Monday, October 19, 2015

Ancient Egyptian archaeological site is topic of scholar's talk

Ancient Egyptian archaeological site is topic of scholar's talk

A renowned scholar of early Egyptian civilization will speak Wednesday at UW-La Crosse about one of the most important archaeological sites along the Nile River.

Renée Friedman, the Heagy Research Curator of Early Egypt at the British Museum, will speak on “The City of the Falcon: Egypt’s First Capital and Royal Cemetery at Hierakonpolis” at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Hesprich Auditorium, Graff Main Hall. Admission to the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center talk is free.

Hierakonpolis is famous as the origin of the Narmer Palette recording the unification of Egypt at the beginning of the First Dynasty, 3100 B.C. Five hundred years earlier, this site was one of the largest urban centers along the Nile.

Ongoing excavations are revealing tombs of regional kings who expressed their power in the size of their graves, along with carefully buried exotic wild animals. The site provides a glimpse behind the artistic symbols of power from the era.

In March 2014. the discovery of a nearly intact tomb provided a look at rituals that surrounded burials of Egypt’s early rulers. Evidence of restoration of this tomb’s structure during the First Dynasty indicates the continued memory of, and respect paid to, the early Predynastic rulers some 500 or even 1,000 years later.

Friedman, a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, in Egyptian archaeology, has worked at many sites throughout Egypt since 1980. She joined the team working at Hierakonpolis in 1983 and went on to become the director of the Hierakonpolis Expedition in 1996. She has carried out excavations every season since, discovering breweries, temples and the elite cemetery, and has authored many scholarly and popular articles on Hierakonpolis.

For more information, visit or call MVAC at 608-785-8454.