2021 Lectures

Amelia Edwards: The Founding of the Egyptian Exploration Fund and the Exodus

Speaker: Dr. Peter Feinman

December 16, 2021 at 6:00 pm. EST, FREE TO THE PUBLIC

Amelia Edwards

ABSTRACT: Amelia Edwards was the driving force behind the creation in 1882 of the Egyptian Exploration Fund (EEF, now Egyptian Exploration Society). The story of this individual is a remarkable one. As a woman of no money and no formal training in Egyptology who had spent decades of her life in totally unrelated activities, her formidable presence in the world of Egyptology would have been a surprise to those who had known her.

Along with her determination to promote Egyptology was her desire to find the route of the Exodus. She had written extensively about the Exodus and was certain she knew who the Pharaoh of the Exodus was. The first archaeology campaign by the EEF was to find the route of the Exodus and it appeared to have succeeded.

Edwards wrote before such discoveries as the Amarna Tablets, the Merneptah Stele, and Avaris. It is interesting to read her forcefully stated views based on the information she had available to her. One wonders what impact such discoveries would have had. But as important as finding the Exodus was at the dawn of Egyptology (as the Bible was at the dawn of Assyriology), the biblical emphasis soon was eclipsed by solely Egyptian concerns. The Exodus subsequently vanished from Egyptology save for some Evangelicals to where no self-respecting Egyptologist would take the Exodus too seriously.

In this presentation, Dr. Feinman will examine the life of Amelia Edwards at the dawn of Egyptology and how quickly things changed after she died.   

The Burials of the 25th Dynasty and Napatan Kings

SPEAKER:  Dr. Peter Lacovara

Color Reconstruction of Taharqo’s Coffin by Fran Wetherhead

ABSTRACT:  Although they were badly plundered, the tombs of the kings of the 25th  Dynasty pharaohs and their Napatan successors at El-Kurru and Nuri still contained numerous fragments of their original funerary equipment which were carefully recorded and preserved by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition. This record gives us an opportunity to reconstruct what these interments were like and how they reflected both Nubian artistic tradition and selective adaptation of Egyptian motifs.  

Dr. Lacovara

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.  Previously he has served as Assistant Curator in the Department of Ancient Egyptian, Nubian and Near Eastern Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Currently he is also Consulting Curator for the Egyptian Collection at the Albany Institute of History and Art and Visiting Research Scholar at the American University in Cairo. A

His archaeological fieldwork has included excavations at the Valley of the Kings at Thebes, the Palace city of Amenhotep III at Malqata in Western Thebes, Abydos, Hierakonpolis and at the Giza Plateau, and currently he is directing the survey and restoration of the site of Deir el-Ballas.  His publications include studies on Daily Life and Urbanism in Ancient Egypt, Egyptian Mortuary Traditions, and the Material Culture of Ancient Egypt and Nubia. 

Ancient Egyptian History: Why Bother?

SPEAKER: Dr. Marc Van De Mieroop, Columbia University.

ABSTRACT:  For those of us who are fascinated by the ancient history of Egypt it seems normal that the subject is taught in universities worldwide, but this may not be true for today’s students (and their parents paying the tuition bills). Does the subject have a relevance beyond mere knowledge of what happened in the past? As a long-time teacher of ancient Egyptian history to large audiences at Columbia University and author of a textbook on the subject, Professor Van De Mieroop will reflect on this question.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Marc Van De Mieroop is professor of history at Columbia University, where since the 1980s he has been teaching courses on the ancient histories of Egypt and the Near East. He has published numerous books on various aspects of ancient Near Eastern history, Egyptian history, and World History. His A History of Ancient Egypt just appeared in its second revised edition with Wiley-Blackwell publishers. He has received fellowships from, among others, the National Endowment of the Humanities, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the ACLS. 

The American Research Center in Egypt / New York in co-sponsorship with The National Arts Club presents:

The Recreation of Past Reality in Egypt 

WHEN: Wednesday, July 22, 2021, at 6:30 PM Eastern Time

SPEAKER: Dr. Stephen Vinson

ABSTRACT:  Indiana University Professor Stephen Michael Vinson will discuss Virtual Heritage, the application of computer visualization to archaeological objects and sites. He will cite examples currently being undertaken on Egyptian material culture and will explore possibilities for the future. One of the most exciting new approaches in Egyptology relates to high-quality, three-dimensional digital models which suggest entirely novel possibilities for scholarship and teaching, such as the virtual restorations of damaged artifacts or the depiction of virtual environments, so that material culture can be visualized in its original context. 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Vinson is the Chair of  the Department of Middle 
Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University, Bloomington. Dr. Vinson focuses on ancient Egyptian language and literature as well as the history of Graeco-Roman and ancient Egyptian transportation and trade, particularly involving boats and ships. He has a special interest in new technologies in particular advanced computer visualization as an Egyptological tool.   

JUNE 17 – 1:00 PM, ET

Hatshepsut and the Temple of Mut with Betsy Bryan

John Hopkins Professor Betsy Bryan discusses Hatshepsut, Queen and God’s Wife of Amun, in a lecture co-sponsored with the American Research Center in Egypt/New York. By 1470 B.C.E., Hatshepsut emerged as King, technically reigning alongside her stepson and nephew Thutmose III. He was still a youth and she dominated their coregency. As ruler she constructed numerous edifices, honoring the great gods of Thebes, Amun, and Mut. For Mut, she rebuilt the temple and renewed festival rites involving sacred drunkenness. Hatshepsut’s devotion to the Mut Temple connects her to Karnak, Luxor, and her glorious Deir el Bahri across the Nile.

Dr. Betsy Bryan

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Betsy Bryan is the Alexander Badawy Professor of Egyptian Art and Archaeology at Johns Hopkins University. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1980. Her areas of specialization are history, art and archaeology of the New Kingdom. Her current fieldwork is in the temple complex of the goddess Mut at South Karnak, and her research focuses on defining the earliest forms of the temple of Mut of Isheru. 

 Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 1:00 PM (EDT)

Shabtis for the Nubians: Material Colonization and Local Identities in the New Kingdom Egyptian Empire

SPEAKER: Dr. Rennan Lemos, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.

ABSTRACT:  The Egyptian New Kingdom colonization of Nubia materialized in different ways on local ground. Among Egyptian imperial strategies to establish their power in Nubia, a global objectscape comprised of a series of Egyptian-style items spread throughout Nubia. Early scholars interpreted the substitution of previous Nubian material culture for Egyptian-style objects as evidence of the acculturation of Nubian populations. However, looking at shabtis allows us to realize the different social roles performed by these foreign objects in local contexts in Nubia. This talk will focus on the shabti corpus from New Kingdom Nubia and examine the different roles performed by these objects, including the expression of local identities through objects  originally aimed to materialize foreign colonial rule.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr.Rennan Lemos recently completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the ERC-funded DiverseNile Project at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He has many years of excavation experience in Egypt and Sudan and most recently co-edited Current Perspectives in Sudanese and Nubian Archaeology, published by Archaeopress. 

The American Research Center in Egypt, New York Chapter (ARCE/NY), in co-sponsorship with  the Brainerd Memorial Library, Haddam Connecticut, presents: 

Aesop, Egypt, and the Origins and Reception of Fables

Time: Thursday, January 28, 2021, 2:00 P.M. Free to the Public

SPEAKER: Dr. Jennifer Miyuki Babcock

ABSTRACT: Traditionally, fables are defined as story-telling devices that are used as moralizing lessons, and are associated with Classical and Western culture; the fables of Aesop and La Fontaine, which have had an immense influence on modern contemporary culture, are perhaps the best-known examples. In fact, Aesop’s fables are often credited for the origin of modern day fables and have had a major influence in our contemporary definitions of what fables are. 

This talk will discuss fables that were developed before the hegemony of Western culture, and consider the role that Egyptian and Near Eastern narrative traditions had in influencing Classical sources, such as Aesopian fables. In this investigation, we will reevaluate the structure of the fable as a narrative device and reconsider its origins by looking at Babylonian contest literature and Egyptian myths that have been recorded in demotic and Greek papyri, and which may be illustrated in the ostraca and papyri of anthropomorphized animals from the site of Deir el-Medina.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER:

Dr. Jennifer Miyuki Babcock is an Adjunct Instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, a Visiting Assistant  Professor at Pratt University, and also an adjunct faculty member at The New School. She teaches survey art history  courses that range from prehistory to modern times, and also leads classes that focus on the ancient Mediterranean  world and its intercultural exchanges. Prior to teaching, she was a Postdoctoral Curatorial Associate at The Institute  for the Study of the Ancient World and has held research and fellowship positions at the Metropolitan Museum of  Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Brooklyn Museum. 

Dr. Babcock earned her PhD at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU in ancient Egyptian art and archaeology in 2014. Her dissertation, The Imagery of Anthropomorphized animals in New Kingdom Ostraca and Papyri: Their Artistic and  Cultural Significance demonstrates how the images of anthropomorphized animals are linked with major aspects of  Egyptian art, such as narrative, parody, and aesthetics. Currently, Dr. Babcock is revising her dissertation into a  book, and her manuscript, Tree Climbing Hippos and Ennobled Mice: Animal Fables in Ancient Egypt, is in press  with Brill Publishers. Faculty development grants and awards from The New School and The Fashion Institute of  Technology have supported her research interests, including the construction of visual narrative and the  development of ancient Egyptian iconography.

FEBRUARY 18, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.

Redefining the Hyksos: Immigration, Foreign Pharaohs, and Their Impact on Egyptian Civilization

Abstract: The Hyksos are often set up as the boogeymen of ancient Egypt – after a violent invasion, these foreign despots ruled the North of Egypt with an iron first, while a native Egyptian family in the South fought for Egypt’s liberation. However, archaeological investigation and the reanalysis of ancient texts shows that this narrative is simply political rhetoric created by the Egyptian kings to legitimize their own rule. In reality, the Hyksos were creatively strategic about the display of various aspects of their identities. To become fully Egyptian was never the goal; instead they actively maintained and advertised elements of their origins in order to support their ties to kinship and trade networks in West Asia. These kings were cosmopolitan diplomats who corresponded with much of the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean, and whose capital city was a titan of trade. They adopted and adapted elements of traditional Egyptian kingship, but negotiated these traditions with a West Asian spin, creating a rule uniquely suited to the eastern Delta. Further investigation of the social memory of these kings has even demonstrated that they were considered legitimate kings and the major power in Second Intermediate Period Egypt. In fact, the Hyksos and the West Asian immigrants of the period had a massive impact on Egyptian society, culture, and conceptions of kingship. The archetype of New Kingdom Egypt, considered the apex of ancient Egyptian society, would not have been possible without the influence of these West Asian immigrants or the rule of the Hyksos.

Bio: Danielle Candelora is an Egyptian archaeologist and an Assistant Professor of Ancient Mediterranean History at SUNY Cortland. She earned her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from UCLA, and her dissertation is entitled: Redefining the Hyksos: Immigration and Identity Negotiation in the Second Intermediate Period. Her research investigates the multivariate processes of identity negotiation in the Eastern Nile Delta during the Second Intermediate Period, an era of intensive immigration from the Levant which culminated in the rule of the Hyksos in the North of Egypt. She explores how immigrants integrated into and influenced Egyptian society, as well as the cultural blending which resulted. Danielle is a co-director of the AEF Osiris Ptah Nebankh Research Project, a co-director of the Museology Field School at the Museo Egizio di Torino, and a member of the UCLA Coffins Project directed by Kara Cooney.

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