Friday, April 24, 2015

Annual ARCE Convention - Day 1

     My daughter and I attended the first day of the annual American Research Center in Egypt convention today and heard some interesting papers. Here are two of the highlights of  the day (my next post will mention a few others):

1.     Julia Troche (Brown University) spoke on "The Origins of Apotheosis in Ancient Egypt" and discussed how to recognize when a private person had been deified. Some of the examples she gave of this include Djedi (lived in Dynasties IV - V, deified  somewhere between Dynasty V and VII), Mehu (lived in Dynasty VI, deified in Dynasty VI), Kagemni (lived in Dynasty VI and deified in Dynasty VI) and several others. These individuals met one or more of the following characteristics:
    • They had enduring fame long after their deaths
    • They were specifically referred to as "ntr" (god)
    • They were invoked in "htp di nswt'' formulas
    • A priesthood is known to have "supported" the person after their deaths
    • A shrine was built in their honor

2.     Maggie Bryson (Johns Hopkins) in a lecture entitled "Man, King, God? The Deification of Horemheb", examined the posthumous elevation of a number of New Kingdom Pharaohs to a status or ranking higher than those of other Pharaoh's of the period and conclude that there was
nothing special about how Horemheb was remembered after his death particularly when compared to other Pharaohs such as Amenhotep I who clearly were fondly "remembered" for centuries after their deaths.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Attending Annual ARCE Meeting

     I will be attending the annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt in Houston starting this coming Friday. There are some interesting papers being presented and I am looking forward to hearing what new insights the speakers will be giving us. I am particularly looking forward to two papers being presented on the newly discovered Pharaoh Senebkay (Dynasty 16). I will also be seeing the Egyptian collection at the Houston Museum of Natural Science for the first time and that should be interesting.

     Needless to say, I will post some updates on this blog when I get back.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Before Hatshepsut - Three Generations of Royal Women at the Birth of the New Kingdom

     Dr. Stephen Harvey did a lecture at the New York chapter of ARCE on April 8. The talk was about three major Egyptian Queens who came shortly before Hatshepsut at the end of  the Seventeenth and beginning of the Eighteenth Dynasty.

     Dr. Harvey has been working on the possible burial sites of Ahmose and his mother Tetisheri at Abydos for many years and had some interesting material to share with the group. He mentioned to those who had not yet heard that the actual name of the Seventeenth Dynasty Pharaoh Senakhtenre Tao I was Senakhtenre Ahmose (see an earlier post in this blog covering this news). He also mentioned that the correct reading of that king's successor was Sekenenre Djehuty-aa, rather than Sekenenre Tao II. This means that we have gone from having two kings in Dynasty Seventeen with the name Tao, to having none.

     At Abydos, Dr. Harvey has found a large stela dedicated to Tetisheri by Ahmose I where her title is given as "One United with the White Crown". Speculation (on my part, not Dr. Harvey's) is that the White Crown she was "united with" was her husband Senakhtenre Ahmose. Does this mean that we have here a tacit admission that the Theban sovereigns were not the rulers of all of Egypt. Of course we know that they were not, but some of Senakhtenre's predecessors liked to pretend that they were.

     Dr. Harvey also mentioned the paper written by Dr. Davies questioning the legitimacy of the famous statue of Queen Tetisheri that was once displayed in the British Museum (I also did a blog post on this topic a couple of years ago). Dr. Harvey agrees that the inscription on the status is a forgery, but thinks that the statue itself may be a real work of Synasty Seventeen art. (Note: Dr. Davies published his paper originally as an occasional paper at the British Museum. It was later re-printed in KMT Magazine, Volume 2, No. 4, Winter 1991 - 2).

     The lecture then moved on to discuss the burial of Queen Ahhotep, with the speaker pointing out that the wheeled boat found with he coffin (and bearing the name of Kamose) is the oldest representation of a wheeled vehicle known from ancient Egypt.

     It was also mentioned that Ahmose Nefertari's coffin (the last of the three queens discussed) is a bit odd in that it does not have a lid that runs the entire length of the coffin. Rather, only the top part of the coffin (from the arms up) can be removed from the "base". Also it was noted that several known vases bear the name of Ahmose Nefertari along with the title "Iti" (sovereign). Does this mean that She ruled Egypt (or at least southern Egypt)?

     The lecture was fascinating, contained a lot of interesting material and was well worth attending. I look forward to hearing Dr. Harvey address ARCE again in the future.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Famous Medium Geese Painting a Fake?

     The famous painting of the Medium Geese is being questioned as a possible fake. I noticed a reference to this on Jane Akshar's blog and thought I would pass it along.

     The painting is supposedly from a tomb at Medium that dates to the reign of Sneferu (the founder of Egypt's Fourth Dynasty) and is now in the Cairo Museum. A more detailed article about the research that led to this conclusion can be found here.

     If this painting is indeed a forgery it would be very disappointing as it is a truly beautiful work of art.