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Gurob, the 'burnt groups'

Petrie 1891: 16:

"A very remarkable custom existed in this town, which I believe as yet elsewhere in Ancient Egypt. In many instances the floor of a room has been taken up, a hole about two feet across and a foot deep was dug in the ground. A large quantity of distinctly personal property, such as clothing, a stool, a mirror, necklaces, kohl tubes, and toilet vases of stone and pottery, were thrown in, and than all burnt in the hole. ... and lastly the floor was relaid."

two of the groups as published by Petrie


Politi 2001: 111: draws attention to a Hittite law:

'If a man takes his wife and leads (her) away to his house, he shall carry her dowry in. If the woman (dies) the(re), they shall burn the personal possession of the man (or 'he shall burn the personal possessions) and the man shall take her dowry, If she dies in her father's house and she (has) children, the man shall not (take) her dowry'

It is known that foreign women lived in Gurob. The Hittite princess married to Ramesses II seems to have lived here (Maathorneferure). The custom mentioned in the laws might therefore relate to the burnt groups. The objects might have been the belongings of Hittite women, who lived in Gurob: the princesses and their (female) servants.


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