The American Research Center in Egypt – New York Chapter

Welcome to the New York Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt

Important Announcement: ARCE has cancelled its annual meeting which was scheduled for April 3-5 in Toronto.

The New York chapter of ARCE has also canceled the two lectures scheduled for April: Marc LeBlanc’s talk scheduled for April 2 and Aidan Dodson’s lecture scheduled for April 7

Our Next Lecture

Sorry, but Dr. LeBlanc’s lecture has been canceled – we hope to reschedule it in the Fall

April 2, 2020. ARCE NY/ ISAW Lecture.

THE AMERICAN RESEARCH CENTER IN EGYPT/NEW YORK CHAPTER IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF THE ANCIENT WORLD PRESENTS THE FOLLOWING.

ARCE/NY

“In Accordance with the Documents of Ancient Times”: The Ancient Egyptian Sed Festival (Jubilee Festival)

SPEAKER: Marc J. LeBlanc, PhD, Associate Director for Academic Affairs Institute for the Study of the Ancient WorldNew York University

Marc LeBlanc; Photo by NYU Photo Bureau, Saskia Kahn

LOCATION:Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW/NYU)
15 East 84th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues)
New York, New York – RSVP to ISAW Required

TIME: 6:00 P.M. RECEPTION TO FOLLOW LECTURE. FREE TO THE PUBLIC RSVP REQUIRED. Please reply to info@arceny.com . 

ABSTRACT: The Sed Festival is one of the most frequently depicted royal iconographic motifs in the decorative relief programs of ancient Egypt’s numerous temples and royal precincts. Upon taking the throne, each Egyptian ruler hoped to celebrate not one, but many Sed Festivals—both in life and in the perpetually renewed state of existence the ruler hoped to achieve after his death. While previous studies of the Sed Festival have mostly ignored early evidence for the festival prior to the political unification of the Egyptian state at the end of the 4th millennium BCE, careful analysis of Predynastic and Protodynastic iconography suggests that, as early as Naqada I, local Upper Egyptian rulers celebrated rituals that later formed part of the celebration of the Sed Festival.

A close examination of textual and iconographic evidence for the celebration of the Sed Festival from the Predynastic, Protodynastic and dynastic periods suggests that the cycle of rituals that comprised the Sed Festival served three main purposes. First, by means of ritual, the Egyptian ruler symbolically transforms into a creator deity and attains the ability to effect his own rejuvenation and to continue to rule Egypt effectively. Second, by symbolically demonstrating his control over cyclical phenomena of the natural world, the Egyptian ruler establishes and maintains order in Egypt and in the cosmos at large. Third, in order to suppress the potentially disruptive and destructive inimical forces of chaos in the cosmos, the Egyptian ruler eliminates all possible threats to himself and to the Egyptian state during the celebration of the Sed Festival.

 British Museum 32.650; Ebony label from the tomb of the 1st Dynasty Egyptian king Den in Abydos; © Trustees of the British Museum

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Marc LeBlanc is Associate Director for Academic Affairs and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Egyptology at ISAW, where he teaches introductory and advanced ancient Egyptian language courses. He received his B.A. in Egyptology and Classics (Latin and Greek) from Brown University and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Egyptology from Yale University. His dissertation, a diachronic study of the Sed Festival in ancient Egypt, includes new translations of ancient texts describing the ritual performances of the Sed Festival and sheds new light on the prehistory of the Sed Festival and the development of royal iconography and ideology in Predynastic Egypt. His academic publications include “An Egyptian Priest in the Ptolemaic Court: Yale Peabody Museum 264191” (Co-author, David Klotz), in C. Zivie-Coche and I. Guermeur, eds., “Parcourir l’éternité”. Hommages à Jean Yoyotte (Bibliothèque de l’École des Hautes Études, Sciences Religieuses 156; Turnhout: Brepols, 2012), pp. 645-698, and “The Zoomorphic Transformation of the King in Early Egyptian Royal Military Victory Rituals and Its Relationship to the Sed Festival,” in M. Massiera, B. Mathieu, and F. Rouffet, eds., Apprivoiser le sauvage – Taming the Wild (Les Cahiers  Égypte Nilotique et Méditérranéenne 11; Montpellier, 2015), pp. 229-243.

Upcoming Egyptology Lectures in New York

March 30. Charles K. Wilkinson Lecture Series. Dr. Adela Oppenheim, “I will Sail my Bark: The Enigma of Meketre’s Egyptian Boat Models”; Dr. Yelena Rakic, “Impressions of Ancient Mesopotamia: The Minature Worlds of Cylinder Seals”; Dr. Avinoam Shalem, “The Pissareff’s Copy of the Ulthman Qur’an in the Rare Book Collection at the Butler Library (Columbia University)”. 2:00 – 5:00 at Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


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American Research Center in Egypt, NY Chapter
arcenychapter@gmail.com

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