Past Events

On this page you will find information on the events hosted by the Calgary Chapter of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities from 2000 to 2010.

2011 Events

Date:2011 May 6
Title: My 2011 field season: “ground truthing”, a lost village in the empty desert, and the Egyptian Revolution viewed from Dakhleh Oasis
Speaker:Dr. Mary McDonald
Mary McDonald Mary is an Associate Professor in the Archaeology Dept at the University of Calgary. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. Her interests lie in the origins of agriculture and developments towards civilization in Egypt and the Near East.

Mary will talk about her 2011 January/February field season with the Dakhleh Oasis Project (DOP), and the Kharga Oasis Prehistoric Project (KOPP). Mary will also briefly talk about some more recent Egyptian history that occured during her time in Egypt earlier this year.


Date:2011 April 1

Title: Ancient Egypt in the Nineteenth Century: Egypt in Victorian Popular Culture and the Emergence of Egyptology

Speaker: Kevin M. McGeough Ph.D.

Kevin M. McGeough Ph.D. Kevin McGeough is an Associate Professor of archaeology at the University of Lethbridge. A specialist in the Late Bronze Age city of Ugarit, McGeough has excavated at many sites throughout the Near East, including the Middle Kingdom town at Abydos.

McGeough will discuss how ancient Egypt was represented in Victorian-era popular culture and how these representations influenced the emergence of Egyptology as an academic discipline. By exploring how Egypt appeared in diverse media (such as adventure fiction, periodicals, theatre, world’s fairs, and the rites of secret societies), McGeough will illustrate the important role of ancient Egypt in Victorian thought and society.

Since our topic was about Victorians, we were joined by a small group of Victorians who arrived by time machine..

Date:2011 March 4

Title: Encaustic Demonstration and Slideshow Presentation

Speaker: Tracy Proctor

Tracy Proctor is the Gallery director at Swirl Fine Art and Design. She has created many works of art with the Encaustic colored wax technique. http://www.swirlfineart.com/artists.php?id=5

The resurgence of encaustic painting is growing as artists discover the luminous color, depth and variety of texture that can be achieved with beeswax. Ancient Egyptians created an art form in 400 BC that is alive today with many contemporary artists since its revival with Jasper Johns in the 1950s. The alchemy of the elements of fire, air, and molten pigmented wax creates the sensuous beauty of wax paintings. The process of encaustic painting is a seduction and enticement to many artists because its varied uses and expressions are vast. This work has an amazing range, from sheer and translucent to boldly opaque and sculptural.

Come discover a glimpse of how encaustic painting is done with a live demonstration by Tracy Proctor. There will also be a slideshow presentation and discussion on encaustic art throughout history dating back to its origins in Ancient Egypt.


Date:2011 February 4

Title: Remembering Steven Larkman and Prerecorded Lecture on Early Predynastic Egypt

Steven Larman Before screening a prerecorded lecture, we will take some time to remember Steven Larkman, our past president, who passed away late last year. Anyone who wishes to say a few words to the group about Steven are encouraged to notify Julius before the meeting.

2010 Events

Date:2010 December 3

Title: Abydos

Speaker:Julius Szekrenyes

Julius is the president of the Calgary Chapter of the SSEA.

Abydos is one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt. Besides many important temples, Abydos is home to the tombs of many early pharaohs.


Date: 2010 November 5

Title: The Copts: who are they? – Their heritage and culture; then and now

Speaker: Kamal K. Botros Ph.D.

Kamal is a member of the Coptic Church in Calgary. He gave presentations on the Copts, the Christians of Egypt, to the Calgary SSEA in previous years. In this talk Kamal provided an overview of the history and culture of the Copts.Some of the slides from his presentation can be found here: http://www.slideshare.net/GeorMar/coptic-church-kamal-botros

Date: 2010 October 1

Title:Travelogue of Egypt

Speaker: Dan Bruce

Dan has worked as a cowboy in the US and Canada, and is a bronc rider, cattle history expert, past manager of tourism at the Nicola and Eight Mile ranches, artefact restoration expert, past curator of the Kelowna Museum, and current curator of the historical site of Fintry.

Dan provided a travelogue of Egypt based on a couple of recent tours there.


Date: Date: 4 June 2010

Title: Mendes 2001

Speaker: David George,

David was the archaeological photographer for the Mendes dig with Donald Redford from 2000 through 2004.

Mendes 2001 is a one-hour film. The film follows students and staff through the 2001 season and reveals interesting finds as well as daily life on the dig. Mendes was the capitol of the 16th nome of Lower Egypt and originally the sacred city of the fish-goddess of the Delta, Hat-Mehit. In later times the city became centre of the cult of the four-faced ram god.


Date: 7 May 2010

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Title: Egypt Rocks: Buildings, Statues and the Geology of Egypt

Speaker: Paul English

Paul is the Vice-president of the Calgary Chapter of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities. Paul obtained a B.Sc. in geology from the University of Southampton (UK) and then moved to Alberta and completed an M.Sc. in geology at the University of Alberta. For most of the last 30 years he has been based in Calgary, working in the oil industry. Paul is a long-time member of the Chapter, currently serves as a Trustee of the SSEA and is also a member of the Egyptian Exploration Society.

Paul talked about various aspects of the geology and rocks in Egypt.


Date: 5 March 2010

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Title: Horemheb & the genesis of ‘Mithraism’ in Ancient Egypt

Speaker: Rosalind Park

Madame Park has UK degrees in Archaeometry [B.Sc], & Cultural Astronomy [MA], with archaeology post grad field-work done in Israel. A member of the International Association of Egyptologists since 1998 and, from time to time, publishes and lectures on medicine and/or religious astronomy in Ancient Egypt. Gordon Falconer is a lawyer with an abiding interest in astronomy.

Rosalind Park talked about some speculations about Horemheb, and his ‘tomb’ at Saqqara not being a tomb, but a type of clandestine meeting place for his army generals. She will present arguments that the funerary texts of his later tomb in the Valley of the Kings show that an Egyptian style type of ‘Mithraism’ was practiced some 1,500 years before Roman soldiers took hold of the ideology. Madam Park was asssited by her husband Gordon Falconer. He began the talk by telling us about some aspects of astronomy related to the subject of the talk.


Date: 5 February 2010

Title: Coins of the Ptolemies

Speaker: Geraldine Chimirri-Russell

Location: Nickle Arts Museum at the University of Calgary

2009 Events

Date: 13 November 2009

Title: A Tour of Ancient Thebes

Speaker: Julius Szekrenyes

This talk will be a tour of the ancient temples, palaces, towns and tombs in and around ancient Thebes (modern Luxor and surroundings).


Date: 2 October 2009

Title: Death on the Nile

Speaker: David George

David George will present the film Death on the Nile, a short video on Mendes, and the short version of his film Mendes 2000.


Date: 5 June 2009

Title: The British Museum Egyptian Collection

Speaker: Nicholas Wernick, University of Liverpool, England


Date: 1 May 2009

Title: Egypt in the European Imagination before Champollion.

Speaker: Jãnis Svilpis,

Jãnis Svilpis is Associate Professor of English at the University of Calgary


Date: 3 April 2009

Event: Videotaped Lecture


Date: 6 March 2009

Egyptian Movie Night

Title: The Mummy


Date: 6 February 2009

Title: The Evolution of Mummification in Ancient Egypt

Speaker: Julius Szekrenyes

Julius Szekrenyes is a long time member of the Calgary SSEA.

Mummies are a common symbol of ancient Egypt but the practice changed considerably over the 3000 years of Egyptian history. In this talk, Julius will explore the evolution of mummies.

2008 Events

Date:December 5, 2008Presentation: Mistress of the Evening – Mistress of the West. The Egyptian Goddess Hathor in the Near Eastern ContextSpeaker:Katja GoebsKatja is an Associate Professor in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto. She specializes in Egyptian Religion and kingship and its iconography. She recently published a book entititled: Crowns in Egyptian Funerary Literature. Royalty, Rebirth, and Destruction.


Date: November 7, 2008

Bad Egyptian Movie Night

Title: Bubba Ho Tep

Join us for something a little bit different.


Date:October 3, 2008Presentation: The Geography and Chronology of Ancient Egypt Part 2

Speaker: Steven James Larkman

Steven continued his overview of the geography and chronology of ancient Egypt. Steven is president of the Calgary chapter of the SSEA.

At this meeting we also had our first Annual General Meeting.We adopted new By-laws and chose a new vice president.


Date: September 12, 2008

Presentation: The Geography and Chronology of Ancient Egypt Part 1

Speaker: Steven James Larkman

Steven is president of the Calgary chapter of the SSEA. Steven will give an overview of the geography and chronology of ancient Egypt.


Date: June 6, 2008

Presentation: Hatshepsut

Speaker: Hend Badawy

Hend Badawy has worked as an architect in Egypt, Algeria and Canada. She recently moved to Calgary from Montreal. She recieved a Post Graduate Diploma in Egyptian Civiliztion at Helwan Univeristy in Cairo and a guide permit for ancient sites in Egypt.

Hend will discuss the character of Hatshepsut, the composition of the Royal family and the the Royal family at the the time of Hatshepsut.


Date: May 2, 2008

Presentation: From human origins to the origins of the Egyptian Civilization: fieldwork in Kharga Oasis, Western Desert of Egypt, in the 2006 7 2008 field seasons.

Speaker: Dr. Mary McDonald

Mary is Associate Prof in the Archaeology Dept, U. of Calgary. Her interests lie in the origins of agriculture and developments towards civilization in Egypt and the Near East. She has done fieldwork in Turkey, Iran and Lebanon. Since 1979, she has worked in Egypt as a member of the Dakhleh Oasis Project (DOP), and since 2000, with the Kharga Oasis Prehistoric Project (KOPP). In both projects, she has studied the Late Prehistory of the area: from 10,000 to 4000 years ago, or about 9000 to 2200 BC.


Date: April 28, 2008

Presentation: An Overview of the Egyptian Temples

Speaker: John Gee – William (Bill) Gay Associate Research Professor of Egyptology Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship Brigham Young University.


Date: April 4, 2008

Presentation: The Entourages of Ancient Egypt

Speaker: Steven James Larkman


Date: March 7, 2008

Presentation: PseudoEgyptology: Pyramidiots and the ancient Egyptian Air Force

Speaker: Rebecca Bradley

Location: Room EA 1031 – Mount Royal College

Rebecca Bradley is a Calgary based archaeologist and writer of speculative fiction. She did field work at ancient Meroe. More recently she worked on the Merowe dam salvage campaign at the fourth cataract.

In her talk, Rebecca will discuss how writers of best selling new age books misrepresent ancient Egypt and it artefacts.


Date: February 1, 2008

b>Presentation: Scribes and the Scribal Arts

Speaker: Steven James Larkman

Location: Room EA 1031 – Mount Royal College

2007 Events

Date: December 7, 2007 – 7:00 p.m.

Presentation: A Tour of Saqqara

Lecturer: Julius Szekrenyes

Location: Room EA 1031 – Mount Royal College

Julius Szekrenyes is well-known to most members of SSEA Calgary. He has been a member since it first started here and was president for many years. He is a retired pathologist and has given courses on Ancient Egypt for University of Calgary Continuing Education for many years.

Saqqara is the most attractive and interesting site in Egypt. It began as the cemetery of the capital city, Mennefer (Memphis) in the Old Kingdom, and continued to be used as a cemetery for almost every dynasty for pharaohs, nobility, tradesmen and peasants, a history of almost 3000 years. The presentation will be a slide-show tour of Saqqara, showing many tombs and pyramids.


Date: November 2, 2007 – 7:00 p.m.

Presentation: A Very Special Tour in Egypt

Lecturer: David George

Location: Room EA 1031 – Mount Royal College

In 1995 intrepid photographer David George and his wife Lea undertook a very special tour in Egypt. Almost accidentally, we found we had our own guide, and a VIP suite on the newest Nile cruise boat. We mostly ignored the standard tourist itinerary, and saw lesser visited places such as El Kab, the Nobles tombs in Aswan, Meidum, Medinet Habu, and Nefertari’s tomb on the 7th day of its reopening to the public. This was our third trip to Egypt together, and this presentation will include many images digitized from slides and negatives to recapture some of our excitement on this very special tour.


Date: Friday October 5, 2007

Presentation: To Die in Style; The Cemetery Site of Beni Hasan

Lecturer: Steven James Larkman

The site of Beni Hasan was a cemetery that contained a large collection of burials.This site has been used to create a picture of life that occurred during the early Middle Kingdom. Providing some of the most important information on the lives of the elite and non-elite members of society lived and died. This presentation will look at the history of the site, the internal chronology of the site and the information that the site gives for the time period that it was in use.


Date: Friday 04 May 2007

Presentation: Medinet Habu: its religious and historical significance

Lecturers: Mssrs. David George, long-time lecturer and member of the SSEA, and Steven Larkman,Vice-President of the Calgary Chapter SSEA

Come join us for a fascinating multi-media, first-hand exploration (by aerial balloon, video and slides)of one of Egypt’s most important and well reconstructed mortuary complexes, that of User-ma‘at-ra Mery-amun (Ramesses III), who reigned between 1184-1153 BC during Dynasty XX of the New Kingdom. Find out how else we believe it was used, who is represented on the regimen of sculptural panel reliefs and why, scenes of provocative imagery, and some of the more controversial historical claims (“did he really do that?”).


Presentation: Ancient Egyptian Jewelry

Speaker: Julius Szekrenyes

Date: Friday, March 2, 2007

Jewelry in Ancient Egypt was worn by all, farmer to pharaoh, for decoration, badge of rank, award, and amuletic protection, and was often buried with the owner for use in the Afterlife. Most of the valuable pieces were recycled back into the economy by tomb-robbers, so it is fortunate that many spectacular finds have been made in modern times, such as the jewels of King Tut.

Jewelry was made from a large variety of materials including gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise, silver, calcite, glazed composite (faience), soapstone, quartz such as carnelian, jasper and sard, and even bone and glass.

This talk will show examples of jewelry from Predynastic times down to near the end of Pharaonic Egypt.


Date: Friday 02 February 2007

Presentation: The end of Meroë: A review of the literary and archaeological evidence

Co-Lecturers: Dr. Peter Shinnie, Professor Emeritus, University of Calgary; and Dr. John Robertson, Instructor Emeritus, Mount Royal College

Prof. Shinnie recently received the distinguished award of The Order of the Two Niles by the Ambassador of Sudan to Canada, two years after the original award was made to him in the Sudan, in honour of his major contributions to the archaeology of the Sudan, and for establishing the first Department of Antiquities in the country. He is well known to all members of the Calgary Chapter of the SSEA and as a distinguished scholar on northern Africa from ancient times to the Medieval period, having directed excavations and conducted research on cultures from the Sudan to Ghana.

Dr. Robertson is also well known to the Calgary Chapter for his work in the Sudan, and at Meroë as an excavation supervisor and the ceramic specialist.

Join Calgary’s two most distinguished scholars of the Sudan as they co-present the results of their research into the last days of the Meroitic kingdom that Prof. Shinnie brought to life with his major excavation project at Meroë, its capitol, during 1973-1984.

2006 Events

Date: Friday 01 December 2006

Presentation: Hot Topics on ancient Egypt: New and exciting discoveries at KV 63, and ancient seafaring along Egypt’s Red Sea Coast

Lecturer: Mr. Steven Larkman, Vice President of the Calgary Chapter SSEA, & Sessional Instructor at Mount Royal College (Archaeology of the Nile Valley)

Explore two original discoveries, and get the latest word on implications and controversies! The newly discovered western Theban tomb, now known as KV 63, is the first tomb top be discovered in over 80 years, and is just metres away from the Tomb of King Tutankhamun, which previously was the last to receive a number (KV 62). It was explored by Prof. Otto Schaden from Memphis University, USA in February 2006, and yielded some fantastic remains. Dr. Zahi Hawass now proclaims those remains may belong to family members Tut’s family, others think they may belong to members of the royal family of the Amarna period.

The Wadi Gawasis is a branch of the Wadi Hammamat, ending at Mersa Gawasis. This port enabled an overland connection running east of the Coptos bend in the Nile to the Red Sea. Here, archaeologists found two caves this past December in which were found the possible remains of the ship that Queen Hatshepsut (1473-1458 BC), as a pharaoh during Dynasty XVIII of the New Kingdom, sent to Punt.


Date: Friday 03 November 2006

Video Presentation: Queen of Sheba: Behind the Myth (Atlantic Productions, 2002)

Lecturer: Dr. William D. Glanzman, President, SSEA Calgary Chapter & Instructor in Archaeology, Department of Behavioural Sciences, Mount Royal College

By popular demand from our members—What do Gina Lolabrigitta and the desert have in common? Come find out and join Dr. Glanzman as he introduces this video and explores additional historical background on this enigmatic queen who allegedly visited King Solomon! He will also provide clarification on a few points that are “made-for-Hollywood” exaggerations of archaeological and historical data that have crept into popular culture.


Date: Wednesday 01 November 2006

Venue: The Glenbow Museum, Theatre

Presentation: Geography of the Afterlife

Lecturer: Mr. Peter Robinson, Master’s in Historical Geography (1988) from Manchester University; Certificate of Egyptology (1997), University of Manchester; Treasurer of the Poynton Egyptology Group, Manchester, UK

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Mr. Robinson, a geographer, cartographer and Egyptologist specializing on the Middle Kingdom’s Coffin Texts, will examine ancient Egypt’s coffins, burial customs and rituals from Predynastic times on through Ptolemaic Egypt. Middle Kingdom traditions will form a major focus of the presentation. Mr. Robinson is well known in Egyptology circles, and has published extensively, including a paper on the Ritual Landscapes of the Afterlife, and an in press contribution, Journey through Egyptian Afterlife. He is currently the Editorial Assistant for the magazine Ancient Egypt.


Date: Friday 06 October 2006

Presentation: In Search of Ancient Caravans: the results of the 2006 field season of the Wadi Raghwan Archaeological Project

Lecturer: Dr. William D. Glanzman, President, SSEA Calgary Chapter & Instructor in Archaeology, Department of Behavioural Sciences, Mount Royal College

Join our Chapter President as he recounts the trials, tribulations and results of the first field season of his new expedition to Yemen. Here are but a few highlights—turret tombs of the Bronze Age and later; a cemetery unique in structure and arrangement; ancient stone tools, some of which may be over 1 million years old; irrigation structures that may be older than the Old Marib Dam; connections with the early alphabetic scripts of the Phoenicians, the Sinai and Egypt’s Wadi el-Hol; and the best discoveries are always made on the last day!


Date: Friday 05 May 2006

Presentation: What was going an in Dakhleh Oasis during Egyptian Predynastic and Old Kingdom times? The Sheikh Muftah culture.

Lecturer: Dr. Mary McDonald, Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary

The Sheikh Muftah culture in Dakhleh Oasis, Western Desert of Egypt, spanned some 1,500 years until 2200 BC, overlapping with the Predynastic and much of the Old Kingdom in the Nile Valley, Despite its longevity, this culture was far from prosperous. After 5000 BC the Eastern Sahara was drying out, and the Sheikh Muftah people were confined to a shrinking oasis. There they lived as wandering herders, their lives often marked by malnutrition -and hard work. Still, they produced fine chipped stone tools, intriguing pottery and other artefacts. In this talk we will look at some of the major Sheikh Muftah sites explored so far, and what they reveal about these hard-pressed but resilient oasis dwellers.


Date: Friday 07 April 2006

Presentation: Military Campaigns of Dynasty XIX: Conquering the Chaos of the Amarna Period

Lecturer: Nicholas Wernick, MA in Egyptology

From the historical and artistic points of view, the infamous Amarna Period begins with the change of the name of Amenhotep IV to Akhenaten (ca. 1348 BC) and extends into the reign of Tutankhaten until he changes his name to Tutankhamun (reign ca. 1336-1327 BC) during his reign. This short-lived period of the New Kingdom greatly eroded Egypt’s previous hold on foreign lands in the Levant (Israel, Palestine, Jordan & Syria). This situation represented a massive reversal in the political control that Egypt previously exerted. For the new family line of kings from the eastern Delta established by Rameses I Menpehtyra (reign ca. 1306-1305 or 1295-1294 BC) the founder of Dynasty XIX, it raised the question of how they were to deal with their loss of international status. Nicholas will take us through the propagandistic scenes of military campaigns during Dynasty XIX, and will reveal how the reconquista by the early Ramesside period kings became manifest in the region. He will also compare the archaeological evidence derived from excavations in the Levant to examine whether or not the term “empire” used by various scholars for this dynasty can truly be attributed to Egypt’s role abroad.


Date: Friday 03 March 2006

Presentation: New Kingdom tombs

Lecturer: Dr. Valrie Angenot

Dr. Angenot comes to us from Toronto to speak on aspects of her research into Dynasty XVIII tomb paintings. Dr. Angenot’s research has focused on the viewing scenes from the New Kingdom tombs.


Date: Friday 03 February 2006

Presentation: I Rule this Egypt.- Great Overlords of the First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom

Lecturer: Steven J. Larkman, M.A. Egyptology, University of Liverpool

Steven J. Larkman is the SSEA Calgary Chapter, Vice President, and Sessional lecturer at Mount Royal College. Great Overlords were officials that competed with the Kings for control of Egypt during the First Intermediate Period and early Middle Kingdom. An investigation into these officials provides large amount of information of how they controlled the provinces of Egypt and created the time period.


Date: Friday 13 January 2006

Presentation: Harpocrates, Bes, and Bastet, Recent Evidence for Egyptian Deities at Petra

Location: Glenbow Museum

Lecturer: Prof. David Johnson, Professor of Anthropology at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

Dr. Johnson, who is Director of Brigham Young University’s Archaeological Expedition to Petra, is coming to Calgary a day earlier to present on recent archaeological fieldwork at Petra. For the SSEA he will present on his fabulous recent discovery at Petra. In recent excavations of Nabataean burials and open air shrines at Petra in the Wadi Mataha, a large number of votive offerings with images of the Egyptian protective deities Harpocrates, Bes, Thoth and Bastet have been found carved in stone, painted on pottery and bone, and molded in plaster. This is further significant evidence of the influence of the cult of Isis on Nabataean religion.

2005 Events

Date:Friday 04 November 2005Title: Medicine, Health and Disease in Ancient EgyptLecturer:Dr. Julius Szekrenyes, ex-President of the Calgary Chapter of the SSEAThe ancient Egyptians, dwelling in a harsh semitropical river and desert environment, were subject to a wide range of common and esoteric diseases and injuries. They developed practical and magical means to cope with these problems. The “physician-surgeon” (SNW, pronounced “soonoo”) was skilled in basic medical and surgical techniques, useful and sometimes useless medicines, and a host of spells and incantations to drive out evil influences. Yet, even the spells and incantations were logical in terms of their beliefs in the pharaonic age. Julius will use artwork, ancient papyrus texts and mummies to illustrate the various pathologies depicted in tomb paintings and statues, and to describe maladies and their treatments in the ancient medical texts. Examination of mummies, from early unwrapping efforts to modern forensic studies, will be used to further demonstrate how well adept the SNW of Egypt was, and how accurately we are able to reconstruct this fascinating realm of ancient Egyptian society.


Date:Friday 07 October 2005Title: Where was Alexander the Great buried, in Alexandria, or at the Siwa Oasis?

Lecturer: Dr. William D. Glanzman, President, SSEA Calgary Chapter & Instructor in Archaeology, Department of Behavioural Sciences, Mount Royal College

One of the great, unsolved historical questions is where Alexander III of Macedon, the legendary Alexander the Great (Μέγας Ἀλέξανδρος) was buried following the equally mysterious causes of his death at Babylon in 323 BC. His exploits in Egypt are also well known, but the aftermath and impact they had upon ancient Egyptian society were also of great and lasting importance and directly related to how his body was treated once he died, and where it would reside for all time. He began and had named after him one of the greatest cities of antiquity, Alexandria, and his famous journey into the desert to visit the oracle at Siwa firmly established his prominence and role as legitimate king or pharaoh of Egypt. Over the years both sites have been argued as the location for the final resting place of Alexander, yet no trace of his body or his tomb has been found. In 1995 a flurry of media coverage pointed to Siwa, and then the fingers started pointing all around. Dr. Glanzman will explore this mystery, the sources and the debates, and the archaeological possibilities for both sites.


Date: Friday 01 April 2005

Title: Incense and incest: Yuya, Tjuyu and their family in the late Dynasty XVIII

Lecturer: Steven J. Larkman, MA in Egyptology, University of Liverpool

Steven is well known to many of the SSEA Calgary Chapter Members, and is also the Sessional Instructor for the course on the Archaeology of the Nile valley here at MRC. One of his passions concerns the controversial roles of royal family members during Dynasty XVIII (ca. 1550-1295 BC).

In February of 1905 the archaeologist James Edward Quibell, working on behalf of the American entrepreneur Theodore M. Davis, discovered the well equipped tomb (KV 46 in the Valley of the Kings) of the God’s Father Yuya (or Yuia) and his wife Tjuyu (or Tuyu/Thuiu), who bore the prestigious title King’s Mother of the Great Royal Wife. Yuya also bore the title Master of the Horse. Yuya and Tjuyu appear in several documentary sources, especially the commemorative scarabs, of King Amenhotep III Nebmaatra (who reigned ca. 1417-1379, or 1390-1352 BC) as being the parents of his Chief Queen, the Great Royal Wife Tiye (or Tiy; ca. 1410-1340 BC). She bore Amenhotep III their son Amenhotep IV (reign ca. 1379-1362, or 1352-1336 BC), who in his 5th regnal year changed his name to Akhenaten. In all of their documentation Yuyu and Tjuyu are presented in various ways that suggest this couple carried a great deal of importance on the political landscape of Dynasty XVIII. Steven will explore several pressing questions that the documentation raises, such as their relationship to Amenhotep III, why they were elevated in importance enough to enable Tiye to acquire her titles, why they were permitted the otherwise restricted privilege of being buried among royalty, and what their social and political roles were in their family line that generated so much turmoil around the middle of the 14th century BC, only to become extinguished at the close of Dynasty XVIII.


Date: Friday 04 March 2005

Title: Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend: Jewelry in the Roman World

Lecturer: Susan Terendy, M.A. Graduate Student, Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary

Susan will explore the jewelry depictions in the funerary artwork of two contemporary yet diverse stylistic traditions, that of the Fayum mummy portraits of Roman Egypt, with Palmyrene funerary sculpture, as examples of stylistic influence during the heyday of the Roman Empire . Susan will show how shared jewelry forms and canons of artistic representation, as well as evidence for mummification, illustrate the network of connections between these two disparate regions. She will reveal the importance of examining the archaeological contexts, the chronological distribution and geographic spread of specific artistic styles, and the influence that Imperial Rome exerted upon its provincial holdings in funerary art, to demonstrate the dynamic nature of those connections, and to address issues of gender. These latter include social roles, status and familial descent as indicated by the inscriptions engraved and painted upon specific examples of funerary art.

Susan’s MA Thesis research is a cross-cultural comparison in funerary art between ancient South Arabia and the Palmyrenes (who inhabited the famous metropolis of Palmyra, Syria), as cases in point for the transfer and cultural significance of styles in ancient funerary art around the ancient Near East during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. She has recently returned from her travels and research in the prominent museums of the Middle East.


Date: Friday 04 February 2005

Presentation: Mendes Archaeological Project 2002-2004: A retrospective view

Lecturer: David George, Professional Photographer and Videographer for the Mendes Archaeological Project in Lower Egypt

David returns to show us the exciting discoveries made during the 2004 archaeological field season at Mendes, which is directed by Prof. Donald B. Redford (Pennsylvania State University), and showcase some of his most recent photographic documentation; he will also highlight the most significant discoveries of the 2002 and 2003 field seasons. The site of Mendes (ancient “Per-banebdjedet”, modern Tell er-Rub‘a) was the capitol of the 16th nome of Lower Egypt and originally the sacred city of the fish-goddess of the Delta, “Hat-Mehit”, who is identified by her emblem as the goddess with the Nile carp (Lepidotus) upon her head. Her power here was eventually eclipsed by the worship of her consort the ram-god “Banebdjedet”, after whom the site was re-named. The span of the site’s occupation is vast, covering Predynastic times through the Late Period, including the famous “naos” dated to the reign of Ahmose II (570-526 BC) and some remains of Dynasty XXIX (399-380 BC).

2004 Events

Date: Friday 12 November 2004

Title: Nourishment for the Heart. Music and Dance in Ancient Egypt

Lecturer: Dr. Lyn Green, Vice President of the SSEA, Toronto , University of Toronto

Dr. Green is well known for her work in the SSEA in Toronto as the current Vice President, and her presentations and publications on women of the Amarna Period, which formed the topic of her PhD Dissertation from the University of Toronto . In addition, she has worked for Education and Public Programs Departments of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), organized various lecture series & Symposia for both the SSEA and the ROM organizations since 1991.

Music and dance were an integral part of ancient Egyptian life, from work-songs and harvest dances to temple hymns. The latter were especially important because they not only honoured but pacified gods and goddesses; both human and divine beings enjoyed music and dance for their healing and transformative powers as well. “Musical” deities such as Bes and Hathor encouraged conception, attended birth, and protected Egyptians throughout life. Musicians and dancers are well represented on tomb walls, reflecting the contribution that these arts could make to the dead and the living. In this lecture, we will look beyond the entertainment value of these arts and delve into their transcendent power.


Date: Friday 05 November 2004

Title: The role of Cattle in ancient Egypt

Lecturer: Dan Bruce

Many different animals were pictured in tomb paintings and described in agricultural treatises, legal documents and religious texts by the ancient Egyptians; some were used in agricultural pursuits, while others were venerated as zoomorphic representations of deities. Cattle served both purposes: as a primary animal for food (meat, milk, butter & cheese) and for raw materials (e.g., leather), as well as serving as a beast of burden; the cow was envisioned as the zoomorphic version of the goddess Hathor, whose worship was popular throughout Egypt especially from New Kingdom through Ptolemaic times, and the bull as the god Apis, whose cult was especially popular in Lower Egypt during the Ptolemaic period. Domesticated cattle first appear in Egypt during the Neolithic period (ca. 8800-4700 BC) in the area of Dakhleh Oasis.

Given their importance to the livelihood of everyday life in Egypt, cattle were also used in the hesbet, or “cattle census”, a form of tax assessment held biennially that involved a regular parade of the beasts from throughout a given nome, and which seems to be recorded on one of the principal historical documents for early dynastic times, the Palermo Stone (dated to Dynasty V). Several Middle Kingdom tomb model representations of the “cattle census” are well known, the best being one from the Theban Tomb of Meket-Re, an official during the reign of the Middle Kingdom king Amenemhat I (r. 1985-1956 BC), the first ruler of Dynasty XII. Dan will discuss these and other roles of cattle for Egyptians throughout pharaonic times.


Date: Friday 01 October 2004

Title: Recent Archaeological Research in the Sudan

Lecturer: Dr. John “Jack” Robertson, Instructor Emeritus in Archaeology, Department of Behavioural Sciences, Mount Royal College

The government of the Republic of Sudan recently decided to build a dam at the 4 th Cataract of the Nile, which will create a lake almost 300 kilometers long that will flood and possibly destroy many of the antiquities along the Nile’s course. The Sudanese government thus invited the international community of archaeologists to undertake rescue fieldwork to recover as many of the antiquities as possible. As many of us heard in the media coverage in Calgary , Dr. Robertson and many other colleagues responded to the call. The main supporter of this research is the Sudan Archaeological Research Society (SARS), consisting of a team of specialists from Sudan , Germany , England , Switzerland , Austria , Russia , USA , and Canada . The overall Director of the research is Dr. Derek Welsby and the Field Director is Dr. Pawel Wolf.

Dr. Robertson’s role in this research focused on the excavation and analysis of human skeletons dating from about 5,000 to about 1,000 years ago, thus covering the recent Neolithic, the Kenna, Napata and Meroitic Periods, the X-Group and the Christian Period in the Sudan. Dr. Robertson will provide a brief review of Meroitic civilization, and proceed to focus on his 4 th cataract research and the skeletons he and his colleagues recovered. He will include a discussion of how the antiquities the SARS group has recovered along the central portion of the Nile relate to ancient Egypt ‘s past.


Date: Friday 02 April 2004

Title: The Mendes/al-Hiba excavations of 2003

Lecturer: David George, Professional Photographer and Videographer for the Mendes Archaeological Project in Lower Egypt

David returns to provide an update on the exciting discoveries made during the 2003 field season at Mendes, which is directed by Prof. Donald B. Redford ( Pennsylvania State University ) and showcase some of David’s most recent photographic documentation. The site of Mendes (ancient Per-banebdjedet, modern Tell er-Rub‘a) was the capitol of the 16th nome of Lower Egypt and originally the sacred city of the fish-goddess of the Delta, Hat-Mehit, who is identified by her emblem as the goddess with the Nile carp (Lepidotus) upon her head. Her power here was eventually eclipsed by the worship of her consort the ram-god Banebdjedet, after whom the site was re-named. The span of the site’s occupation is vast, covering Predynastic times through the Late Period, including the famous naos dated to the reign of Ahmose II (570-526 BC) and some remains of Dynasty XXIX (399-380 BC).


Date: Friday 05 March 2004

Title: Medieval Egypt and Maritime Voyaging: a View from the Cairo Genizah

Lecturer: Professor Emeritus David Kelley, Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary

Prof. Kelley is well known to all residents of Calgary , and as a distinguished scholar on numerous fields and disciplines related to archaeology. Besides being an expert on ancient Mesoamerica , he has engaged in extensive research ranging from linguistics to geneaology and recently the information from the Cairo Genizah.

The Cairo Genizah is an archive, most famous for its huge cache of Medieval manuscripts, totaling over 140,000. The term genizah in Hebrew technically refers to a receptacle for retaining discarded holy books, usually placed within a synagogue. These texts were found within the attic of the Synagogue of Abraham Ben Ezra, Rabbi of Jerusalem, located in Fustat (Old Cairo); the synagogue previously had been a Coptic church for several centuries. The manuscripts were discovered during repair work on the synagogue; between the mid-18th century and the 1890s access was extremely difficult, and only after 1896-97 was the importance of some of the fragments discovered when Shlomo Shechter, founder of the Conservative (Historical) Judaism Movement, took ca. 100,000 fragments to Cambridge University for further study. Later, numerous other fragments of the manuscripts were dispersed around western libraries including Bodleian Library at Oxford University and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York . Many of the fragments date around the 9th-10th century AD; the earliest datable manuscript seems to be around AD 750. They are quite diverse in character, and describe all facets of life in Medieval times in Egypt and around the Mediterranean . Besides important sacred and some heretical texts, of particular importance are those of a mundane character, including letters, eye-witness accounts of the Crusades in the Holy Land , and commercial transactions. It is his extensive research on these latter that Prof. Kelley will discuss.


Date: Friday 06 February 2004

Title: Insight into the Civilisation of Meroe.

Lecturer: Professor Emeritus Peter L. Shinnie, Department of Archaeology, the University of Calgary

Prof. Shinnie is well known to all members as the Founder of the Calgary Chapter of the SSEA, and as a distinguished scholar on northern Africa from ancient times to the Medieval period, having directed excavations and conducted research on cultures from the Sudan to Ghana . He is perhaps best known in Egyptological circles as one of the world’s foremost scholars on ancient Nubia and its unique Meroitic civilization, an expert on the various ancient languages of Nubia, as the founder of the Sudanese Department of Antiquities, and as former Director of the archaeological excavations at Meroe. Meroitic civilization is renown as a unique adaptation of certain components of Egyptian culture by the African community, and Prof. Shinnie’s research has certainly borne this out. His illustrated presentation will be a treat to all, granting us his in-depth insight acquired over many years of research. It is timely, especially as archaeological fieldwork is currently underway to salvage archaeological sites and monuments from flooding by the construction of a new dam, and by those of us who recently enjoyed the Discovery Channel’s coverage on ancient Nubia.

2003 Events

Date: Friday 03 October 2003

Presentation: A New Oasis and a New Project: the Kharga Oasis Prehistoric Project in Egypt

Lecturer: Dr. Mary McDonald, Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary

Location: Earth Sciences, Room 162, University of Calgary

The Dakhleh Oasis Project’s Pleistocene (Ice Age) archaeologists have been working for several years in Kharga Oasis, located within Egypt’s Western Desert between the Dakhleh Oasis and the Nile Valley. In Kharga they have now found deposits that extend nearly half a million years back in time. They called upon Dr. McDonald when, unexpectedly, they began to find much younger artefacts and sites (ca. 9,000-5,000 years old), belonging to the Holocene epoch and assigned to the “Neolithic” (“New Stone Age”). The most intriguing finds show just how rich and varied the Kharga Neolithic sites are. Dr. McDonald will outiline some of the most exciting discoveries for what has now been christened the Kharga Oasis Prehistoric Project.


Date: Friday 04 April 2003

Presentation: Meröe, the Ignored Civilisation.

Lecturer: Dr. John “Jack” Robertson, Department of Anthropology, Mount Royal College

The University of Calgary, under Professor Emeritus Peter Shinnie, excavated over 10 years at Meröe, located on the east bank of the Nile in the Butana region of modern Sudan (ancient Nubia). This city was once the center of a great yet little known civilisation, known as the kingdom of Kush, during the 5th century BC. Meröe also gives its name to a later chronological development within Nubia , known as the Meroitic period, spanning roughly 300 BC through AD 350. The inhabitants of this region south of Egypt, the Kushites, at a certain time played on the world stage and were active in world politics. Dr. Robertson, who was Prof. Shinnie’s Assistant Director on the site, will delve into some of the mysteries of this city and civilisation, and their major accomplishments.


Date: Friday 07 February 2003

Presentation: Video Presentation on the latest discoveries of the Mendes Archaeological Project

Lecturer: David George, Project Photographer and Videographer, for the Mendes archaeological project

The site of Mendes (ancient Per-banebdjedet, modern Tell er-Rub‘a) was the capitol of the 16th nome of Lower Egypt, and originally the sacred city of the fish-goddess Hat-Mehit common in the Delta. Identified by her emblem as the goddess with the Nile carp (Lepidotus) upon her head, her power here was eventually eclipsed by the worship of her consort the ram-god Banebdjedet, after whom the site was re-named. Herodotus, who visited the site around 450 BC and changed its name to the Greek Mendes, says he witnessed here the sacrifice of goats—probably a mistake for the ram. The span of its occupation is tremendous: Predynastic through Late Period, including the famous naos dated to the reign of Ahmose II (570-526 BC) and some remains of Dynasty XXIX (399-380 BC). The Mendes Archaeological Project has been exploring these ruins and recently has made some fascinating discoveries that David will reveal to all.

2002 Events

Date: Friday 01 November 2002

Title: Texts from Tut’s Tomb

Speaker: Mark Zender, PhD Candidate, Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary

Mark will examine the life and reign of the most famous and perhaps the least understood of all of Egypt’s pharaohs, from the point of view of the inscriptions found in Tutankhamun’s tomb. Mark will examine several vexing questions: What do we really know of Tutankhamun from contemporaneous sources? How do texts from outside his tomb compare to those commissioned by him? And how secure are the recent suggestions of foul play behind Tut’s death?


Date: Tuesday 15 October 2002

Title: What we now know from the Excavations at Musawwarat as-Sufra, Sudan

Speaker: Prof. Steffen Wenig, Seminar für Sudanarchäologie und Ägyptologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Director of Excavations, Musawwarat as-Sufra, Sudan

Location: Science Theatre 129

Prof. Wenig will review the fabulous discoveries of the German expedition to Musawwarat as-Sufra, one of Sudan ’s major archaeological sites located in the east central region in what was once part of Nubia, covering the later period of Egyptian influence through the Byzantine period.


Date: Friday 04 October 2002

Title: Some recent and unexpected connections between South Arabia and Egypt.

Speaker: Dr. W. D. Glanzman, Nexen Inc Professor of Middle Eastern Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary

Dr. Glanzman will discuss the latest of discoveries from Yemen that unveil a long and rich tradition of cultural connections between Egypt and South Arabia , including a few surprizes.


Date: Friday, February 8*, 2002

Title: Where and What was Punt?

Speaker: Bill Glanzman (Department Of Archaeology, University Of Calgary)

Dr. Glanzman has worked and travelled throughout the Middle East and Egypt. In this lecture, Bill will explore Where and What was Punt?. A small and mysterious ancient kingdom, Punt is known to us only through Ancient Egyptian writings, which describe seagoing trade and travel expeditions to this land. Punt was known as early as the Old Kingdom and was the source of several exotic commodities. Queen Hatshepsut depicted her expedition to Punt on her funerary temple walls at Deir el Bahari.

2001 Events

Date: Friday, October 12, 2001

Title: Results of the Last several Field Seasons at Dakhleh Oasis.

Speaker: Mary McDonald

Mary McDonald (Department of Archaeology University of Calgary) has spoken to us several times regarding Her work on the prehistoric period of Egyptian history.


Date: Friday March 2 2001

Title: The Dig at Mendes, Egypt

Speaker: David George

David, many of you may remember, shared his gorgeous slides of Egypt with us at the SSEA Christmas part a year ago. This time he will show slides(and perhaps a video) of The Dig at Mendes, Egypt. David participated in the work at this Canadian dig last year, working with members of the Toronto SSEA. This talk is sure to be a visiual delight!


Date: Friday February 5

Title: Romance in the shadow of the Sphinx

Speaker: Lynne Nash

Ancient Egyptians were really not that different from us. They enjoyed having a good time, partying the night away and dressing to the nines. Getting ready to go out for the evening was a complicated affair involving bathing, oiling, perfuming and adorning the body with make-up, wigs and beautiful clothing. This lecture will look at “what was hot and what was not”. How would stylish, male or female, upwardly mobile Egyptians have entertained themselves and how would they prepare for a night out on the town.

2000 Events

Date: Friday November 3

Title: Cloth and Clay: An Archaeological Look at Meroitic Weaving

Speaker: Judith Klassen

Judith is a graduate student at the University of Calgary,Department of Archaeology.

Meroe was the capital city of the ancient kingdom of Kush is Nubia, modern Sudan, from the 8th Century B.C. to 300 A.D. Some of the pottery from that era has fabric impressions on it. Analysis of spindle whorls and these cloth impressions has opened a window as to what ancient Meroitic textiles looked like, as well as how they were made.


Date: Friday October 13

Title: A Critical Overview of Alternative Interpretations of Egyptian history

Speaker: Rebecca Bradley

Rebecca has a background in Egyptology and archaeology and has a PhD from Cambridge University. She teaches Egyptology at Mount Royal College.

Rebecca will present a closer look at some of those wild theories about the Great Pyramid being built by aliens, etc. This should be a fun Lecture.


Date: Friday May 5

Title: The Change in the Depiction of Gods on Egyptian Coins

Speaker: Geraldine Chimirr-Russell

Geraldine is a numismatic specialist who comes to us from the Nickle Arts Museum at the University of Calgary.

SThe Ancient Egyptians never actually had a money system of their own, goods being bartered rather than paid for. It wasn’t until later times when the Greeks, and later the Romans, ruled Egypt that the use of money to pay for goods became widespread in Egypt. Both the Greeks and the Romans incorporated many elements of Egyptian religion and culture into their own beliefs. This will be a fascinating look at the way in which Egyptian, Greek and Roman ideas were melded together, as depicted for us in their coinage.

**NOTE: due to renovations being undertaken in Room 162 at this time, this lecture will take place in Room 859, Earth Sciences Building, 7:30 p.m.


Date: Friday February 4

Title: A Survey of the Valley of the Kings

Speaker: Julius Szkrenyes


Date: Friday March 3

Title: The Way of Horus

Speaker: Abdul Rahman Al-Ayedi

Hailing from Egypt, Abdul Rahman is Chief Inspector for the Sinai, and has excavated for several years in that area. He is currently in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto.

The Way of Horus is the ancient military road which connected Egypt and Palestine.If this name sounds familiar, it may be because this was the road the Egyptian soldiers took when heading off to the Battle of Megiddo, circa 1450 B.C.


Date: Friday APRIL 7

Title: Ancient Languages of the Nile

Speaker: Peter Shinnie

Peter is also very familiar to our group, being one of the founding members of the Calgary SSEA, as well as Professor Emeritus in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Calgary. Peter is a familiar – and always popular – speaker to our group.

He will give us a description of the several languages written (and presumably spoken) over the centuries and millennia along the Nile, from the Delta down into Nubia. Although it is not known what the Ancient Egyptian languages sounded like when spoken, changes can most definitely be seen in the written languages over time. As well, the Coptic language, spoken by the Coptic Christians in Egypt even today, gives us a few insights into what the ancient language may have sounded like.

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