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Same-Sex Desire, Conjugal Constructs, and the Tomb of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep

Greg Reeder
World Archaeology
Vol. 32, No. 2, Queer Archaeologies (Oct., 2000), pp. 193-208
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/827865
Page Count: 16
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Same-Sex Desire, Conjugal Constructs, and the Tomb of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep
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Abstract

Discovered in 1964, the tomb of the manicurists Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep from the Fifth Dynasty of Old Kingdom Egypt depicts the two men in intimate poses usually reserved for husband and wife. Initial archaeologies suggested the two men were close friends, but soon the idea of them as twins was being advocated to explain their 'exaggerated affection'. This paper uses recent research on conjugal figuration during the pictorially innovative Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Dynasties and internal evidence from the tomb itself to offer insight into the unique relationship between the two manicurists.

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