Location: Benjamin T. Rome Auditorium of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 1619 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
Our November lecture will be presented by Mark Janzen, PhD Candidate at the University of Memphis, History Department, emphasis Egyptology. The lecture is entitled: “Rhetoric and Reality: The Depiction and Humiliation of Prisoners of War in New Kingdom Egypt”.
New Kingdom pharaohs were quick to display their dominance over foreign captives in a variety of contexts — reliefs on temple walls, statuary, ceremonial objects, etc. — using brutal and degrading imagery. Depictions of these captives in humiliating or torturous poses are ubiquitous in Egyptian iconography and reflect the celebratory nature of royal ideology.
Due to the simple fact that such depictions are found most often in religious contexts and make frequent use of ideology, they are often dismissed as lacking historical value. However, the ideological significance of artistic and literary presentations of foreign prisoners must be given its due attention as part of the larger picture of Egyptian views towards foreigners. In many cases, historical specifics emerge even though much of the evidence is rhetorical. This presentation aims to determine, when possible, the Egyptians’ intentions in bringing captives back to Egypt, the fates of those captives, and the mindset of the Egyptians regarding foreign prisoners of war.
About our speaker:
Mark Janzen is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Memphis, History Department, emphasis Egyptology. Having completed his comprehensive exams and defended his prospectus, he anticipates graduating in May, 2013. He received his Masters of Arts from Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL in Near Eastern Archaeology and Semitic Languages.
He has conducted archaeological field-work in Egypt under Dr. James K. Hoffmeier at Tell el-Borg in North Sinai. In 2011, he had the good fortune of being able to work with Dr. Peter J. Brand on The Great Hypostyle Hall project at Karnak Temple. His interests center primarily on Egyptian foreign relations, particularly during the New Kingdom. He also studies Levantine Archaeology and Ancient Near East History.