Saturday, April 21, 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM (times subject to change)
Gayle Gibson, Royal Ontario Museum
Location: Egyptian Cultural and Educational Bureau, 1303 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036
(Please note that this is not a free workshop; see below for details about how to register and provide your payment.)
The Gods of Ancient Egypt
Part 1: Gods and Goddesses
The day will start with a look at the earliest evidence for the gods of Egypt, examining strange statues, odd little images scratched on bowls, and some sacred spaces that didn’t look at all like later temples. Most gods and goddesses began as protectors of local areas. What qualities led some gods to become universal deities while others remained obscure, and never strayed far from home?
Part 2. Animal Powers
There are dung beetles and scorpions, crocodiles and frogs, hawks and dogs in the Ancient Egyptian pantheon. Were the Egyptians ‘primitive’ to worship gods who combined human and animal features? We’ll look at the most popular theriomorphic deities,- Anubis, Apis and Thoth -as well as others who were lesser known, like Paket the Scratcher, and Hatmehyt, the fish. We’ll consider why certain animals were chosen and how these animal gods fit into Ancient Egyptian life and thought.
Part 3: In the beginning – Creation Stories
The four-thousand year old Coffin Texts provide sophisticated theological speculations about the origins of the world and man’s place in the cosmos, while tales like that of The Great Cow combine folklore and myth. The well-known stories of the Osiris cycle will provide surprising insights into Egyptian ideas of both the beginning and the end of the world.
Part 4: The Contendings of Amun and the Aten.
We’ll end the day with a specific look at the theology and practice of the cults of Amun of Thebes and the Aton at Amarna. In novels, the Amun priests are usually ‘the bad guys’ who oppose Akhenaten and the idea of monotheism. It should prove both enjoyable and enlightening to look at the Leiden Hymns and other contemporary evidence to see how Amun was perceived and what political factors may have led to the conflict between these gods and their devotees.
The fee for Workshop participants is $50, payable to ARCE Washington DC Chapter. Please mail your check to ARCE/DC, % Michael Lovellette, 9602 Woodberry St., Lanham, MD 20706. If not on your check, please include a note providing the following information:
City, State, Zip:
Call in advance to reserve your space: 301-537-1165, or e-mail Michael Lovellette at
mlovellette @ mac.com. Be sure to confirm your reservation by sending in your check as soon as possible. There will be a limited number of seats available.
FYI, there is limited parking at the Egyptian Cultural and Educational Bureau, but there are many parking facilities in the vicinity.