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The veneration of Isis at Kellis in the Roman period

posted on 14.02.2017, 00:59 by Woodfield, Louise Marie
This thesis examines veneration through representation, more specifically, the prevalence of representations of the goddess Isis at Roman period Kellis, Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt and the ways in which they would have been utilised in veneration. The choice of Isis for this thesis was based on the numerous representations which have been recorded during excavations at Kellis, demonstrating the popularity that Isis enjoyed in that period. A wide range of materials was utilised in the creation of the objects including terracotta, limestone, bronze, painted representations and several examples of rarely-preserved plaster statuary. The main aims of this thesis are to determine the range of forms of Isis depicted, the ways in which these depictions were used and the places in which they were kept or displayed. The predominant focus on texts of the few existing Isis studies means that an examination of material culture will contribute important data about the specifics of the representation and potential methods of veneration of Isis in Egypt of the Roman period. The location of Kellis in the chora also provides information about the ways in which Isis was venerated in the countryside, a focus which is sometimes overlooked in favour of study of the objects and inscriptions from Alexandria and elsewhere in the wider Roman Empire.


Principal supervisor

Gillian Bowen

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Archaeology and Ancient History

Campus location



Faculty of Arts