Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Northern Cal. Egyptology Lecture Feb. 12: Egypt, Ugarit, Ba’al and the Puzzle of a Royal Rebuff

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:

Egypt, Ugarit, the God Ba’al
And the Puzzle of a Royal Rebuff

By Dr. Ellen Morris
Classics and Ancient Studies Department,
Barnard College, Columbia University

WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday, February 12, 2017
WHERE: 20 Barrows Hall, Barrow Lane and Bancroft Way, UC Berkeley
There is no admission, but donations are welcomed.
Baal thunderbolt Louvre
A stele of Baal with Thunderbolt found in the ruins of Ugarit. This is NOT the artifact referenced in this lecture.

A letter found in an archive at Ugarit indicates the rather surprising fact that the statue of Ba’al in one of Ugarit’s main temples had been a gift from the pharaoh Merneptah. Moreover, the letter reveals that the king of Ugarit wished the pharaoh to commission another statue, this time of himself, that could also be erected in the Ba’al temple. To this request, Merneptah replied evasively, preferring to tell a fib rather than to acquiesce to his correspondent’s request. This paper examines four different aspects of statues that may have been taken into account in such negotiations. It is argued that Ugarit was considering shifting its primary loyalty from Hatti to Egypt in the reign of Merneptah and that the provision of statues played an important part in these negotiations.

Ellen Morris has published extensively on issues pertinent to ancient Egyptian imperialism. Her first book is entitled The Architecture of Imperialism: Military Bases and the Evolution of Foreign Policy in Egypt’s New Kingdom (Brill, 2005), and she is currently in the process of finishing a book entitled Egyptian Imperialism (under contract to Wiley-Blackwell Press). This second book engages the work of scholars of early empires in examining various instances of Egyptian imperialism from an explicitly cross-cultural perspective.

Morris’s ongoing research interests and other publications focus on topics such as the dynamics of political fragmentation, state formation, sexuality and sacred performance, international relations and diplomacy, retainer sacrifice, and divine kingship. She has excavated in the Nile Valley at Abydos and Mendes, and at the site of Amheida in the Dakhleh Oasis. Morris did her graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania and earned her B.A. from Barnard College in Ancient Studies. Classes that she teaches at Columbia University include The Archaeology of Egypt and Nubia, Egypt in the Classical World, and Identity and Society in Ancient Egypt.

Parking is available in U.C. lots after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends for a fee. Ticket dispensing machines accept either $5 bills or $1 bills, and credit cards. Parking is available in Parking Structure B on Bancroft between Hearst Gym and Kroeber Hall and just across the street from the University Art Museum. Parking is also available under the shops on Bancroft opposite Barrows Hall. There is a parking structure under the Student Union further west on Bancroft.

A map of the campus is available online at
For more information, go to

No comments:

Post a Comment