Monday, February 01, 2010

Lecture summary: Lecture reveals history behind ancient Egyptian pottery

Truman State University Index (Jennifer Lewis)

The Egyptian pottery residing in the Ophelia Parrish art gallery is accompanied by a story about how it had been unearthed and nestled safely in those glass cases. Sara Orel, art history professor and temporary curator of the exhibit, told the story in her faculty forum presentation "The Garstang Excavations at Beni Hasan, Egypt" on Jan. 26 in Magruder Hall 2001.

Orel said she is intimately familiar with the pottery, on loan from The Royal Ontario Museum, because she wrote her dissertation in 1989 on the excavations performed by John Garstang in Beni Hasan, Egypt, where the pottery originated. She said she chose to focus on Beni Hasan because of its size and significance to the ordinary people of ancient Egypt.

"It has one of the largest and best-excavated and preserved sets of burials of people who are essentially part of the middle class," Orel said. "I have always been interested in daily life, not kings or queens and historical artifacts, but more the archaeological material."

Orel said Beni Hasan is an Egyptian tourist site, but the numerous middle class tombs often get overlooked because of their simplicity.

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