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African Queens: The Unknown Voices of the Archaeological Record​

Name: Raena Gamble
Major: Archaeology
Minors: Classical Studies, Art History
Advisors: Dr. Siavash Samei

The marginalization of female voices is a common occurrence throughout modern society. However, this problem also appears when delving into the archaeological record. Even with the inclusion of women, a known missing factor is the representation of women of color, specifically Black/African women. The purpose of this thesis is to examine three royal women of Africa, a region with a diverse past but whose history is not as mainstream as other continents. The featured queens for this project are Iyoba Idia of Benin, Kandake Amanishakheto of Kush, and Queen Nefertiti of Egypt. My study will analyze examples of these queens’ portraiture, including statues and wall carvings, to explain how they reveal their power and authority. Additionally, this Independent Study will examine scholarly sources that demonstrate the underrepresentation of Black/African female voices and African history in the written record.

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Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2022.


5 responses to “African Queens: The Unknown Voices of the Archaeological Record​”

  1. Dante King says:

    Hi Raena! Congratulations!! This is so awesome!! 😀 Your research into the iconography and materiality of these artifacts with respect to authority is really fascinating to me. What do you see as a next step (or steps) to this work, if you were to continue?

  2. Siavash Samei says:

    Raena, Congratulations on an excellent job on your IS. I am very pleased with how you incorporated a variety of artifacts from different cultures and time periods together in to a cohesive narrative. I hope you enjoyed the work as much as I did, and I look forward to hearing about your future achievements!

  3. Tracy Cosgriff says:

    Congratulations on a very thoughtful and interesting I.S., Raena! I so enjoyed reading your thesis and learning more about these archaeological lacunae. You’ve accomplished a great deal, and I’m very excited to see where the future takes you! Brava!

  4. Anabelle Andersen says:

    This is such an incredible project! It’s lovely to hear more about it and see the results of all your hard work. It’s been an absolute pleasure being in the archaeology department with you. Can’t believe it’s been four years already! Promise to keep in touch!

  5. Beth Derderian says:

    What a great project Raena! Congratulations in this milestone accomplishment.

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