InEPWW Research Seminar, Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Papyrus Turin 55001:  A pictorial mystery

Cynthia May Sheikholeslami (The American University in Cairo)

Papyrus Turin 55001One of the most famous papyri in the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy, is the so-called “satirical-erotic papyrus” (papyrus Turin 55001), said to come from Dayr al-Madīnah, and known since the time of Champollion. The profusely illustrated papyrus containing little text has been interpreted in various ways, and said to be either one or two different compositions. The first part has been connected to the genre of animal fables, and seen as a satire on New Kingdom Theban society. It has also been viewed as a parody for private entertainment.  Another interpretation relates it to royal New Year’s festivities. It could be a manual for ritual activities during the Hathoric festival of drunkenness, celebrated in temples and at tombs.

Should the papyrus be considered as two separate documents or one? Which interpretation of its varied scenes is most probable? What can it add to our understanding of Egyptian visualization of knowledge at the end of the New Kingdom (ca. 1000 BC)?

Location: Room 430 Keir Hardie, Swansea University, Singleton Park Campus

Time: Wednesday, 2 May 2018, 4.00–6.00 pm.

(Free entry; all welcome! The presentation will be given in English.)


InENPWW Research Seminar, Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Sleeping hard? The sensual body, practicalities, and religious connotations of ancient Egyptian headrests

Dr. Katharina Zinn (University of Wales: Trinity Saint David)

Taking inspiration from Latour’s actants (2005), Barad’s agential realism (2007) and Bennett’s thing power (2010)—relating the potential of agency to materials and objects in human lives—the presented case study contributes to a discussion of the physical relationship of material objects and the human body through the lens of the New Materialisms, focusing on states when materiality seeps deliberately and dangerously into immateriality. This is explored at the example of unpublished headrests from the Cyfarthfa Castle Museum, Merthyr Tydfil, by looking on the intersection of bodies with the material that also could be interpreted as inter-material communication. Impressions of fabric on their wooden surface are presumably the imprint of bedding intended to ensure comfortable sleep, telling us about the sensual experience using these artefacts. The contact between skin and rough wood needed to be alleviated.

Location: SURF Room, Fulton House, Swansea University, Singleton Park Campus

Time: Tuesday, 13 March 2018, 4.00–6.00 pm.

(Free entry; all welcome! The presentation will be given in English.)

Donald Ryan talk cancelled

Apologies for the short notice but Dr. Donald P. Ryan is unable to join to deliver his lecture on his work in the Valley of the Kings, which was scheduled for Wednesday, 28 February 2018; weather conditions are affecting his ability to reach the UK.

At the moment Dr. Carolyn Graves-Brown has kindly agreed to step in with a “Curator’s Choice” lecture, sharing some of the highlights of the Egypt Centre. However, please do check the Egypt Centre’s Facebook page before setting out to double check if there may have to be a further cancelation due to bad weather.

Friends of the Egypt Centre February Lecture, 28 February 2018

The Valley of the Kings: Research and Discoveries in Several of the Lesser-known Tombs.

Dr. Donald P. Ryan (Pacific Lutheran University, Washington, USA).

The goal of the Pacific Lutheran University, Valley of the Kings Project, is to investigate several of the undecorated and typically smaller tombs found among the larger tombs in Egypt’s New Kingdom royal cemetery.

Over the years, the project has excavated 11 such tombs including KV 60 (with its purported mummy of Hatshepsut), KV 21 (a tomb likely for two 18th dynasty royal women), KV 48 (the tomb of the vizier of Amenhotep II), and three small tombs which contained the mummies of animals.

The project’s director, Donald P. Ryan, will provide a summary of the work thus far.

Location: Fulton House Room 2, Swansea University.

Time: Doors open at 6.30pm with the lecture starting at 7.00pm.


Sacred Landscapes and Legitimation in the New Kingdom Eastern Desert.

Anna Garnett (Curator at the Petrie Museum of Archaeology, UCL).

The Eastern Desert creates a setting where the mutual interaction between people and the landscape, as expressed though rock art, graffiti and monumental construction, developed over time, leaving behind narrative reminders of their authors’ journeys through the desert landscape. Royal cultic enclosures for the worship of local and national deities, and the cult of the divine king, were constructed at specific sites in the Eastern Desert during the New Kingdom (c. 1550-1069 BC) as visible markers of the pacification of the chaotic desert and integral components of conceptual ‘desertscapes’.

A number of desert shrines are well preserved as a result of the favourable environmental conditions in which they were built, forming memorials to specific deities whilst also expressing the divine role of the pharaoh in the peripheral regions of Egypt and serving as a constant reminder of the king’s domain, even when he himself was so far removed from the sites.

This paper will provide an overview to two of these sites (Wadi Hellal and Wadi Mia) and present the evidence for royal and divine legitimation in these desertscapes.

Location: SURF Room, Fulton House, Swansea University, Singleton Park Campus.

Time: Thursday, 23 November 2017, 4.30–6.00 pm. Presentation begins at 5:00 pm.

Free entry; all welcome! The lecture will be in English.

InENPWW Research Seminar, 9 November 2017

Egypt-on-Avon: Ancient Egypt in Bristol and Bath

Aidan M. Dodson (University of Bristol)

3bed870f14b80fe0d7c0fadc2df7ff01--women-in-history-explorationAncient Egypt first appears in Bristol and Bath in the 1820s, with exhibitions of mummies and an unwrapping. We will explore Egyptology and Egyptomania in this English region, which was the base for Amelia Edwards for her whole Egyptological career, and is the home to one of the most ambitious of all Egyptianizing architectural projects.
Location: Keir Hardie 152, Swansea University, Singleton Park Campus
Time: Thursday, 9 November 2017, 4.30–6.00 pm. The talk starts at 5.00.

(Free entry; all welcome! The lecture will be in English.)

Interpreting Egypt’s Past in Wales and the World