Comparison of Nubian and Egyptian patterns of physical activity at New Kingdom Tombos

Author(s): Michele Buzon; Sarah Schrader

Year: 2017


Tombos, located at the Third Cataract of the Nile River in Sudan, was established as an Egyptian colonial site in Nubia during the New Kingdom period. Burials provide evidence for high level Egyptian administrators and support staff as well as local community members. Previous investigations of the Tombos remains have indicated that individuals buried at Tombos participated in relatively low levels of strenuous physical activities, indicative of roles such as administrators, scribes, and craftspeople. This study examines the differences in physical activities via entheseal remodeling and osteoarthritis in subgroups at Tombos. Strontium isotope analysis is used to differentiate locals from first generation immigrants, craniometric analyses are used to separate Egyptian and Nubian biological groups, and Egyptian/Nubian ethnic patterns are viewed via burial ritual. Though sample sizes are small, results indicate that Nubians may have been engaged in more strenuous manual labor than Egyptian individuals at Tombos. While most individuals in the overall Tombos population show few signs of hard labor, these results suggest that Egyptians may have participated is less physical roles, such as administrators, while Nubians had other tasks such as craft production.

Cite this Record

Comparison of Nubian and Egyptian patterns of physical activity at New Kingdom Tombos. Michele Buzon, Sarah Schrader. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429373)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14384