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Exploring Egyptian Deities- 7 case studies
6 x Monday Evenings 6th November - 11th December
Times: 7.30-9pm (UK Times) to join live.
We love to see you for the live lectures, but if you have to miss one, don't worry, you can of course catch up (or watch again) at your leisure via the recordings. You will have access to the recorded lectures for a whole month after the last live lecture. Recordings will be available until 15th January.
This 6 week course will explore and discuss the way in which specific cults of deities were used to support political and religious power in ancient Egypt during the Pharaonic period. The deities chosen represent the changing fortunes of the different cults and will enable us to examine the reasons why some cults remained effective for thousands of years, while others did not receive continued investment. How did some gods remain in the cultural conscience of Ancient Egypt while others did not? Did the Egyptians ever really discard their gods or what role did they play as part of the supranatural universe through extensive temple and shrine catalogues?
Week 1. Pakhet and Bat
Week 2. Ptah
Week 3. Anubis
Week 4. Seshat
Week 5. Montu
Week 6. Amun
With a different deity in the spotlight each week, we will be able to explore some interesting questions….
The Early Dynastic deities — feline Pakhet and bovine Bat— appear in specific places and on certain monuments but may have been subsumed by the later forms of Sakhmet and Hathor. To what extent can the relationship be traced and, therefore, where did Sakhmet and Hathor come from?
Ptah is associated with creation, craftsmanship and Memphis but how did this god in human form gather these attributes and why?
Anubis, the jackal, commands respect as the guardian of the dead but what was his relationship with Wepwawet and Osiris?
Seshat is described as the goddess of writing and knowledge which seems at odds with the very male profession of ‘scribe’. Who was this wise woman and what is the seven pointed symbol she is shown with on her head?
Montu — a war god — and Amun — ‘Hidden One’ — represent political god-making at its most effective. From the Middle Kingdom onwards the investment into the two gods changed resulting in the creation of the King of the gods Amon-Re and the theocratic state of the Third Intermediate Period.
Dr Penny Wilson
Penny Wilson has worked in the Deaprtment of Archaeology at Durham University for the last 20 years and before then she was Assistant Keeper in the Dept. Antiquities, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. She studied at Liverpool University, where she completed her PhD, now published as ‘A Ptolemaic Lexikon’. She is currently Director of the Delta Survey Project for the Egypt Exploration Society and field director of the Royal City of Sais Project. Her interests include religious life in Ancient Egypt, settlement archaeology and the Late period to Late Antique Nile Delta. Her publications include field reports on the Sais excavations, and Delta survey work as well as ‘Sacred Signs’ an introduction to the role of hieroglyphs in ancient Egypt.
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