Welcome to the New York Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt
To Readers of Kmt: A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt
As you may know, the fall issue of the Journal (31:3) in which the Editor’s Report described the current financial situation of Kmt and indicated that barring significant financial underwriting — this might be the next to last issue with little or no hope for winter. Due to the pandemic and worldwide lockdown, there was little or no distribution to outlets abroad or in the U.S. for the spring, summer and fall issues (the print run for fall in fact was shortened, but no less costly). Almost certainly, costs will keep rising, including printing and postal service. The Editor and publisher reached out to the Journal’s Editorial Advisory Board and other individuals for suggestions and ideas of which there have been many, including a digital edition, which would be too costly and not practical.
However, there has recently been a bit of good news. Financial underwriting has been offered for the publication of the winter 2020/21 issue, which will complete 31 years of Kmt. After that (unless the proverbial knight in shining armor materializes) it has been planned to suspend publication until after the pandemic and economic crises are behind us with current subscriptions remaining viable then.
From the Petrie Museum Unofficial page on Facebook:
This is very bad news. One of the best Egyptology magazines in existence is in difficulties.
KMT Magazine has been bringing the best information about Ancient Egypt for 30 years. First rate, in-depth, articles from the best Egyptologists who know what’s what. Current research, latest discoveries, and you know it doesn’t make it to KMT without serious scholarship. In the latest issue.
Michael Forbes brings the sad news, that there may be only one more issue, before they are forced to close. Readers who bought off the shelf have not been able to access copies but we are told that they haven’t switched to subscriptions. The pandemic isn’t ending any time soon, if you want to see KMT survive you need to take out a subscription. Carl and Dennis have not taken wages for the last few issues. Please, if you were a reader, change to subscription. If you are not, you will not be disappointed in the value for money. Subscribe to KMT Magazine www.kmtjournal.com
New on our Website
Take a look at the New York Collections page where we have added a short write up about the head of a sphinx that is now in the Brooklyn Museum, but comes from Hadrian’s Villa near Rome. This is in addition to prior short articles on the models found in the tomb of Meketre, the jewelry of Princes Sit-Hathor-Yunet (both in the Metropolitan Museum) and an archaizing relief from the tomb of Montuemhat that is now in the Brooklyn Museum.
Our Next Lecture
The Altered State of Religion Sekhmet and Ritual Revelries in the Reign of Amenhotep III
September 30, 2020 at 1:00 PM ET/ 7:00 PM EET
Dr. Betsy M. Bryan; John Hopkins University
Info about the Lecture:
The lioness-headed goddess Sekhmet was one of a number of Egyptian goddesses who controlled the activities of the cosmos as agents of the sun god. They supervised the inundation, the movement of the moon, the stars, and planets, and could be responsible for both beneficial conditions and natural disasters such as famine, flood, and plague. These goddesses, often associated with the cobra uraei seen on the king’s brow, were protective of Ra’s creations and punished those who rebelled against the sun god’s order. Sekhmet was an alter ego for a number of the uraeus goddesses, and more than one major Egyptian myth addressing the importance of a stabilized cosmos refers to her and the need to propitiate her. The so-called Drunkenness Festivals were among the rituals that involved the lioness goddesses and were celebrated at a significant number of temples and sites throughout Egypt from early times. This lecture will focus on the goddess Sekhmet and her ritual celebrations in the reign of Amenhotep III for whom many hundreds of seated and standing stone statues of that goddess were sculpted and placed in the king’s funerary temple at Kom el Hettan and at the Mut Temple south of Karnak. How this king and his priests incorporated the Sekhmet cultic revelries in combination with the enormous production of statuary will be considered, along with the ultimate types of celebration and their performative impact.
About Dr. Betsy Bryan:
I have spent nearly all my research life as an Egyptologist studying the New Kingdom’s Eighteenth Dynasty and the periods before and after. Yet, I’m fortunate to teach across several millennia from the Predynastic to the end of the New Kingdom. Having done my graduate studies under William Kelly Simpson at Yale University, finishing in 1980, I was exposed and heavily influenced by a rich combination of ancient language fused with material culture. It is seamless in my view and can be easily identified from almost the first page of my thesis on The Reign of Thutmose IV as well as in the program that I represent at Johns Hopkins.
My research interests are broadly historical and art historical, as well as archaeological, but always motivated by curiosity about the people connected to artifacts and monuments – their culture-wide community precepts and percepts which are in many cases accessible to us; and their more personalized experiences of the environments in which they lived – something far more rarely visible or discernible. Because I have primarily worked in Theban tombs and for twenty years, the Temple of the goddess Mut at Southern Karnak, my sources for new materials to communicate with the people of ancient Egypt have primarily been from these settings or from museum collections. Mut has been a phenomenal source of almost any type of new information and has particularly led me to study the rituals of drunkenness in the New Kingdom, after we unearthed the Hall of Drunkenness dated to Hatshepsut’s reign, ca. 1470s B.C. The meaning of these communal rituals and the Mut Temple for the rulers of the New Kingdom and the people who worshiped there is a challenge of late. Many threads of evidence combine to inform these inquires.
October 3, 2020 3 pm EST
This talk is based on a simple premise. We can decolonize Egyptology by situating the culture of ancient Egypt in its African context. Acknowledging the origins of Nile Valley civilization among the cattle pastoralists of the Sahara in the 5th millennium BCE, we recognize the Africanity of ancient Egypt. This talk offers suggestions on how Egyptologists might decolonize the discipline by respecting Nubia. Organized around three simple themes: Know Nubia, Teach Nubia, Honor Nubia; this talk suggests that we discard the notion of Egyptian exceptionalism and learn something about the other cultures of the Nile Valley and east Africa.
“The Evidence is with the Ethiopians”
Egyptology’s formal disciplinary history omits the voices of scholars of African descent. My research outlines the importance of ancient Egyptian culture to Black communities in America in the 19th and early 20th centuries and highlights conversations that occurred between white Egyptologists who held university posts and scholars of African descent in America.
Decolonizing the Practice of Archaeology in Sudan: Confronting Biased Legacies and Developing Collaborative Relationships
The history of collection and interpretation of the Kerma Kingdom — and other ancient African material culture — was subject to colonialist practices within displaced or directly violent conditions. Collected by the American archaeologist George Reisner only 15 years after the bloody defeat of Mahdist forces by the British, this ancient Nubian material from Kerma elucidates power structures inherent in the control of objects. Typical of racist and misogynistic biases in early 20th century scholarship on ancient Africa, ‘complexity’ found at Kerma was first posed as the result of outside ‘civilizing’ forces from Egypt, although the evidence clearly supports millennia of locally based cultural development. Original site publications even directly related the then contemporary form of the Anglo-Egyptian condominium colonial rule to an imagined ancient reality. Following the entanglement of collection, control, and knowledge production for the same objects in both their ancient and contemporary contexts highlights the imperative need for reimagining the relationships inherent in the practice of archaeology in Africa. In the past few decades, collaborative research and community outreach have become well established in Sudanese archaeology and can serve as a model for decolonizing scholarship.
Lisa Saladino Haney
From Egypt to Pittsburgh: Re-Imagining the Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt
This talk presents and examines the concept of decolonization as it relates to the upcoming reinstallation of the Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. After the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh each released a statement in support of Black Lives Matter. These statements further amplified internal work examining the issue of decolonization, particularly in the museum’s cultural halls, including Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt. This talk will focus on new signage created during the museum’s COVID-19 closure. This signage addresses the issues of colonialism in our Egyptian collection and the ethical display of human remains with the intent to prepare visitors for some of the new information and ideas they will encounter in the redesigned gallery space. It will also look at broader strategies for engaging the public on difficult questions and using transparency to share how scholars are dealing with and thinking about these issues.
About the Speakers
Solange Ashby received her Ph.D. in Egyptology with a specialization in ancient Egyptian language and Nubian religion from the University of Chicago. She has researched in Egypt at the temple of Philae and participated in an archaeological excavation in El-Kurru, Sudan (royal Kushite cemetery). Her first book, Calling Out to Isis: The Enduring Nubian Presence at Philae, is published by Gorgias Press. Her current research explores the roles of women in traditional Nubian religious practices. Dr. Ashby is working on the first monograph dedicated to the history, religious symbolism, and political power of the queens of Kush.
Vanessa Davies, PhD, is a research administrator at Bryn Mawr College. Her earlier Egyptological work focused on the intersection of text and art. She is currently writing a book that opens up the disciplinary history of Egyptology to make it more inclusive.
Elizabeth Minor currently directs a field project in Massachusetts and co-directs a field project in the Northern Dongola Reach in Sudan with Sarah Schellinger (OSU). Her eighteen years of museum work include educational outreach, registration, development and digital imaging projects. She first visited a museum basement as a child and wanted to stay there forever, and now prioritizes sharing the important stories that can be told through global collections and hearing new perspectives from museum visitors.
Lisa Saladino Haney is the Postdoctoral Assistant Curator of Egypt on the Nile at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. Previously, she served as a lecturer at the Kansas City Art Institute and University of Kansas. She has also held positions at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Penn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum. Dr. Haney earned her PhD in Egyptian art and archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania where her dissertation focused on the potential for coregency during Egypt’s 12th Dynastyand its possible representation in the royal statuary of that period. Her monograph, Visualizing Coregency: An Exploration of the Link between Royal Image and Co-Rule during the Reign of Senwosret III and Amenemhet III, is a part of the Harvard Egyptological Studies Series at Brill.
Please enjoy ARCE’s podcast series. Here are the links:
This talk, by Dr. Aidan Dodson, discusses Tutankhamen’s family history, the DNA studies done on his mummy and some of the objects found in his tomb.
Dr. Salima Ikram discusses the tomb’s treasures and decorations, as well as the king’s mummy and what is unique about it.
ARCE is hard at work preserving many sites in Egypt for future generations. Please take a look at virtual tours of some of these sites.
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