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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

August 9 Northern Cal. Egyptology Lecture: Death in the Mut Precinct, by Dr. Betsy Bryan

The Northern California Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt; the Department of Near Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley; and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley, are sponsoring the following lecture:

Death in the Mut Precinct: Burial and execution in the Second Intermediate Period

By Betsy M. Bryan, Johns Hopkins University

WHEN:    2:30 p.m. Sunday, August 9, 2015
WHERE:   Barrows Hall, Near Eastern Studies Lounge, Room 20, Barrow Lane and Bancroft Way, UC Berkeley

About the Lecture:

In 2011 the Johns Hopkins Expedition discovered a human skeleton south of the Isheru lake. The body lay between – and just below the level of -- two sandstone bases for wooden columns placed early in the 18th Dynasty. The body, facing down, was in the position of a bound captive. Roxie Walker and Salima Ikram reconstructed the manner in which the death took place, and this will be summarized. The question arose as to whether the skeleton represents an execration ritual or an execution as punishment. This was explored further in 2012-15. A cemetery of the Second Intermediate Period was discovered in this same area behind the Lake. Some, if not all, of the burials are Pan Grave Nubians, but the last interments are of similar date to that of the face-down skeleton. This lecture will present the current understanding of the skeletons’ archaeological context and ethnicity and some possible historical circumstances to interpret the finds.

About the Lecturer:

Dr. Betsy M. Bryan is Alexander Badawy Professor of Egyptian Art and Archaeology at Johns Hopkins University, where she has taught since 1986. Dr Bryan specializes in the history, art, and archaeology of the New Kingdom in Egypt, ca. 1600-1000 B.C., with a particular emphasis on the 18th Dynasty, ca. 1550-1300 B.C.

Dr. Bryan's research interests include the organization and techniques of art production as well as the religious and cultural significance of tomb and temple decoration. As part of this research she has studied the unfinished elite painted tomb of the royal butler Suemniwet, ca. 1420 B.C., and is publishing it as a study in painting and its social meaning in the mid-18th Dynasty.

Her current fieldwork is in the temple complex of the goddess Mut at South Karnak. Dr. Bryan's research focuses on defining the earliest forms of the temple of Mut of Isheru. Retrieval and restoration of the decoration and architecture of the Hatshepsut and Thutmose III era-shrine is her present field project and is enlarged by study of the rituals represented by the early remains. She is currently preparing the publication of fifteen years of excavation at the Mut Temple precinct in south Karnak.

Dr. Bryan has also been interested in the presentation of Egypt's visual history to the public and has curated two major loan exhibitions.

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