NHMU is excited to present this fall speaker series in conjunction with our current special exhibition, Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs. From the art of mummification to ancient Egyptian love songs, our selected speakers made up of expert Egyptologists and anthropologists will help you delve deeper into the mesmerizing history of ancient Egypt.
All talks will be online and made available via the links below on their scheduled release dates.
Egyptologist Dr. Alicia Cunningham-Bryant
Mummies in the Making: Conversation and Demonstration
Have you ever wondered how the ancient Egyptians made their mummies? Who hasn’t! Come learn about not only the process and history behind mummification, but experience the actual mummification process itself as NHMU and Professor Cunningham-Bryant take you through actual bird mummification in real time and show you how you can do your own experiment back home! You’ll even learn some spells from the Book of the Dead and how to use them for your mummy, yourself, whoever! Don't miss "When Mummification Was For the Birds" on the NHMU blog.
Egyptologist Cynthia May Sheikholeslami
Talking Trees: Love Songs from Ancient Egypt
Collections of love songs are known from several New Kingdom papyri discovered in the village of Deir el-Medina at Thebes (Luxor). Probably connected to festivals for the goddess of love, Hathor, the songs employ imagery drawn from the environment (such as the sycamore fig tree) and reveal emotions that would be familiar to lovers everywhere today. The love songs also show the importance of fertility and renewal in this world and the next, associated with the annual inundation of the Nile as well as funerary rituals. Ahead of her talk read "Ancient Egyptian Love Songs Connect Romance Across Time" on the NHMU blog.
Egyptologist Dr. Stuart Tyson Smith
Hollywood Fantasies, Egyptian Realities
From epic blockbusters to B grade thrillers, ancient Egypt provides an exotic setting for a wide range of movies. Dr. Smith will focus on the ancient Egyptian mummy genre in film, which burst into theaters most recently with Universal Studios’ special effects driven remakes. Dr. Smith will outline the basic Egypt inspired themes in film with a focus on the mummy genre. Then he will compare Hollywood’s mummies to the insights that archaeology and Egyptology have given us into the reality of death and burial in ancient Egypt, where mummies did take a central, if generally less mobile role. Read "How Hollywood Turned Mummies Into Monsters" on the NHMU blog.
Egyptologist Dr. Regine Schulz
Ancient Egyptian Creation Myths
The ancient Egyptians developed different explanatory models to questions about the origin of the world, of space and time and of living beings. But they also asked themselves what was before the creation and whether this would come once to an end. Crucial for the preservation of the world was the close interaction of heaven and earth, this world and the next, as well as the interactions between humans and gods. A crucial role was played by the king who provided Maat (order, balance and justice) on earth and interacted with the gods. Read "How Ancient Egyptians Understood the World" on the NHMU blog.