Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Harvard To Acquire First Egyptology Professor in Decades

The Harvard Crimson (James K. Mcauley and Julia Ryan)

Thanks to David Petersen for the above link.

After years dedicated to shedding light on the work of the late Harvard Egyptology Professor George A. Reisner, Class of 1889, Peter D. Manuelian ’81 will become the first egyptology professor at Harvard since his predecessor’s death 68 years ago.

Manuelian, currently an egyptology lecturer at Tufts, will be the first person to fill the Philip J. King Professorship, which was established in the fall of 2006 to support the study of ancient civilizations.

The professorship’s search committee specifically sought an egyptology scholar to fill the position, according to Classics Professor Christopher P. Jones, who headed the search.

Ancient Egypt is an important academic area due to its ties to Biblical, Mediterranean, and particularly African histories, Jones said.

“It is very important that Africa should be a part of what everyone thinks about the modern world,” Jones said. “And Egypt is a major African civilization—probably the best known.”

Though Harvard offers the occasional course related to ancient Egyptian history, it has not had an egyptology professor since 1942, when Reisner died during an excavation in Giza, Egypt.

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