2020 ARCE / NY Lectures

ARCE/NY LECTURE, Thursday, February 13, 2020

AMERICAN RESEARCH CENTER IN EGYPT/NEW YORK CHAPTER IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE CLASSICAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY.

The American Research Center in Egypt, New York Chapter (ARCE/NY) in co-sponsorship with the Classical Studies Department of Columbia University presents the following lecture in its Winter/Spring 2020 Lecture Series:

“Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt”  

SPEAKER: Dr. Edward Bleiberg, Senior Curator of Egyptian, Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Art at the Brooklyn Museum

LOCATION: Columbia University, 1200 Amsterdam Avenue, NY., NY. 10027, Schermerhorn Hall, Room 612 Campus Map: http://www.columbia.edu/files/columbia/content/morningsidemap_2013july.pdf 

ABSTRACT: Why are the noses broken on Egyptian statues? Why were other sculpted body parts, including eyes, arms, and feet, purposely shattered in antiquity? This talk examines the patterns of damage inflicted on images for personal, political, religious, and criminal reasons in ancient times. It illustrates how the damage to a statue can be read to reveal who broke it and why. The talk concentrates on the ancient world of the pharaohs and on the Late Antique world that emerged following Egyptian conversion to Christianity.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Egyptologist Edward Bleiberg is the Senior Curator of Egyptian, Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Art at the Brooklyn Museum. He joined the Brooklyn Museum in 1998 from the University of Memphis, Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology, where he had been Director and Associate Professor. A Pittsburgh native, he graduated from Haverford College in Pennsylvania. After graduate work at Yale University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dr. Bleiberg received an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He is the author of several books and articles on ancient Egyptian economy, Egyptian coffins, and the Jewish minority in ancient Egypt and ancient Rome. Exhibitions that Dr. Bleiberg has organized for Brooklyn include Jewish Life in Ancient Egypt, Tree of Paradise: Jewish Mosaics from the Roman Empire, and To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum, an exhibition exploring Egyptian burial customs that began an eleven-city tour in the summer of 2008.

ARCE/NY LECTURE, Thursday, January 30, 2020

The American Research Center in Egypt, New York Chapter (ARCE/NY) in co-sponsorship with the Department of Classics & Ancient Studies, Barnard College, Columbia University, presents the following lecture in its Winter/Spring 2020 Lecture Series:

“Sacred Dancers: Nubian Women as Priestesses of Hathor”

SPEAKER: Dr. Solange Ashby, Fellow, Catholic University’s Institute of Christian Oriental Research and the American Research Center in Egypt.

LOCATION: Barnard College, 223 Milbank Hall (Ella Weed Room), New York.

ABSTRACT: Nubian women appear in Egyptian tomb and temple paintings as dancers for the goddess Hathor during much of Egyptian history.  The women perform wearing multi-colored leather skirts, cowrie shell belts, and displaying tattoos on their breasts, abdomens, and thighs. Recently, several tattooed, mummified female bodies have been excavated from the C-Group Nubian cemetery at Hierakonpolis in southern Egypt. Similar tattoos appear on priestesses of Hathor who were also queens of the Egyptian king Mentuhotep II (2061-2010 BCE). In the nomadic C-Group culture of Lower Nubia, ritual and worship were not organized around a sacred text, nor were they carried out in a temple. Rather, many important rites of passage and worship were based in communal performance of dance and music. In such rituals the power of music and movement were harnessed to transport the worshipper into an ecstatic encounter with the Divine. Worshippers engaged in nocturnal rituals for the goddess Hathor sought this type of ecstatic encounter.Ancient Egyptian texts preserve the name of this sacred dance (ksks) and document the ritual processions of Nubians into Egypt as they accompanied the return of the goddess Hathor who was believed to reside in Nubia and return annually to Egypt. This paper will trace the enduring presence of this sacred dance through its performance in Egypt, Nubia, Meroe, and perhaps its survival among groups living in Ethiopia today.

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