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).
Janet Brewer started us off & gave us a brief biography of François Auguste Ferdinand Mariette, who was an early Egyptologist. His reputation is of someone who worked too fast, on too much, with inadequate records – but Janet argued that he was no worse than his contemporaries, and may’ve been better than alternatives at the time.
I was next – I talked about J & my visit to the Neues Museum (which I wrote about here). If you want to see the talk, J videoed it & it’s up online here.
Tilly Burton told us about spinning and weaving. As with many things about the Ancient Egyptians the knowledge we have comes from tombs, and Tilly talked us through the process of making linen using a model from a Middle Kingdom era tomb.
Alison Woollard finished off the talks by talking about food & drink that the Ancient Egyptians would’ve consumed. As part of her talk she’d made us samples, so as well as cake & coffee we had Egyptian bread with humus & some date pastries that were much like figrolls.
The other business of the meeting was the AGM, and then a book auction to raise money for the Petrie Museum. I’ve been doing a good job of whittling down books on my shelves, but this might’ve reversed the trend a little 😉 I picked up a selection of fiction and J got a couple of books about Egypt that he’d particularly liked the look of (showing more discrimination than me here!). I also ended up with 3 books that I thought would be novels but they turn out to believe themselves to be non-fiction (they are mistaken) so they’ll go off to the charity shop shortly.