On Sunday Garry Shaw came to the Essex Egyptology Group to give a talk about Egyptian mythology. We'd originally had another speaker booked, but she'd had to cancel at fairly short notice (because she got an opportunity to do some work in Luxor) so Garry Shaw stepped in and gave us a talk related to his new book (The Egyptian Myths: A Guide to the Ancient Gods and Legends which is out on March 17).
This Sunday's talk at the Essex Egyptology Group meeting was given by Frances Boardman. The title of her talk was "Everyday Life in Ancient Egypt", and she gave us a broad overview of various aspects of Egyptian daily life. The style of her talk was very stream of conciousness (in a good way) so it's hard to summarise - one subject would lead into another organically and you'd suddenly realise that where you had just been being told about education now you were thinking about hair conditioner recipes.
On Sunday Lyn Stagg came to talk to the Essex Egyptology Group about her research into the iconography & symbolism of lions in early Egypt. The era she is interested in is pre-Old Kingdom Egypt - including the pre-dynastic eras and the early dynastic (Dynasties 0-2). The generally repeated "explanation" of lion symbolism during that era is that the lion represented the King, based on the ideas of archaeologists in the 19th Century.
The second of the two talks we went to at the British Museum Members' Open Evening the other week was about the small exhibition of Zoroastrian and related pieces that has recently opened at the BM. This is in some ways a related exhibition to the larger Zoroastrian exhibition at SOAS which finishes soon (we went to see it the other day so I shall be writing that up soon). In this post I'm going to talk about both the exhibition and the curator's talk.rather than split them into separate posts.
A couple of weeks ago we had a day out in London visiting the British Museum. During the day we mainly went to see their El Dorado exhibition (which I'll write up later) and in the evening we went to two gallery talks at the Members' Open Evening (one of which is what I'm talking about here, the other one will be tomorrow). My photos related to both these talks are up on flickr here.
This Sunday's talk at the Essex Egyptology Group was given by Hannah Pethen, on the subject of the ritual activities that took place at Ancient Egyptian mines & quarries. She had narrowed her focus a bit from the title of the talk - she restricted herself to the pre-New Kingdom era, and concentrated primarily on what's known of the Middle Kingdom rituals after some introductory words about Old Kingdom & First Intermediate period evidence.
On Sunday Cathie Bryan came to the Essex Egyptology Group to talk to us about the influence that Ancient Egypt had on Freemasonry. She started by telling us a bit about Freemasonry & its origins. The modern Freemason movement starts around the early 18th Century & is derived in part from the groups or guilds of stonemasons that existed in the middle ages. Freemasonry uses the paraphernalia of the stonemasons trade (in particular the compass and square) in a symbolic fashion.
Last Wednesday a group of us from the Essex Egyptology Group went to visit the Egypt Exploration Society's offices in London. Once we'd all arrived Jo Kyffin started off with a half hour talk on the history of the Society & an overview of what they do nowadays. The Society started life as the brainchild of a formidable Victorian woman called Amelia Edwards.
On Sunday Diane Johnson came to the Essex Egyptology Group meeting to talk to us about meteorites in Ancient Egypt. She's a physicist who works at the Open University on meteorites, and is also interested in Ancient Egypt. She is combining the two by examining ancient iron objects from Egypt to see if they derive from meteorite iron & has recently published a paper about a bead found in a pre-historic tomb.
The August meeting of the Essex Egyptology Group was a change from the usual format. Instead of a guest speaker we had four 10 minute talks from members of the group (there should've been 5 talks, but sadly one didn't happen for technical reasons).