May 2017

Monday, May 16, 2011

For as long as man has taken to the seas, ships have been one of the primary vectors of cultural and technological exchange. The role that seafaring played in the discovery, expansion, and
conquest of the world should not be underestimated. As perhaps the world’s first true seafaring society, much is derived from ancient Egyptians’ successes on the water. This presentation will discuss the primary evidence for Egypt's place in the larger history of seafaring,

Ostracon Submission Guidelines

The Publications Committee of the Egyptian Studies Society has adopted the following guidelines for submissions to The Ostracon.
The Ostracon is a research journal. Factual articles about Ancient Egypt are welcome. These may take the form of scholarly articles, book reviews, reviews of significant lectures or exhibits, or interpretive articles that apply to the archaeology of Egypt. In general, highly speculative material, fiction or reviews of fiction will not be published. For a discussion of the distinction between speculation and interpretation, please see this essay.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The status of Memphis as the earliest capital of a unified Egyptian state has gone unquestioned in Egyptology. The basic modern reconstruction of the foundation of the city follows closely the reports of the Classical visitor, Herodotus, who transmits the native tradition of Memphis as being founded by the first king of Egypt, Min. The presence of the Early Dynastic cemeteries at Saqqara and Hehvan seemingly support the veracity of the basic story, and scholars have long sought to identify Min as one of the early archaeologically attested kings (such as Narmer or Hor-Aha). The rise of the pyramid fields and the development of the greater Saqqara necropolis Is generally seen as support that the administrative center of the Old Kingdom state remained at Min's great city. This historical model provides the framework in which Egyptology generally reconstructs the evolution of the Egyptian state and its administrative apparatus.
The problem with this traditional view, however, is that no clear capital city matching this historical reconstruction has emerged from the archaeological record nor Is it evident in the textual record. This lecture seeks to establish a history of the city of Memphis rooted in contemporary texts and archaeology independent of the Classical sources. It will trace the development of the city through the Saite period. The author takes a historical revisionist approach to Memphis and provides a historiographical framework for the development and transmission of the myth of Memphis as presented in the Classical sources.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The current British expedition at Tell el-Amarna began in 1977. Since then, many hundreds of statuary fragments from royal buildings in Akhenaten and Nefertiti's ancient city have been recovered. Most of these were pieces discovered by the German expedition of the pre-World War I era and the Egypt Exploration Society’s team in the 1920s and 1930s. The fragments were not deemed museum-worthy and were reburied.
A deposit of such pieces discovered immediately behind the current expedition house at the southern end of the ancient city was dubbed the “South House Dump.” It contained unfinished fragments from the sculptors’ workshop district of the city, including the famous establishment of the sculptor Thutmose, where the painted bust of Nefertiti, now in Berlin, was discovered. Other pieces in the dump probably originated in the mysterious Maru-Aten temple, now lost under the modern cultivation.
A second cache of reburied material was discovered near the expedition house used by the English team in the 1920s and 1930s. This was called the “North House Dump.” Hundreds of fragments of statuary, as well as reliefs and balustrades, were recovered. Most originated in the Great Palace, including several colossal statues of the royal couple in granite, quartzite, and granodiorite.
Since 2001, Kristin Thompson has been registering, reassembling, and studying these fragments. In addition, she has visited dozens of museums, examining pieces from the site in storage and on display. Along with collaborator Marsha Hill, a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thompson is at work on a major volume on the royal statuary program in the ancient city, placing the pieces in their original contexts in the temples and palaces of Akhetaten.