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Renowned Italian Archaeologist Will Lecture at U of M April 27 University News
For release: April 20, 2009

For press information, contact Dr. Mariam Ayad, 901-678-2555

The Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology at the University of Memphis will present an illustrated lecture by Dr. Francesco Tiradritti on Monday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the Meeman Journalism Building Auditorium. A reception at 7 p.m. will precede the lecture. The event is free and open to the public.

Tiradritti will discuss “Excavating the Tomb of Harwa (TT 37): In Search of the African Roots of the Pharaonic Renaissance.” A renowned Italian archaeologist and former holder of the Dorothy K. Hohenberg Chair in Art History at the U of M, Tiradritti is director of the Italian Archaeological Mission to Luxor.

The Tomb of Harwa is the earliest surviving monument displaying the typical features of the “Pharaonic Renaissance,” a moment in Egyptian history that showed a peculiar awareness of the past. The tomb’s fine decoration was clearly inspired by the past. Images and texts preserved in this tomb find their antecedents in works dating to the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms, which were already considered classic epochs of the Egyptian civilization. Recent excavations, carried out by the Italian Archaeological Mission to Luxor, are leading to a reconsideration and re-contextualization of these artistic expressions.

Harwa was an administrator of the estate of the God’s Wife of Amun (a high-ranking priestess) during Egypt’s 25th, or Nubian, dynasty (710-664 BC).

In addition to providing an updated report of recent excavations carried out at the Tomb of Harwa, this lecture will highlight the integration of African cultural elements introduced by Egypt’s Nubian pharaohs and their courts, and will elaborate on the spread of this revival in Egyptian society of that period.

The lecture is made possible by Dorothy K Hohenberg Chair of Excellence and Public Service Funds.

Parking is available in the Fogelman garage or the Central Avenue parking lot. For more information, call 901-678-2555.

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