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Working title: Transformations of Dahshur’s cultural landscape. Creating a social topography of Dahshur based on theories of landscape archaeology and the sociology of space

PhD student: Lea Röfer
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Stephan Johannes Seidlmayer (Freie Universität Berlin/Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Kairo) und Prof. Dr. Richard Bußmann (Universität zu Köln)

Since research on the archaeological site of Dahshur (Egypt) has until now predominantly focused on the royal monuments of the Old and Middle Kingdom, this PhD project aims for a more holistic approach towards the ever-changing cultural landscape of Dahshur. With a theoretical background in landscape archaeology and the sociology of space, it aims to explore the human configuration, alteration and perception of space in this specific geographical location. The project’s empirical basis is the unpublished data material of an archaeological survey by the German Archaeological Institute Cairo (DAIK) carried out ca. 20 years ago, mapping so far undocumented archaeological findspots of a wider chronological (pre-pyramid age till modernity), functional (cemeteries, settlements, workshops, production places, quarries) and social (royal, elite, non-elite) range.  A spatial analysis combining an object-relational database with a GIS platform (in QGIS) offers an heuristic approach to trace different patterns of the production and use of space. These patterns will help to understand the extent of stately planning on the one hand, and the influence of different social groups in shaping and changing the built environment on the other hand. The aim of the study is to create a social topography of Dahshur which presents and maps the (re-)organisation of space by different social groups for different functional purposes.