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Collecting Rural Egypt in the Early 20th Century

Publication date: Dec 07, 2012 10:31 AM

Start: Dec 12, 2012 11:00 AM
End: Dec 12, 2012 12:30 PM

Location: UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

Collecting Rural Egypt in the Early 20th Century

The Institute's Material Cultures of Prehistoric and Dynastic Egypt Research Network will hold a workshop at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL on 12 December.

The workshop will involve presentations by Alice Stevenson (Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford) and Paolo Del Vesco (UCL Institute of Archaeology) and will be followed by a round-table discussion.

In the scheme of things: the material anthropology of Winifred Blackman (Alice Stevenson)

Winifred Blackman's 1926 ethnographic study amongst the fellahin of Upper Egypt is relatively well-known.  Her subsequent work - sponsored by the pharmaceutical magnate Sir Henry Wellcome - less so. The material legacy of the latter now largely resides in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, where Blackman had first been trained. This presentation places this collection within its wider context. It will consider the early influences that informed Blackman's approach, the relationship between anthropology and Egyptology in the early 20th century, and the challenges faced by one of Britain's first female anthropologists.

Egyptologists, fellahin and the collections of “survivals” (Paolo Del Vesco)

In the early 20th century, many Egyptologists devoted considerable time and resources to “ethnographical” studies of the Egyptian rural world because the customs, crafts and beliefs of the fellahin were seen as relics, or “survivals”, from theb most ancient past. For this reason, collections of objects pertaining to contemporary rural Egypt were formed, some finding their way into museums side by side with Ancient Egyptian “ancestors”. Part of the collection of the Egyptologist G.A. Wainwright has been recently identified among the objects of the Petrie Museum and will be presented at the workshop within a general discussion of the Egyptological quest for “survivals”.

All are welcome, the workshop is free, but as space is limited those interested in participating are asked to contact Stephen Quirke in advance.