Volume 77
Number 3

Turning Point

12 Hours on Unit 21

Outreach in Action

War of the Winds

A Sense of Place

Emory University

Association of Emory Alumni

Current News and Events

Emory Report



Sports Updates




















































PETER LACOVARA is walking along the Nile River, which winds like an asp along the floor of the first level of Emory’s Michael C. Carlos Museum, connecting the ancient Greek and Roman galleries to the new ancient North African galleries.

“One of the criticisms of the way the galleries were arranged before was that Egypt was divorced from Africa,” says Lacovara, Carlos curator and Egyptologist. “Now we are focusing on Nubia as the joiner between the two cultures.”

Designed by the museum’s original architect, Michael Graves, the spacious new earth-toned galleries opened in early October and showcase ancient Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Eastern pieces. The impetus for the renovation was the museum’s expanded Egyptian collection, which includes the 145-item Charlotte Lichirie Collection of coffins, human and animal mummies, funerary figures, canopic jars, amulets, jewelry, sculpture, and pottery.

The antiquities, which date from the twenty-first dynasty (1070-946 B.C.) to the Roman period (31 B.C.-A.D. 395), were purchased in 1999 from the disbanded Niagara Falls Museum in Ontario for $2 million, most of which came through donations from the Atlanta community.

Only 10 to 15 percent of the items, which are part of the Carlos Museum’s permanent collection, have been displayed here previously. Additional Ancient Egyptian and Nubian pieces have been borrowed from the Museum Loan Network, a collaboration of museums across the country that encourages the sharing of artifacts. “Many of these are objects from museum basements that haven’t been seen in decades,” Lacovara says.

A team led by Carlos Museum conservator Thérèse O’Gorman spent two years stabilizing and conserving the ancient Egyptian artifacts. The grand scale of the ancient painted coffins, many of which are displayed erect around the galleries, dictated the move to the roomier space.

The museum’s Egyptian mummies garnered national attention when experts determined that one of the unwrapped bodies was almost certainly of royal lineage, and was perhaps even Ramesses I—which would make it the only pharaonic mummy outside of Egypt. X-rays and computed tomography scans were taken at Emory Hospital and DNA tests are being conducted to try to determine its identity. This mummy is being kept in isolation until tests are complete but it will be the focus of a special exhibition in the spring of 2003, Ramesses I: Science and the Search for the Lost Pharoah. If the mummy is that of Ramesses I, the Carlos Museum has pledged to return it to Egypt.

Remaining on view until January 2002 is the The Collector’s Eye: Masterpieces of Egyptian Art from the Thalassic Collection, a private collection of more than 175 objects ranging from statues of pharaohs and their queens to exquisitely crafted amulets, funerary and cult objects, cosmetic equipment, architectural elements, royal and private sculpture dating from the Predynastic Period, around 3500 B.C., to the time of Cleopatra (69-30 B.C.)

The museum’s Ancient American holdings will move to the former Egyptian galleries, which will reopen in September 2002.

Museum Director Anthony Hirschel, who oversaw the acquisition of the Lichirie collection, has announced that he will be leaving the Carlos Museum in November after more than four years, to become the director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.—M.J.L.

The Carlos Museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed Monday and on major holidays. For more information, go to www.emory.edu/CARLOS.





© 2001 Emory University