April 2014

“In Quest of Paradise: Accommodating Death in Islam” Lisa Golombek

The third lecture of the Charles Wilkinson lecture series from 2013, “In Quest of Paradise: Accommodating Death in Islam” was given by Lisa Golombek, and I think was the weakest of the three lectures. I’m not sure if this was down to me not having as much context – I know more about Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia than I do about the early centuries of Islam. But it also felt a little shoehorned into the overarching them – Golombek had to start off by explaining that Muslim burials don’t contain grave goods, nor are they supposed to have decoration or external tombs. So not promising ground for a talk in a series about the art of burial! Golombek did find two themes to talk about, however. One of these was the shrouds that the people are buried in. In high status burials these are not just plain cloths, they have… Read More »“In Quest of Paradise: Accommodating Death in Islam” Lisa Golombek

“Adornment for the Afterlife: Jewelry and Identity at Ur and Nimrud” Kim Benzell

The second lecture in the 2013 Charles Wilkinson lecture series was associated with the department of Ancient Near East Art at the MMA, and was called “Adornment for the Afterlife: Jewelry and Identity at Ur and Nimrud”. Kim Benzell, who gave the talk, is one of the curators at the museum and is also a trained goldsmith which gave her quite a different perspective on the ornaments she was talking about. There’s a glitch in the video, which meant we didn’t see the introduction to the talk where she sets the scene and explained what she was looking at but I think we managed to figure it out. The bulk of the talk was about the gold ornaments found in two different burials from Mesopotamia. The first was the tomb of Puabi in Ur, who was a queen or priestess buried around 2500BC. The second was the jewellery from the… Read More »“Adornment for the Afterlife: Jewelry and Identity at Ur and Nimrud” Kim Benzell

“A Beautiful Burial: Decorating an Old Kingdom Mastaba Chapel” Ann Macy Roth

Due to a dead car battery on Sunday afternoon, J and I couldn’t make it to the April Essex Egyptology Group meeting (a real shame, it was given by Wolfram Grajetzki who had done a talk for the group at the Petrie Museum last year (post)). So when we got back from our attempt to go to Witham we watched a lecture that J had previously found on youtube about Old Kingdom tomb decoration. The lecture was given in 2013 and is the first of three lectures of the annual Charles Wilkinson Lecture series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The overall title for this series was The Art of Burial, and each of the three lectures is associated with the three departments that this Charles Wilkinson was associated with during his 60 years at the museum. So this one is the Egyptian department, the second is… Read More »“A Beautiful Burial: Decorating an Old Kingdom Mastaba Chapel” Ann Macy Roth

Manchester Museum

A couple of weeks ago we visited J’s sister & family in Macclesfield for a weekend, and spent the Saturday in Manchester. In the afternoon J and I had a look around the recently refurbished Egyptian collection at the Manchester Museum – it had been nearly 5 years since we last went to that museum, and we were interested to see what they’d changed. I didn’t have my proper camera with me (because we were going to see Maxïmo Park play that evening) so the photos I took were on my phone. The camera on that isn’t really very good at low light situations like a museum, but I’ve found that in some cases application of a filter and a frame will make the inadequacies of the image look intentional 😉 And besides it’s kinda fun to play around with the software sometimes 🙂 I’ve put a set up on… Read More »Manchester Museum