Ancient Archaeologists: How the High Priests of Osiris Transformed Abydos During the New Kingdom
By Dr. Stephen Harvey
Stony Brook University
LECTURE: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, November 15, 2015
SOUK: 1:30 p.m. Come early for the chapter's annual Souk and stock up on holiday gifts.
LOCATION: Room 20 Barrows Hall, Barrow Lane and Bancroft Way, UC Berkeley
No charge, donations are welcomed.
ABOUT THE LECTURE:
Perhaps like the popes of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the High Priests of Amun based Karnak temple in Luxor (ancient Thebes) at times held such power that their might rivaled that of the rulers they served. At Abydos, pilgrimage center and main site of the worship of Osiris, the god of rebirth and resurrection, the High Priests of Osiris during the New Kingdom (ca. 1525 - 1085 BCE) also held significant power, but their stories are less well-known to the general public. One family of powerful clerics at Abydos rose to great prominence during the time of the legendary pharaoh Ramesses the Great, and the best-known of these High Priests, a man named Wenennefer, left monuments of unusual creativity and innovation all across the sacred landscape of Abydos. Acting much as archaeologists do today, Wenennefer and some of his circle seem to have researched monuments, tombs, and places sacred to the earlier kings of Egypt, leaving traces of their activity in some of the oldest sites connected both to Osiris, the king of the underworld, and to the earliest kings of Egypt. Recent excavations by Stephen Harvey's team and others have revealed further evidence of the extent and nature of the fascinating activity of these ancient intellectuals and scholars, who did much to leave their own mark upon one of Egypt's most important spiritual centers.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Since 1993, Stephen Harvey (Ph.D., U. of PA) has been Director of the Ahmose and Tetisheri Project, which centers on excavation of the monumental complex of King Ahmose at Abydos, under the aegis of the Pennsylvania-Yale-Institute of Fine Arts, NYU Expedition to Abydos. Dr. Harvey's fieldwork in and around the pyramid complex of Ahmose (ca. 1550-1525 B.C.) has provided important new insight into temple architecture and decoration at the outset of Egypt's New Kingdom. His book on the excavations to date is forthcoming from the Oriental Institute Press, University of Chicago. He has also worked on archaeological projects in Egypt at Giza and Memphis, as well as in the U.S., Syria, and Turkey. Currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Stony Brook University, Dr. Harvey has been consulted on and interviewed for a number of television documentaries for NOVA on PBS, the History Channel, and National Geographic (among others). He has also been a popular lecturer for many years on tours to Egypt and the Near East sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, the Field Museum, the Explorer's Club, the Petrie Museum in London, and the Archaeological Institute of America. He has taught several courses for the Bloomsbury Summer School in London and in Egypt
Publicity Director, Northern California Chapter
American Research Center in Egypt