THURSDAY, October 19, 2017

The American Research Center in Egypt, New York Chapter (ARCE/NY), in co-sponsorship with the Archaeology Committee of The National Arts Club, presents the following in our 2017 Winter/Spring Lecture Series in celebration of the Archaeological Institute of America’s commemoration of International Archaeology Day:

“When Animals Were Gods: Exploring the Egyptian Pantheon “

SPEAKER: Dr. Yekaterina Barbash, Associate Curator, Egyptian, Classical, and Ancient Near Eastern Art, Brooklyn Museum

LOCATION:    The National Arts Club 
                            15 Gramercy Park South
                            New York, New York

ABSTRACT: From domestic pets to wild beasts, the ancient Egyptians held a deep respect for animals. Having keenly observed the specific qualities of each species in their environment the Egyptians often interpreted their strength, power, speed, and fertility, as evidence of an animal’s link to divinity, possessing qualities of the deity’s character. The complex, multifaceted nature of many animals represented a kind of divine diversity. This talk will explore the ancient Egyptian animal kingdom and its links to the pantheon of Egyptian gods. We will unravel the mysteries of Thoth, Sakhmet, Anubis and other deities and review the precursors to the exotic practice of animal mummification that occurred in the later periods of Egyptian history. The talk will serve as an in-depth introduction to the new Brooklyn Museum exhibition: Soulful Creatures. Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt (Sept. 29, 2017-Jan. 21, 2018).

TITLE: “When Women Ruled the World”

Speaker: Kara Cooney

Date & Time: Thursday, June 29, 2017, 6:00 p.m.


Dr. Kathlyn (Kara) Cooney is a professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture at UCLA. Specializing in craft production, coffin studies, and economies in the ancient world, Cooney received her PhD in Egyptology from Johns Hopkins University. In 2005, she was co-curator of Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Cooney produced a comparative archaeology television series, entitled Out of Egypt, which aired in 2009 on the Discovery Channel and is available online via Netflix and Amazon.

The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt, Cooney’s first trade book, was released in 2014 and benefits from her expert perspective on Egypt’s ancient history to craft an illuminating biography of its least well-known female king.
Almost no evidence of successful, long-term female leaders exists from the ancient world – in the Mediterranean, Near East, Africa, Central Asia, or East Asia. The female king of Egypt, Hatshepsut, was able to take the throne for a considerable length of time, but she could only do so by sharing power with a male ruler. Empress Lü ruled for sixteen years, but always with another male at her side. Cleopatra attempted to use her sexuality and money to build alliances with warlords of the Roman empire and keep its imperial exploitation at bay; Boudicca, a noble elite of Britain led her people against Roman legions once all her kinsmen were dead. These women were exceptions, and, for the most part, served as mere placeholders. 

A woman’s power in the ancient world (and perhaps even today) was always compromised from the outset, and this lecture will address the root causes of this social inequality. Given this social reality in the ancient world, how then did women negotiate their limited leadership 
roles? Were they able to rule “behind the throne” so to speak? How are we to find a woman’s power when it was so habitually cloaked by a man’s dominance? This lecture will address those questions and ask how much of this ancient reality still touches us today.


The American Research Center in Egypt, New York Chapter (ARCE/NY) is pleased to present the following lecture in our 2017 Winter/Spring Lecture Series.

TITLE: “Words in the Landscape: Exploring Egyptian Royal Living-Rock Stelae.”

SPEAKER: Jennifer Thum, MPhil Oxon,PhD Candidate in Archaeology, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University, (to be introduced by Tricia Coletto, ARCE/NY Board Member and Editor of the ARCE/NY e-Newsletter).

​ABSTRACT: Ancient Egypt was a culture of monumental building, particularly at the hands of the king, whose role was defined by his ability to mark order onto the territory he controlled. His messages were usually conveyed on built structures and freestanding stelae, which were the prescribed media for state programs. Yet there are some examples where the words and images we would expect to see on conventional monuments were instead inscribed onto “living rock”–cliffs and outcrops that are still in situ. Living-rock stelae were executed with many of the same formalities as their freestanding counterparts, but they appear to have been deployed by the kingship on a more restricted set of occasions. My dissertation uses landscape archaeology to explore the circumstances under which Egyptian kings chose to inscribe the landscape, and what those messages can tell us about how that landscape was understood. In this talk I will discuss the research I am currently doing for this project, including fieldwork trips to stelae sites in Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Jen is originally from Brooklyn, New York. She earned a B.A. in Archaeology from Barnard College in 2009 and an M.Phil. in Egyptology from Oxford, where she was a Clarendon Scholar, in 2012. Currently she is a PhD Candidate in Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University’s Joukowsky Institute. Jen’s field experience includes work as a small-finds specialist with the Megiddo Expedition and the NYU Excavations at Amheida. In 2015-2016 she co-curated an exhibit titled “Uncovering Ancient Egypt: Ancient Crafts, Modern Technologies,” which focused on research methods for Egyptian artifacts, at Brown’s Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology. Jen’s dissertation is a study of Egyptian royal living-rock stelae, examined through the lens of landscape archaeology. For her dissertation research she has traveled to Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia as a CAORC Mellon Mediterranean Regional Research Fellow and a fieldwork award from the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies. In 2017-2018 she will hold an ECA Fellowship and the Theodore N. Romanoff Prize from the American Research Center in Egypt. Jen’s dissertation fieldwork comprises a strong outreach component, including an online newsletter called The Interactive Dissertation.

Royal inscriptions on Konosso Island. Photo courtesy, Jen Thum

“Conserving Cairo: 1882 – 2011”

ABSTRACT: This presentation offers a retrospective view of the history of architectural conservation in Cairo. Blessed, or perhaps cursed, with an astonishing number and variety of historic structures, Cairo has served as a physical laboratory for different conservation approaches from the time of the foundation of the ‘Committee for the Conservation of Monuments of Arab Art’ in 1882 until the present. The lecture addresses many of these approaches ranging from ‘honest repair’ to ‘Disney-esque’ fabrication, and looks behind them to motivations that vary from the aesthetic to the commercial. Recent attempts to quantify Cairo’s architectural heritage, to devise strategies for its economically sustainable re-use, and to expand the scope of preservation efforts to include late-19th and early-20th century buildings will also be discussed in the context of recent civil conflict.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Nicholas Warner is an architect trained at Cambridge University in England. He has lived in Egypt since 1993. His primary field of research is the Islamic architecture of Cairo, but he has also participated in or directed numerous projects related to the documentation, preservation, and presentation of historic structures and archaeological material throughout the country. These include projects undertaken for ARCE at the Ottoman fort at Quseir on the Red Sea coast, the tombs of Anen and Menna on the West Bank of Luxor, the Roman fortress of Babylon in Cairo and the late-antique monastic churches of Sohag. He has also worked for ISAW at Amheida in the Dakhla Oasis. His academic publications include The Monuments of Historic Cairo: a map and descriptive catalogue and The True Description of Cairo: a sixteenth-century Venetian view.

Lecture: “Enigmatic Sites and Headless Nubians: Exploring the Eastern Desert of Late Roman Egypt”

Date & Time: Thursday, February 2, 2017; 6:00PM

Alberto Urcia Photographing Wadi Debaiya.
Photo courtesy of C.M. Darnell

Speaker: Colleen Manassa Darnell

ARCE NY logo curtesy of Christian Casey – All content Copyright (c) 2020 by ARCE/NY

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