Swap out!

Status

The banner photo of me and Khafre in the Cairo Museum has been swapped out for something more recent!  You’ll now find an image taken by NCMA photographer Karen  Malinofski after the installation of the model of a boat in the Egyptian galleries in the West Building.  It will randomly appear up in the banner…

Nubian Conference in Neuchâtel

After the CIPEG annual meeting in Copenhagen, I took a flight down to Switzerland for yet another conference. This time, it was the ‘Nubian Conference’ (the International Conference for Nubian Studies), which was held in Neuchâtel.  My colleague Matthieu Honegger did a wonderful job in organising this conference and you will have more details on La Vida Aegyptiaca about what I did in  Switzerland and Denmark on this last trip.

There was also a lovely exhibition on ancient Nubia at the Laténium and I had my photo taken with two of the the superb statues of Kushite kings (Taharqo and Tanwetamani) found at Dukki Gel (near Kerma) in 2003… and then I read the label and realised that they are actually copies of the originals!  The technical precision and workmanship are astounding!  The statues were 3D scanned, carved from an agglomerate rock and then hand-painted by a conservator! This was very interesting to me because there is some 3d scanning in my near future. The things we can do with technology these days…

Tanwetamani, Taharqo and me at the Laténium in Neuchâtel (the statues are replicas of the originals).

Tanwetamani, Taharqo and I at the Laténium in Neuchâtel (the statues are replicas of the originals).

 

 

 

Egypt @ Manchester

Conferences are great venues for networking and while reading the (rather impressive) programme for the CIPEG meeting I noticed that some Egyptologists I had been hoping to meet for a while were actually presenting.

One of these scholars is the current curator of Egypt and Sudan at the Manchester Museum, Dr. Campbell Price. I have been following his blog for a while and knew of his recent work and discoveries. Plus, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the museum a few years ago, before Campbell started working there. The Manchester Museum has always been a hub for mummy studies and they have a fantastic collection of daily life artefacts.  I did indeed meet Campbell during the CIPEG meeting and he’s super nice. (Apparently he reads my blog!)

Today, I’ve added a new page about the Manchester Museum in the Photo Diary and I also invite you to discover what’s going on at the museum from Campbell’s tweets and posts.

The coffins of the 'Two Brothers,' stars of the Manchester Museum!

The coffins of the ‘Two Brothers,’ stars of the Manchester Museum!

CIPEG 2014

In late August, I attended the annual conference of CIPEG (Comité international pour l’égyptologie), one of the many committees of ICOM (International Council of Museums).  The meeting is mostly attended by curators who have charge of Egyptian and Nubian collections in museums around the world.  It was a very well attended event: I met old friends and made new ones…

Attendees of the CIPEG meeting, at least those who were there on the first day.

Attendees of the 2014 CIPEG meeting, at least those who were there on the first day.

 

The meeting was held in Copenhagen (my first visit!) at the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters and we had extremely interesting papers on the theme of ‘sources and resources’.  I did not present at this meeting, but I hope to do so next year.

My colleague Tine Bagh, curator of Egyptian art at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, and her team did a fabulous job of organising this lovely conference and scheduling activities that allowed us to discover Copenhagen and Denmark. Cheers!

Miniature Pyramids of Sudan

There is a nice article in Archaeology, the AIA magazine, on the Miniature Pyramids of Sudan, about fieldwork at Sedeinga. Actually, during my first dig season in Sudan back in 2000, I worked at the site with the French mission for one month (after spending the previous month with the Canadian mission at Meroe–see the Day in the life of an archaeologist chronicle). That is where I met my friend Vincent Francigny, who is now co-director of the excavations. Enjoy the article!

Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii

In AD 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted and destroyed the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabia and Oplontis. Did you know that August 24th is generally thought to be the date of the eruption, but we don’t know for certain? It could be a little later in September or perhaps even in October—based on different kinds of evidence such as seasonal food recovered from the archaeological sites or calculating the changes in calendars. Despite the uncertainty regarding the date, what I find most remarkable about this catastrophic event (which occurred 1935 years ago) is that we have a written eye witness account of the eruption!

Pliny the Younger describes the eruption in letters to Tacitus, who had written to enquire about the death of young man’s uncle—Pliny the Elder, a famous Roman author and naturalist—on that fateful day. Pliny the Elder was also a navy fleet commander and, after receiving a missive from a friend at Stabia pleading for help, he launched galleys across the bay to rescue survivors. The young Pliny could only repeat what others members of the rescue party had told him about his uncle’s demise, for he was safe at Misenum. (Apparently, the older Pliny had asked his nephew if he wanted to join him on his expedition, but he had declined saying he had homework to do! You should think twice about procrastinating and not doing your homework—it might save your life!) You’ll find translations online.

For archaeologists, these rare catastrophic burials are an incredible time capsule that transport you back to a very precise moment in time. It’s the closest thing there is to time travel…

A photo of Pompei with a view of the Vesuvius in the background. (Taken during my recent trip to Italy.)

A photo of Pompei with a view of the Vesuvius in the background. (Taken during my recent trip to Italy.)

Random photos

I have been thinking for a while about adding other photos to appear randomly on my site’s image banner. (Just to spruce things up a bit!) In addition to the Predynastic pots from the Petrie Museum, you’ll now see photos of me in action (working on the dig at Dangeil, Sudan) and one of the Meroe pyramids (also in Sudan) during a visit a few years ago (it does not date to my time working there during grad school). There is even one of me in the Cairo Museum about 10 years ago! (I dug that one out of the digital mothballs!) Enjoy!