THURSDAY, JANUARY 22, 2015
SPEAKER:Dr. Rita E. Freed, John F. Cogan and Mary L. Cornille Chair, Art of the Ancient World, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Adjunct Professor of Art, Wellesley College (to be introduced by Jack Josephson, Research Associate, Institute of Fine Arts (IFA) and Visiting Professor, American University of Cairo).
LOCATION: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW/NYU)
15 East 84th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues)
New York, New York
ABSTRACT: Despite forty years of excavation, countless gifts and a number of purchases, significant gaps remain in the Egyptian collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. One of the many roles of a curator is to fill those gaps in a responsible way, namely in accordance with UNESCO Convention of 1970. Three recent additions to the collection which came without archaeological context or inscriptional evidence form the focus of this lecture. Although legally on the art market, they were misidentified, not only in terms of date, but also – as in the case of one sold as Ghandaran- by culture. Reinstating them in their proper context is a challenge historians of Egyptian art are uniquely suited to tackle.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Rita E. Freed is the John F. Cogan, Jr. and Mary L. Cornille Chair of the Department of Art of the Ancient World at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she oversees a collection of Egyptian, Nubian, Ancient Near Eastern, Greek and Roman Art. She is also Adjunct Professor of Art at Wellesley College, where she teaches Egyptian art. Rita was chief curator for “The Secrets of Tomb 10A: Egypt 2000 BC,” and “Pharaohs of the Sun”, two of many major exhibitions she has organized. She has also participated on archaeological excavations in Egypt, Cyprus and Israel and has published many books and articles.
An Egyptian art historian by training, Freed received her MA and PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU, where she was a student of Bernard V. Bothmer. She received her BA in Classical and Near Eastern Art from Wellesley College. Prior to coming to the Museum of Fine Arts as Curator of Egyptian and Ancient Near Eastern Art in 1989, she was Associate Professor of Art at the University of Memphis and Founding Director of the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology.
Lecture: Local Saints, National Politics and the Power of the Past in Early Egypt
Speaker: Dr. Janet Richards, Professor of Egyptology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies and Curator for Dynastic Egypt at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan (Introduction by David Moyer, Special Projects Editor, KMT, A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt and ARCE/NY Chapter Board Member)
Date & Time: Thursday, February 19, 2015; 6:00 PM
Location: ISAW, 15 East 84th Street, New York, New York
ABSTRACT: In considering the complex relationships between early elites and the populations over whom they exercised authority, moments of crisis or change in complex societies provide opportunities to track political storytelling legitimating that authority, and the ways in which local populations received or resisted these programs. What stories did elites choose to emphasize in different contexts over time, and which narratives inspired broad and lasting participation? In late third to mid second millennium BC Egypt, one such political strategy centered on local saint cults: appropriating these touchstones of regional memory as instruments of central politics. In her lecture, Janet Richards will present ongoing research and uses of the past at the site of Abydos in southern Egypt, discussing also the phenomenon of saint cults cross culturally.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Janet Richards is Professor of Egyptology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies and Curator for Dynastic Egypt at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan. Educated at Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania in anthropology and Egyptology, she specializes in ancient northeast African archaeology and history, with special emphasis on conceptual landscapes, ideologies of power and responses to political crisis, the purposes of biography, and social transformations over time as materialized in mortuary and votive contexts. Since 1995 Richards has directed the University of Michigan Abydos Middle Cemetery Project, a large-scale investigation of a mid-third to mid-second millennium BCE mortuary and cultic landscape. She has curated several exhibitions at the Kelsey Museum most recently “Discovery! Excavating the Ancient World,” exploring current research questions and methods in archaeology. Her publications include the co-edited volume Order, Legitimacy, and Wealth in Ancient States (2000) and Society and Death in Ancient Egypt: mortuary landscapes of the Middle Kingdom (2005); her current project is Writing Ancient Lives: Weni the Elder and ancient Egyptian responses to political crisis.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015; 6:00 PM
Lecture: “Deir el-Ballas – Ancient Egypt’s Forgotten Palace”
SPEAKER: Dr. Peter Lacovara, Director of The Ancient Egypt Heritage and Archaeology Fund, (Introduction by Dr. Lanny Bell, Associate Professor Emeritus of Egyptology at the University of Chicago and a Visiting Researcher in Egyptology at Brown University).
Date & Time: Wednesday, March 18, 2015; 6:00 PM
ABSTRACT: One of the least well known archaeological sites in Upper Egypt is the Second Intermediate Period-early Eighteenth Dynasty town site of Deir el-Ballas in the Qena Governorate, beside the modern town of Ed-Deir.
Deir el-Ballas was originally excavated by the Phoebe A. Hearst Expedition of the University of California under the direction of George A. Reisner in the years l900 to l901. During the season’s work he uncovered the remains of a large royal palace, a series of cemeteries, and a settlement. Unfortunately, the excavations were never published and the field notes were so brief that any in depth study of the excavation was impossible. In order to clarify the records of the expedition and enable publication of the site, Peter Lacovara undertook four seasons of survey and clearance in l980, l983, 1984 and 1986 under the sponsorship of the American Research Center and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The site is now in danger from the expansion of the modern settlement and a new campaign of conservation and site protection is planned.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Peter Lacovara (B.A. 1976, Boston University; Ph.D. 1993 The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago) is Director of The Ancient Egyptian Archaeology and Heritage Fund. He was Senior Curator of Ancient Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Eastern Art at the Michael C. Carlos Museum from 1998 to 2014 and before that served as Assistant Curator in the Department of Ancient Egyptian, Nubian and Near Eastern Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. His fieldwork has included excavations at the Valley of the Kings at Thebes, Deir el-Ballas, Abydos, Hierakonpolis and at the Giza Plateau, and currently he is co-directing the excavation of the Palace city of Amenhotep III at Malqata in Western Thebes with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His publications include studies on Urbanism in Ancient Egypt, Egyptian Mortuary Traditions, and the Material Culture of Ancient Egypt and Nubia.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015; 6:00 PM
Speaker: Dr. Stephen P. Harvey, Director, Ahmose and Tetisheri Project, Abydos, (introduction by David Moyer, Special Correspondent, KMT, “For the Record” and Member, ARCE/NY Board of Directors)
Lecture: “Before Hatshepsut: Three Generations of Royal Women at the Birth of the New Kingdom”
Date & Time: Wednesday, April 8, 2015; 6:00 PM
ABSTRACT: Hatshepsut, famed female ruler of the Eighteenth Dynasty, is renowned in Egyptian history as one of only five women over the course of three thousand years ever to have taken the throne of Egypt as pharaoh, a role otherwise traditionally limited to men. Yet, in spite of the unusual circumstances surrounding Hapshepsut’s rise to power, several generations of powerful female ancestors of Hatshepsut paved her way, creating new paths to wealth and influence. Three royal women in particular stand out at the birth of the New Kingdom, which begins ca. 1525 BCE with the defeat by King Ahmose of the Hyksos, the rulers of northern Egypt who threatened traditional Egyptian control over the throne. The key players were Queen Tetisheri, the grandmother of Ahmose, who was honored with a monumental pyramid at Abydos; Queen Ahhotep, Ahmose’s mother, who may have controlled domestic affairs while her husband was at war with the Hyksos; and Ahmose-Nefertary, the first woman to have been called the God’s Wife of Amun, a priestly role that came with enormous prestige and wealth, and one later held by Hatshepsut before becoming pharaoh. Examining colorful ancient records as well as recent discoveries at Abydos and Thebes, Harvey will illustrate the path to female power that resulted in fundamentally different ways of representing and honoring royal women in Egyptian art and culture.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Since 1993, Stephen Harvey has been Director of the Ahmose and Tetisheri Project, which centers on excavation of the monumental complex of King Ahmose at Abydos, southern Egypt, under the aegis of the Pennsylvania-Yale-Institute of Fine Arts, NYU Expedition to Abydos. Harvey is currently a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of History, Stony Brook University. He received his Ph.D. in Egyptian Archaeology in 1998 from the University of Pennsylvania, and his B.A. in Archaeological Studies from Yale University in 1987. Harvey’s fieldwork in and around the pyramid complex of Ahmose (ca 1550-1525 BC) has provided important new insight into temple architecture and decoration at the outset of Egypt’s New Kingdom. His book on the excavations to date is forthcoming from the Oriental Institute Press, University of Chicago. In addition to extensive fieldwork at Abydos, Harvey has worked in Egypt at Giza and Memphis, as well as on archaeological projects in the United States, Syria (Tell es-Sweyhat), and Turkey (Gordion). From 2003-2006, Harvey was Assistant Professor of Egyptian Archaeology in the Oriental Institute and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, The University of Chicago. In 2006, he led the reinstallation of the Picken Family Nubian Gallery of the Oriental Institute Museum, together with co-Curator Bruce Williams. From 1998 to 2002, Harvey was Assistant Director of the Institute of Egyptian Art & Archaeology and Assistant Professor in the Department of Art of the University of Memphis, TN. Harvey was Assistant Curator for Egyptian Art at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland from 1996 to 1998. He has been interviewed for and consulted on many international television documentaries, including “Building Pharaoh’s Chariot” (NOVA, PBS 2013), as well as “Egypt: Engineering an Empire” (History Channel) and “Egypt’s Golden Empire” (PBS). He has been invited to lecture at many institutions in the US, as well as in Canada, England, Egypt, France, Australia, and New Zealand. Harvey has also been a popular lecturer for many years on tours to Egypt and the Near East sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, the Field Museum, the Explorer’s Club, the Petrie Museum in London, and the Archaeological Institute of America. He has also recently taught courses for the Bloomsbury Summer School in London and in Egypt.
Lecture: May 21, 2015; 6:00 PM
This lecture was held in co-sponsorship with New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW/NYU), and Hands Along the Nile Development Services (HANDS)
SPEAKER: Dr. Roger S. Bagnall, Leon Levy Director, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University (ISAW/NYU)
Title: “Recent discoveries at Amheida”
ABSTRACT: This lecture will describe the discoveries made in the past five seasons of excavation at Amheida, in the Dakhla Oasis of Egypt’s Western Desert. The NYU-based international team working at the site has completed the excavation of the Roman baths and of the area of the Temple of Thoth, extending the history of temple-building at Amheida back to the New Kingdom. New areas have included a sizable fourth-century mortuary church and a house even larger than the house of Serenos that was excavated in earlier seasons. At the same time, a replica of Serenos’ house has now been completed, with reproduction of its paintings. And the study of paintings at Amheida has been pursued with an ARCE-funded survey of visible plaster on the site, showing that wall-painting was practically ubiquitous in the larger houses there in the fourth century CE.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Before joining the NYU faculty in 2007, Bagnall was Jay Professor of Greek and Latin and Professor of History at Columbia University, where he had taught for 33 years. During that time he served as Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Chair of the Department of Classics. Educated at Yale University and the University of Toronto, he specializes in the social and economic history of Hellenistic, Roman and Late Antique Egypt. He has held many leadership positions in the fields of classics and papyrology; he is co-founder of a multi-university consortium creating the Advanced Papyrological Information System. Among his best-known works are Egypt in Late Antiquity (1993), The Demography of Roman Egypt (1994; with Bruce Frier), Reading Papyri, Writing Ancient History (1995), Early Christian Books in Egypt (2009), and Everyday Writing in the Graeco-Roman East (2010). His edition (with Giovanni Ruffini) of the first volume of Ostraka from Trimithis inaugurated ISAW’s series of digital books. He has also edited many volumes of papyri and other ancient texts. He directs NYU’s excavation project at Amheida (jointly sponsored with Columbia) in the Dakhla Oasis in Egypt. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the Académie Royale de Belgique, as well as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the British Academy.
Bagnall is one of the general editors of the 13-volume Encyclopedia of Ancient History, which appeared from Wiley-Blackwell in November 2012. Other current projects include editing the graffiti from the basilica in the agora of ancient Smyrna and publication of texts from the excavations at Amheida and Berenike. Publications are available at https://archive.nyu.edu/handle/2451/28115.
Hands Along the Nile Development Services (HANDS)
Jennifer A. Cate, Executive Director,
“HANDS is a nonprofit organization that supports development in the most underserved Egyptian communities. For the past 26 years, HANDS has focused on helping to raise the quality of life for youth, women, people with disabilities, and the poorest of the poor in communities across Egypt. Our work includes job-skills training, entrepreneurship coaching, healthcare and building the capacity of local NGOs. The first image is in a garbage collectors’ community, where we have been working to educate the women and provide marketable skills as well as helping the men to formalize their trash collecting and recycling businesses. The second photo is with a group of our young entrepreneurs” www.handsalongthenile.org
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