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Title: The past as property : Cleopatra's Needles and the reception of Ancient Egypt
Author: Elliott, Christopher Niall
ISNI:       0000 0004 8502 0288
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis uses the two Egyptian obelisks known as Cleopatra's Needles, and particularly that one now in London, to examine the ways in which Ancient Egypt has been understood and valued through its material culture. It analyses the use of the term 'reception' in an archaeological context; how the material culture of the past acts as a mechanism of cultural transmission between societies, and how understanding of it can differ between groups within the receiving society. In particular it examines reception as a continuing and dynamic process, where the material culture of one society can be encountered by a succession of other cultures, directly or indirectly, and how understanding of such material culture can vary within a society both at a certain time, and over time. To do this it draws on the fact that it took nearly eighty years to bring one of the Needles to London. It argues that differences over time and between different groups in the way that the obelisks were received in London and New York can be usefully understood by applying concepts of property, ownership, and value, both monetary and non-monetary. Finally, it examines how far this approach can be more widely applied in archaeology, particularly to the reception of material culture.
Supervisor: Moser, Stephanie ; Zakrzewski, Sonia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available