ARCE-PA Celebrates 15 Years! 


Welcome to the American Research Center in Egypt, Pennsylvania Chapter website. Here you can find information about the organization, learn about our membership options, find out about upcoming Egypt-themed events and more! To visit the American Research Center in Egypt National website please click here.



The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities are in danger of being defunded by the current administration. Learn more.


2020-2021 LECTURES

Happy 15th Birthday to ARCE-PA!


We hope that all ARCE-PA members and Friends of ARCE-PA are doing well. 
We are so excited to "see" you guys again! 
We are happy to announce our new line up for Fall 2020!
Due to COVID 19 and the fact that the Penn Museum is not currently holding public lectures, we are taking the show on the road...erm...on the interwebs!

ARCE-PA will be hosting our chapter's lectures on ZOOM for the foreseeable future.  Please see the below the lecture information regarding lecture registration and Paypal information


Saturday, February 20, 2021 

3:30 PM EST

Dr. Solange Ashby
Adjunct Professor, Barnard College

“Priestess, Queen, Goddess:
The Divine Feminine in the Kingdom of Kush”
(Winged Goddess, MFA Boston)

The prominence of powerful goddesses (Hathor, Mut, and Isis), the reverence awarded to the queen mothers of Kush, and a series of sole-ruling queens (one of whom led her army in battle against the invading Romans), highlight the unusually high status of women in this ancient African society and serve as a fitting focus for the study of female power in the ancient world.

This lecture will examine more closely the queens, priestesses, and mothers who formed an essential societal component in ancient Nubia and its complex systems of goddess worship, sacred sexualities, and family lineages, both royal and non-royal. Relying on multilingual temple inscriptions found in Egypt and Nubia, the rich funerary goods found in royal burials, and temple and tomb imagery; I will explore how ancient Africans of the Nile Valley understood female power and presence to be an essential enlivening element in maintaining Maat, the balance of male and female energies, in order to cultivate “divine right order” in the world and in the cosmos.

This reverence for the feminine continues in Nubian communities today. Nobiin, a living Nubian language and a direct descendant of Old Nubian (ca. 700-1500 CE), structures its kinship terms around the maternal lineage. Protestors against the current dictatorship in Sudan, ousted Omar al-Bashir in 2019, while being led by a Kandaka, the title accorded to the queen mother of Meroe in antiquity. The centrality of women in the Nubian community provides a powerful cultural rejection of the male-dominant, externally imposed Arabized, Islamic culture in Sudan and has become a flash point of contention for political power in Sudan.


Solange Ashby received her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago with a specialization in ancient Egyptian language and religion. She has conducted doctoral research at the temple of Philae in Egypt and participated in the excavation of a royal tomb in the Kushite cemetery of El-Kurru in Sudan. Her dissertation explores the prayer inscriptions of Nubian groups that traveled to the Egyptian temples of Lower Nubia, including Philae. Dr. Ashby’s expertise in sacred ancient languages including Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic, and Coptic, Ethiopic, Biblical Greek and Biblical Hebrew underpins her research into the history of religious transformation in Northeast Africa and the Middle East during the period when monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) replaced traditional religion in Egypt and Nubia. Her current research explores the roles of women in traditional Egyptian and Nubian religious practices. Dr. Ashby is working on the first monograph dedicated to the history, religious symbolism, and political power of the queens of Kush.
Dr. Ashby was awarded a fellowship at the American Research Center in Egypt to undertake research on the funerary artifacts of Nubian women. She taught Religious History at American University in Washington, DC for six years. Recently, she published article on the Ethiopian prayer scrolls entitled, “From Slave to Demon: Barya in the Ethiopian Prayer Scrolls.” Dr. Ashby is currently teaching a course at Barnard College on Kushite woman, and working on a book on the queen of Kush. 

ARCE-PA Lecture Registration & Paypal Information

*ARCE-PA members will receive an email with the instructions for the ZOOM lecture log-on. Please make sure that we have your correct email address on record.

* If you are an ARCE member but are not affliated with ARCE-PA, please reach out to us at

*For those of you are ARCE-PA Friends (non-ARCE members, Penn Museum Members, Penn Staff & Faculty, and Students), we have a $10 registration fee.  Once you register, then you will receive an email with the instructions for the ZOOM lecture log-on.

Paypal information:

The cost for the lectures is $10.

Please pay and register by 5pm the Friday evening before the Saturday lecture.  

Please complete below and click on the "PAYPAL LINK" Hotlink. It will take you directly to the Paypal page:


Questions? Please email us at

If you are interested in joining ARCE or need to renew your membership*, please visit:

*Please do not forget to associate with the "Pennsylvania Chapter" in order to stay up to date with ARCE-PA events.


 *Please be reminded that January is ARCE-PA's month off! We'll "see" you in February 2021!*

March 13, 2021
3:30 PM EST
Dr. Denise Doxey

Curator, Ancient Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Easter Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
“Royal Women of Piankhy: Treasures of the Tombs at El Kurru”

April 10, 2021
Dr. Kara Cooney
Professor and Chair, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, UCLA
Title TBA

May 2021
Lecture TBA

June 2021
Event TBA