On Friday, April 20, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm (followed by a reception), ARCEDC members and friends will enjoy a lecture by Gayle Gibson of the. Gayle’s talk is entitled, “ — A Hard Life in Interesting Times.”
This event will take place at the Egyptian Cultural and Educational Bureau, 1303, NW, 20036. (Important note: this is not our usual location!)
In 1974, the wrapped and coffined but unmummified body of a teenage boy was given the first modern autopsy of an ancient Egyptian. At that time, his slender remains were able to speak most eloquently of the life of an ordinary man in Ancient Egypt. The results showed that he had lived a very hard life, plagued by parasitic and environmental illnesses.
This young Egyptian boy named Userkare-Nakht lived during the Twentieth Dynasty, around 1180 BCE. He was a weaver in a workshop attached to a chapel dedicated to King Sethnakht. When he died, he was not mummified, but somehow received a fine coffin and honorable burial at Deir el Bahari.
Recent studies of his coffin have deepened the mysteries surrounding his burial, and given us a more complex vision of life in a period that saw civil war and the early reign of one of Egypt’s greatest kings, Ramesses III.
Gayle Gibson will be talking about the findings of industrial pollution and environmental hazards around the body of Nakht, and sharing new information about his life with the audience. She believes that careful, respectful study of people like Nakht brings us as close as possible to the lives of those who went before.
Gayle Gibson has worked as a teacher at the Royal Ontario Museum since 1990. She holds three degrees from the University of Toronto: an Honours B.A. in English Language and Literature, a B.Ed. in English and Drama, and an M.A. in Ancient Egyptian Language and Literature. She taught English and Drama in high schools in Chatham, Mississauga, and Toronto. While staying home with her son, Richard Kirwin, she worked for the Ontario Government’s Independent Learning Centre, where she received an award for outstanding teaching , co-authored a best selling grammar book ,and contributed to many other publications.
Since 1965, she has worked chiefly on Ancient Egyptian themes, publishing both popular and scholarly papers. She has given talks and workshops throughout North America, and in Sudan.
In the Royal Ontario Museum, she teaches, among other topics, Ancient and Medieval History, the Iconography of World Religions, Evolution and Physical Anthropology. She has given many adult courses for the ROM on topics from the Ancient Celts to the world of the Dead Sea Scrolls.