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Ancient Egyptian Furniture: From the Earliest Examples to Those “Wonderful Things” of the New Kingdom

October 20, 2018 @ 3:30 pm EDT

ARCE-PA at the Penn Museum
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States

ARCE-PA October 20, 2018 Lecture

Dr. Geoffrey Killen
Independent Scholar of Ancient Egyptian Wood Technology and Furniture

“Ancient Egyptian Furniture: From the Earliest Examples to Those “Wonderful Things” of the New Kingdom”

Anthropology Classroom 345, Penn Museum

More Info:


twitter: @ARCE_PApres


More is known about furniture and its development in Egypt than anywhere else in the Ancient World. Bedframes were the first large constructional pieces of furniture to be manufactured and many fine examples were excavated in the 1st Dynasty cemetery at Tarkhan. By the beginning of the Old Kingdom, improved cutting tools and the use of better quality timber witness advances in the manufacture of furniture. These improvements in furniture design and construction can be seen in a series of wall paintings that were discovered in the mastaba tomb of Hesyra at Saqqara and in the reconstructed royal furniture of Queen Hetepheres I at Giza. By the New Kingdom, some of the finest examples of ancient woodworking can be found. Comparing the furniture deposited in the tomb of the workman Sennedjem with the royal deposit discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamun, we can assess the differences in the quality, form and construction of furniture manufactured during the New Kingdom. 

Dr. Geoffrey Killen is a leading Egyptologist, wood technologist, and furniture historian who studied Design and Technology at Shoreditch College, University of London and the University of Liverpool, where he specialized in Ramesside woodworking. His expertise embraces forty years of research in the areas of Ancient Egyptian Furniture and Woodworking Technology. Dr. Killen has studied the collections of Egyptian furniture and woodwork at most of the major world museums including the Egyptian Antiquities Museum, Cairo. He has lectured and given practical demonstrations of Ancient Egyptian woodworking processes and techniques in the United States of America and Britain. He has written extensively on the subject and also led in the field of experimental archaeology where making and using replica woodworking tools and equipment has generated and tested archaeological hypotheses. Dr. Killen’s practical work is now displayed together with those original artefacts in several British museums.

The ARCE-PA sign-in table (which will be set up outside of the classroom) opens at 3pm and sign-in is until 3:30 pm. Tea and cookies will be served prior to the start of the lecture. 

* Entrance fees for most lectures are $10 for the general public, $7 for Penn Museum members and UPenn Staff & Faculty, $5 for Students with ID, and FREE for ARCE-PA members and children under 12 (unless otherwise stated).

* Please note: ARCE-PA does not sell tickets for the monthly lectures. All entry fees will be taken at the door of the lecture venue at the ARCE-PA table (unless otherwise stated).

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October 20, 2018
3:30 pm EDT
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Beth Ann Judas or Kelly Anne Diamond


ARCE-PA at the Penn Museum
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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