As Ramesses I readies for his return trip across
the Atlantic, Egypt’s highest-ranking antiquities official
will visit Emory to speak and participate in ceremonies marking
the transfer of the 3,000-year-old pharaoh to his homeland.
Archaeologist Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme
Council of Antiquities, will speak Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m.
in Glenn Auditorium. At 6 p.m., before the lecture, Hawass will
sign copies of his new book Secrets from the Sand: My Search
for Egypt’s Past.
Two days later, at 2 p.m. on Oct. 24, Hawass will join President
Jim Wagner, Carlos Museum Director Bonnie Speed, Egyptologist Peter
Lacovara and others for an official, invitation-only "gifting"
ceremony at Hartsfield International Airport before Ramesses boards
his Delta flight to Cairo. Hawass, 56, is National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence
and has appeared on many U.S. television programs about Egyptology
and archaeology. He holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Egyptology from
the University of Pennsylvania and has directed numerous excavations
in Egypt and served as inspector of antiquities for several museums
During his time with the Egyptian government, Hawass has earned
an international reputation both through his meticulous oversight
of archaelogical excavations and by his aggressiveness in pursuing
the riches of Egypt’s past that have been taken out of the
country. He’s made no apologies for his belief that many of
the ancient Egyptian treasures now residing in museums and private
collections around the world belong in their country of origin.
"The goal of our department is to see all artifacts taken illegally
from Egypt since the 1970 [United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization] Convention returned to Egypt," Hawass
told the magazine Egypt Today earlier this year. "People
are taking notice and starting to worry about our activities. Any
scholar in the field of Egyptology who is found to be involved in
stealing or in the trading of stolen antiquities will never be allowed
to work in Egypt again."
Before coming to Emory, Hawass will have spoken as part of his book-promotion
tour in Washington, New Orleans, Dallas and Chicago. After he accompanies
Ramesses home, Hawass will return stateside for an appearance at
New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on Nov. 12.
Tickets for Hawass’ lecture are $20. Carlos Museum members
can receive two free tickets; memberships start at $40 and can be
purchased by calling 404-727-2623.
The Carlos also is celebrating the exhibit that replaces Ramesses,
"Jewish Life in Ancient Egypt: A Family Archive From the Nile
Valley," which opened Oct. 18 and runs through Jan. 4, 2004.
The nearly miraculous preservation of a group of ancient papyri
offers a fascinating look at the life of an early Jewish family
living in a settlement on Elephantine Island in the Nile River in
the century following the Babylonian captivity.
Organized by the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the show focuses on its
collection of 5th century B.C. Aramaic papyri, revealing Egyptian
daily life during Dynasty 27 (525–402 B.C.)—the period
of Persian rule in Egypt and the Near East.
During this period, Jews, Egyptians, Persians and Greeks lived
together in peace. The papyri are a family archive belonging to
a Jewish temple official, Ananiah, and his wife, Tamut, an Egyptian
slave, and their children. They illustrate the family’s
life from Ananiah and Tamut’s marriage in 447 B.C. to the
final payment on their daughter’s wedding gift in 402 B.C.
In addition to the papyri, the exhibition includes nearly 40 rare
and beautiful works of ancient Egyptian and Persian art from the
Brooklyn Museum’s collection, along with several from the
Carlos’ own holdings, that illustrate the age, such as life-size
statues, reliefs, bronze statuettes, silver vessels and gold jewelry.
Images of the great kings of Egypt and Persia, as well as Alexander
the Great, are featured; these historic figures battled on the world
stage while Ananiah and his descendants lived in their remote island
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
Thursday evenings until 9 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission
is a $5 suggested donation. For more information, call 404-727-4282.