The Fayum, a flourishing metropolitan community in ancient Egypt, consisted of Greeks, Egyptians, Syrians, Libyans, and others. A significant Greek population had settled in Egypt following its conquest by Alexander, eventually adopting the customs of the Egyptians. This included mummifying their dead. A portrait of the deceased, painted either in the prime of life or after death, was placed over the person's mummy as a memorial. These are the only surviving encaustic works from ancient times. It is notable how fresh the color has remained due to the protection of the wax. History of Encaustic Art
^My only point is that it is much, much more complex than trying to
attribute it to a "predominant Egyptian population" and greek
minorities, or "instead" of being Greeks, they were this. By all
indication they were Greek more than anything, let's be realistic.
1. It was a Greek custom 2. They identified as Greek 3. The
population consisted of many different ethnic groups, no body noted as
predominating but it is noted that a significant Greek population
migrated to the Fayum and started the custom. 4. They took local wives.
The fact that Syrians, Lybians, and Egyptians, and others all coexisted
there, "local" does not have to indicate Egyptian unless specified. 5.
The Britannica and Egyptologyonline say the exact same thing, that the
consensus among classicists and Art historians are that they were
Greeks.. 6. Walker says they (subjects of the portraits) were
descendants of Greeks who were given land in the Fayum. Then goes on to
say that they took local women and by Roman times, the population of the
Fayum was very mixed. 7. Irish' study of dental traits in burials in
the population indicates that the people he studied weren't actually
related to Greeks at all. 8. I reiterate, Walker says the population was
very mixed by Roman times, and the portraits represented descendants of
Greeks who identified as such, Britannica says that the subjects were
greeks, egyptologyonline says that they were greeks, encaustic.ca
indicates Greek custom and notes a significant greek population, among a
complex gestalt other peoples..
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