On Sunday Sarah Doherty came to talk to the Essex Egyptology Group about the ongoing excavations at Gebel Silsila (or Gebel el Silsila, her slides used the two name interchangeably). She split her talk into two halves (so we could have tea and cake in the middle) - the first half was about the work done at the site in 2012 and 2013, the second half covered 2014 and the plans for the future.
On Sunday Jennifer Palmer came to the Essex Egyptology Group to talk about Herihor, who was High Priest of Amun in the reign of Ramesses XI and also called himself King. This is a complicated period of Egyptian history and there are several different views among Egyptologists. Palmer was presenting us with both an overview of the controversies and also her own opinions on the subject.
On Sunday Renee Friedman came to the Essex Egyptology Group to talk about the latest discoveries she and her team have been making at the site of Hierakonpolis. First she put the site itself into context. It was an important pre-dynastic Egyptian city, situated just north of modern Edfu, called Nekhen (and later Hierakonpolis by the Greeks).
On Sunday David Falk came to the Essex Egyptology Group to talk to us about his research on Egyptian Ritual Processional Furniture. He comes at the subject from a bit of a different angle from the speakers we generally hear - his central question is what can this Egyptian furniture tell us about the Ark of the Covenant, and the context in which the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Bible) was written.
On Sunday Dylan Bickerstaffe came to speak at the Essex Egyptology Group meeting about the 18th Dynasty tombs in the Valley of the Kings. He structured his talk around the order of discovery of the tombs, and concentrated on those related to the Amarna era (from Amenhotep III through to Horemheb). As well as telling us what is known he spent a lot of time telling us what is less well understood - the facts in need of an explanation (generally giving his own theories and discussing those of others).
The August meeting of the Essex Egyptology Group is a little different from the other meetings - it's the AGM, and so instead of an invited speaker we have 10 minute talks given by members and a book auction for charity.
Each year the British Museum host a two day colloquium about an egyptological topic, and a lecture in the evening of one of the days which is the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Lecture in Egyptology. J went to the whole colloquium this year (about coffins) and I just came along and joined him for the lecture. This was given by Harco Willems, and concerned the texts on a particular coffin from the Middle Kingdom.
On Saturday J and I visited Chesterfield to go to a study day being held there by the SSAE called Peeling Back the Shadows. This consisted of two talks (each split into two parts), one given by Chris Naunton about Tutankhamun and one given by Barry Kemp about the latest work at Amarna.
On Sunday Clive Barham Carter came to the Essex Egyptology Group to talk to us about Amelia Edwards. She was a rather formidable Victorian woman who was the driving force behind the founding of the Egypt Exploration Fund (which became the Egypt Exploration Society). Carter told us about her life, frequently reading from Amelia's own writings and illustrated by her own watercolour paintings (as far as possible). Amelia was born in the 1830s in Islington, the only child of rather older parents.
The most recent British Museum Members' Open Evening was in mid-June, just before the Vikings exhibition finished. As part of the evening they had a lecture from the Project Curator, Thomas Williams.