Tuesday 2 April (Week 6), 2-3.30pm
The Department of Ancient History in conjunction with the Macquarie University Ancient History Association (MAHA) offers a research seminar series, intended to bring together those within Macquarie and outside who have an interest in the languages, histories, and cultures of the ancient world. View the schedule for the research seminar.
All are welcome! Please arrive on time and join us after the seminar for coffee, tea and biscuits!
Convenor: Dr Alexandra Woods
Genevieve Holt | MRes Candidate, Macquarie University
Cracks in the Wall: A look at the term “palace-facade”
The term ‘palace facade’ is used to describe elaborate mud brick niching on Early Dynastic mastabas, ornately styled false doors of the Old Kingdom, the decoration on some Old and Middle Kingdom coffins and the representation on the lower half of the serekh. This interpretation, developed during the 19th and early 20th century among early Egyptologists, has rarely been questioned. This paper looks at the origins of the term in an article published in 1898 by Ludwig von Borchardt. My research has lead me to believe that he is the first to develop the arguments linking mud brick architecture, false doors, coffin decoration and serekhs under the concept that they all represent a palace. Many of his arguments are flawed. I propose that these flaws are still inherent in the concept of “palace-facade” and that for this reason the term should be re-examined.
Associate Professor Malcolm Choat | Macquarie University
Ritual Expertise and Religious Authority: the place of Magic in Late Antique Egypt
In this paper I examine those magical texts from late antique Egypt for which we have – or can deduce – a secure provenance. Focusing on these texts, and reading them against select vignettes among the literary sources which provide further background, I will build up a picture of the contexts in which such texts were produced and deployed in late antique Egypt, and by who. By reading this material against a more nuanced understanding of who had the expertise to compose and write such texts, and the social and religious authority to distribute them, I will suggest ways in which we can draw the practitioners and users of such material out from the sub-cultures to which they have been assigned by late-antique and modern commentators alike, and find a place for them within the normative landscape of late Roman and early Islamic Egypt.
- When: Tuesday 2 April (Week 6), 2-3.30pm
- Where: Recreation Room (S2.6), Level 3, Australian Hearing Hub, Macquarie University
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