Saturday, April 21, 2018

ARCE Annual Meetings - Day 1

     The American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) is having its annual meeting this week on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I arrived Friday morning (because United got me to Houston too late to catch my connecting flight on Thursday), so I missed the first few papers I wanted to see. However, there were still plenty of other papers to enjoy:

     Bonnie Sampsell gave a paper entitled "Reconsidering the History of an Unusual Yellow Coffin" in which she described a Third Intermediate Period yellow coffin and suggested that the specific coffin was likely a late example of its type.

     Brian Muhs of the University of Chicago gave a talk entitled "Papyri in Private Collections, Afterlife or Second Death? The Case of William Randolph Hearst", in which he detailed Hearst's collection of eight papyri, how they were eventually sold at auction to help pay off Hearst's massive debts and what became of some of them after they were sold to private collectors. Dr. Muhs also pointed out that the present whereabouts of three of the papyri is no longer known.

     "The Gilded Coffin of the Priest of Heryshef, Nedjemankh", a talk by Diana Craig Patch and Janice Kamrin, described a Ptolemaic coffin that has recently been acquired by the Metropolitan Museum. The coffin has a number of interesting features. For instance, the lappets of the "wig" on the coffin have a number of registers of decoration that show baboons worshipping the rising sun Isis and Nephthys with Osiris, Anubis and Horus with Osiris and representations of recumbent jackals (earlier Egyptian coffins did not have decorative registers on the wig lappets). The coffin is made of cartonnage covered with plaster and gilded.

     There was also a business meeting of the various members of the various ARCE chapter's Board of Directors, which I attended as one of the representatives of the New York chapter. Some interesting ideas were discussed and some interesting developments should be happening soon.  I will post news as it happens.

     My next post will detail events of the second day of the conference.

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