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“The View from “Harvard Camp:” George Reisner and the Giza Pyramids then and now

March 23, 2024 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

Penn Museum
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States

In-Person Lecture
Saturday, March 23 at 3:30 pm EST
Penn Museum, Classroom L2

Speaker: Dr. Peter Der Manuelian

Lecture Topic: “The View from “Harvard Camp:” George Reisner and the Giza Pyramids then and now”

Leading the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition, George Reisner (1867–1942) put American Egyptology on the world stage with forty-three years of breathtakingly successful excavations at twenty-three different archaeological sites in Egypt and Sudan. His uniquely American success story unfolded despite British control of Egyptian politics, French control of Egyptian antiquities, and an Egyptian yearning for independence, all while his Egyptian teams achieved the fieldwork results and mastered the arts of recording and documentation. Reisner’s lifespan covers the birth of modern archaeology, aspects of colonialism, racism, and nationalism, the history of Harvard and of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), and the issues of repatriation and cultural patrimony long before they became the “hot topics” they are today. In an illustrated lecture, Harvard University’s Peter Der Manuelian will recount the life of this uniquely successful, but also controversial, archaeologist and Egyptologist, as he lived and dug at the famous Giza Pyramids (and at many other sites) for more than four decades. This talk will summarize some of the great discoveries, their archaeological significance, and some of the fascinating personalities behind the Expedition working at the tombs and temples at Giza. Manuelian will also present virtual and immersive technological experiments for bringing old digs back to life for collaborative research and teaching.

Speaker Bio:
Dr. Peter Der Manuelian is Barbara Bell Professor of Egyptology in both the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the Anthropology Departments at Harvard University, and director of the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East. He was previously on the curatorial staff of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. His Giza Project at Harvard ( aims to collect and present online all past, present, and future archaeological activity at the Giza Pyramids. His research and teaching interests include visualization and digital humanities approaches to the ancient world. Among his publications are Walking Among Pharaohs. George Reisner and The Dawn of Modern Egyptology; Digital Giza. Visualizing the Pyramids; 30 Second Ancient Egypt; Mastabas of Nucleus Cemetery G 2100; Slab Stelae of the Giza Necropolis; Living in the Past: Studies in Archaism of the Egyptian Twenty-sixth Dynasty; and Studies in the Reign of Amenophis II. He has also written a number of childrens’ books.

Lectures are FREE to ARCE Members, $7 for University of Pennsylvania Museum Members and UPenn Staff and Faculty, $5 for Students with ID, and $10 for the general public.
Coffee, tea, and cookies served starting at 3pm.

The American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1948 by a consortium of educational and cultural institutions to support research on all aspects of Egyptian history and culture, foster broader knowledge among the general public, and strengthen American-Egyptian cultural ties. The ARCE Pennsylvania Chapter (ARCE-PA) is the local branch of the national institution. We host monthly events including scholarly lectures, Egyptian-themed workshops, social events, and guided tours of the Penn Museum’s Egyptian galleries. For more information or to learn about the perks of membership, please send an e-mail to, or visit our website at

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March 23, 2024
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
Event Category:


JJ Shirley
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Penn Museum
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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