HMNS Weekly Happenings

Don’t forget that HMNS will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, however we will be open for extended hours (9:00am – 6:00pm) for the holiday weekend Friday, November 25 – Sunday, November 28!

turkey

 

 

And exciting news! For those of you who are fans of archaeology and need to get the family out of the house this week, we have an Ancient Egypt Double Feature!

 

Lecture – Applying Forensics to Archaeology by Andrew Shortland

‘Courtesy The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology UCL, UC59288’

‘Courtesy The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology UCL, UC59288’

 

Tickets $18, Members $12

Monday, November 21, 2016 – 6:30 PM

As an Egyptologist trained in geological sciences, Dr. Andrew Shortland became interested in applying scientific analysis to the identification and interpretation of material culture from the ancient and historical worlds. Today Shortland uses the latest technology to answer questions about valuable or historically important objects. Typically these involve queries about provenance, date, identification of past restoration or conservation—and even the detection of deliberate fakes and forgeries.

 

Using examples from his cases, Professor Shortland will describe a wide variety of different analytical techniques in his work including SEM-EDS, microprobe, XSRF, LA-ICPMS and optical microscopy.

 

Dr. Andrew Shortland is professor of archaeological science at Cranfield University in UK. He is Deputy Director of Cranfield Forensic Institute, where he runs a group that specializes in the application of scientific techniques to archaeological and forensic problems.

 

Lecture – The Ancient Egyptian Mummy: A Defense Against Tomb Robbery by Kara Cooney

Kara_Cooney_examines_Egyptian_coffin_

 

Members $12, Tickets $18

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 – 6:30 PM

During the turmoil of the Late Bronze age ancient Egypt suffered from extreme economic, political, and social instability like mass migrations, invasions of Sea Peoples and Libyans, and the loss of the Syria-Palestinian empire. How did wealthy, elite Egyptians negotiate between the circumstances of this chaotic time of political decentralization and repeated economic collapses and the powerful social demands for them to spend large amounts of their income on funerary materials that were displayed in burial ceremonies? During this period funerary arts like mummification reflect a variety of innovative and defensive strategies– particularly against tomb robbery and the desecration of human remains in the burial. Egyptologist Dr. Kara Cooney will explore how mummification defended the dead against both worldly and supernatural threats

 

HMNS Weekly Happenings

Take Two: Pocahontas (1995)

 

pocahontas
 
 
 

Friday, November 18 | 7:15 p.m. | Members: $4 | Tickets: $5

 81 min. – Animation/Adventure/Drama
An English soldier and the daughter of an Algonquin chief share a romance when English colonists invade seventeenth-century Virginia.
 
 

Lecture – Applying Forensics to Archaeology by Andrew Shortland

 

Courtesy The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology UCL, UC16725

Courtesy The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology UCL, UC16725

 

Monday, November 21, 2016 – 6:30 PM

Tickets $18, Members $12

As an Egyptologist trained in geological sciences, Dr. Andrew Shortland became interested in applying scientific analysis to the identification and interpretation of material culture from the ancient and historical worlds. Today Shortland uses the latest technology to answer questions about valuable or historically important objects. Typically these involve queries about provenance, date, identification of past restoration or conservation—and even the detection of deliberate fakes and forgeries.

 

Using examples from his cases, Professor Shortland will describe a wide variety of different analytical techniques in his work including SEM-EDS, microprobe, XSRF, LA-ICPMS and optical microscopy.

 

Dr. Andrew Shortland is professor of archaeological science at Cranfield University in UK. He is Deputy Director of Cranfield Forensic Institute, where he runs a group that specializes in the application of scientific techniques to archaeological and forensic problems.

 

Lecture – The Ancient Egyptian Mummy: A Defense Against Tomb Robbery by Kara Cooney

egypt3

 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 – 6:30 PM

Members $12, Tickets $18

During the turmoil of the Late Bronze age ancient Egypt suffered from extreme economic, political, and social instability like mass migrations, invasions of Sea Peoples and Libyans, and the loss of the Syria-Palestinian empire. How did wealthy, elite Egyptians negotiate between the circumstances of this chaotic time of political decentralization and repeated economic collapses and the powerful social demands for them to spend large amounts of their income on funerary materials that were displayed in burial ceremonies? During this period funerary arts like mummification reflect a variety of innovative and defensive strategies– particularly against tomb robbery and the desecration of human remains in the burial. Egyptologist Dr. Kara Cooney will explore how mummification defended the dead against both worldly and supernatural threats.

 

 

 

HMNS Weekly Happenings

Spirits and Skeletons!
 
 
spirits

Sponsored by Audi Central Houston

Calling all ghosts and ghouls, monsters and mummies, witches and werewolves: Houston’s favorite Halloween party — the one and only Spirits & Skeletons — is back at HMNS! With the entire Museum open you can shake your stuff with a stegosaurus, grab a drink with a skink and get spellbound by bewitching gems, all to live music and your favorite hits played by The Space Rockers with fantastic food trucks parked right outside. Whether you go with scary and spooky or fab and kooky — dress up, party the night away at HMNS and we’ll put a spell on you!

 

Lecture – Future Humans by Scott Solomon

evolution astronaut

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 6:30pm

Tickets $18, Members $12

Drawing on fields from genomics to medicine and the study of our microbiome, evolutionary biologist Dr. Scott Solomon draws on the explosion of discoveries in recent years to examine the future evolution of our species. But how will modernization—including longer lifespans, changing diets, global travel and widespread use of medicine and contraceptives—affect our evolutionary future? Surprising insights, on topics ranging from the rise of online dating and Cesarean sections to the spread of diseases such as HIV and Ebola, suggest that we are entering a new phase in human evolutionary history—one that makes the future less predictable and more interesting than ever before.

 

Solomon of Rice University will present an entertaining review of the latest evidence of human evolution in modern times. Join us at HMNS this evening which is the book launch event for the new book is “Future Humans: Inside the Science of Our Continuing Evolution.”

This event is co-sponsored by the Baker Institute’s Civic Scientist Program.

 

Lecture – Update in Egyptology by Mostafa Waziri and Salah El-Masekh

egypt1

Wednesday, October 25, 2016 at 6:30pm

Tickets $27, Members $19

In the Valley of the Kings recent excavations and CT scanning by Japanese investigators on the Tomb of King Tut have revealed evidence of another burial chamber next to the tomb of king. Dr. Mostafa Waziri will overview the extensive work by international teams at the site and also explain the theory that this is the tomb of the famed queen Nefertiti, Tutankhamun’s mother.

 

Reflecting the whims and ideas of many architects and kings over 2,000 years, the colorful history of the Temples of Karnak—the largest temple complex ever built—will be told through examining old and new excavations. Salah El-Masekh’s extensive research brings a new understanding to the function of the temple complex. El-Masekh will also discuss the most recent excavations at Karnak, including a public Roman bath and harbor that is said was used for the boat of the god Amun for traveling across the Nile to bless the souls of the pharaohs who were buried on the west bank.

 

Both of these distinguished speakers are with the Egyptian Antiquities Authority. Mostafa Waziri is director of excavations at the Valley of the Kings. Salah El-Masekh’s is director of excavations at the Karnak temple complex.

 

And be sure to check out these events happening at HMNS Sugarland!

 

Museum of Madness and Mayhem Haunted House – ages 15 and up only.
Friday, October 21st and Friday October 28th, 7- 11 pm  

Keep checking this page for ghoulish details as they emerge.

Universal symbol for a dead pirate.

Universal symbol for a dead pirate.

Any zombie apocalypse expert knows that prisons are a prime spot to take refuge…if you dare! Don’t miss our new take on the scary side of science as we present Fort Bend’s only teen/adult haunted house, on two consecutive Friday nights. Step into the darkened museum after hours to experience the Museum of Madness and Mayhem Haunted House, presented in collaboration with Houston Zombie Walk. This interactive haunted house features zombies, strolling characters, Wilbur’s Mine of Madness, the Dollhouse of Death, Night of the Living Dead, and the Paleontology Hall of Horror exhibits.  Join us for bone chilling fun at Sugar Land’s only adult haunt – ages 15 and up only

 

Magical Maze and Goose Bumps Haunted House  – Family Event
Saturday, October 22nd and Saturday, October 29th, 10 a.m. to Noon  

Sugar Land 118

Bring the whole family for Spooky Saturdays at HMNS Sugar Land! Explore our magical Butterfly Garden Maze where you can play the pumpkin toss game, snap a photo, get your face painted and do a little early trick or treating. Calling all witches, ghosts and ghouls, will your costume be the one that rules? Be sure to wear your best costume for the Grand Costume Parade – we’ll have prizes to be won! Don’t forget to visit the family friendly Goose Bumps Haunted House too, it’s fun for monsters of all ages. New tricks and treats await around each corner for every pirate and princess – it’ll be a boo bash to remember!

 

Amid King Tut Tumult, Hardwick Re-Caps What We Really Know About this Famous Pharaoh

Over the weekend in Cairo, conflict broke out in the archaeology community. Ground-penetrating radar has revealed peculiar results that some believe indicate additional rooms behind a solid wall in Tutankhamun’s tomb. Others reject this new theory.

British Egyptologist Nicolas Reeves offered up this theory last year following scanning results that he says suggest two open spaces filled with metal and organic matter. Zahi Hawass, famous Egyptologist and former Egyptian Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, remains dubious.

Those backing Reeves are pushing to excavate, but to the naysayers, causing damage to the ancient burial chambers to follow a hunch is something antiquities of this magnitude can ill-afford. But one thing’s for certain in this battle of the minds — the issue has renewed interest in the exploration of these chambers that once housed one of pharaonic Egypt’s most iconic figures, a boy-king buried behind a magnificent golden mask.

tut_photo9_2

Burial Chamber. North wall of the burial chamber of Tutankhamun, Valley of the Kings. Some archaeologists believe an additional space exists behind this ancient artwork.

As the world of archaeology continues to bring to light new information on the issue, Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Consulting Curator of Egyptology Tom Hardwick is keeping his eye on the ball. No matter what news should erupt from Egypt in the next few weeks, he believes a return to the science of King Tut is of greater importance.

“In point of fact, we still know relatively little about him, and yet we try to read our own interests and preoccupations into the evidence,” Hardwick said. “The facts we in the 21st century want to know about people, who their parents were, what they thought, is information which the evidence from an Egyptian burial context doesn’t give you.”

Tut’s character as a “poor, sweet little boy” are fabrications of our own culture, Hardwick said, a kind of ontology that requires as much the injection of our society’s values into ancient history as the discoveries we’ve made from exploration, interpretation and scientific testing. And the marriage of the two is a big problem.

Tutankhamun-mask-getty

King Tutanhkamun’s famous death mask.

 

“It’s a matter of conjecture and filling in the gaps, and what we use to fill in the gaps tells us far more about us than what it tells about Tut and his family,” Hardwick said. “You’re trying to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, but the way in which you do it is invariably influenced by who you are and your own preoccupations.”

From evidence unearthed from the tomb of a single pharaoh like Tutankhamun, we can learn more about the society and culture of entire Egyptian states in 1300 B.C. than we can about the pharaoh’s life. Hardwick will explore this thesis in an HMNS Distinguished Lecture Wednesday night. His presentation will compare the solid facts the archaeological community has accumulated over time with the stories we’ve invented to enrich the science with narrative.

“It’s interesting how things change over time,” Hardwick said. “It’s like a game of telephone. Conjectures get solidified into facts, then used as the base for further conjectures.”

Tom Hardwick

Egyptologist Tom Hardwick.

The story of the original discovery of King Tut’s tomb highlights another central issue involving the international trade of Egyptian antiquities — where do these finds belong? In the countries of the archaeologists who discovered them or the nations in which they were discovered? In Hardwick’s words, King Tut was “a wind-vane of our own preoccupations” at the time of his discovery.

When British archaeologist Howard Carter found Tutankhamun’s tomb in the 1920s through painstaking research and excavation in the Valley of the Kings, the several thousand exquisite objects inside became the subject of great contention between Egypt and Great Britain. In the years following, the tug-of-war elevated King Tut to an iconic status as a symbol of the struggle of two governments to come to a mutual resolution in the interest of human history.

Visit HMNS Wednesday night to hear these stories and more as news develops in Cairo. To see our own collection of historical treasures, explore the Hall of Ancient Egypt.