and First Intermediate Period. Combining information from excavations, ancient Egyptian texts, and decorative reliefs and statuary, the book weaves together a wide variety of sources that aid us in understanding how Middle Kingdom Egyptians thought about society and death and how their practices and landscapes relating to death reveal information about the living society.
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