Boundaries are a complex topic, with different categories being distinguishable depending on the language and with a number of terms often used interchangeably. This discussion paper offers an overview on definitions and introduces different types of boundaries such as geographic, political and social. Drawing on disciplines as varied as border studies, international relations, post-/decolonial thought, and on examples from anthropological
fieldwork, insights can be derived for archaeological approaches. In this context, the role of boundaries in the dynamic construction of ethnic identities is highlighted. A discussion of ancient Egyptian terms and concepts of political boundaries underlines the comparative potential of studies in premodern political thought and lived experience.