18th Dynasty

Monday, September 15, 2014

According to Egyptologist Peter Dorman, “Senenmut may justifiably be described as one of the most eminent and influential persons of the Eighteenth Dynasty.” Living during the reign of Thutmosis III and Hatshepsut, he achieved high rank with titles including Tutor of the King’s Daughter (that is Hatshepsut’s daughter, Neferure), Overseer of all the Works of the King, and High Steward of Amun. His duties in the administration of the religious estate included being Overseer of the Double Granary, the Fields, the Garden, and Cows of Amun. Both monarchs, but especially Hatshepsut, showered him with gifts of statuary and other signs of their esteem. We will look more closely at the facts that are known about his life and the questions surrounding his death. Many of his statues and structures show deliberate defacement. Was he a casualty of the proscription against Hatshepsut or did she herself decide to punish his presumptions? Many sensational theories about Senenmut have been promulgated over the years, and these continue to appear in books and the spiel of tour guides. However, a comprehensive examination of newer as well as well-known evidence shows many of the suggestions can be discounted. What remains is still a remarkable story.

Bonnie M. Sampsell

Dr. Bonnie Sampsell was a professor of genetics. She has spent the last twenty years traveling to Egypt and studying Egyptology. She is the author of a book, The Geology of Egypt: a traveler’s handbook as well as numerous articles in The Ostracon. She has also been published in Kmt and Al Ahram Newspaper. She serves as Guest Curator of the Egyptian Collection at the Wayne County Historical Museum in her hometown of Richmond, Indiana.

Monday, November 21, 2016

We will take a tour of this small but exquisite 18th Dynasty tomb, with a chance to see all the remaining decorations. Along the way, we will find what is typical about this tomb for its location, date and owner’s status – and we will see what is different. This will lead to brief speculations about the economic workings of the time, the various personalities involved, and hopefully an appreciation of one man’s attempt at immortality. Theban Tomb TT255 is part of the Theban Necropolis, situated on the west bank of the Nile opposite Luxor.

Monday, October 17, 2016

This talk centers around the stone sarcophagus of a New Kingdom mayor from Herakleopolis found at the turn of the 20th century by Sir Flinders Petrie and Guy Brunton. Stone sarcophagi, while the norm for royalty, are quite rare for officials, especially those who held office in provincial Egypt. Tomb robbers cut this sarcophagus into a number of pieces shortly after its modern discovery in the 1920s and subsequently sold those on the antiquities market. Over the years, these pieces have found their way into public and private collections in both North America and England. During the last two decades, a majority of the pieces have been located, which has allowed for a virtual reconstruction of the coffin. With this reconstruction, a proper iconographical and textual study can be presented, and as such a few precious details can be learned not only specifically about the coffin’s owner, but also about non-royal stone sarcophagi of this period in general.

You can learn a little more about the sarcophagus here: http://www.nicholasreeves.com/item.aspx?category=Writing&id=188

Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson is Assistant Professor of History at Taylor University in Upland, IN. His research agenda centers on the late 19th and early 20th dynasties, a pivotal point in Egyptian history. Within the context of this period, he has addressed the global issues of legitimacy, political machinations of figures behind the throne and problems of succession and transition of power. Additionally, he was the lead author of an article published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Egyptian History and the popular-level book The Names of the Kings of Egypt. Dr. Johnson has led a number of academic tours to Egypt, primarily in Cairo and Luxor, and participated in an archaeological season for the University of Arizona at the mortuary temple of one of Egypt’s few female rulers, Tausret. You can read more about him here.