Study day 2016-2017
15th July 2017
Bernadette Brady - 'Introduction to Ancient Egyptian Astronomy'
The material evidence of Egypt leaves us with many tantalising clues concerning the astronomy of the Egyptians and its role in Egyptian culture. The Pyramid Text of the Old Kingdom reveals an astronomy which blended naked-eye observations of the heavens with religious beliefs and aspirations of the individuals and links the stars to the ascent of the soul. Evidence of the Coffin Text and diagonal star calendars reveals that this cultural astronomy and theology moved into the Middle Kingdom. By the New Kingdom the shifting Egyptian approach to astronomy shows innovations through the Ramesside star clocks and great astronomical ceilings of that period. By the Hellenistic period, however, the Dendera Zodiac reveals Egyptian sky mixed with and finally consumed by the Hellenistic view of the heavens.The Study Day is designed to introduce you to the Egyptian sky with its mythic, religious, and civic role in the Egyptian society. It will begin with the pyramids of the Old Kingdom and carry through to the Hellenistic period.
By the end of the day you should be able to look at a piece of Egyptian astronomical art or design and recognise its probable intentions and major themes. Handouts will be provided. Fee £20 for SAES members and £25 for non-members. Note that this is a full day, commencing with registration / doors open at 09.30 and an approximate start time of the first session at 09.45. There will be four sessions. Close out will be at approximately 16.30.
Session 1. Old Kingdom - The Sky, Stars and Lakes
Session 2. Middle Kingdom - Calendars and Sigonal Star Clocks
Session 3. New Kingdom - Sky Books and Ceilings
Session 4. New Kingdom to the Ptolemaic Period - Star Clocks and the Zodiac
Bernadette Brady holds a PhD in Anthropology (2012) and MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology (2005). She is a tutor in the Sophia Centre for the study of Cosmology in Culture at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David from 2008. Her main areas of research are within the field of ethnographical/astronomical work where she has published on the cultural influence of stars and the religious and cultural significance of the sky's movement. Some of her publications are focused on the Egyptain use of the sky - 'The Egyptian Ascension mythology of the Pyramid Texts with the phases of the stars' (CRE XII proceedings, Oxbow 2012) and 'The so-called northern constellations of the New Kingdom sky' presented at Malta 2014 (SEAC).
Study day 2017-2018
21st July 2018
Sarah Griffiths - 'Last of the Pharaohs: Incest, Intrigue and Bloodshed under the Ptolemies and Cleopatras'
The study day presents a vivid picture of Egypt's last ancient dynasty, from Ptolemy I to the famous Cleopatra VII, revealing the absorbing family dramas, exploring their distinctive art and architecture, daily life in Ptolemaic Egypt and the series of catastrophic events that led to the decline of the kingdom and its final annexation by Rome.
Fees will be announced nearer the event. Note that this is a full day, commencing with registration / doors open at 09.30 and an approximate start time of the first session at 09.45. There will be four sessions. Close out will be at approximately 16.30.
Sarah Griffith is the Secretary of the Manchester Ancient Egypt Society, putting together their monthly lecture programme. After 18 years with the BBC, she is now a Personal Development and Corporate Training Coach. As well as being Deputy Editor of Ancient Egypt Magazine, she lectures in Egyptology.