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2019 ARCE NY Lectures
Copyright ©2018 - American Research Center in Egypt / New York

The American Research Center in Egypt, New York Chapter (ARCE/NY) in cooperation with the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World , presents the following in its First Annual Theodore N. Romanoff Lecture Series:

"The Medium is the Message": The Mechanics of Egyptian Royal Living-Rock Stelae

SPEAKER: Dr. Jennifer Grice Thum, Inga Maren Otto Curatorial Fellow in Academic and Public Programs at the Harvard Art Museums.
LOCATION: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW / NYU); 15 East 84th St. (between 5th and Madison Avenues)

TIME: 6:00 PM, FREE TO THE PUBLIC. RECEPTION TO FOLLOW LECTURE. R.S.V.P. is required. Please reply to http://isaw.nyu.edu/rsvp

ABSTRACT: We usually think of ancient Egypt as a culture of 'big building', especially at the hands of the king. Yet there are some cases where royal stelae, bearing the officially sanctioned messages of the royal establishment, were inscribed into natural features rather than being set up in architectural spaces. These stelae were carved directly into "living rock" -- outcrops that are still where they were formed geologically. How did the Egyptian views of living rock as a material inform this practice, and how was this monument percieved to 'work'? This lecture explores the circumstances that led Egyptian kings to use the landscape as a monumental medium, and what those messages can tell us about how the landscape was understood.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Jen Thum is the Inga Maren Otto Curatorial Fellow in Academic and Public Programs at the Harvard Art Museums. She recently completed her PhD in Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University, with a dissertation on ancient Egyptian royal living-rock stelae. The field research for this project was funded by an ARCE ECA fellowship, a CAORC Mellon Mediterranean Regional Research fellowship, and a SPARC Fieldwork Award from the Center for the Advanced Spatial Technologies at the University of Arkansas. Before studying at Brown, Jen receieved her MPhil in Egyptology from Oxford and her BA in Anthropology from Barnard College. She also was awarded the Theodore N. Romanoff Prize from the American Research Center in Egypt. Jen is dedicated to public outreach and to teaching learners of all ages through hands-on investigations of art and artifacts in the field, museums, and classrooms. 
Photo of Jen Thum courtesy of Susan Ely.