Since the study of ancient Egypt began, Egyptology and social science have engaged with each other to very varying degrees, often with significant reservations on both sides. This partial detachment continues. Egyptology, however, stands to benefit from collaborating with social science both in terms of method and in relation to the wider intellectual world, while the near-absence of ancient Egypt from discussion of social forms in various disciplines is regrettable. Work in general and theoretical archaeology as well as in historical sociology, in all of which fields there is renewed emphasis on materiality and agency, is particularly relevant to Egyptology. Use of such concepts may guard against pitfalls of over-generalized comparative study and may suggest research issues that might otherwise be overlooked.