ARCE/NY/ISAW LECTURE, Monday, MAY 21, 2018

“Transforming, Killing, Deactivating Statues in Ancient Egypt”,

Speaker: Dr. Simon Connor

ABSTRACT: Egyptian images can be considered as powerful, meaningful, active agents. One of the best proofs of their importance in ancient Egyptian society is the very fact that they so often show signs of intentional transformation, mutilation, in specific spots on the figures, and sometimes also of total destruction. Some statues could be reused several times in sometimes very distant periods, and bear on their surface transformations in order to “update” them, maybe to “re-activate” them. The reasons for such a reuse of ancient statues are not only economic: indeed the phase of Egyptian civilization which attests the most evidence of this practice is the Ramesside period (ca 1300-1070 BC), which is also one of the most brilliant and probably wealthiest of Egyptian history.
The visitor who walks through the galleries of a museum will also notice that most of the Egyptian statues surrounding him or her have been – more or less deeply – altered, in such a way that finding an intact piece is in fact quite exceptional. If some damages may be due to natural or accidental causes, the analysis of archaeological contexts and textual sources, as well as the seriation and observation of the material itself, allow recognizing intentional mutilation or total destruction of images as a common practice throughout Egyptian history, for a variety of factors. 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Connor received his PhD in “History, Art & Archaeology” at Brussels University in 2014. His dissertation was entitled “Images of Power in Egypt in the Late Middle Kingdom and the Second Intermediate Period”.

He served as a Curator in the Museo Egizio, Turin from 2014 – 2017 where he participated to the renovation and new display of the museum. From 2017 to 2018 Dr. Connor has had an Art History Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum where he has been working on traces of (re)-use, alteration, and mutilation on Egyptian images.

Dr. Connor has worked at archaeological missions in France, Italy and Egypt: in the Theban necropolis (Belgian Mission with Laurent Bavay and Dimitri Laboury), Dahshur (Funerary complex of Senwosret III, with the Metropolitan Museum of Art team, directed by Dieter Arnold and Adela Oppenheim), and currently Mataria/Heliopolis (Egyptian-German mission, directed by Dietrich Raue and Ayman el-Ashmawy).


The American Research Center in Egypt, New York Chapter (ARCE/NY), in co-sponsorship with New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW/NYU), presents the following in our 2018 Spring Lecture Series:

“Dirty Pictures for a Dangerous Goddess: The Turin Erotic Papyrus ” 

Please Note: Due to the subject matter, this lecture is suitable for adults only.

SPEAKER: Dr. Ann Macy Roth, New York University

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: Papyrus 55001 in Turin’s Museo Egizio, often called the “Turin Erotic Papyrus” has long been a subject of intense Egyptological interest despite its rather fragmentary state. Almost certainly the product of the community of royal artists at the village of Deir el-Medina on the west bank at Thebes, it dates to the later New Kingdom period, probably to the reign of Ramesses III (roughly 1184-1153 BCE). Two thirds of its length shows a sequence of twelve couples in sexual poses while the remaining third depicts a wide variety of animals engaged in role-reversed or anthropomorphic activities. Diverse interpretations of the meaning and social function of the papyrus have been proposed, ranging from cosmological to pornographic to cautionary, although most scholars seem to agree that it was intended for male edification and titillation. This X-rated talk will propose a new interpretation of the social function of the papyrus and suggest a rather different audience, pointing to a reinterpretation of ancient Egyptian erotica more generally.


The American Research Center in Egypt, New York Chapter (ARCE/NY), in co-sponsorship with New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW/NYU), presents the following in our 2018 Winter/Spring Lecture Series:

“My Violent King: War and Violence in Non-Royal​ Sources”

SPEAKER: Dr. NIV Allon, Assistant Curator of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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

R.S.V.P. REQUIRED: Please reply to

ABSTRACT: Representations of violence abound in ancient Egyptian art and texts, where the figure of the smiting king is one of the longest enduring images. Trampling the nine bows with every step or recounting his victories in far away territories, the king is featured as a victorious conquerer who defeats Egypt’s enemies with vigor and violence. Many of these representations belong, however, to the royal sphere, and this paper will explore New Kingdom tomb art, autobiographical texts, stelae, and other objects to consider the image of the violent king among the elite and its own concepts of violence.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Niv Allon received his PhD in Egyptology from Yale University in 2014. That same year, he joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art as an assistant curator in the Department of Egyptian Art. He recently co-authored a book on Ancient Egyptian Scribes: A Cultural Exploration, which came out last May with Bloomsbury and he is currently working on a book manuscript titled “Writing, Violence, and the Military: Images of Writing in Eighteenth Dynasty Egypt.” 


This New York lecture has been arranged with the support of ARCE and Walbridge, Inc.


LOCATION: The Egyptian Consulate, 866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 586 New York, NY 10017 (48th street and 1st Avenue)

ABSTRACT: In 1912 the French engineer Gaston Jondet discovered the remains on an ancient submerged harbor under Alexandria’s water. Since, several underwater archaeological sites were discovered in Egypt, including some of the most unique sites in the world. That includes the remains of the Ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria Pharos, the submerged towns Herakleion and Canopus and several shipwrecks from different time periods. In addition to underwater sites, numerous maritime archeological sites were also discovered along the Mediterranean and Red Sea coastlines. That includes several harbor sites that date from the Old Egyptian Kingdom until the Late Roman period. Moreover, several archaeological sites were also discovered along the coast of Lake Mareotis south of Alexandria. Hence, this presentation will discuss some of the most significant maritime archaeological sites that were discovered in Egypt during the past years.

SPEAKER: Dr. EMAD KHALIL, Professor of Maritime Acheology, Department of Archaeology and Greco-Roman Studies, Faculty of Arts, Alexandria University

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Khalil was the driving force to establish the 
Center for Maritime Archaeology and Underwater Heritage at Alexandria 
University, of which he is the Executive Director. In addition, he is the Professor 
of Maritime Archaeology, Department of Archaeology and Greco-Roman 
Studies, Faculty of Arts, Alexandria University, the Vice-Dean for Graduate 
Studies and Research. Dr. Khalil received his Ph.D. from the University of Southhampton, England and he is experienced in underwater field work.

ARCE/NY and the National Arts Club Lecture, Monday, June 18, 2018

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 2018 Winter / Spring lecture series:

“Egyptian Stories Revealed: The Met’s Exciting New Acquisitions”

Speaker: Dr. Diana Craig Patch, Lila Acheson Wallace Curator in Charge of the Department of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Coffin Lid of Nedjemankh, Purchase 2017 Benefit Fund; Lila Acheson Wallace Gift; Louis V. Bell, Harris Brisbane Dick, Fletcher, and Rogers Funds and Joseph Pulitzer Begquest; Leona Sobel Education and the Camille M. Lownds Funds, and 2016 Benefit Fund, 2017 (2017.255a, b)

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

ABSTRACT: Many of the objects in the Met’s Egyptian collection are old favorites with our visitors: William, the blue hippo, the exquisite lips of a queen in yellow jasper, the graceful models from Meketre’s tomb, or the serene-looking statue of Hatshepsut in indurated limestone. The stories that these pieces tell about ancient Egypt are well known. This presentation shares new narratives uncovered as five new acquisition were studied . These fascinating objects open new windows into the ongoing study of ancient Egyptian culture.

Vessels from the Haraga Treasure
, Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 2014 (2014.619.1-5)

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Diana Craig Patch is the Lila Acheson Wallace Curator in Charge of the Department of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has been with the department from 1991 and was appointed head of Egyptian Art in 2012. During her time at The Met she curated the highly regarded exhibition on Predynastic and Early Dynastic art, Dawn of Egyptian Art (April 10 – August 5, 2012) and Cleopatra’s Needle (December 3, 2013 – June 8, 2014) about the obelisk in New York City’s Central Park and the role obelisks have played in the history of Western culture. Most recently she was instrumental in the acquisition of the gilded coffin of the priest Nedjemankh and is organizing an exhibition around this important acquisition. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. Patch has been an archaeologist for almost fifty years, and currently is the Co-Director of the Joint Expedition to Malqata. She has published widely and most recently on Predynastic and Early Dynastic art and archaeology and Middle Kingdom and early Eighteenth Dynasty jewelry.


“Understanding Ancient Egyptian Comics: Conversations, Quarrels, and Songs in Ancient Egyptian Tombs”

SPEAKER:  Dr. Stephen Harvey, Director, Ahmose and Tetisheri Project.

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: Since Egyptian hieroglyphs could first be read again in the modern era, it has been recognized that texts recorded on tomb walls include conversations, speeches, songs, and exclamations. The discovery of the tomb of Paheri at El Kab by the French expedition in 1799 was followed by the recognition by Champollion as early as 1828 that a “Song of the Threshers” might be recognized amidst the other texts accompanying the agricultural scenes, an identification that was met at first with skepticism. A series of other songs, speeches and conversations are featured in the scenes illustrating the seasons of Planting and Harvest on the west wall of Paheri’s burial chamber, and form a revival in the earliest New Kingdom of an important aspect of Old and Middle Kingdom tomb decoration. With their relatively straightforward sequences of tilling, sowing, harvesting, and processing, agricultural scenes have often productively been used in analyses of sequence in Egyptian visual narrative, and the recognition that speech captions function together with these scenes has led comics scholars (e.g. Scott McCloud) and some Egyptologists (Babcock, Angenot) to claim that Egyptian visual narratives may be seen as some of the earliest precursors to modern comics. A fresh look at some of the scenes and texts in Paheri’s tomb attempts to specifically address the aptness of the comparison between Egyptian visual strategies and comics, within the broader project of a re-examination of Egyptian narrative art at the dawn of the New Kingdom. 

BOUT THE SPEAKER: Since 1993, Stephen Harvey has been Director of the Ahmose and Tetisheri Project, which centers on excavation of the pyramidal complex of King Ahmose at Abydos, southern Egypt, under the aegis of the Pennsylvania-Yale-Institute of Fine Arts, NYU Expedition to Abydos. 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 resulted in major discoveries, including several previously undiscovered temples, the identification of the pyramid of Queen Tetisheri, and the analysis of thousands of fragments of the temples’ decorative program. 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).  

Harvey has held teaching and curatorial positions at a number of leading Egyptological institutions. 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), as well as on national news programs in the US. He has been invited to lecture at many institutions in the United States, 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 taught several courses for the Bloomsbury Summer School in London and in Egypt.


“Despicable Kings and Debased Rivals: The Enemies of Ramses II in the Battle of Kadesh Reliefs”

SPEAKER:  Dr. Tara Prakash, Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellow, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

An enemy chariot from the Battle of Kadesh scene at Ramses II’s temple at Abydos. Photo: T. Prakash

ABSTRACT:  During the Nineteenth Dynasty (ca. 1292-1191), King Ramses II tried to reestablish Egyptian control over the Syrian city of Kadesh which the Hittites of Anatolia had conquered in the late Eighteenth Dynasty. He recorded the epic battle that he fought at Kadesh against the Hittite Empire and its allies in a series of reliefs, which he had carved onto temple walls throughout Egypt. These reliefs preserve multiple textual and pictorial accounts of Ramses’ struggle. In this lecture, I will consider how the Egyptians portrayed the Hittite king and his coalition in the Kadesh texts and images in order to shed light on both the Egyptian conception of foreigners and the purpose of these reliefs inside the Egyptian temple. 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Tara Prakash received her PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Her dissertation was the first comprehensive study of the prisoner statues, a series of late Old Kingdom statues of kneeling bound foreigners, and she is preparing a book manuscript on this topic. Dr. Prakash is currently a Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the Egyptian Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Near Eastern Studies department at Johns Hopkins University, and she has also taught courses at the City College of New York. Dr. Prakash has worked with archaeological projects in Saqqara, Abydos, and Tel Kabri, Israel. Her research focuses on issues of ethnicity and identity, foreign interactions, artistic agency, and the visualization of pain and emotion in ancient Egypt.


The American Research Center in Egypt, New York Chapter (ARCE/NY), in co-sponsorship with the Egyptological Seminar of New York, presents the following lecture:

“Egyptian Coffins: Exploring the carpenter’s craft for the afterlife.”

SPEAKER:  Dr. Geoffry Killen, Egyptologist and author of Ancient Egyptian Furniture. 

ABSTRACT:  Egyptians invested time and considerable material resources when preparing for death. At Deir el-Medina we have evidence of the production and quality procedures employed by carpenters when manufacturing a coffin for a client. Once the carpenter had manufactured the coffin carcase it provided coffin painters with the opportunity to create examples of magnificent funerary art. In preparation for the recent coffin exhibition, Death on the Nile held at the Fitzwilliam Museum we had the opportunity to analyse a range of different coffins. This included employing new scanning technologies to help us understand the complex nature of coffin construction that is hidden below layers of paint and varnish.  

ABOUT THE SPEAKER:  Geoffrey Killen is a leading Egyptologist, wood technologist, and furniture historian whose expertise embraces forty years of research in the areas of Ancient Egyptian Furniture and Woodworking Technology. Dr. Killen has studied the collections of Egyptian furniture and woodwork at most of the major world museums including the Egyptian Antiquities Museum, Cairo. He has lectured and given practical demonstrations of Ancient Egyptian woodworking processes and techniques in the United States of America and Britain. He has written extensively on the subject and also led in the field of experimental archaeology where making and using replica woodworking tools and equipment has generated and tested archaeological hypotheses. His practical work is now displayed together with those original artifacts in several British museums.


The American Research Center in Egypt, New York Chapter (ARCE/NY), presents the following in our 2018 Fall Lecture Series:

“Conserving Kushite Tombs of the Theban Necropolis:
 South Asasif Conservation Project 2016-2018”

This lecture is dedicated to Jack Josephson and Dr. Magda Saleh.

Dr. Elena Pishikova
Photo: Dr. Katherine Blakeney, South Asasif Conservation Project

ABSTRACT:  The early Kushite tombs of the Theban necropolis, the tomb of Mayor of Thebes Karabasken (TT 391) and First aq priest of Amun Karakhamun (TT 223) were considered completely ruined by floods and later occupation until rediscovered in 2006 by the South Asasif Conservation Project, directed by Dr. Elena Pischikova. The South Asasif Conservation Project is an American-Egyptian archaeological team working under the auspices of the Ministry of Antiquities of Egypt. For twelve years the international team of the Project has been clearing, conserving and reconstructing the tombs of the South Asasif necropolis. The collapsed tomb of Karakhamun is being rebuilt from the floor up in order to reinstate tens of thousands of fragments of the tomb’s decoration found during its clearing. 

The highlights of the talk will be the recent discoveries and reconstructions of the Project: the red granite sarcophagus of Karabasken, canopic jars of Lady Amenirdis, architectural features decorated for the “new” High Steward of the God’s Wife, Padibastet in the tomb of Karabasken and reconstructions of the Second Pillared Hall and Tornische in the tomb of Karakhamun. 

The process of reconstructing the ruined tomb of Karakhamun offers a unique opportunity for exercising what can be called experimental art history, allowing to merge the roles of an epigrapher in recording the ancient monument, and that of co-creator of a tomb providing unique insights into the time of the revival of monumental decorated tomb building. One of the aspects of the art historical research in the tomb focuses on mapping the distribution of styles of execution or implementation of iconography within the tomb, their earlier references and tools of transmission. The stylistic landscape of the tomb of Karakhamun will be discussed on the basis of examples of numerous images of the tomb owner throughout the tomb and their reflection of the technical aspects of the process of tomb decoration as well as the ritual and theological importance of different areas of the tomb.  

ABOUT THE SPEAKER:  Dr. Elena Pischikova is the director of the American-Egyptian team South Asasif Conservation Project and Research Scholar at the American University in Cairo. She has directed the Project since 2006 conducting clearing, conservation and reconstruction of the tombs of the South Asasif necropolis. Dr. Pischikova previously directed the Metropolitan Museum/ARCE project at the tomb of Nespakashuty (TT 312) at Deir el Bahri. Dr. Pischikova worked at the Metropolitan Museum, New York and Fairfield Universities. She held postdoctoral fellowships at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU and the Egyptian Department of the Metropolitan Museum. 

Dr. Pischikova is a co-organizer of a recurrent international conference Thebes in the First Millennium BC in Luxor, Egypt. Among her publications are Thebes in the First Millennium BC: Art and Archaeology of the Kushite Period and Beyond, edited by Elena Pischikova, Julia Budka and Kenneth Griffin (London: Golden House Publications, 2018), Tombs of the South Asasif Nectopolis: New Discoveries and Research 2012-2014, edited by Elena Pischikova (Cairo, New York: The American University in Cairo Press, 2017) and many others.

Photo: Dr. Katherine Blakeney, South Asasif Conservation Project


The American Research Center in Egypt, New York Chapter (ARCE/NY), presents the following in our 2018 Fall/Winter Lecture Series:

Ancient Egyptian Medicine and Health in the Eyes of Modern Science

SPEAKER: Professor Sahar Saleem, M.D. Faculty of Medicine-Cairo University 

LOCATION: Egyptian Consulate, 866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 586 New York, NY (48th St. and 1st Avenue)

ABSTRACT: The lecture will discuss medical practice, health, and diseases of ancient Egyptians based on evidences from medical papyri, inscriptions, statues, tools, as well as forensic and radiographic findings in mummies and skeletons. The findings of the CT studies of the Pharaohs and queens of the New Kingdom will be discussed as an important source of information about health and diseases of ancient Egyptians. The medical practice, health, and diseases of ancient Egyptians will be compared with our current knowledge and modern practice.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Sahar Saleem, M.D. is a professor of radiology at the Faculty of Medicine-Cairo University and invited visitor professor in Western Ontario, Canada, and Tennessee, USA. In addition to practicing (classic) radiology, Saleem is a renowned expert in mummies and imaging in archaeology (paleo-radiology). She is a member of the Egyptian Mummy Project in Egypt since 2007 and did the CT studies of the Royal Egyptian Mummies at Cairo Egyptian Museum. Saleem collaborated in several archaeological projects in Egypt, UK, Sicily, US, and Canada. She has several discoveries published in scientific journals (such as mummification secrets of subcutaneous packing and solving the mystery of death of Ramesses III). She is also the author of Scanning the Pharaohs book winner of CHOICE, Outstanding Academic Title 2016 and PROSE Award Popular Science book in 2017.

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