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King Tut

Thursday Evening Lecture Series

Tutankhamun in context: The Political and Religious Landscapes of Amarna and Thebes
May 12, 2011, 7-8:30 p.m.

Howard Carter and the Search for Tutankhamun
May 26, 2011, 7-8:30 p.m.

Past to Present: the History of the Science Museum of Minnesota's Mummy
June 9, 2011, 7-8:30 p.m.

Update on the Investigation of KV-63: The Newest Tomb in the Valley of the Kings
August 11, 2011, 7-8:30 p.m.

Tutankhamun, the Young African King and His Family: Context and Reality
August 25, 2011, 7-8:30 p.m.

Tutankhamun in context: The Political and Religious Landscapes of Amarna and Thebes

Dr. Mary-Ann Pouls Wegner, Associate Professor of Egyptian Archaeology at the University of Toronto

Tutankhamun lived in 'interesting times.' He grew up in the royal court at Amarna, and was ultimately buried in western Thebes. Archaeological evidence from these sites provides crucial insights into the dynamic religious and political changes that took place during Tutankhamun's rule. Coinciding with the exhibition, Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs, Pouls Wegner will talk about her fieldwork and show a few images from her research. She will also explore the broader context in which many of the ancient Egyptian artifacts in the exhibition functioned.

Mary-Ann Pouls Wegner received her Ph.D. in Egyptology (with a specialization in Egyptian Archaeology) from the University of Pennsylvania, and has been teaching at the University of Toronto in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations since 2000. She is currently Associate Professor of Egyptian Archaeology. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Ancient Egyptian archaeology, social and political history, culture, and artifacts (utilizing the collections of the Royal Ontario Museum), and also provides students with opportunities to participate in her research program.

She is the Director of the North Abydos Votive Zone Project, an ongoing archaeological field project under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania-Yale University-Institute of Fine Arts, New York University Expedition to Abydos.

The project has produced important new evidence of popular ritual practice and state patronage in the cult center of the god Osiris. The discovery of two chapels built during the reign of Thutmose III ca. 1450 BCE at the site provides evidence of a coherent large-scale royal building program that developed the setting for an annual performative festival at the site, which dramatized the death and resurrection of Osiris. Intact, stratified archaeological deposits associated with the royal chapels allow a rare glimpse of activities carried out there over the course of more than 1500 years, and point to the highly specialized function of the structures within the context of the Abydos cult institutions.

In addition, associated votive deposits and monuments made by elites and non-elite individuals at the site provide indications of the significance of the Votive Zone and its built environment as a vehicle for actualizing post-mortem transformation—eternal life—for ordinary Egyptians.

Research interests: archaeology of performance, landscape and the reconstruction of aspects of ancient ritual activity through analysis of material culture and spatial patterning, the roles of state and private agency in the development of built environment, state formation, cultural interaction, core-periphery relations.

Howard Carter and the Search for Tutankhamun

Dr. David A. Anderson, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

In November of 1922, Howard Carter made one of the most spectacular archaeological discoveries of all time. This discovery was not random chance, but rather the culmination of years of research and training. This lecture will explore the career of Howard Carter from his initial trip to Egypt as a 17 year old artist through the discovery and excavation of Tutankhamun's tomb. Carter's work will be placed within the greater context of the history of the exploration of the Valley of the Kings and the development of the discipline of archaeology in Egypt. Finally, several controversies surrounding Carter's work in the tomb will be discussed.

Dr. David Anderson is an Assistant Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Sociology/Archaeology, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He is an archaeologist and Egyptologist with over 25 years experience conducting archaeological research in the eastern United States and Middle East on both prehistoric and historic sites. Since 1996 he has been the Director of the El-Mahâsna Archaeological Project of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. This project is investigating the Predynastic period (3600-3100 BCE) village site of El-Mahâsna in order to examine issues related to the formation of the ancient Egyptian centralized state and the origins of Egyptian divine kingship. He specializes in integration of computers and archaeology, utilizing CADD, GIS, GPS and database management to facilitate collection and analysis of field results. He received his B.A. in Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations/Egyptology from the University of Chicago in 1990. In 1995 he received his M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh, and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Pitt in 2006. His dissertation was entitled Power and Competition in the Upper Egyptian Predynastic: A View from the Predynastic Settlement at el-Mahâsna, Egypt.

Past to Present: the History of the Science Museum of Minnesota's Mummy

The Egyptian mummy at the Science Museum of Minnesota continues to be its number one permanent attraction and a stable icon on the museum's exhibit floor. Since it was donated to the museum in 1925, the mummy has attracted and fascinated people of all ages, stimulating interest and wonder in ancient cultures and Egyptian archaeology. But what do we really know about this individual? Several studies have been conducted over the years to try to learn more and share new information with our visitors. Most recently, in 2010, new CT scans and X-rays were obtained as part of the renovation of the mummy exhibit. This lecture will describe the history of the mummy at the Science Museum, and what we know and wish we knew about this very familiar part of the museum's archaeology collection.

Dr. Ed Fleming is Curator of Archaeology at the Science Museum of Minnesota. His research focuses on the archaeology and material culture of North America, specifically the Upper Midwest during Late Pre-Contact times (ca. 1000 - 1400 A.D.). His doctoral research explored community relationships between villages at the Red Wing Locality through the study of material culture. Dr. Fleming has been involved in archaeological research projects in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Montana, Ireland, and Belize. Current research projects include investigating the Late Woodland and Oneota presence at Spring Lake, and annual field work in the Red Wing Locality, in partnership with Research Associate Dr. Ron Schirmer of Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Since coming to the Science Learning Division at the Science Museum in 1999 Fleming has been involved in a wide variety of projects. Current responsibilities include the acquisition and management of the museum's archaeological collections; researching and cataloguing archaeological collections; managing the laboratory for archaeology; the organization, inventory, and maintenance of archaeological collections; and providing content for exhibits and programs. In addition, he co-directs with Tilly Laskey, Curator of Ethnology, the Cordry Internship in Mexican Folk Art and the Ethnobotany Program.

Update on the Investigation of KV-63: The Newest Tomb in the Valley of the Kings

On February 8, 2006, it was announced that an intact chamber; KV-63 was discovered in the Valley of the Kings approximately 14.5 meters from the south edge of KV-62, the Tomb of Tutankhamun. At first, KV-63 was thought to be a tomb and was slowly excavated from March to July 2006. It now appears that KV-63 was a mummification storage area for another royal tomb—possibly an unsanctioned tomb prematurely labeled KV-64. In his lecture, Dr. Schaden will talk about the team's initial discovery and what they have yet to learn about this amazing find!

Dr. Otto J. Schaden is an American Egyptologist, currently working on the Amenmesse / KV-63 Project, supported by the Petty Foundation, Littleton, Colorado. In addition to his ongoing work on the tomb of Amenmesse (KV-10) in the main arm of the Valley of the Kings, he has also cleared and re-investigated tombs WV-23, WV-24, and WV-25 in the Western Valley. Dr. Schaden taught the Middle Egyptian language at the University of Minnesota in the early 1970s.

Tutankhamun, the Young African King and His Family: Context and Reality

Molefi Kete Asante, the most prolific contemporary African American scholar, with over seventy books on African history, culture, and society, will discuss the history of King Tutankhamun, his place in one of the most famous black royal families in history, and the continuing fascination with Tutankhamun's treasures. This lecture will show the importance of the 18th Dynasty in world affairs, the incredible brilliance of the age, and the emergence of King Tutankhamun after a period of heresy at the royal court. Asante demonstrates that not only was Tutankhamun black, but that his entire family was black; this is something that is often overlooked in the presentation of this African king.