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A Tale of Two Crocodiles: Object Lessons from the Fayyum

December 8, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST

ARCE Egyptology Lectures Room 20 Barrows Hall
UC Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States

The American Research Center in Egypt, Northern California Chapter, and the Near Eastern Studies Department, University of California, Berkeley, invite you to attend a lecture by Dr. Emily Cole, University of California, Berkeley

A Tale of Two Crocodiles:
Object Lessons from the Fayyum

Sunday, December 08, 2019, 3 pm
Room 126 Barrows Hall
UC Berkeley Campus

(Near the intersection
of Bancroft Way
and Barrow Lane)

Come shop at our Annual Holiday Souk, before and after the lecture.

About the Lecture:

The exhibition at The Bancroft Library Gallery, “Object Lessons: The Egyptian Collections of the University of California, Berkeley,” invites visitors to explore how items of everyday life were created and discarded, excavated and conserved from antiquity to the present day. In this lecture, I explore the very different lives of two objects that were discovered at Tebtunis, a town in the Fayyūm region of Egypt. The first is that of an intact crocodile mummy. As one of many animal mummies discovered at Tebtunis, this object tells the story of religious practice in the Fayyūm, where crocodiles were worshipped. The second is that of a crocodile that was unwrapped in the search for inscribed papyri. I reflect on why an object that inspires so much fascination today was taken apart by early twentieth-century archaeologists. How has the distinction between artifact and text affected the way we catalog, present, and interpret ancient objects? Through the story of these two crocodiles, I consider the journeys taken by objects as they came to form modern collections.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Emily Cole received her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from UCLA in 2015 for her work on multiculturalism in Graeco-Roman Egypt. She is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center for the Tebtunis Papyri in The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. There she is working on the exhibit “Object Lessons: Egyptian Collections at the University of California, Berkeley.” She was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University. She has worked on excavations in Spain, Turkey, Sudan, and Egypt for 15 years and is co-director of the Northeast Fayyūm Lakeshore Project in Egypt with Dr. Bethany Simpson.

Lectures are free and open to the public. Donations are welcomed.

No photographing or recording of lectures without the express permission of the speakers.

Parking is available in U.C. lots after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends for a fee. Ticket dispensing machines accept either $5 bills or $1 bills. Parking is available in Parking Structure B on Bancroft between Hearst Gym and Kroeber Hall and just across the street from the University Art Museum. Parking is also available in lots along Bancroft, and on the circle drive in front of the Valley Life Sciences building.

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December 8, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST
Event Category:


ARCE Egyptology Lectures Room 20 Barrows Hall
UC Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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