Thanks to a colleague of mine who pointed out the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow has a limestone piece, perhaps a stela, featuring two beautiful cobras in front of an offering table. Certainly emphasises the fact that I am likely working with 3-dimensional versions of this image!
Saturday, 1 October 2011
It’s been a busy one this year, with lots of changes blowing in the wind. It started with my appearance in The Egyptian Job on National Geographic, and my article 'Dream Interpretation in the Ramesside Age', in Mark Collier and Steven Snape (eds.), Ramesside Studies in Honour of K. A. Kitchen (Bolton: Rutherford Press), 509-17.
For much of the summer I’ve been occupied with pulling together people from across campus for some exciting new collaborative MA schemes (I won’t say anything more about them yet!). We also inaugurated our first round of museum placements for level 3 students. Two groups signed up for CLE327, Egyptian Collection Practicum, and worked for 4 weeks each at the Egypt Centre. It has been a rewarding experience for them, as well as helpful for the Egypt Centre, who now uses a Twitter feed set up by our students! You may also see or have seen the Egypt Centre stall at the Fresher’s Fair—that was set up by our students too!
On 29th July, I participated in the first Day of Archaeology, 2011. 400 archaeologists around the world blogged about what we did that day. You can catch a glimpse here http://www.dayofarchaeology.com/author/Szpakowska/. I also created two new websites for projects: http://www.demonologyproject.com/ and a blog: http://ancientegyptiancobras.blogspot.com/.
I also met with Alicja Sobczak, a ceramicist from Swansea Metropolitan University who will be making 40 replicas of Ancient Egyptian clay cobra figurines. They will be as similar as possible to each other, and fired in low temperatures. The reason we are making these is to break them! It might seem like an odd thing to do, but we hope that the fracture patterns will allow us tell the difference between an object that was purposefully or ritually broken from one that was accidentally crushed or simply broken during production. Most of the ones that I am working on from Ancient Egypt are broken, so we will see! Specialists in materials engineering from Swansea University will be performing the breakage experiments, and it is being supported by the Bridging the Gaps funding scheme (http://www.swan.ac.uk/research/researchgroups/bridgingthegaps/). Here is a picture of some of the initial ones made by Alicja.
At the end of the summer, Adam Booth—a Geophysicist in Geography who I now dub “Tomb Radar”— and I went to Egypt for another Bridging the Gaps funded project called "Ramesses and Radar: Looking Deeper into Egypt." We went to work on an excavation led by Dr. Elena Pischikova (http://southasasif.com/) in the Luxor area of Egypt (southern Egypt, on the West Bank of the Nile). She has been working there for many years on an exciting tomb of an elite official named Karakhamun during Dynasty 25, a time when Egypt was ruled by pharaohs from from Nubia, modern day Sudan. The tomb of Karakhamun it turns out may have been the model for many of the tombs that came later, even as much as a hundred years later. As it happens, the tomb includes many excerpts from the Book of the Dead, which are being studied now by our PhD student, Ken Griffin, as part of an Egypt Exploration Society Centenary Award. The tomb itself is still partly buried, so we were out there to use geophysical imaging - specifically ground penetrating radar (GPR) methods, to try and detect its buried extent. We will be breaking the news of our discoveries in early November, so stay tuned!
|A QR code with a bundle containing all the links mentioned above!|