July saw our third joint Certificate and Diploma Award Ceremony. It was lovely to be able to welcome students and their guests to The University of Manchester.
In the morning Drs Nicky Nielsen, Glenn Godenho and Joyce Tyldesley presented brief lectures showcasing their research interests, which range from the traditional (excavation and translation) to the more unusual (Egyptian themed jewellery, and a life-sized re-creation of the Berlin Nefertiti head).
The Awards Ceremony was led by Professor Keith Brennan, with the awards being presented by Emeritus Professor Rosalie David. It was followed by a champagne and strawberry reception where staff, students and their guests had a chance to get to know each other better. A video of the ceremony will soon be made available on the videos section of this website.
The Award Ceremony marked our last day as a member of the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Manchester. From 1 August 2016, Egyptology Online will be a part of the division of Medical Education, in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health.
June saw the launch of Mummies, Magic and Medicine in Ancient Egypt, a compilation of papers dedicated to Professor Rosalie David OBE and published by Manchester University Press. Professor David’s pioneering work on Egyptian mummies and medicine has been, and still is, of international importance.
The book presents research by leading experts in their fields: this includes recent archaeological fieldwork, new research on Egyptian human remains and unpublished museum objects along with reassessments of ancient Egyptian texts concerned with healing and the study of technology through experimental archaeology.
In April we said goodbye to Dr Glenn Godenho, who left Manchester to take up a position as Senior Lecturer in Egyptology at Liverpool University. Glenn made a huge contribution to all our courses and he will be very much missed. We wish him well in his new job!
As a replacement, we have Dr Nicky Nielsen, a Danish Egyptologist with a PhD from Liverpool University. Nicky’s research interests include New Kingdom ceramics and material culture, as well as the history of the Ramesside period. He has excavated in Europe, Turkey and Egypt and is currently the co-director of the Tell Nabasha Survey Project located near the modern town of el-Hosayneya in Egypt's North-eastern Delta. Welcome to Manchester, Nicky!
July saw the celebration of 10 years of Online Egyptology at Manchester, which we marked with a study event “From Mummies to Microchips”. Many students were able to travel to Manchester to listen to lectures from their course tutors, and from External Examiners past and present. You will find Joyce’s talk (re-recorded) on our Videos page.
The celebrations culminated with the 2015 Award Ceremony, which was followed by a party complete with balloons, champagne and a string quartet. You will be able to watch the Award Ceremony on our Videos page.
In June, Joyce travelled to the beautiful city of Zagreb for the Seventh European Conference of Egyptologists. Egypt 2015: Perspectives of Research. The conference was organized by Mladen Tomorad and Joanna Popielska: Mladen is an ex-Certificate student. This was a great opportunity to meet past and present Certificate students, and catch up on their news. Both Mladen and current Certificate student Daniel Rafaelic have recently published books. Congratulations to them both!
Filming in the Museum Shop
Filming in the Museum Shop
Filming on the gallery
Joyce and Campbell on the gallery
May saw the start of recording for the lectures and discussions that will form the core of our MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) Ancient Egypt: a History in Six Objects.
This involved filming in the Museum stores, gallery and gift shop (!), and additional recording in Media Services. The chosen objects, all from the collections of the Manchester Museum, span Egyptian history from Predynastic times to the Roman Period.
If you have not already done so, please consider signing up for this free course, which will launch on 26 October 2015.
In March we launched Blue: an online symposium which allows experts to explore what “blue” meant to the ancient Egyptians. Watch the symposium.
We also experimented by running a four week mini-course on Warfare and Weapons in ancient Egypt, using the Canvas platform. This was a major learning experience for everyone involved – great fun, but also hard work. We hope to make a few tweaks to the course, then repeat it later in 2015.
The Kanaris lecture theatre, the Manchester Museum
Guest speakers Taneash and Denys wait for the study day to start
The team: Campbell, Joyce, Taneash, Glenn, Roger
February was study day month. This year’s theme was From Amulets to Golden Flies: Understanding Egyptian Jewellery. The speakers were Manchester regulars Joyce Tyldesley, Roger Forshaw, Campbell Price and Glenn Godenho, with guest speakers Taneash Sidpura and Denys Stocks. Once again the event was held in the Kanaris Lecture Theatre in the Manchester Museum: this year the heating worked well and everyone had a good time. Planning is now starting for our 2016 event.
Taneash has since written up his lecture in an article for Ancient Egypt Magazine (April/May 2015).
Planning is also underway for our two-day summer event: From Mummies to Microchips: Celebrating Online Egyptology at Manchester. This event is open to everyone: you will find further details on the Events page of this website.
Glenn, Joyce and the e-Learning team have spent time this term working on an educational resource aimed at primary school children and their teachers. The first instalment, ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, is now available for free on Nearpod:
Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs
If you just want to watch the hieroglyph song and meet Mumford the Mummy (designed by Kate), click here:
Hieroglyphs with Mumford
Future instalments will feature geography/history, gods, kings and queens, and mummification.
This month has seen the launch of three websites by current and ex-Diploma students. The three are very different in style and content, but all three are well worth a visit.
Diane has developed a website which explains her research into early iron use in ancient Egypt, its presence and perception: Iron from the sky.
Kerry has gathered together Per Medjat, a library of online resources for Egyptologists.
And, last but not least, Leena has designed the splendid Mr Mummific, who will teach you all about ancient Egypt: Ancient Egypt.
September saw, for the first time, Egyptology distance learning unit being offered to Manchester students via The University College for Interdisciplinary Learning. University College presents an opportunity for students to broaden their educational horizons by offering courses that showcase the research and knowledge found at the University and encourage students to go beyond the boundaries of their degree programme.
Additional September news comes from Dr Campbell Price in the Manchester Museum. One of the Manchester Museum’s most famous pieces, the Riqqeh Pectoral, has been undergoing state-of-the-art tests at the University of Liverpool. Made of gold and inlaid with semi-precious stones, the pectoral was found in situ in a tomb at El-Riqqeh, just south of the Faiyum. It is a masterpiece of Middle Kingdom jewellery and researchers hope that by using a Scanning Electron Microscope they can identify the composition of the piece, along with the techniques used to create it. Results should be known soon. The pectoral was found clutched in the hands of a skeletonised tomb-robber, killed by a collapsed ceiling whilst in the act of robbing the mummy – so perhaps the most dramatic find context of any from Egypt!
The 2014 Award Ceremony.
July saw the first ever joint Certificate and Diploma Award Ceremony. For many of us this was an emotional experience. Anne Pinkerton (whose tireless work supports both courses, and who deserves huge thanks) has written about the event:
"On 25 July 2014, students living in the USA, Bulgaria, Spain, Germany, Finland and all corners of the British Isles gathered in the Manchester Museum to receive the award of Certificate or Diploma in Egyptology. As both these courses are taught entirely online, this was the first time that the students had met their fellow course mates and tutors. It proved to be an exciting and very emotional experience for everyone. Diploma Student Kerry Webb summed up the occasion: “It’s been lovely to put faces to names: it feels that we have been together as a family for the past five years."
The awards ceremony was led by Dr Caroline Bowsher and the awards were presented by the Programme Director Dr Joyce Tyldesley and Emeritus Professor
Rosalie David. It was followed by a champagne and strawberry reception where staff, students and their guests had a chance to get to know each other better. As
Certificate student Jerikay Gayle, from Texas, said: “We are all very collegial on the course and feel we know each other but we’ve never met until today so that has been a wonderful bonus.” Gabriele Schier, a Diploma student from Germany, added
that,”Studying via distance learning has been absolutely great. It was the only opportunity for me to study without giving up my day job and looking after my family but if I had the option I would do online again. Although my co-students were all over the world, I have felt part of a great family; it has been fantastic.”
Forty-two students were awarded a Certificate or Diploma in Egyptology.
In May, Joyce was nominated by the Egyptology students for a Faculty Best Lecturer Award as part of the Manchester Teaching Awards 2014 and, much to her surprise, she won. Thank you so much to everyone who voted! This is a great endorsement for distance learning, and for Egyptology at Manchester University.
The 25th Dynasty mummy and coffins of Asru are among the best-known displays at Manchester Museum. Recent CT-scans have revealed that Asru’s brain was not removed via her nose, but through the eye-sockets. She also suffered from acute arthritis in her neck, which suggests that she had to bear a heavy weight on her head – perhaps some form of headdress? Read more Asru.
Elsewhere at the Museum, an unassuming limestone statue fragment from Deir el-Bahri provided another surprise. Originally assigned a Middle Kingdom date and assumed to belong to an individual called Userhat, a careful re-reading of the inscriptions led to the identification of the statue owner as none other than Senenmut, architect and chief minister of the 18th Dynasty female king Hatshepsut. This find adds to the total of 25 statues known of Senenmut, the largest number for any non-royal ancient Egyptian. Read more about this discovery.
February saw our now-annual study day, organised this year by Egyptology Online in association with The Manchester Museum and the KNH Centre. This year, the theme was Sons of Osiris: Men in Ancient Egypt. The speakers were Joyce Tyldesley, Roger Forshaw, Bob Loynes, Steven Snape (who at the last minute agreed to present two lectures: we were very grateful) and Campbell Price. The new venue was a success - although it was not over-warm, it was definitely warmer than the previous venue – and everyone had a good time. Planning is now starting for our 2015 event.
February also saw some interesting discoveries at The Manchester Museum: thanks to Campbell Price for providing this news.
Campbell Price and Bob Loynes.
Roger Forshaw and Steven Snape.
Campbell Price prepares to lecture.
Certificate student David stands in front of the new Egyptology Online Banner.
The 25th Dynasty mummy and coffins of Asru are among the best-known displays in the Museum collection. Recent CT-scans have revealed that, most unusually, Asru’s brain was removed from her skull through the eye-sockets rather than via the nose.
The Manchester collections include an unassuming limestone statue fragment from Deir el-Bahri. This was originally assigned a Middle Kingdom date; it was believed that it belonged to an individual named Userhat. Now, a careful re-reading of the statue’s inscriptions has led to the identification of the statue owner as Senenmut, the architect and chief minister of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty female pharaoh Hatshepsut. This find adds to the total of 25 hard stone statues of Senenmut, the largest number known for any non-royal ancient Egyptian.
Tutankhamen: UK Version.
Tutankhamen: USA version.
Joyce at Chicago’s Bean.
The New Year got off to an exciting start with the news that Joyce’s book Tutankhamen’s Curse: The Developing History of an Egyptian King (Profile Books), which is published in the USA as Tutankhamen: The Search for an Egyptian King (Basic Books), had won the 2014 Felicia A. Holton Book Award, awarded by the Archaeological Institute of America. This award is given annually to a writer who “through a major work of non-fiction, represented the importance and excitement of archaeology to the general public.” This was a hugely exciting and humbling experience. Thanks to the generosity of the Archaeological Institute of America, and the Faculty of Life Sciences, Joyce was able to travel from rainy Manchester to frozen Chicago to receive the reward.
Read more about the Holton Book Award.
Joyce, Ian and Kate presented the results of their “Investing in Success” project, which was devised to incorporate Egyptian sites and activities into the online Certificate and Diploma courses. The first phase of the project took place in Egypt, and the second took place in the basement of The Manchester Museum, and was filmed by Ian and Kate. The presentation included a poster and film clips.
Ian Miller and Kate Hilton at the Investing in Success presentation event.
Joyce, Nefertiti and Daniel in Zagreb.
Joyce then travelled to Zagreb to lecture on Nefertiti, at the kind invitation of the Archaeological Museum Zagreb.
She met fellow archaeologists and Egyptologists, including Manchester Certificate student Daniel Rafaelic, and ex-Certificate student Mladen Tomorad. For those of you who have not been, Zagreb is a beautiful city.
November saw Joyce and Campbell Price of The Manchester Museum being interviewed for the ITV programme Mystery Map. Even greater than the mystery of Manchester Museum’s spinning statue, was the mystery of why Joyce had to travel to London to be interviewed, while Campbell was interviewed in the Museum. Alexandra Palace was very interesting – full of Egyptianising architecture, including sphinxes - but the section where that was discussed was cut from the programme, making it all seem a little strange. Just in case anyone is unaware of the spinning statue, here is a link to the most recent news.
Professor David in her office in the KNH Centre.
Kate sets up the camera.
About to start the interview.
Kate and Rosalie.
Earlier in November, Joyce and Kate (eLearning) filmed a lengthy interview with Emeritus Professor Rosalie David, covering all aspects of her long career in Egyptology. After editing, this will be added to the background material associated with the Certificate Course, and some clips will be made available here.
A Roman period portrait mummy belonging to a man called Artemidorous.
October saw the start of formal teaching. For the first time we have three years of Certificate Students, two years of Diploma Students, and a students studying on three of our Short Courses in Egyptology. Life is busy, but great fun as we all get to know each other.
Campbell Price has provided the following news from The Manchester Museum: the Museum has concluded its CT-scanning project for all 20 of its complete Egyptian mummies. One of the last ‘patients’ to be scanned was a Roman period portrait mummy belonging to a man called Artemidorous (found in the same tomb as a namesake, now in the British Museum). Scans revealed evidence of lethal injuries, possibly the only case at Manchester of a specific cause of death.
Filming in The Manchester Museum: Anna Garnett, Andrew Winn and Josh Daley.
A lovely blue-painted Hathoric handle appliqué, no provenance but likely to be from Amarna or Malqata (Manchester Museum Acc. No. 10984).
Distance-learning lecturers work on a different timetable to face-to-face lecturers. As our colleagues were heading off to summer fieldwork, or summer holidays, Joyce and Glenn settled down to produce the courses which have to be complete and on-line by the time our students return in September. This involves a lot of writing, and the recording of batches of lectures working alongside with the ever-helpful FLS eLearning team.
In September, Joyce worked on the “Museum Comes to You” programme with Anna Garnett and Andrea Winn of The Manchester Museum. As part of the development for a new outreach box themed around Women in the Ancient World, Joyce was filmed by Josh Daley, speaking about the Egyptian Queen Ahmose-Nefertari.
Anna Garnett is currently working at Manchester Museum as part of the HLF-funded British Museum “Future Curators” programme, with a specialism in Egypt and Sudan. She writes: “I have also been researching some of the Egyptian ceramic collection as part of my curatorial traineeship and was pleasantly surprised to rediscover a group of beautiful blue-painted pottery sherds dating to the New Kingdom, some of which preserve the face of the goddess Hathor, which I have since written about for the Egypt Manchester Blog." Anna's work on the blog can be accessed via the link on this page.”
An image from the award ceremony.
July saw another highly enjoyable Award Ceremony, with a surprise guest appearance by Professor Rosalie David, who was able to present the students with their certificates. Distance learning is never the easy option; it requires dedication and excellent time-management. But it is extremely rewarding for both students and staff. Congratulations, everyone.
Some of you may have seen the recent publicity surrounding research into the use of meteorite iron in Predynastic Egypt. This research project was devised and developed by Certificate Student Dr Diane Johnson, and was focused on an iron bead in the collections of The Manchester Museum. Read more about this fascinating research.
Meanwhile, over at the Museum, Dr Campbell Price and assistant Anna Garnett have recently discovered part of the Amarna Princesses Fresco (now in the Ashmolean Museum) while looking for samples of ancient plaster. Click here for more details.
On a less serious note, The Manchester Museum has also acquired a spinning statue (and not a spinning mummy, as some sources have reported!). Read the BBC report.
This news is written for you by Dr Campbell Price, Curator of Egypt and the Sudan at The Manchester Museum.
The Manchester Museum has always been at the forefront of the study of ancient Egyptian human remains. Margaret Murray assembled an interdisciplinary team to unwrap the mummies of the Two Brothers in 1908, and Rosalie David used a range of modern scientific techniques with the Manchester Egyptian Mummy Project, set up in 1975. Now the Museum is bringing the ‘Manchester Method’ up-to-date by CT-scanning all 24 human mummies in the collection. This has afforded the opportunity to look beneath the bandages in an unprecedented level of detail, using the latest CT-scanning facilities at the Manchester Children’s Hospital. The hospital scanner is rarely used after 5pm, and staff there are always keen to use the scanner to learn more about its imaging capabilities.
Already, the scanning sessions have produced interesting results. The first two ‘patients’ to be scanned were Roman period ‘portrait mummies’ from the Faiyum region of Egypt. Scans revealed the bodies of both men still retained their brains – usually removed during the Pharaonic period – and one was wrapped up against a long, wooden ‘mummy board.’ Most intriguingly, the ages at death of both men seemed to match the age at which they are depicted in their painted mummy portraits. Another mummy recently scanned – that of a 22nd Dynasty female temple singer called Perenbast buried at Western Thebes –benefited from improved imaging techniques. X-Rays undertaken in the 1970s showed that the mummy had several opaque objects on its chest. Detail modern CT-scans reveal these to be a winged heart scarab and an ‘ib’-shaped heart amulet. A plaque placed over the embalming incision was shown to carry the ‘wedjat’ or Eye of Horus symbol, to safeguard the body of the deceased from harm and promote regeneration. The scanning continues and innovative ways of visualising the results are expected soon.
The film clips recorded in The Manchester Museum as part of Joyce’s “Investing in Success” project are now nearing completion. These will eventually be included in the Certificate and Diploma Courses in Egyptology, where they will allow students to experience more than a “flat”, one-dimensional image of artefacts under discussion. Here are a few examples for you to enjoy:
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A discussion of the Faince Bowl.
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The team talk about a fragment of cartonnage.
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An artefact from the temple at Deir El-Bahri.
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Hidden treasures from the First Intermediate Period.
Behind the scenes of the study day with Glenn and Joyce.
Pauline Norris and Roger Forshaw ready to present.
A smiling Roger ready for the day to start.
February is traditionally the month that we hold our study day. We picked February because there are no other North-West Egyptology days being held at that time - an important consideration in the North-West, where there are so many strong ancient Egypt societies plus, of course, our near-neighbour Liverpool University - but this means that we spend a lot of time worrying about the weather. So far, touch wood, we have not had any problems and the study day – Daughters of Isis: Women of Ancient Egypt – went ahead on 16th February as planned and was, according to the feedback received, a great success. We are now starting to plan for the February 2014 study day, which will be held in conjunction with The Manchester Museum. Our theme is likely to be “Men in Ancient Egypt”: a topic which Joyce once suggested to a publisher, only to be told that, while there was a great deal of interest in women in ancient Egypt, no one at all was interested in men!
The photographs show ”behind the scenes“ on the morning of the study day.
Campbell and Glenn during filming in the museum stores.
Ian Miller from eLearning getting involved in the filming.
Campbell and Glenn with the artefacts.
Kate and Campbell during filming.
January saw intense activity in the stores of The Manchester Museum, as Joyce, Campbell and Glenn worked with Ian, Kate and Jamie from eLearning, to film a series of short clips focusing on specific artefacts. These clips are currently being edited by Kate, before being added to the Certificate and Diploma Courses. Some of these clips will also be added here, so watch this space!
November and December 2012
November 2012 was Tutankhamen’s “birthday”: 90 years since the discovery of his tomb by a team led by Howard Carter. Here is a link to a Tutankhamen tribute, compiled by Spanish Egyptologist (and ex-Manchester Certificate Student) Nacho Ares. A brief opening sequence is in Spanish, after that you will find a series of photographic tributes submitted by a wide range of Egyptologists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuZo207QF8A
This photograph, taken after the lecture, gives a good idea of the appearance of the new-look Egyptian gallery.
Back in Manchester, Joyce gave a lecture in the Museum Meets series, looking at the site of Kahun. The Middle Kingdom town of Kahun (Senwosret is Satisfied) is a purpose-built settlement created to house the community of priests and workers who serviced the nearby pyramid of Senwosret II. The excavations of Flinders Petrie in 1889-90 produced an unprecedented range of objects relating to the daily activities of ordinary Egyptians living ordinary lives at this extraordinary site. The Manchester Museum is fortunate in having the finest collection of objects from Kahun. The lecture was followed by a brief object handling session, and an opportunity to look around the new Ancient Worlds Galleries, guided by Curator of Egypt and the Sudan Campbell Price.
Joyce looking at one of the new Ancient Worlds displays.
Curator of Egypt and the Sudan, Dr Campbell Price, with anatomist and Tutankhamen expert Robert Connolly at the opening party of the new Ancient Worlds galleries, Manchester Museum.
October was a hectic month for Joyce and Glenn, with the long-anticipated launch of the Diploma in Egyptology. The first month’s teaching has now passed successfully, and both tutors and students are enjoying studying ancient Egypt at a more intensive level.
It has been a busy month at The Manchester Museum, too. The new Ancient Worlds galleries are now finally open. Why not pop along to see the collection displayed as it never has been before? Here, to tempt, you is a photograph of Curator of Egypt and the Sudan, Dr Campbell Price, with anatomist and Tutankhamen expert Robert Connolly at the opening party. You can just catch a glimpse of the new display in the photograph.
The second photograph shows Joyce looking at one of the new displays. If you look closely, you will be able to see a “fake” (she prefers the word “replica”) handaxe or biface which was made by Joyce when she was a student and which has now been donated to the Museum collection. You would not believe the amount of blood shed to make this one small tool!
2012 Awards Ceremony
A photograph from the 2012 Awards Ceremony
Overlooking the workmen’s village of Deir el-Medina.
Meeting Certificate students Barbara, Kerry, Joy, Sharon, Gallina, Jane and Gabriele in Jane Akshar’s garden, Luxor.
The welcome cake, generously provided by Jane Akshar: it tasted even nicer than it looks!
July has been a busy month for Egyptology Online. First came the launch of our exciting new website, designed for us by Helen. Joyce then travelled to Egypt, courtesy of an Investing in Success grant from Manchester University, to gather material to be incorporated into the Diploma and Certificate courses. Based in Luxor, she was able to cover sites extending from Asyut and Aswan, and was also able to meet Certificate students who were working on a fieldwork project on the Theban West Bank. The photo gallery shows just some of the highlights of the trip.