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Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Reminder: ARCE-NC January 10 Lecture by Nicholas Brown, with Zoom registration link.

The American Research Center in Egypt, Northern California Chapter, and the Near Eastern Studies Department, University of California, Berkeley, invite you to attend a virtual lecture by Nicholas Brown, UCLA:

The Beautiful One Returns:
Nefertiti and the Altered Identities of an Icon

When: Sunday, January 10, 2021, 3 PM Pacific Time

Zoom Lecture. A registration link has been automatically sent to ARCE-NC members. Non-members may request a registration link by sending email with your name and email address to Attendance is limited, so non-members, please send any registration requests no later than January 8.

About the Lecture:

An image of the Nefertiti bust in Berlin, courtesy Wikimedia Commons, and an example of a graffito in Cairo, honoring Egypt's female protestors.

The bust of Nefertiti is, arguably, one of the most iconic and recognizable artifacts from the ancient world. Since her discovery in 1912, and public display in 1923, the use of Nefertiti as a symbol of German imperial power, dominance, and "care for the past" has turned her into an icon and symbol of Berlin and Germany. Subsequent requests by the Egyptian government for her return to Egypt have proved unsuccessful and she remains in Germany to this day. Though the Nefertiti bust is housed in the Neues Museum in Berlin, Egyptians identify her as a symbol of their country and culture. This paper discusses the use of Nefertiti as a symbol of Egypt, where she has been utilized to represent the country, people, and history of ancient Egypt to the modern state.

Though they may not be able to repatriate the physical object itself, by using Nefertiti's image and iconography, modern Egyptians are able to repatriate and re-appropriate her identity for their political, social, and economic use. In essence, the modern Egyptian state strategically and symbolically has taken ownership of Nefertiti once again. This lecture begins by outlining the current post-colonial theories of control and appropriation. It then explores the imperial and colonial adaptation of Nefertiti by Germany and compares this to how the people of Egypt have responded by altering her image, identity, and meaning through the lens of Egyptian Revolutionary Street Art.

About the Speaker:

Nicholas R. Brown (

Nicholas Brown is an American Egyptologist who has worked as an archaeologist in Egypt since 2011. He received his MA degree in Egyptology from the American University in Cairo in 2016, and currently is an Egyptology PhD student at the University of California, Los Angeles. His excavation experience includes working with archaeological sites in Aswan (at Elephantine Island and Wadi el-Hudi), as well as funerary sites in Luxor, Amarna and the Sudan. In 2016, Nicholas spent the summer working at the MFA, Boston as the Terrace Curatorial Research Associate in Egyptology. He returned to the MFA over the summer of 2019 to conduct archival research for the Egyptian Art Department's exhibit "Ancient Nubia Now." Nicholas's research interests include funerary material culture from the New Kingdom, as well as the use and perception of ancient Egypt within modern contexts.

About ARCE-NC:

For more information, please visit,,, or To join the chapter or renew your membership, please go to and select "Berkeley, CA" as your chapter when you sign up.

2020 yearender: Egypt's Archaeological extravaganza - Heritage - Al-Ahram Weekly - Ahram Online

2020 yearender: Egypt's Archaeological extravaganza

It's been a busy year for archaeologists. Several discoveries made international headlines and major museums and sites were inaugurated in an effort to revivify tourism, the hardest-hit sector due to coronavirus

Nevine El-Aref , Wednesday 30 Dec 2020
Sharm El-Sheikh Museum
Sharm El-Sheikh Museum
This year has been good for archaeology in Egypt, as several discoveries were announced and major museums and sites inaugurated after restoration and development over the course of the past 12 months. It has been a very busy year for Egyptologists, as they continue to explore and conserve Egypt's vast heritage and mysterious history, which always has interesting stories to tell.

The sun boat              hall in Sharm El-Sheikh Museum
The sun boat hall in Sharm El-Sheikh Museum

DISCOVERIES GALORE: One of the most-compelling discoveries is the Saqqara Coffins Cachette where a collection of more than 100 colourful, intact and sealed coffins was unearthed in the Saqqara Necropolis in November this year.

This find was so monumental that it has been named one of the Top 10 Most Important Discoveries of 2020 by the prestigious US Archaeology magazine. A collection of 40 wooden statues of Saqqara goddess Ptah Soker, some of which have gilded faces, along with four golden funerary masks and two beautifully carved wooden statues of a top officials, were also unearthed.

X-ray tests made on one of the mummies revealed that it belonged to a healthy man aged 45.

At the Al-Ghoreifa area of the Tuna Al-Gabal archaeological site in Minya governorate, Egyptian archaeologists uncovered several Late Period communal tombs of high priests of the god Djehuty and senior officials in the 15th nome of Upper Egypt and its capital Ashmunin.

Among the tombs uncovered were 16 tombs filled with about 20 sarcophagi and coffins of various shapes and sizes, including five anthropoid sarcophagi made of limestone and engraved with hieroglyphic texts and five wooden coffins in good condition, some of which were decorated with the names and titles of their owners.

More than 10,000 ushabti figurines made of blue and green faience, most of which are engraved with the titles of the deceased, were also found. More than 700 amulets of various shapes, sizes and materials, including heart scarabs, amulets of the gods, and amulets made of pure gold such an amulet in the shape of a winged cobra were found.

Many pottery vessels of different shapes and sizes used for funerary and religious purposes were also unearthed, along with tools for cutting stones and moving coffins such as wooden hammers and baskets made of palm fronds. The discovery included eight groups of painted canopic jars made of limestone with inscriptions showing the titles of its owner who took the title of the "singer of the god Thoth".

Two groups consisting of four canopic jars made of alabaster for a woman and a man were also unearthed, along with a group of stone images without any inscriptions representing the four sons of Horus. One of the discovered stone sarcophagi belonged to the son of Psamtik, who took the title of the "head of the royal treasury".

The Royal              Corridor
The Royal Corridor

INAUGURATIONS: There were many openings this year, among the most important being the Baron Empain Palace in Heliopolis, inaugurated by President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi with a view to developing it into a museum relating the history of Heliopolis.

The exhibition includes a collection of photographs, archival documents, maps, drawings and letters in relation to the history of the Heliopolis suburb, including Matariya. The awe-inspiring palace with its burnt sienna colour and distinguished Indian architectural style is as magnificent as it has always been and illustrates something of the creation of this elegant Cairo suburb.

The restoration work on the mansion, originally built in 1911, was carried out in collaboration with the Armed Forces Engineering Authority and the Arab Contractors Company with a budget of more than LE100 million. It was based on the original plans of the palace's French architect Alexander Marcel, and the team succeeded in solving even unexpected problems.

The Sharm El-Sheikh, Kafr Al-Sheikh and Royal Carriages museums in Cairo were also inaugurated by President Al-Sisi this year after renovation. Their opening on the same day was an exceptional event in the history of antiquities in Egypt, and the work was budgeted for a cumulative total of almost LE1 billion.

The Sharm El-Sheikh Museum is the first antiquities museum to be built in Sinai. The idea of building a museum on the peninsula started in 1999, and actual construction work began in 2003, though it stopped in 2011 in the aftermath of the 25 January Revolution.

Work resumed in early 2018 and was completed this year with a budget of LE812 million. The museum puts on display around 5,200 artefacts, ranging from the pre-historic period to modern times, as well as showing the rich urban and tribal culture of Sinai inhabitants. It is a cultural hub for all civilisations and a new tourist attraction in this coastal city that now combines cultural with leisure tourism.

The Kafr Al-Sheikh Museum displays a collection of distinguished artefacts showing the diversity of Egyptian civilisations through different ages. The idea of building a museum in Kafr Al-Sheikh started as early as 1992 when the governorate allocated a plot of land to host it. Work started in 2003, but stopped in 2011, and then resumed in 2018 with a budget of LE62 million.

The new museum is located in the Sanaa Gardens next to Kafr Al-Sheikh University and reflects the role that the city played in different periods, focusing on its position as a capital of Egypt during the ancient period.

Coffins              discovered in Saqqara
Coffins discovered in Saqqara

The Royal Carriages Museum, located on 26 July Street in Boulaq in Cairo, was inaugurated after years of closure for restoration and development with a budget of LE63 million. Its distinguished early 20th-century architecture and its beautiful entrance now add elegance to this crowded area of Cairo, with the museum reopening its doors to enable visitors to admire the exquisite royal carriages of members of the former ruling Mohamed Ali family.

Restoration work on the museum was started in 2001, but was halted in 2011 and only resumed in 2017. The museum building, in poor condition, has been rehabilitated, the walls and foundations consolidated, and facades and decorative elements restored. New lighting and security systems have been installed.

Meanwhile, the Hurghada Museum, Egypt's first to be established in partnership with the private sector, was inaugurated this year by Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli. It is a way of linking maritime and cultural tourism, and the government did not shoulder any financial burdens in the construction of the museum, which cost LE185 million, as these were met by the partner company.

This provided the requirements the ministry requested, such as showcases, the security and lighting systems, and the design of the museum's halls. Revenues will be equally divided between the ministry and the company, and the museum has state-of-the-art security system equipped with surveillance cameras and alarms.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities will be the sole authority responsible for the management and security of the Hurghada Museum collection, as well as anything related to antiquities, such as exhibition halls, and the maintenance and restoration labs.

A Horus              statue at Kafr Al-Sheikh Museum
A Horus statue at Kafr Al-Sheikh Museum

SYNAGOGUE, MOSQUE, AND PYRAMID: In Alexandria, the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue was inaugurated this year after massive renovation work that had been carried out under a cooperation protocol signed between the Tourism and Antiquities Ministry and the Armed Forces Engineering Authority in 2017.

The restoration of the synagogue delivers to the whole world a message of tolerance and acceptance of others. It reflects the Egyptian government's keenness to restore Egypt's monuments and archaeological sites, including Jewish, Coptic and Islamic sites, which represent the country's heritage.

Abdine's Al-Fath Royal Mosque in Cairo was also inaugurated after restoration. It had been closed for restoration for more than two years, as it had been suffering from deterioration. Walls were reinforced, cracks repaired, wooden and marble elements cleaned and refurbished, and the pulpit and mihrab repaired.

New sound, lighting and security systems were installed along with surveillance cameras and burglar alarms. The mosque overlooks the gardens of the Abdine Palace, and it was formerly known as the Abdine Mosque after its founder Abdine Bek, the Amir Al-Liwaa Al-Sultani (commander of the sultan's bodyguard) who founded it in 1729.

The mosque was restored by order of former king Fouad in 1918 and inaugurated in 1920.

Celebration              and medallion halls at the Royal Carriages Museum
Celebration and medallion halls at the Royal Carriages Museum

After 14 years of restoration, the Step Pyramid at Saqqara outside Cairo, the first stone building in history and the oldest pyramid in the world and consisting of six stacked terraces to a height of around 63 metres was inaugurated by Madbouli this year.

The Step Pyramid is the highlight of the Saqqara monuments. It is the oldest monumental stone building in history and Egypt's oldest pyramid. It was commissioned by Djoser (c 2667-2648 BCE). The architect was Imhotep, and he designed a layout in which the Step Pyramid was at the centre of a larger funerary complex.

The dimensions of the base are 121x109m. The pyramid has two entrances, one on its northern side, which is the original entrance, and another on the southern, which dates back to the 26th Dynasty. The complex also includes a colonnade entrance, the South Tomb, the Sed Festival Court, the Pavilions of the North and South, and a funerary temple to the north.

Kafr              Al-Sheikh Museum
Kafr Al-Sheikh Museum

SAFE TRAVEL: The pandemic took its toll on the majority of industries and sectors. Hospitality, aviation, and travel opportunities for antiquities, leisure, beach, and sports tourism were all hit hard.

Egypt's tourism sector, accounting for 12 to 15 per cent of the country's GDP, lost some $1 billion per month as the government in March suspended air traffic, closed hotels, restaurants, and cafés except for delivery services, and imposed a night-time curfew in order to halt the spread of the pandemic.

Although the tourism industry in Egypt was celebrating for the first three months of the year a record year as the number of tourists reached around two million, with the Covid-19 pandemic tourism was decimated, and the number of tourists after the resumption of inbound tourism starting in July reached around only one million from some 20 countries.

To support the industry and reduce the impact of the pandemic on the tourism sector and help in its recovery and the safe resumption of inbound tourism, the government issued hygiene safety regulations for all airports, hotels, restaurants, cafés, archaeological sites, and museums in Egypt.

It set a timeline for the resumption of tourism in light of the regulations. This was preceded by the complete disinfection of all hospitality establishments and archaeological museums and sites, and awareness programmes for employees and workers in the tourism sector.

Hotels and resorts that had obtained the hygiene safety certificate were gradually reopened to receive domestic tourism, with maximum occupancy rates of 25 per cent. This was then increased to 50 per cent. Restaurants that had obtained the certificate also started to reopen gradually, with maximum occupancy rates of 25 per cent and then 50 per cent, allowing them to receive guests until 10 pm and then until midnight.

In July, Egypt started to receive inbound tourism at certified hotels and resorts located in the coastal governorates of the Red Sea, South Sinai, and Marsa Matrouh, with maximum occupancy rates of 50 per cent. The three governorates had excellent epidemiological results, in addition to having well-equipped private and public hospitals.

Tourists flocking to these governorates were thus able to safely enjoy their vacations and return to their homelands without a single infection from Covid-19.

Egypt restarted cultural tourism in September after the reopening of archaeological sites and museums. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) granted Egypt its specially designed Safe Travel Stamp, which allowed travellers and other travel and tourism stakeholders to recognise destination authorities and companies around the world that have implemented health and hygiene protocols aligned with the WTTC's Safe Travels Protocols.

Qait Bey              Fortress
Qait Bey Fortress

All travellers arriving in Egypt were required to submit a recent negative PCR test certificate for Covid-19 done in the source country within a maximum of 72 hours prior to the time of departure of their direct flight to Egypt.

Those coming from Japan, China, Thailand, North and South America, Canada, and the London Heathrow, Paris, and Frankfurt airports were allowed to submit the certificate within a maximum of 96 hours prior to the time of departure of their flight to Egypt.

To facilitate the procedures, Egypt offered travellers arriving at the Sharm El-Sheikh, Taba, Hurghada and Marsa Alam airports the possibility of doing the PCR test upon arrival at a cost of $30 or the equivalent in other currencies.

To encourage inbound tourism, incentives were granted to airports in tourist governorates until April 2021, including on aviation fuel prices with a 10 per cent per gallon discount, 50 per cent discounts on landing and housing fees, and a 20 per cent discount on ground-handling fees.

Tourists arriving directly in Aswan, Luxor, Matrouh, Sinai South, and the Sea Red were exempted from visa fees until April 2021.

Tutankhamun              display in Hurghada Museum
Tutankhamun display in Hurghada Museum

SUPPORT FOR TOURISM: The cabinet issued decrees to support the tourism industry, such as postponing the payment of all debts owed by tourist companies and hotels for periods before the start of the coronavirus crisis.

Payments will begin from January 2021 as a result for electricity, water and gas consumption, and there has been an extension of the deadlines for tax returns for three months. Payments of income or value-added taxes have been deferred for a period of six months, as have social insurance contributions including the share of workers and tourist establishments.

Twenty-seven further nationalities, in addition to the 46 already allowed, can obtain visas at arrival ports in Egypt, provided that they have the guarantee of a tourist agent. Tourists who earlier obtained Egyptian entry visas and are citizens of the US, UK, or the Schengen countries have had their visas extended.

A reduction of $10 on the price of visas for tourists arriving at Luxor or Aswan airports has been available to encourage inbound tourism in Upper Egypt during the summer months of June, July, and August.

The Tourism and Antiquities Ministry has invested in technology during the pandemic and launched virtual tours of the country's archaeological sites and museums on its social-media platforms so that people can view the country's ancient heritage from home.

Under the slogan "Experience Egypt from home. Stay home. Stay safe," the initiative is part of the ministry's efforts to enable people worldwide to explore and enjoy ancient Egyptian civilisation during the coronavirus outbreak.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 24 December, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

Short link:


Monday, December 28, 2020

UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology

View items by UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology published on eScholarship.

AWOL - The Ancient World Online: Open Access Journal: The Journal of Ancient Egyptian Architecture
On 12/27/20 8:06 AM, Chuck Jones wrote:
Open Access Journal: The Journal of Ancient Egyptian Architecture [First posted in AWOL 20 December 2016, updated 27 December 2020]

The Journal of Ancient Egyptian Architecture
ISSN: 2472-999X
The Journal of Ancient Egyptian Architecture is a scientific, open access and annual periodical. Its purpose is to promote the publication of research devoted to Ancient Egyptian architecture (domestic, civil, military, ritual/religious and funerary), from the Predynastic Period to the Roman imperial era, whatever the modern geographical context (Egypt, Sudan, Near East, etc). The subject scope includes everything relating to construction, regardless of its original importance or purpose.

The journal publishes fieldwork reports and studies undertaken in the Egyptological tradition, including discussions of epigraphy and iconography, but also work that utilizes specific skills such as structural and materials sciences, or modern investigative techniques. In this way, JAEA seeks to encourage the development of detailed technical descriptions, and deeply theorized understanding (of architectural symbolism, propaganda, climatic and geological influences, etc.). This interdisciplinary approach will help connect adjacent areas of expertise which, alone, could not reflect the richness and complexity of the Ancient Egyptian built heritage.

The periodical welcomes any study that meets any one of these goals, only on the condition that the formatting and content of articles are subject to JAEA scientific publication requirements.

Volume 4 

Object Biography # 27: A ‘stick shabti’ of Teti-sa-intef (Acc. no. 6038) | Egypt at the Manchester Museum
On 12/17/20 9:07 AM, Campbell@Manchester wrote:
Object Biography # 27: A 'stick shabti' of Teti-sa-intef (Acc. no. 6038)

Although among the rather less prepossessing artefacts in the Manchester collection, this crudely carved wooden figurine holds significant interest. Often called a 'stick shabti', the figurine may in fact not really be a shabti – in the conventional Egyptological sense of a 'servant' – at all.

Acc. no. 6038. Photo: Glenn Janes

Often described as 'mummiform' in shape, several examples of similar crude wooden figurines have been found in small wooden coffins and/or wrapped in linen. They apparently all date to the laste Second Intermediate Period and early New Kingdom. A recent find by an Egyptian-Spanish team at Dra Abu el-Naga consisted of several such figurines wrapped in linen, some within a small wooden coffin. These were uncovered underneath the outer courtyard of the tomb of Djehuty (TT 11, reign of Hatshepsut) and appear to have been left there by a donor some time after the funeral – perhaps on the occasion of the 'Beautiful Festival of the Valley', when friends and family of the deceased would visit the tomb chapel.

Indeed, unlike most shabtis, which were buried close to the deceased in the inaccessible parts of the tomb, stick shabtis are mainly recorded as being found buried in the outer, open areas of tomb chapels – often in significant numbers. Texts are usually inked onto the wood but rather than the standard 'shabti spell' (Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead) these consist of names, titles and perhaps an offering formula, suggesting a different function to most shabtis.

The fact that these figurines are 'crude' to our eyes need not imply they were created or dedicated by less well-off people – several seems to have been commissioned by wealthy and important members of society. The choice of wood may represent a deliberate means of employing reworked detritus from coffin manufacture, imbued with a special power and connection to the deceased. There is also an intriguing suggestion that the use of the figurines in contexts such as the 'Beautiful Festival of the Valley' influenced the later perception recorded in Herodotus and Plutarch that a figure of the mummy was sometimes exhibited at Egyptian feasts.

Dra' Abu el-Naga' - Wikipedia
Dra Abu el Naga: Wikipedia

This example is dedicated to (rather than by) a man called Teti-sa-Intef (meaning 'Teti son of Intef', Intef being a name of some significance at Dra Abu el Naga from the Middle Kingdom onwards). Several other figurines are known donated in honour of this individual, known to come from the tomb of the mayor of Thebes Tetiky (TT 15) from the very beginning of the Eighteenth Dynasty and excavated by a team working for Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon in 1908. The Manchester example, although its precise find spot is not recorded, probably derived from the same area.

Fwd: AIA-Stanford Society - Sunday public lecture! (Salima Ikram lecture; digital archaeology panel)

Bring a Friend!

We would love to grow our society, so please consider bringing a friend...or any of our events.  Lectures and tours are free and it's a great way to introduce your friends to the wonders of archaeology!

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Membership in AIA helps support the great lecturers and programs provided by the Stanford society. Though membership is not required for attendance, your membership in AIA will guarantee that we will continue to be able to provide exceptional lectures and events. 

When you join AIA as a Society Member, you'll receive exclusive benefits and discounts.

  • To join or renew, log onto: 
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AIA Annual Conference

January 5-10


Have you ever wondered what it is like to go to the AIA conference, but weren't able to attend?  Now is your year!

Over a 5 day period, you will get to choose between different sessions on a wide range of archaeological topics. There really is something for everyone!


Registration is open, so join us for an exciting view into the current findings out in the world...


Click here to review the program....


Click here for Registration.... 


Dear Glenn,

We hope everyone had a wonderful, relaxing holiday.

This Sunday marks the beginning of the AIA Annual Conference.  

We hope you will be able to join us as we delve into the past...and bring some friends!
Society Sunday Public Lecture Registration

On January 3rd, the AIA will kick off its 122nd Annual Meeting with Society Sunday. Society Sunday is a special first-of-its-kind that brings together AIA members and the general public for a day of archaeological programming which includes two fantastic public events:
  •  an opening lecture and Q&A session with renowned Egyptologist Salima Ikram (11am PST) and
  • a panel discussion on Digital Archaeology for a Virtual World (1pm PST).
Discoveries in the Desert: The North Kharga Oasis Darb Ain Amur Survey
Kharga Oasis, the largest oasis in the western desert has been relatively unexplored until recently. Recent work has revealed a series of large Roman forts, petroglyphs, and Pharaonic inscriptions that reveal the long and rich history of exploitation of this oasis. An overview of new discoveries made by the North Kharga Oasis Darb Ain Amur Survey will be presented.

Lecture: January 3, 2021
Time: 11:00am PST
Where: Zoom

Panel Discussion:
AIA Societies Committee member Carolyn Laferrière moderates a panel discussion about digital archaeology. Hear from team members from Peopling the Past, Digital Hammurabi, and Everyday Orientalism.

Digital Hammurabi is a public outreach/digital humanities project that aims to provide reliable, accurate information about the Ancient Near East and surrounding areas in an entertaining and engaging fashion. Resources about the Ancient Near East are few and far between, and often filled with misinformation. Digital Hammurabi tries to fill that need through interviews with researchers, and educational videos, as well as self-published books aimed at a non-specialist audience.
Panelists: Megan Lewis and Joshua Bowen.
Peopling the Past is a Digital Humanities initiative that hosts free, open-access resources for teaching and learning about real people in the ancient world and the people who study them.
Panelist: Christine Johnston. Peopling the Past Team: Carolyn M. Laferriere, Chelsea A.M. Gardner, Christine Johnston, Megan Daniels, Melissa Funke and Sabrina C. Higgins.
Everyday Orientalism is a platform for discussing and challenging the ways in which western history and power have shaped people's views of the Middle East and other non-western cultures.
Panelists: Katherine Blouin and Rachel Mairns. Everyday Orientalism team: Katherine Blouin, Usama Ali Gad, and Rachel Mairns

Lecture: January 3, 2021
Time: 1:00pm PST
Where: Zoom

Our First Book Selection

Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt
by Nina Burleigh
Discussion: January 15, 2021
Time: 7:00pm
Where: Zoom

Click here to download a .pdf with important links and purchase information.

Only those registered will receive future emails about this selection.

If you have questions, concerns, problems, ideas...or just want to chat, feel free to reach out:

The next book selection will be the 2021 Holton winner, announced at this year's conference.

Future Lectures & Dates

January 5-10: AIA Annual Conference - Virtual

January 22: "The Villa dei Papyri: The Patrician, the King, the Engineer and the Oil Tycoon," Michael Boyd

February:  TBD

March 19: "The Roman Forum: A History," Laura Linkletter Rich

April 16: Aaron Burke, UCLA, topic TBA

May TBD: Eric & Diane Cline 
Annual Antony and Isabelle Raubitschek Memorial Lecture