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6 April 2021 - 6 April 2021

5:00PM - 6:00PM

Oriental Museum

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6th April 2021, 17:00, Rachel Barclay, Oriental Museum, Durham University

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Pottery in the Oriental Museum

The description provided on the UNESCO tentative list for the city of Abydos in Egypt describes it as the ‘city of pilgrimage of the Pharaohs’. Modern scholars have differentiated the annual Osiris Festival held in the city from the Middle Kingdom (c.2030-1650 BCE) onwards from other important ancient Egyptian religious festivals because of the number of non-royal participants thought to have gathered from all over the country. This talk focuses on three monuments currently housed in the Oriental Museum which have been linked to Middle Kingdom Abydos and worship of Osiris and considers what evidence they provide in support or otherwise of the idea of mass pilgrimage to the site at this period in time.

Rachel Barclay is Curator of Durham University’s Oriental Museum. She originally trained as an Egyptologist. In her current role Rachel works with collections from across North Africa and all of Asia, participating in DU projects and partnerships with museums in China, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Suggested Readings

Abydos, city of pilgrimage of the Pharaohs: UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Assman, J. 2001. The Search for God in Ancient Egypt. New York, Cornell University Press.

Oppenheim, A., Arnhold, D., Arnhold, D. & Yamamoto, K. 2015. Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Smith, M. 2017. Following Osiris: Perspectives on the Osirian Afterlife from Four Millennia. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



Where and when

Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill Road, South Road, Durham

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