Excavating Kush @ ASU

Should you be at Appalachian State University on October 5!

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The CIPEG Journal

One of the many projects that have occupied my evenings and weekends these last several months is the CIPEG Journal: Egyptian & Sudanese Collections and Museums. After a slow start last fall, the editorial committee, of which I am in charge, has been working very hard on the first issue of the journal.  My tasks were included corresponding with authors, liaising with the reviewers, reviewing articles as well as designer the journal (cover and article template), formatting the contributions and designing the website that would host our open access journal (the latter in collaboration with the Universitätsbibliothek, Heidelberg).

At the General Assembly held during the Annual Meeting, which took place in Chicago a few weeks ago, we announced the publication of the first volume of the CIPEG Journal. We launched with five articles and we have five more currently in the works that will be added as soon as they are ready. Contributions to the journal are papers that were presented at last year’s annual meeting–either on the theme of the conference or research undertaken by curators of ancient Egyptian and Sudanese collections (and other non-museum scholars who also work with these collections). I was delighted that we managed to launch in time for the meeting.

You can now understand why I have been so busy. In fact, I have been juggling between three to seven projects at a time since November… and that does not include my projects and my daily activities at work. Phew !

Overwhelmed…

Aside

I have to beg forgiveness from my readers for my absence from An Archaeologist’s Diary.  I have been completely swamped… both at work and at home.

Last year, I had to put most of my work projects aside in order to concentrate on the Rolling Sculpture exhibition at the NCMA in the fall of 2016.  I have just barely caught up and I find myself where I was back in January 2016 (it feels like I have lost a year and a half of my life).  Not only have I managed to catch up, I have also written an article that will be published in November. (This came out of the blue after I presented a paper at the Archaeological Institute of America meeting held in Toronto back in January.)  I managed to submit my material two months ahead of the deadline, trying to make time to complete the article I was revising before Rolling Sculpture took over my life. I’m desperately trying to complete it by the end of August… if it’s not ready by then, it will never be published.

At home, it’s volunteer projects (both professional/academic and social) that occupy my evenings: the creation of a new open access journal (designing the cover and the article template, typesetting said articles, communicating with authors and reviewers, and working with colleagues in Heidelberg to design the web site where the journal will be hosted), curating and producing the content of the Canada Cultural Booth at the Raleigh International Festival, hosting various projects for the Canadian club of which I am president and other projects that have since been completed.  At some point, I calculated that I was juggling between four and seven projects at the same time.  You will understand that after approximately 17 hours daily on the computer (at the Museum and at home), I had no desire to write and post anything on An Archaeologist’s Diary. All I wanted to do was rest my eyes…

I’m still overwhelmed, but in August I will host more scholars who will examine the remaining classical material for the catalogue project.  Considering that I have been blogging about this for a few years, I would be remiss not to continue posting short notes about what’s going on and see this project through!

I’ll be back!

The El Kurru Heritage Project

Great post about the village of El Kurru, Sudan.

Kelsey Museum

BY SUZANNE DAVIS, Curator of Conservation, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

For the past several years, I’ve spent part of the winter in the small Sudanese village of El Kurru, and every year I fall a little bit more in love with it. I work there with Kelsey Research Scientist (and Kurru dig director) Geoff Emberling on the excavation and preservation of an ancient, royal cemetery.  Two years ago, the Kurru project team began to deliberately focus on community engagement as a way to forge stronger links between the local community and the ancient site.

This work has evolved slowly, beginning from plans to present the site to tourists (of which there are a surprisingly large number). El Kurru is an interesting site, with a big pyramid, two beautifully-painted subterranean tombs, and a large rock-cut temple. But the site is only a small part of what I love about El Kurru…

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Art in Bloom 2017: Mesoamerica

In my third and last post for Art in Bloom 2017, I’m sharing the floral design found in the Mesoamerican gallery.

Inspired by the Incense Burner
By Ailsa Tessier

It seems like all the floral arrangements ever designed for the Mesoamerican artefacts are always so elegant. This one is no exception. Inspired by the incense burner, you can almost see the smoke rising from the arrangement with the thin branches and the arum lilies in the vases in the back. With several vases, the arrangement has depth and texture fitting with the nature of the artefact and its purpose.  I like it.

And that’s it for Art in Bloom 2017!

Art in Bloom 2017: Greece, Rome and South Italy

In my second post about Art in Bloom, I am presenting the floral designs associated with artefacts from Greece, Rome and Greek colonies in South Italy.

Inspired by the Torso of Aphrodite
By Diane Joyal

Numerous people mentioned how wonderful it was that the designer had included a seashell-shaped vase for this arrangement.  I’ll admit that I did not even notice… because I was puzzled by the two vases.  The pale-coloured arrangement represented exterior forces of nature, while the darker one the ‘watery feminine domain of the inner world.’  I did not get it.  However, the roses and the myrtles are actually flowers associated with Aphrodite, so kudos for that.

Inspired by the Theatre Relief
By Erica Winston

I enjoyed the vibrant and contrasting colours of this arrangement, which, according to the label, matched the strong forms of the relief.  Considering that the relief is related to theatre, this is a great idea… although I do find that the forms in the relief are not that strong (especially when you see the relief straight on)!

Inspired by the Double Vase with a Central Handle
By EW Fulcher

Oh! This is my favourite of the ancient art inspired arrangements! Excellent work! I love how the designer replicated the shape of the actual artefact, but also mimicking the decorative lines painted on them. I would have loved to see pink flowers instead of the orange ones, simply to reflect the bright pink used on this wonderful South Italian vessel. It is such an astonishingly vivid colour! Okay, I’ll admit being somewhat biased because the South Italian ceramics were studied this fall and we’ll be analysing the bright pink pigment in the coming months!
This floral arrangement gets the ‘curator’s favourite’ ribbon!

Inspired by the Celestial God or Hero
By Steve Taras

I think it’s a bit too easy to use pale-coloured flowers to illustrate a white marble sculpture. Considering that the statue represents either Helios, the Greek god of the sun, or one of the Dioscuri–Castor or Pollux–the twins sons of Leda who are the patrons of sailors (who appear to them as St. Elmo’s Fire), also associated with horsemanship.  A bit more colour would have been appropriate and welcome.
That being said, Steve Taras won my curatorial ribbon last year with his spectacular mosaic of flowers… Not so this year.

And to end this particular post, l am adding another classically-inspired floral arrangement, but this one is neo-classical Roman goddess displayed in the European galleries. In this instance, the white orchids absolutely work, especially associated with the rattan structure that is both imposing and fragile. The design beautifully represents the goddess.

Inspired by the Venus Italica
By Carol Innskeep

 

The third and last Art in Bloom post will come soon!

 

Amara West: a new book for children

A wonderful post from my colleagues who work at Amara West. The delightful book for children mentioned in the post can be downloaded in English or Arabic.

“This book presents everyday life in Abri, Amara East and Ernetta island as a part of the broader history and culture of the area. Abri lies in the centre of the Sikood region which is located in the middle of modern Nubia, Sudan, some 725 km north of Khartoum. This book is to engage children with local heritage, including the local archaeological sites.”

Amara West project blog

Book cover A book for children, Life in the Heart of Nubia, presents local heritage found within the communities, from traditional lifestyles to archaeology.

Tomomi Fushiya, Leiden University

I arrived at the Amara West dig house in Ernetta island towards the end of the 2017 season with a final draft of the children’s book,  Life in the Heart of Nubia. Designed as an introductory booklet for schoolchildren in the local communities around Amara West – Abri, Amara East and Ernetta – the book explores the lifestyles, culture, language, oral histories and archaeology of these communities.  It is shaped by members of these communities and their responses, and also questions we received from them during the interviews and outreach programmes over the last two years.

In November 2016, I had travelled to Abri to discuss and plan the book with those who were willing to volunteer in their spare time on this…

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