The goal of this project is to investigate the use of cosmetic utensils and materials in New Kingdom Nubia (kohl jars, make up styluses, make up tubes, cosmetic spoons, ointment vessels, tweezers, razors, curlers, trimmers, mirrors etc.).
During the New Kingdom, Nubia was slowly but surely integrated into the Egyptian state with Egyptian temples and towns being built and populated by both settlers from Egypt and locals in Nubia. Egyptian products were increasingly present. This led previous generations of scholars to interpret this process as ''Egyptianisation'' of Nubia stressing one-way flow of cultural influences and their passive reception by the locals. This culture-historical, diffusionist, paradigm has been criticised by scholars stressing local agency in the new social conditions. Inspired by postcolonial theory, several Egyptologists (S. T. Smith, W. Paul van Pelt) argue for an entangled or hybrid identity in New Kingdom Nubia, where cultural traits could be adopted by both sides involved in this process and novel forms of hybrid identity can emerge.
The project on beauty in New Kingdom Nubia aims to contribute to this discussion by examining the use of material culture essential for the embodied identity-cosmetics. This is because the use of cosmetics and cosmetic utensils changes the materiality of the body most directly and materiality of the body is more resistant to change than the way people dress for example.
Examining how and to what extent did cosmetics play a role in these changes and adoptions or negotiations of identity can enhance our knowledge of life in New Kingdom Nubia.
The project is is financed by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) project "STIBET Doktoranden" which aims to integrate foreign doctoral students in research life of their host universities. The project is supervised by Prof. Dr. Angelika Lohwasser, Institute for Egyptology and Coptic Studies, University of Muenster (Germany). ... [more]