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Programme 2016-2017 (part) and 2017-2018


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. This is a full day, commencing at approximately 09.30 with registration, four sessions and then ending around 16.30.

16 September 2017: AGM followed by :
Dr Joanna Kiffin: 'A Woman's Place: Female Bodies in Egyptian Medicine and Literature.'

When women are mentioned in the context of ancient Egypt, it’s often with the assumption or implication that they were considered second-class citizens - illiterate, restricted to the spheres of childbearing and homemaking, given less space in the historical record, depicted as subservient in art. However, a close linguistic and textual analysis of magico-medical texts, and broader Egyptian literature shows a rather different picture. Exploring the evidence will allow us to draw a more nuanced picture of a woman’s place in ancient Egypt’. 

21 October 2017: 
David Goldsmith:
'Egyptian Tales of Middle Kingdom Literature'

Middle Kingdom talks do not come along very often. David will be showing examples of some popular and less known stories that entertained the upper classes of Middle Kingdom Ancient. David will also try to show who listened to these stories and why they were entertained by them.

18 November 2017:
Peter Phillips:
'But Where Did They Live?'

"When tourists visit Egypt, . . . they cannot fail to be impressed by the pyramids, temples and tombs that are everywhere. But all of these monuments were erected for the dead, built of stone so that they would last for "millions of years". If visitors pause for thought, they may ask the question "But where did they live ...?". In 2006, I visited you to give a lecture about the houses and palaces built in mud-brick that were the homes of the ancient Egyptians. In recent years this has become a "hot topic" among Egyptologists and the subject of current research. In this lecture I hope to be able to be able to give you a glimpse of more recent discoveries that are enabling us to build a picture of the way in which individual houses, villages and towns developed over the millennia."

09 December 2017: 
Ian Trumble:
'Egypt in Bolton' 

The Bolton Museum holds one of the largest British Egyptology collections outside London, including a world-renowned selection of ancient textiles. In this talk, Ian explains curatorial role in the collection's substntial refurbishment and re-display, accomodating a replica of the tomb of Tuthmose III, prior to its reopening in the summer of 2018.

This talk is followed by the Christmas Social, with fun and games and festive nibbles.

20 January 2018: 
Hilary Wilson:
'Three into Two Will Go: Artistic Conventions in Ancient Egypt' 

This talk explores the Egyptian conventions of illustrating solid objects in two dimensions in wall paintings and relief sculpture. This includes the use of colour and the combination of different views in one image to create an alternative to perspective as well as the canon of proportion employed for portrayal of the human form.

17 February 2018:
John Billman:
'Hatshepsut: The Eternal Female Pharaoh of Egypt - Her Monuments Explored' 

Daughter of one Pharaoh, widow of another, Hatshepsut is best known for becoming Egypt's first successful female ruler. This talk explores her monuments, from the Deir el-Bahri temple, considering both famous and lesser-known scenes and examples of archaism, to Karnak where she erected obelisks and constructed the Red Chapel, as well as evidence from Nubia which helps us to challenge the traditional narrative of this queen.

17 March 2018:
Violaine Chauvet:
'The Ptahshepses-corpus inspiration in the Decoration of an Old Kingdom Family Cluster' 

Inscribed and decorated material from a cluster of Old Kingdom tombs at Saqqara, has found its way into several collections in the UK; Aberdeen, Liverpool and the British Museum. While uncertainty remains over the relationships between the individuals buried in this cluster, the shared charecteristics of texts and tombs scenes suggest they belonged to a kin-group who engaged a single workshop to execute the tomb decoration.

21 April 2018: 
Roland Enmarche:
'The Tale of Sinuhe: Biography and Poetry in Middle Kingdom Literature' 

The Tale of Sinuhe, one of the best known works of Egyptian literature, was popular with ancient readers for over 750 years. The adventures of its eponymous hero constitute a profound meditation on human nature and what it meant to be an Egyptian. The lecture examines how the Tale relates to other Middle Kingdom texts in order to interpret the story's meaning.

19 May 2018:
Lucia Gahlin:
"'Brilliant Things:' Ancient Egyptian Faience" 

The material today called faience was known to the Ancient Egyptians as 'brilliant.' This lecture explores the developments in faience manufacture from the Predynastic to the Roman Period in Egypt (c4000BC - 400AD) and shows how Egyptian faience was used to make a wide range of practical and decorative objects.

16 June 2018: 
Glenn Worthington:
'Tutankhamun's Funeral' 

Tutankhamun's tomb is so unlike any other royal tomb in the Valley of the Kings that we have to ask if the objects buried with him are indicative of the funerary goods buried with other Pharaohs. How were the treasures chosen and how were they packed? Was the tomb cut for someone else and, if so, is there another tomb that was intended for him? Can we reconstruct the events of the day he was buried? This presentation examines the tomb and its contents to see what we can learn about the boy-king's funeral.

21 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.

Giza Pyramids