Katharine Hoare

Understanding Egyptianizing Architecture: ancient practice and contemporary issues in the re-use of pharaonic architectural structures

Use of ancient Egyptian architectural styles outside the Nile Valley began in the time of the pharaohs and continues to the present day. The style draws on the structures, elements and motifs of ancient Egypt and has been used at different times in many places around the world. The style can involve the use of authentic pieces of ancient material culture as well as replica/pastiche pieces. I will argue that the style is selected and deployed in order to create a cultural object which has meaning for the contemporary social world. This appropriation takes place with a social world context informed by contemporary perceptions of ancient Egypt and social, political and economic factors affecting that world. To help explain the impact of the contemporary social world I will be using Griswold’s cultural diamond to analysis the links between producers, receivers, the social world and a cultural object at the point when the object enters the public domain. I will also consider the process by which a contemporary perception of ancient Egypt is generated, looking in particular at the transfer mechanisms which inform the public about ancient Egypt in any particular period. My research case-studies will look at the use of obelisks in imperial Rome, Renaissance Rome and Victorian London. My study will also aim to establish links between revival periods whereby a layered process of appropriation from both ancient and earlier examples impacts on later revivals.

Funding organisation

  • British Museum


 Educational background

  • BA, History, Warwick University, 1986
  • PGCE, Sussex University, 1987
  • BPhil, Education, Warwick University, 1998
  • MA, World Archaeology, UCL, 2003

Engaging young audiences. International Museum Education Conference

National Taiwan Museum, Taiwan, 2010

Building partnerships at local and regional level. Partnership UK Conference

British Museum, 2010

V-mail: Letters from the Romans at Vindolanda Fort near Hadrian’s Wall. British Museum Press, 2008

Objects, culture and language. 5th Annual Chinese SSAT Network Conference London, 2008

‘Slavery: The British Museum, teachers and the human race’. Race Equality Teaching Journal, Volume 26, number 3, summer 2008

Loan boxes: using primary evidence to encourage learning. Young Archaeologists Conference. Camden Borough Council, London,2007

Pocket Dictionary of British Kings and Queens. British Museum Press, 2006

Educators, Curators and Students in a Museum Gallery. Archaeology and Schools Conference. Cardiff Museum, 2006

Pocket timeline of Ancient Rome. British Museum Press, 2005

Pocket timeline of Ancient Mesopotamia. British Museum Press, 2005

Timeline of the Ancient World. British Museum Press, 2004

Using creativity to explore ancient Greek identity. Creativity Conference

DfES, 2003

Teaching Roman Britain across the Ages. Recreating and Presenting Archaeological Heritage Conference. Council for Kentish Archaeology, 2003

  • Egyptianizing graves, West Norwood Cemetery, London

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