October 2013

“Freemasonry and Ancient Egypt” Cathie Bryan (EEG Talk)

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. Part of their mythos comes from a 14th Century document that sets out the history of masonry & the appropriate behaviour for masons, and this traces the history of masonry from Euclid via him “teaching the Egyptians how to be masons”. Obviously, as Bryan pointed out, this is now known to be more than a little impossible given Euclid lived a few millennia after the Egyptians built things like… Read More »“Freemasonry and Ancient Egypt” Cathie Bryan (EEG Talk)

EEG Trip to the EES

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. She was (among other things) a novelist & travel writer, and in the 1870s she visited Egypt in part for the warm weather and in part to write a book about travelling through the country. This book was called “A Thousand Miles Up The Nile” and was written in an enthusiastic (and very Victorian) style – Jo read us a couple of excerpts from it. Although Amelia Edwards never returned to Egypt she became very passionate about the country. While she was there she’d noted what poor… Read More »EEG Trip to the EES