The annual event season at the ARCE Cairo Center returns this month and will run until March 2020. This year we are anticipating a wide range of exciting and diverse events, from book signings to film screenings, and seasonally themed lectures. To track our events, follow ARCE on Facebook or check our official website's events calendar. Email announcements for events will also be sent out at the start of each month.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Tarek Swelim speaking at the Cairo Center last November
Architecture and Decoration in Amarna-Period Tombs
September 18, 2019
Amy Butner, PhD Candidate, Emory University
Over the course of his brief reign, the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep IV instituted major changes to Egyptian art and religion. He shifted ritual focus from the god Amun, the traditional 'king of the gods,' and created a new cult to the deified sun-disk, a god named Aten. The king changed his own name to Akhenaten, and abandoned Amun's sacred city, Thebes, to build Akhetaten; a new city sacred to Aten near modern-day Amarna. Through architecture, decoration, and text the private tombs of Amarna served to express the identity of the tomb owner and his relationship to the king and society, and to ensure he lived on after death.
This talk explores the interaction of architecture and decoration of Amarna private tombs in order to address the creation of ritual space and illuminate transformations in funerary practices. In particular, Butner will focus on the experience of the living visitor to the tomb and how their understanding of the decoration is impacted by the physical conditions of the space itself, such as lighting, distance, or architecture. Tomb of MeryRe I
About the Speaker
Amy Butner received her master's in Ancient Egyptian Language and Culture from Leiden University in the Netherlands in 2011. Amy is currently a PhD Candidate in the Art History Department of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Her research interests center on the art of Ancient Egypt, with a focus on tomb design and the creation of ritual space. Butner came to Egypt as an ARCE fellow in the spring of this year to complete her dissertation, which explores the relationship between text, image, and architecture in the elite tombs of Amarna. She joined the Amarna excavation team under Dr. Barry Kemp for the summer season to complete her research.
As a supplement to her dissertation, Butner is also developing digital 3D models of the non-royal tombs of Amarna as they were described in Norman de Garis Davies' six-volume publication The Rock Tombs of El-Amarna. This project, currently titled "Digital Davies: The Rock Tombs of El-Amarna" is designed to make these invaluable books more accessible to both scholars and to the general public.
This free event is open to the public. Doors close at 5:50 p.m. Refreshments will be served after the lecture.