Northern Cal. Egyptology Lecture Nov. 5: Early Development of the Books of the Dead
The American Research Center in Egypt, Northern California Chapter, and the Near Eastern Studies Department, University of California, Berkeley, invite you to attend a lecture by PETER F. DORMAN, Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago.
The Early Development of the Books of the Dead
Sunday, November 5, 3 pm Room 20 Barrows Hall UC Berkeley Campus
(Near the intersection of Bancroft Way and Barrow Lane)
A Holiday Souk precedes the lecture at 2 p.m., with sales of Egyptian-themed books, crafts and other items to benefit ARCE Northern California and the Baer-Keller Egyptology Library of the Department of Near Eastern Studies.
About the Lecture:
The ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead is an integral part of the long tradition of mortuary literature that descends from the earlier Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom and Coffin Texts of the Middle Kingdom. Included in private burials in the form of brilliantly illuminated papyrus scrolls beginning in the early New Kingdom, these scrolls were known in ancient times as the "Book of Coming Forth by Day," and their purpose was to help effect the transfiguration of the deceased's soul as an immortal, effective spirit.
The formulation of the Book of the Dead as a series of texts on a papyrus scroll, however, was by no means foreordained. In fact, the transmigration of ritual spells from coffins of the Middle Kingdom to papyri of the New Kingdom was determined by major changes in burial custom, which also entailed experimentation with different materials that could most effectively be used in private burials. This lecture traces those burial changes, the evolution of textual transmission, the origin of illustrated vignettes, the central role of Theban region in the creation of this new funerary tradition, and the somewhat surprising end product—namely, Books of the Dead that could be afforded only by the wealthy elite
About the Speaker:
Recently retired as Professor of History and Archaeology at the American University of Beirut (AUB), Peter Dorman is a humanist and an international leader in the study of the ancient Near East, in particular the field of Egyptology, in which he is a noted historiographer, epigrapher and philologist. He is the author and editor of several major books and many articles on the study of ancient Egypt and is probably best known for his historical work on the reign of Hatshepsut and the Amarna period. He completed his undergraduate studies at Amherst (BA, 1970) and his graduate work at the University of Chicago (PhD, 1985). An accomplished academic leader and administrator, before coming to AUB he chaired the distinguished Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Previously, he spent nine years (1988-1997) heading the epigraphic efforts at Chicago House in Luxor, Egypt. From 1977 to 1988, he worked in curatorial positions in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. His primary research interests are epigraphy (the study of monumental inscriptions), the history of the Egyptian New Kingdom, the archaeology of ancient Thebes (Luxor), and the intersection of art, text, and religious iconography. In July 2008, Peter Dorman became the 15th president of AUB and for seven years led the university in a major expansion of its medical center, advanced interdisciplinary research across the institution, doubled financial aid given to incoming students, and initiated the university's most ambitious fundraising campaign. ---------- 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.