A PHENOMENOLOGICAL APPROACH TO THE KOM EL-SHUQAFA CATACOMBS
Shipley, Laryssa Antoinette
The Catacombs of Kom el-Shuqafa are one of the best-preserved Alexandrian necropolis complexes from the Roman period. A modern tourist can descend into the catacombs much like an ancient visitor would have, allowing today’s visitor a shared experience with the past. Because Hypogeum I of the site is known primarily for its mixture of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman decorative elements, scholarship on the site is primarily descriptive, focusing on the visual components of the site that show evidence for cultural mixing or “hybridity”. A multi-sensorial approach, however, has yet to be taken. Due to its relatively well-preserved nature, as well as the lack of written evidence at this site, I argue that we can use a phenomenologically-oriented methodology to gain insight on ancient visitor experience, ultimately discovering that ancient visitors would have seen the descent into the catacombs as a descent into the underworld.
Phenomenology; Egypt; Alexandria; Catacombs; Kom el-Shoqafa; Kom el-Shuqafa; North African studies; Archaeology; Art history
Barrett, Caitlin Eilis
Master of Arts
dissertation or thesis