50th Anniversary Lecture Series: An Eternal Zoo: Ancient Egyptian Animal Mummies, Salima Ikram

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Date(s): Tuesday, October 15

Time: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Location: McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture

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Salima Ikram, Egyptologist

Salima Ikram, Egyptologist

Join us for the lecture, “An Eternal Zoo: Ancient Egyptian Animal Mummies,” by world-renowned scholar, Salima Ikram.

The relationship between humans and animals has always been complex with mutual dependencies that are practical, psychological, and even theological. Ancient Egyptian animal mummies are a particular manifestation of this complex web of inter-relations. This lecture presents the different types of animal mummies (food, pets, votive offerings, sacred creatures, and ‘other’) and explains how they were made, using evidence from the mummies themselves, as well as experimental work. The reasons for making animal mummies, as well as the theological and aesthetic decisions that went into their ‘packaging’, and the significance of each type of mummy to the ancient Egyptians will be explored. How animal mummies reflect the ways in which the Egyptians interacted with the animal world, and how even today they influence our view of the ancient Egyptians and influence contemporary thought and art will be covered.

Speaker bio:

Dr. Salima Ikram is Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, and has worked in Egypt since 1986. She has lived in Pakistan, the US, UK and Egypt. After double majoring in History as well as Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College (USA), she received her M. Phil. (in Museology and Egyptian Archaeology) and Ph.D. (in Egyptian archaeology) from Cambridge University. She has directed the Animal Mummy Project, co-directed the Predynastic Gallery project, and is Co-director of the North Kharga Oasis Survey. Dr. Ikram has worked on several excavations in Egypt as well as in the Sudan, Greece, and Turkey. Her primary research interests are death, daily life in all periods in Egypt, archaeozoology, rock art, experimental archaeology, and the preservation and presentation of cultural heritage. She has lectured on these and other subjects all over the world. Dr. Ikram has written several books (for adults and children) and articles, with subject matters ranging from mummification to the eating habits of the ancient Egyptians. She has also appeared on television.