Papyrus Turin 55001: A pictorial mystery
Cynthia May Sheikholeslami (The American University in Cairo)
One 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.)