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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Kinship and Family Relations


Core aspects of the kinship system in ancient Egypt are discussed here. The six basic terms through which Egyptians expressed relationships of marriage, descent, and collaterality are considered, as well as the principles that regulated marriage and inheritance. The existence of different terms for kin groups is also taken into account. Lastly, the importance of kinship in ancient Egyptian social organization—both in Predynastic and Dynastic times—is analyzed with consideration of its prominence among the peasantry, in elite contexts, and in the world of the gods.

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