Bloomsbury Summer School (text)

Bloomsbury Summer School

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Fascinated by ancient civilisations?

We offer anyone with any level of knowledge, inspiring short courses on ancient Egypt and other areas of the ancient world.

Study Day timetable

Saturday 26 June 2021 (online only)

Embodied Forms: Non-royal statuary in the late period

BSS Online (icon)

Speaker: Dr Campbell Price (University of Manchester)

This course will be delivered online via the video communication platform Zoom (details provided upon enrolment).

Temple statuary was the chief medium for elite self-presentation in the Late Period (c.750–30 BCE). Dedication of such monuments at the vast complex of Karnak was a privilege of the priestly elite. This study day explores the forms and inscriptions of some of these statues. These give an important insight into conceptions of divinity, materiality, and expectations of how the statues were conceived to function for eternity in temples frequented by gods, the living, and the dead.

In addition to hearing four engaging lectures, you will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions, and to socialise with the speaker during an online drinks reception.


Programme for the day:

09:30 – 10:00 Zoom waiting room open

10:00 – 10:15
Welcome address

10:15 – 11:15
Dedicating a Temple Statue
Who was allowed to dedicate a statue in a temple, when and why? Many such monuments carry texts that reflect on their own creation and those involved in setting them up. These often allow genealogical reconstruction – but give us information on normative social practice, too. This lecture reviews some of the evidence.

11:15 – 11:45
Coffee / tea break

11:45 – 12:45
Existing in the Shade of Karnak
A significant quantity of Late Period non-royal sculpture comes from the so-called Karnak Cachette, excavated between 1903–1906. Many inscriptions on the sculptures that emerged state a desire to exist in the sacred space of Karnak. Security – both spiritual and physical – are emphasised. This lecture concentrates on the ‘conceptualisation’ of the statue at Karnak.

12:45 – 13:00

13:00 – 14:00
Lunch break

14:00 – 15:00
Archaism and Innovation: Attitudes to the past
It is a widely-noted trend in Late Period sculpture to make reference to more ancient statue forms, and to draw on the long history of sculptural production in Egypt. This ‘archaism’ phenomenon was not motivated by some generic respect for the past but by a desire to engage viewers. This lecture interrogates how archaism ‘works’.

15:00 – 15:30
Coffee / tea break

15:30 – 16:30
Being Among the Praised Ones: Reciprocal actions
The main objective of temple monuments, like statues, was to attract attention. This lecture reviews a range of expected ritual interactions with the living made clear in inscriptions. Less well known is the evidence that suggests the statue owner would act for the living. Statue owners aimed to be admitted to an exclusive club, close to and coalescing with the gods.

16:30 – 17:00
Concluding Q&A

17:00 – 18:30
Virtual drinks reception and BSS social on Zoom (guests welcome)