Friday, May 28, 2010

Bard Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

BU Today

With video of some of Bard's excavation work.

When it comes to archaeology, the term “groundbreaking” is just a little too cute, so when the American Academy of Arts and Sciences invited Kathryn Bard to join, it judiciously cited her “pathbreaking” excavations in the Egyptian desert.

An associate professor of archaeology in the College of Arts & Sciences, Bard is one of 229 leaders in the sciences, the social sciences, the humanities, the arts, business, and public affairs to be chosen for the class of 2010. “I’m absolutely thrilled,” she says. “This is a tremendous honor.”

While digging with an archaeological team along the Red Sea coast five years ago, Bard uncovered an ancient man-made cave. Further excavations revealed a mud brick, a small grinding stone, shell beads, and part of a box — artifacts that offer a tantalizing glimpse into an elaborate network of millennia-old Red Sea trade.

Days later, the team uncovered the entrance to a second cave. Inside they found a network of larger rooms filled with dozens of nautical artifacts: limestone anchors, 80 coils of knotted rope, pottery fragments, ship timbers, and two curved cedar planks that likely are steering oars from a 70-foot-long ship. Hieroglyphic inscriptions revealed that the ship was dispatched to the southern Red Sea port of Punt by Queen Hatshepsut during the 15th century B.C.

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