Discover new secrets of ancient Egypt with guest lecturers

This week, more than 400 folks interested in all things ancient Egyptian are making their way to Houston for the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt. Running from April 24 to 26, this is the first year the conference is being held in Houston, and perhaps it has something to do with the beautiful new Hall of Ancient Egypt at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

HMNS is excited to host a public three-part lecture featuring leading Egyptologists Dr. Salima Ikram, Dr. Josef Wegner, and Dr. Kara Cooney, who are in town for the ARCE conference. At the museum, each expert will give an update on his or her latest research project.-o6cwMJsxKVXL0Xx6UZa2Dl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVvK0kTmF0xjctABnaLJIm9

You don’t have to be an academic to attend the lecture, or to register for the meeting. ARCE welcomes all fans of ancient Egypt, novice to authority. The lecture will be held Wednesday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 to the public and $12 for HMNS members.

Online registration for the ARCE meeting is now closed, but on-site registration at the DoubleTree Hilton Downtown Hotel will remain open from April 24 through the end of the conference.

Read on for more details about HMNS’s guest Egyptologists.

 

Divine Creatures, Animal Mummies Providing Clues to Culture, Economy and Science f3638a_3053bb27e037f77cbc56ea0f4b110a8c.jpeg_srz_305_260_85_22_0.50_1.20_0
by Salima Ikram, Ph.D., American University in Cairo

Animal mummies were amongst the least studied of Egypt’s treasures. Now scholars are using them to learn about ancient Egyptian religion, economy, veterinary science and environmental change. The world’s leading expert on animal mummies and founder of the Animal Mummy project at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Dr. Salima Ikram, will present the different kinds of animal mummies and explain what we can learn from them.

 

 

 

Secrets of the Mountain-of-Anubis, A Royal Necropolis Joe_Egypt
by Josef Wegner, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

The ongoing Penn Museum excavations has recently identified a royal necropolis at Abydos. A series of royal tombs located beneath a sacred desert peak, the Mountain-of-Anubis, belong to over a dozen pharaohs include Senwosret III and the recently identified king Senebkay. Dr. Josef Wegner will review the latest findings from the necropolis that spans Egypt’s late Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period (ca. 1850-1550 BCE).

 

 

 

21st Dynasty Coffins Project, Recycled Coffins Offer the Socioeconomic InsightKara_Cooney_examines_Egyptian_coffin_
by Kathlyn (Kara) Cooney, Ph.D., UCLA

Dr. Kara Cooney will give an overview of the 21st Dynasty Coffins Project which studies the amount of “borrowing,” or reuse, a given coffin displays during this period of turmoil and material scarcity and seeks to contribute to the understanding of socioeconomics in ancient Egypt. Equipped with high definition cameras and working in cooperation with museums and institutions in Europe and the United States, Cooney takes her research team to investigate, document and study coffin reuse in the Third Intermediate Period. The data acquired will be compiled into a comprehensive database available to Egyptologists everywhere.

The Chiddingstone Chronicles: What do a castle, collector, countess & our Hall of Ancient Egypt have in common?

Pour yourself a spot of tea, loves, have a biscuit and brace yourselves for a story of utmost British-ness.

If you’ve visited our esteemed new Hall of Ancient Egypt, you may have noticed that many of the items on display are on loan from Chiddingstone Castle in the United Kingdom.

The historic house is the former home of antiquarian Denys Eyre Bower, an avid collector and consummate gentleman, as you’ll soon see.

Bower bought the castle and its surrounding 35 acres in 1955 for 6,000 British pounds. Although the castle was rundown, Bower — 50 years old at the time — was attracted to its potential. It had the space to house and display the many artifacts he’d collected over the years, and before long, he had made it something of a local destination, opening a makeshift ticket window for passersby and manning tours himself.

Chiddingstone Castle

By and by, Bower found himself in love with a young girl who lived a few miles way. She was only 19, but she managed to convince Bower that she was a French countess.

When he sensed that her affections might not match his own, Bower brought an antique revolver from his collection ’round to her apartment and threatened suicide if his love wasn’t reciprocated. During the ensuing confrontation (these things are always dramatic), the revolver went off and the “Countess” was wounded. Beside himself with grief and ever the gentleman, Bower shot himself to even things out. Neither were mortally wounded.

When he had recovered, Bower asked how his Countess was faring and was informed that she was neither dead nor a countess — she was the daughter of a Peckham bus driver.

A six-year stint in a notorious London prison — Wormwood Scrubs — followed on charges of attempted murder and attempted suicide (a punishable crime in those days), but it was during this time that Bowers befriended a woman named Ruth Eldridge.

Over many visits, Eldridge worked on Bower’s behalf to organize his release from prison, recruiting her sister to restore and guard the castle at Chiddingstone in the meantime. Bower and Eldridge remained friends until Bower’s death in 1977, and it was Ruth and her sister who set up the trust that still exists today — from which all of our objects are on loan.

Pretty crazy story, isn’t it? Just the sort one can’t make up.

Emails from the other side: The Museum Mummy flatters a staffer

If you’ve been following along as our veteran Museum Mummy, Ankh Hap, prepares to adjust to his new living quarters, welcome back. If you’ve not, you’ll probably want to catch up here and here.

The gist is this: Our previously singular mummy will be gaining several new roommates when he moves into the new Hall of Ancient Egypt, and he was not. having. it.

Photo courtesy of the Mummies of the World exhibition.

Luckily, thanks to the delicate nudging (and maybe a bit of virtual eyelash-batting) of our marketing department, Ankh Hap seems to be coming around:

Emails from the other side: Our correspondence with a corpse continues

Emails from the other side: Our correspondence with a corpse continues

To take a gander at the above-mentioned ’90s brochure, one simply has to click here.

For more from the original, check back Mondays here at BEYONDbones.

Kid Curators lit up the mic at Wednesday night’s Intellectual Insights Q&A

On Wednesday evening, we hosted the inaugural Intellectual Insights, an innovative lecture/question-and-answer session helmed by Hall of Ancient Egypt curators Dr. Dirk Van Tuerenhout and Tom Hardwick, with the Carlos Museum’s Dr. Peter Lacovara joining remotely via a video call.

We took questions from a members-only live audience and from our HMNS Twitter feed, so our online friends could join in the fun. It was all pretty nifty, but the highlight had to be our Kid Curators: Jacob Blackman and Abby Myers.

KidCurators

Dr. Dirk Van Tuerenhout, Abby Myers, Jacob Blackman, and Tom Hardwick.

We revived our Kid Curator program earlier this week by asking young Egyptology fans to submit a one-minute video explaining why they’d be best suited to help us open up our new Hall of Ancient Egypt alongside our bona fide big-guy curators.

We were so inspired by our young fans that even with our Museum President weighing in, we had a two-way tie between four fabulous finalists, which led to the selection of two Kid Curators. Both Abby and Jacob were on-hand at Intellectual Insights to grill our curators with their questions, and had the chance to show off a few objects to our live studio audience that’ll end up in the new Hall of Ancient Egypt. In the coming weeks, they’ll also get to bask in flashing lights at a press opp, get a personal guided tour of the new hall and earn their very own Museum memberships.

In appreciation of all our entrants (more than 40!), each hopeful Kid Curator received tickets to Intellectual Insights, with the finalists also receiving family tickets to view the Hall of Ancient Egypt when it opens later this month.

Check out our super-talented finalists, below:

Kid Curator: Abby

Kid Curator: Jacob

Runner-Up: Marcel

Runner-Up: Lorena