Issue 1, 2021

G. A. Belova

Problemy khronologii nekropolia Deir-el'-Banat (Faiumskii oazis) i voprosy terminologii [Deir el-Banat necropolis (Fayum Oasis): problems of chronology and terminology]

Since 2004, CES RAS together with the Institute of Bioarcheology of San Francisco and the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology RAS has been excavating the necropolis of Deir el-Banat located on the south-eastern edge of the Fayum Oasis. Complex archaeological research of the site is aimed at studying history of social relationships in the Fayum Oasis in Ptolemy, Roman and Byzantine periods. Reconstruction of the burial rites that were being practiced on the necropolis for so long opens up new perspectives for forming a more holistic view of history, social structure, beliefs, ethnic composition of the region’s population. In the course of studying burial rites on the necropolis, it became obvious that determining the religious affiliation of the buried, including followers of the Christian teachings, was possible in some cases only. The author concludes that the term ‘Coptic’ can only be used for burials of Christian inhabitants of Egypt (without ethnic implication) that were made beginning from the 3rd century, when the Coptic language had appeared. At the same time, it is exceedingly difficult to draw a line between early Christian burials of the Roman period and burials of Christians made in the Byzantine period, at least for today. Comprehensive research shows the complex ethnocultural and anthropological transformations that have been taking place in the Egyptian province for more than 10 centuries.

Egypt, Fayum Oasis, necropolis, burial rites, Christianity, Copts.

Original language — Russian.

DOI: 10.24412/2686-9276-2021-00002.

Referring: Belova G. А. Deir el-Banat necropolis (Fayum Oasis): problems of chronology and terminology [in Russian] // Egypt and neighbouring countries 1 (2021): 16–34. DOI: 10.24412/2686-9276-2021-00002.

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