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December 8, 2018 
*Lecture & Annual Winter Party*
Classroom 345, 3:30

Dr. Steve Harvey
Director, Ahmose and Tetisheri Project, Abydos

"Understanding Ancient Egyptian Comics: Conversations, Quarrels, and Songs in Ancient Egyptian Tombs"

The holiday party will start after the lecture! ARCE-PA invites our members and guests to join us in a potluck celebration. Please let us know if you would like to bring your favorite food to share.  Email us at: info@arce-pa.org


Since Egyptian hieroglyphs could first be read again in the modern era, it has been recognized that texts recorded on tomb walls include conversations, speeches, songs, and exclamations. The discovery of the tomb of Paheri at El Kab by the French expedition in 1799 was followed by the recognition by Champollion as early as 1828 that a “Song of the Threshers” might be recognized amidst the other texts accompanying the agricultural scenes, an identification that was met at first with skepticism.  A series of other songs, speeches and conversations are featured in the scenes illustrating the seasons of Planting and Harvest on the west wall of Paheri’s burial chamber, and form a revival in the earliest New Kingdom of an important aspect of Old and Middle Kingdom tomb decoration.  With their relatively straightforward sequences of tilling, sowing, harvesting, and processing, agricultural scenes have often productively been used in analyses of sequence in Egyptian visual narrative, and the recognition that speech captions function together with these scenes has led comics scholars and some Egyptologists to claim that Egyptian visual narratives may be seen as some of the earliest precursors to modern comics.  A fresh look at some of the scenes and texts in Paheri’s tomb attempts to specifically address the aptness of the comparison between Egyptian visual strategies and comics, within the broader project of a re-examination of Egyptian narrative art at the dawn of the New Kingdom.  


Dr. Stephen Harvey received his Ph.D. in Egyptian Archaeology in 1998 from the University of Pennsylvania, and his B.A. in Archaeological Studies from Yale University in 1987. His fieldwork in and around the pyramid complex of Ahmose (ca 1550-1525 BC) provided important new insight into temple architecture and decoration at the outset of Egypt’s New Kingdom.   In addition to extensive fieldwork at Abydos, he has worked in Egypt at Giza and Memphis, as well as on archaeological projects in the United States, Syria (Tell es-Sweyhat), and Turkey (Gordion).  From 2003-2006, Harvey was Assistant Professor of Egyptian Archaeology in the Oriental Institute and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, The University of Chicago.  In 2006, he led the reinstallation of the Picken Family Nubian Gallery of the Oriental Institute Museum, together with co-Curator Bruce Williams.  From 1998 to 2002, Harvey was Assistant Director of the Institute of Egyptian Art & Archaeology and Assistant Professor in the Department of Art of the University of Memphis, TN.  Dr. Harvey was Assistant Curator for Egyptian Art at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland from 1996 to 1998. He also taught at Stony Brook University, and has also taught courses for the Bloomsbury Summer School in London. He has been interviewed for and consulted on many international television documentaries, including “Egypt: Engineering an Empire” for the History Channel and “Egypt’s Golden Empire” for PBS, as well as for an upcoming documentary for NOVA (PBS) on the rise of the Egyptian chariot.  He has been invited to lecture at many institutions in the US, as well as in Canada, England, Egypt, France, Australia, and New Zealand.  Harvey has also been a popular lecturer on tours to Egypt and the Near East sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, the Field Museum, the Explorer’s Club, the Petrie Museum in London, and the Archaeological Institute of America.

FALL 2018 Scheduled Lectures

January 12, 2019
ARCE-PA Members Museum Meet up at the Met Museum
Nedjemankh and His Gilded Coffin

February 16, 2019
Dr. Mohamed Abdelhady
Professor, Conservation and Rehabilitation of Historical Buildings and Sites, Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt; Chairman, Antiquities Committee, Supreme Council of Culture, Ministry of Culture

Scientific and Technical Projects for Conservation of Mural Painting at Queen Nefertari's and King Tutankhamun's Tombs at Thebes, Luxour-Upper Egypt
Classroom 2
3:30 pm

* 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).