The film has two main parts: the first gives a quick introduction to the five key periods of Egyptian history which form the focus of discussion. It introduces political centralisation and fragmentation as powerful agents of long-term socio-political change, visualising these through a series of diagrams and maps. With this background complete, the film moves into a slightly longer second part, which delves deeper into the main judicial features of each period. Examples of legal institutions, titles, and laws are provided, with matters getting increasingly bloodthirsty over time. At the end, the legal journey closes with a summary setting out the main ways in which justice evolved across the entire period, and why this was so.
The film is not just for aspiring Egyptologists – it is for anybody interested in how society is run and how major social upheavals can reshape the law. Viewers are encouraged to compare the social upheavals faced by the Egyptians in the film to the acute challenges faced by society today – do you think we could be on the brink of our own judicial revolution?
Acknowledgement: The film came into being thanks to Cambridge Creative Encounters, a University of Cambridge Public Engagement scheme which helps researchers bring their work to wider audiences. The creative projects were made possible by Wellcome ISSF funding.