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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Monthly Updates from ARCE


ARCE's 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting will take place from April 22-25, 2021, from 09:00 AM US Eastern Time to 5:00 PM US Eastern Time. 

This year, each of the four consecutive days is divided into three concurrent speaker sessions where scholars and expedition leaders present their research findings and discuss the latest developments in their projects. Speaker sessions begin on the morning of April 22 (Thursday) and end in the evening of April 25 (Sunday). The ARCE 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting features approximately 100 individual presentations, plus a keynote presentation. All sessions for the Virtual Annual Meeting will be recorded. Registration includes free and unlimited access to all recordings for one year and will be made available at the end of the Virtual Annual Meeting. View our tentative itinerary HERE.

Photo Credit: Mark Voss

Another episode of ARCE's podcast is released! Listen to Dr. Steve Harvey as he continues our new "Kingship in Ancient Egypt" series with an episode titled "Kingship in Ancient Egypt: The Middle Kingdom."

Harvey discusses the lessons learnt by the kings of the Middle Kingdom from the first Intermediate Period, and the changes they made to ensure that this fragmentation won't happen again. He also speaks about how the kings of the Middle Kingdom had themselves represented in art and literature and what this says about the concept of kingship during this time as well as the differences between the pyramids of the Middle Kingdom and those of the Old Kingdom. The episode is available via ARCE's podcast page and on Apple, Google, and Spotify.


The origin of Women's History Month date back to 1987 where in 1980, U.S. President Jimmy Carter issued a proclamation declaring the week of March 8 as National Women's History Week to honor women's achievements.

To celebrate #womenshistorymonth and in light of this year's theme "Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced" we will be featuring historical female figures who played a significant role in shaping Egyptian history on our social media pages.


ARCE's Executive Director, Dr. Louise Bertini, will be speaking at the 2021 Culture Summit Abu Dhabi on March 9 at 5:30 PM EET/ 7:30 PM UAE/10:30 AM ET.  
The session titled; "Technology's Role in Preserving Cultural Heritage" will tackle how Google Arts & Culture helps their partners to bring their stories online for the world to explore.  
Culture Summit Abu Dhabi, a leading global forum which explores creative cultural solutions to the most pressing issues affecting the world today, will take place virtually from 8 to 10 March under the theme of 'The Cultural Economy and the Economy of Culture'. If you are interested to register, click here.


The American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) ,The American University in Cairo (AUC) and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) are organizing a joint conference titled Exalted Spirits: The Veneration of the Dead in Egypt through the Ages. This three-day conference will cover the veneration of deceased figures in Egypt from the Pharaonic period up to current times, using the diverse evidence available in terms of texts, images, and lived traditions.

We invite people to submit papers relating to the following topics: the definition of ancestor veneration; the different types of individuals who were the focus of cults of the dead [ranging from kings, deceased family members, prominent individuals with saintly powers in society—such as Imhotep in ancient Egypt, Saint Anthony in Coptic Egypt and the Ahl al-Bayt (family of the Prophet) in Islamic Egypt—or more informally in local society, such as Heqaib or local saints whose cults are currently celebrated in villages and towns throughout Egypt]; and the rituals, ceremonies and festivals that are associated with venerated deceased figures.  For more information and to submit your abstracts, click here.

THE THEBAN MAPPING PROJECT: YOUR DIGITAL PASSPORT TO THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS, based at the American University in Cairo, was used as a research tool by scholars and as an introduction to Egyptology by students of all ages. It received over one million hits monthly until it crashed in 2010 and could not be restored. Today, thanks to ARCE, the TMP website is back providing up to date information on Thebes and its monuments for a wide audience. The latest iteration of this data-rich portal is more accessible and engaging than ever. The website showcases the Valley of the Kings in its full magnitude, with in-depth information on its tombs and much more. To explore TMP and learn more about the marvels of the Valley of the Kings, check out this tutorial.

Photo Credit: Francis Dzikowski


Time: March 20, 2021 at 1:00 PM ET/ 8:00 PM EET

Lecture Topic: "Backwater Puritans?" Racism, Egyptological Stereotypes and the Intersection of Local and International at Kushite Tombos"

Egyptological and more popular perceptions of Nubia and the Kushite Dynasty (c. 747- 654 BCE) have framed Kush as a periphery to civilized Egypt, unsophisticated interlopers in Egypt and the broader Mediterranean world during the first millennium. Depictions of Nubians from earlier periods of Egyptian history, like Tutankhamen's painted box, reinforced these ideas of Nubian inferiority compared to Egypt and the Near East. But to what extent was Nubia a "backwater" to Egypt? For the Persians, depictions of Nubians and other foreigners presenting gifts at Persepolis represent the diversity of the empire paying homage to the Persian king as an all-lord. Archaeological evidence supports the more cosmopolitan Persian view of Kush against older racist Egyptological stereotypes of "barbaric" Nubians. For more information and to register, click here.   


Time: March 7, 2021 at 1:00 PM ET/ 7:00 PM EET

Lecture Topic: "Changing Old Paradigms: New Evidence from the Pyramid Complex of Sahura at Abusir."

In 2017,  the Egyptian mission removed the debris from Borchardt's excavation at the uppermost end of the northern side of the causeway, revealing the first settlement to be discovered around the pyramid complex of Sahura dated to the first millennium. The excavation continued in 2019 revealing new 4 blocks with polychrome reliefs. With the generous financial support of the Archaeological Endowment Fund (AEF) the work inside the pyramid of Sahura was undertaken. The work concentrated on cleaning the interior rooms as well as consolidating and restoring the pyramid substructure in order to prevent further collapse and to protect the pyramid. New evidence came to light that changed completely our understanding of the interior design of the pyramid and opened a new era of the history of the pyramid's exploration. For more information and to register, click here.


Time: March 27, 2021 at 1:00 PM ET/ 7:00 PM EET

Lecture Topic: "Zikra: Remembering 'Abd al-Halim Hafiz

By the end of his career, 'Abd al-Halim Hafiz was the most popular singer in Egypt. Radio stations received unprecedented numbers of requests of his songs, and he earned more money for his concerts than any other performer of the day. His cassette sales were similarly unmatched. Nor was Halim's impact limited to the music sphere. As a pop celebrity, he shaped the everyday lives of Egyptians, from the way they dressed and styled their hair to where they spent their wedding night. The event will feature a presentation by Dr. Nicholas Mangialardi on the singer's musical legacy followed by a live performance of 'Abd al-Halim hits by Egyptian jazz vocalist Ahmed Harfoush and his band. For more information and to register, click here.

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