Monthly Archives: September 2014

To publish or not to publish? A multidisciplinary approach to the politics, ethics and economics of ancient artefacs

An upcoming timely discussion in Manchester about the antiquities trade

Roberta Mazza

The John Rylands Research Institute Seminar in Papyrology

25 October 2014, Christie Room, The John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester

A brief introduction on the aims of the seminar is available from here: Aims

10:45-11:00 Welcome/Introduction: Roberta Mazza (University of Manchester)

11:00 -11:30 David Gill (University Campus Suffolk): What does ‘provenance’ mean?

11:30-12:00 Neil Brodie (University of Glasgow): The role of academics

12:00-12:30 Stuart Campbell (University of Manchester): Mesopotamian objects in a conflicted world

12:30-13:30 Lunch

Chair: Roslynne Bell (University of Manchester)

13:30-14:00 Roberta Mazza (University of Manchester): Who owns the past? Private and public papyrus collections

14:00-14:30 Chris Naunton (Egypt Exploration Society, London): Association policies: the case of the Egypt Exploration Society

14:30-15:00 Coffee Break

15:00-15:30 Vernon Rapley (V&A Museum, National Museum Security Group, London): ‘Working together.’ Law enforcement and cultural sector, intelligence sharing and cooperation

15:30-16:00 James Ede (Charles Ede Ltd, London): Dealers: trade, traffic and the consequences of demonization

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Encountering Corpses

Outstanding blog that nails all the points I try to make when giving people tours of Ancient Worlds

Stories from the Museum Floor

(Warning: this article includes images of human remains)

One of the most popular galleries in any museum is Ancient Egypt, and in that gallery the biggest attraction is often a mummy. Manchester Museum is no exception; it is renowned for its extensive Egyptology collection, and especially its mummies. But where does this fascination come from?

Howard Carter’s famous discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922 made headlines worldwide, inspiring generations of would-be archaeologists, but also popularising Egyptology beyond the academic –ownership of the discipline was no longer exclusive to the university professor. This is something that continues today, the internet is proliferated with theories of curses and conspiracies, to vampires and aliens. However this public interest seems to have been spawned long before Carter   famously saw “wonderful things”. By the mid nineteenth century the animated corpse had already become a unit of gothic fictional currency, a role for which the…

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Edinburgh workshop 16/10/14: Egyptian Gold – Ancient Context, Modern Analysis


Detail of golden shell pendant, Acc. no. 5968, from Riqqeh

A workshop organised by National Museums Scotland and PICS 5995 CNRS project
Thursday, October 16th, 2014, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

Gold is inextricably linked with ancient Egypt’s wealth, beliefs, and traditions. However, surprisingly few studies have been conducted on Egyptian jewellery of the Bronze Age and little is known about goldsmithing practices. A day workshop hosted by National Museums Scotland and sponsored in collaboration with project PICS 5995 CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), entitled Analytical study of Bronze Age Egyptian gold jewellery, will examine the archaeological context, symbolism, and production processes of gold jewellery excavated in royal and elite burials of the Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Periods (c. 2055–1550BC).

Registration is free but places are limited and advance booking is required. Please book HERE or call 0131 247 4073. For enquiries, please contact Lore Troalen at

Seminar Room, Learning Centre (Level 4), National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
10:15 Registration
10:45 Opening
Jane CARMICHAEL, Director of Collections, National Museums Scotland
11:00 Procurement to adornment: archaeological perspectives on Egyptian gold and gemstone mining
Ian SHAW, Reader in Egyptian Archaeology, University of Liverpool, Co-Director of Gurob Harem Palace Project
11:25 Analytical strategies for the study of Egyptian jewellery
Maria F GUERRA, Director of Research at CNRS & head of project PICS 5995
11:50 Harageh Tomb 72 and the symbolism of fish pendants
Margaret MAITLAND, Curator of the Ancient Mediterranean, National Museums Scotland
12:10 Analysis of jewellery from Harageh Tomb 72
Lore TROALEN, Analytical Scientist, National Museums Scotland
12:30 Discussion
12:45 Lunch (please make your own arrangements)
13:45 The jewellery equipment of Middle Bronze age burials in Egypt
Wolfram GRAJETZKI, Honorary Senior Research Associate, University College London
14:10 Amuletic jewellery from Riqqeh Tomb 124 in the Manchester Museum
Campbell PRICE, Curator of Egypt and the Sudan, Manchester Museum, University of Manchester
14:35 Analysis of jewellery from Riqqeh (title tba)
Matthew PONTING, Senior Lecturer in Archaeomaterials, University of Liverpool
15:00 Tea/coffee (provided)
15:20 The jewellery of the Qurnah ‘queen’: craftsmanship and adornment in the Second Intermediate Period
Lore TROALEN and Margaret MAITLAND, National Museums Scotland
15:50 Discussion
16:10 Close


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Unravelling the John Rylands papyrus collection

Exciting conference this week: ‘From Egypt to Manchester’

Roberta Mazza

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 15.10.01This week the John Rylands Library hosts an international conference on the Rylands papyri: From Egypt to Manchester: unravelling the John Rylands papyrus collection. I am happy to have a number of colleagues and friends coming to a (so far!) sunny Manchester. You can download the program from here: Conference.

I will be tweeting from my account, so follow @papyrologyatman for live updating from Thursday afternoon through Saturday.

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