National Science Center grant OPUS 25 for research on domestic life in Berenike

Dr. Emilia Smagur was awarded an Opus 25 grant for her project “Inhabiting post-Roman Egyptian port: the households of Berenike”. It was enabled by additional financing received by the National Science Centre.

Dr Smagur’s project aims to explore the domestic life in the post-Roman (4th-6th centuries CE) Eastern Desert port through a multidisciplinary study of the households in Berenike which was one of the key ports of the Red Sea branch of the Indian Ocean trade for approximately 800 years. It intends to combine methods of inquiry used in disciplines such as history, archaeology, ethnography, and chemistry to obtain a multifaceted, cross-disciplinary perspective on the complexity and diversity of the roles of households.

During its implementation, various aspects of domestic life will be elucidated through the study of domestic architecture, the use of domestic space, and the wide spectrum of domestic material culture. The research questions the project aims to answer are related to the building techniques, house components, status, wealth, social background, and geographical origin of the household members, the relation between the private and public space, the functional and social organization of domestic space, the dweller’s perception of space within houses, as well as rituals and symbolism in household behaviors.

Find out more about PCMA UW research in Berenike.