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December 2022

“Literacy in Deir el-Medina: Signs, Marks and Tallies” Daniel Soliman

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At the beginning of December Dr Daniel Soliman spoke to the Essex Egyptology Group via Zoom about his work on literacy at Deir el-Medina, a topic which he told us was very dear to him. He has mostly been using ostraca to investigate the topic – there are many that are marked with signs and tally marks rather than the hieroglyphs and other scripts that we are more familiar with. Soliman began by giving us a brief introduction to the site of Deir el-Medina, which is situated in the western Theban mountains (and he had a lovely photo of the village from an angle I’ve not seen much, clearly showing it nestled in the hills). The name, Deir el-Medina, is a modern name but the village is ancient. It was an extraordinary settlement which was founded by the state to house the workmen who worked on the royal tombs for… Read More »“Literacy in Deir el-Medina: Signs, Marks and Tallies” Daniel Soliman

“Harry Burton: Tutankhamun’s Photographer” Ian Taylor

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At the beginning of November Dr Ian Taylor, who is a member of the Essex Egyptology Group, spoke to us about Harry Burton and his photographic skills. He began by setting the scene and introducing Harry Burton – he was an Egyptologist and photographer working in the first half of the 20th Century CE. Whilst he’s pretty much unknown outside the field of Egyptology he took some of the most instantly recognisable photographs in modern culture. His photographs of Tutankhamun’s tomb are well known, and are used extensively in publications (for instance “The Complete Tutankhamun” by Nicholas Reeves uses 100 of Burton’s photographs). Taylor said that his talk was intended to be more about Burton’s photography in general, and not so much about Tutankhamun’s tomb. Although given that was a part of Burton’s work, and given that this is the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, he was, of… Read More »“Harry Burton: Tutankhamun’s Photographer” Ian Taylor