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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Egypt Centre Collection Blog

Monday, 12 August 2019

An Object-focused History of Egypt via the Egypt Centre

As readers of this blog will be fully aware, the Egypt Centre are very keen on promoting object-based learning. The Egypt Centre works closely with the Department of Classics, Ancient History, and Egyptology in facilitating handling sessions for students at Swansea University. Additionally, the Egypt Centre also organises its own courses, workshops, and "curator's talks", which focus on the collection. I am therefore pleased to announce my new course, Ancient Egyptian History through the Egypt Centre, which will commence in October (fig. 1). This course is open to all, from students to staff, volunteers to the public.

Fig. 1: Course flyer

This ten-week course will take a different approach to the study of Egyptian history by drawing on objects in the Egypt Centre collection. Over the ten weeks participants will have the opportunity to handle over fifty objects, including many highlights and others currently kept in storage. Each week we will examine a different period, with PowerPoint lectures supplemented by handling sessions. The breakdown of the course is as follows:

10 Oct
Predynastic Period
17 Oct
Old Kingdom
24 Oct
First Intermediate Period
31 Oct
Middle Kingdom
07 Nov
Second Intermediate Period
14 Nov
New Kingdom
21 Nov
The Amarna Period
28 Nov
Third Intermediate Period
05 Dec
Late Period
12 Dec
Graeco-Roman Period

In the Predynastic week we will examine some D-Ware pottery, a cosmetic palette, a beautifully carved stone vessel, and an unusual Predynastic figure. The next week participants will have the opportunity to handle several bowls and dishes, an alabaster offering table, and our reserve head, all of which date to the Old Kingdom. The provincial art of the First Intermediate Period will be the main focus of week three, with three stelae being made available. Two of these are so-called "soldier stelae" (fig. 2), which were particularly common during this period and no doubt relate to the political instability of the time.

Fig. 2: Soldier Stela (W1366)

In week four we will examine several Middle Kingdom statues, including a cast of the Thirteenth Dynasty chancellor and royal scribe Senebtyfy, the original of which is in the British Museum. A stela, statue, hyksos axe, and some Tell el-Yahudiyeh ware will be available for study during the Second Intermediate Period week. Weeks six and seven cover the New Kingdom, with a relief of Neferure (fig. 3), a statue base of the Nineteenth Dynasty vizier Paser, and an offering stand of the infamous Paneb under discussion in week six. With a large collection of objects originating from the Egypt Exploration Society's excavations at Amarna, week seven will include a fragment of a household stela, blue-painted ware, several ring bezels, and a broad collar.

Fig. 3: Relief of Neferure (W1376)

In the week dealing with the Third Intermediate Period we will examine some shabtis, a stela, a coffin fragment, and a rare scribal palette containing the only known image of the obscure ruler Djehutiemhat. Some more shabtis, a canopic jar, a bronze statue of Osiris, and a statue of the priest Iba will be available for study. The final week covers the Graeco-Roman Period, which will include a stela from Edfu, a wooden door of a small shrine, and a large granite head depicting an unknown Ptolemaic queen (fig. 4).

Fig. 4: Ptolemaic queen (W194)

Note that these classes, limited to a maximum 15 people per course, will not result in any credits gained and no assessment will be required. For more details or to book a place, please contact me or the Egypt Centre.

Cost: £120, or £60 for (active) volunteers
Length of course: 10 x 2 hour sessions
Venue: Studio Room, Taliesin Create, Singleton Campus
Time: Thursday 16:00–18:00 (starting 10 Oct 2019)
      or Thursday 18:30–20:30 (starting 10 Oct 2019)
--   Sent from my Linux system.

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