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d’archéologie orientale du Caire


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Les conférences de l’Ifao

Le dimanche 8 octobre 2023 à 17h00 (heure du Caire), IFAO géolocalisation IFAO

The Nineteenth Century Discovery of the Treasure of Queen Ahhotep (1550 BC) and its road to Cairo Museum

Gianluca Miniaci

Langue : anglais.

Abstract :

In 1859 some Egyptian workmen digging in the northern sector of the Theban necropolis on behalf of Auguste Mariette brought to light the coffin of a queen called Ahhotep (Second Intermediate Period, c. 1550 BC), which contained rare and unparalleled items, forming the largest “treasure” of the goldsmith’s art then known from Egypt. However, since then too many questions remain open, and the discovery of the burial of Ahhotep and its treasure became legend and, in modern literature, the borders between tale and reality cannot be always seen clearly. The talk aims at deconstructing and then reconstructing the history of the Queen Ahhotep discovery through the eyes and sources of the nineteenth century people and defines more realistic contours for the discovery, moving away from the narrative which Egyptological tradition contributed to build.



Gianluca Miniaci is Associate Professor in Egyptology at the University of Pisa and Honorary Researcher at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL – London. He is currently co-director of the archaeological mission at Zawyet Sultan (Menya, Egypt) and principal investigator for four large national projects: PROCESS (social history in ancient Egypt); GODSCAPES (polytheism in the Eastern Mediterranean); PIPE (clay figurines and fingerprints in Eastern Africa); Queen Ahhotep treasure (musealisation of the royal funerary assemblage in Cairo Museum). He is author of several monographs, among which Rishi Coffins (London 2011), The Middle Kingdom Ramesseum Papyri Tomb (London 2021), Miniature Forms as Transformative Thresholds (Leuven 2023) and Faience Figurines in their Archaeological and Museological Contexts (Leuven 2023). He has edited two seminal volumes: The Treasure of the Egyptian Queen Ahhotep (London 2022) and Breaking Images: Damage and Mutilation of Ancient Figurine for Oxbow (Oxford 2022). His scientific production includes more than 100 scientific articles. His main research interests focus on the social history of ancient Egypt, the dynamics of material culture in the Eastern Mediterranean between Egypt, the Levant, Aegean, and Nubia in the Middle Bronze Age, and the global and comparative history and archaeology.

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Les conférences de l’Ifao

Les conférences de l'Ifao ont pour objectif la transmission des résultats des recherches en cours ou très récentes, par des chercheurs confirmés. Y sont conviés essentiellement les chercheurs impliqués dans les différentes opérations scientifiques de l'Ifao lors de leur passage par l'Institut. ِElles sont également parfois le lieu de présentation d'ouvrages récemment parus à l'Ifao par  leurs autheurs. Les conférences de l'Ifao ont lieu traditionnellement le mercredi à 18h, en français ou en anglais.

IFAO Lectures series aim to transmit the results of current or very recent research by confirmed researchers. They are mainly animated by researchers involved in IFAO's various scientific programs and projects during their stay at the Institute. They are also sometimes the occasion for presentations, by their authors, of books recently published by the IFAO.

IFAO Lectures series are traditionally held on Wednesdays at 6 p.m., in French or English.