May 2014

Ancient Lives, New Discoveries (British Museum Exhibition)

The British Museum have a new Egyptian related exhibition that opened on Thursday, so of course J felt we had to go as soon as we could. He took the day off on Friday and we first went to the curator’s introduction talk (given by John Taylor) and then visited the exhibition itself. I’d been going to write abuot the talk and the exhibition separately, but the talk really was an introduction, overview and some additional context for the exhibition rather than something separate. Taylor was a good speaker, so I’m glad we went to the talk first, but I’m not sure there was much in it that wasn’t in the exhibition itself (although that in part is because the exhibition is so well organised & clearly labelled). So if you decide to go to one of the other Curator’s Introduction talks (I think there’s another 4 across the run… Read More »Ancient Lives, New Discoveries (British Museum Exhibition)

“The Eloquent Peasant” Linda Steynor (EEG Meeting Talk)

On Sunday Linda Steynor came to the Essex Egyptology Group to talk to us about a Middle Kingdom Egyptian poem called “The Eloquent Peasant”. She started her talk by telling us the plot of the story. This poem follows an Egyptian small market trader, Khunanup, who travels from his home on the outskirts of Egypt to the capital. The journey is not easy, and on his way there he has to travel along a very narrow path between the Nile and the farmlands. Partway along he meets a bully who has hung his washing across the path – in order to get past Khunanup accidentally walks on the washing (and his donkey eats a small amount of grain). The bully beats him, and confiscates his donkey & goods, an over the top response to such a minor transgression. Khunanup continues on to the capital where he petitions Rensi, the Chief… Read More »“The Eloquent Peasant” Linda Steynor (EEG Meeting Talk)

In Our Time: The Tale of Sinuhe

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On Sunday we listened to the most recent In Our Time episode – jumping ahead from where we’re caught up to because the subject of this weeks one was something J had been looking forward to hearing. The programme was about one of the surviving pieces of Middle Kingdom literature, called The Tale of Sinuhe. The three experts discussing it were Richard Parkinson (University of Oxford), Roland Enmarch (University of Liverpool) and Aidan Dodson (University of Bristol). They started off by putting it into historical context. The oldest version of The Tale of Sinuhe that’s been found was written around 1800BC (and was discovered approximately 4000 years later). This is during the Middle Kingdom era of Egyptian history, and the story is set about a hundred years earlier, still within the Middle Kingdom, near the start of the 12th Dynasty. The Middle Kingdom is the second period of stability in… Read More »In Our Time: The Tale of Sinuhe