25 April 2008

Hello from Seattle

Clair and I arrived safely in Seattle. Surprisingly, no rain yet. Temperatures are cool, in the 50's. We have met us with some of our Egyptology friends, Peter Dorman, Melinda Hartwig, Gay Robbins among others.

Lots of meetings and talks today. Start of the Best Student Paper contest. We are already fielding questions about next year's meeting in Dallas.
Looking forward to interesting talks and meeting up with old friends.

More later


18 April 2008

Friday night Challenge

Just got home from the Lecture tonight on the Memphis Necropolis. And I thought I would give those of you who couldn't make it a challenge.

Dr. Aidan Dodson spoke about a unique way to build a tomb that has thwarted tomb robbers for thousands of years. It is a shaft that is bigger on the bottom and smaller on the top with the sarcophagus at the bottom of the shaft. Once the person is buried in their coffin the lid is sealed by use of sand as a hydraulic lift and the rest of the shaft is filled in with sand. All the sand would have to be taken out for a tomb robber to get to the coffin.

He mentioned that he recreated how the tomb was constructed on a BBC program. He told me that the BBC sponsored the experiment. So I have a challenge for all of you.

Find a copy of the original BBC program and/or the name of the program. Also give me the name of the place where Dr. Dodson experiment was conducted. To enter just post the information (not the video) in the comments area.

We may just have a special surprise or an impromptu viewing night if we can find a copy.

13 April 2008


In preparation of the Dallas Museum of Art's Tut Exhibit, we at the local chapter are having an all-day Tut-athon. I am so excited. Now the actual Tut Exhibit doesn't start until October 3, but we thought it would be neat to get a leg up so to speak on the festivities.

Dr. Aidan Dodson is coming April 18 and 19. His free lecture on Friday night, April 18 in SMU's Fondren Building Room 123 is on the Memphite Necropolis. It starts at 7pm with snacks and ends about 9 pm. We won't be going to the famous Desperados afterwards because we need to be back early in the morning for the Tut Seminar on Saturday.

The Tut Seminar starts at a bright and early 9 am in the Dedman Life Sciences Auditorium at SMU and ends around 4 pm thereabouts.

Now, the title of the seminar is Tutankhamun: From the Cradle to the Grave. Dr. Dodson will begin the day with tracing the history of Egypt from the high-point of Akhenaten’s reign, through which the young Tutankhaten and his queen changed their names to switch allegiance to the old dynastic god, AMUN. We will have a little break and continue the morning with the restoration of the traditional religion and if Tut was murdered or not. (I am sure you have a theory of your own.)

We usually have lunch on our own. If you are coming to the meeting from seeing this blog tell the registration desk and we will meet up to have lunch together.

When we return in the afternoon, Dr. Dodson will discuss Tut's tomb before break and the rediscovery of his tomb in 1922 after the break.

Then when we all go to the Tut exhibit in October, we will be versed in all things Tut! See you at the meeting.

09 April 2008

Nigel Strudwick...another side to our recent speaker

The Blog master asked me to comment a bit on the experience of hosting our last speaker, Nigel Strudwick. We have hosted him and his wife, Helen, a number of times over the years, and have had the great pleasure of being guests at their home in England.

Having the speaker in your home for a few days can be a very rewarding experience.

Nigel is, first and foremost a wealth of Egyptological information and we talked a great deal about such things, but he has another side. As a few discovered at the meeting, he never travels anywhere without a teddy bear…or two…or more. The same can be said about his wife. Their home in England has a drift of teddy bears in a corner of the living room and they include their bears prominently in photos around the world. Most recently a pair vacationed with Nigel in Hawaii. One of the bears was even sent to them by us, so he has a Texan bear as well.

Nigel is a Morris dancer…a folk dance format uncommon even in England, and one that dates back into distant antiquity. Morris dancing is hard to describe, but it involves white costumes, cross-belts, staves and a lot of energy. Helen is one of the musicians, playing the melodeon, a miniature accordion-like instrument. Check this website for some photos of Nigel and Helen at a Morris Dance event: http://www.devilsdykemm.org.uk/nigel/index.html

If you look carefully at Nigel’s belt in the first photo, you can see that he is wearing an oval Texas Lone Star belt buckle. Definitely non-proper Morris Man attire…but evidence of his affection for North Texas and for our Chapter.

So you can see that our speakers are often all they appear to be as specialists…and sometimes they have a very different and equally enjoyable side as well.

Egypt's Connection to Global Warming?

Did you see our February speaker Dr. Sarah Parcak from the University of Alabama at Birmingham on the Discovery Channel this past Sunday on Why Ancient Egypt Fell?

She was showing her GoogleEarth studies on the Nile Delta to prove that the 1st Intermediate Period was caused by a drought that lasted at least a generation. Dynasties 9-11 are a big hole in the Egyptian record. They didn't talk about such horrid things on tomb walls.

I think it is so cool that we get these speakers first. I can remember us leaving our February meeting just fascinated at the potential GoogleEarth can have on Egyptology. It is very interesting how the whole drought in Egypt is connected to a drought in the rest of the Mediterranean and the connection with the glacier ice age in the States.

However in watching the show, it hit home all the Global Warming messages that we are getting now. Can you imagine how cold Texas would get? or would we have a drought like the Egyptians? I don't want to find out if I could eat my own.

Sure would love to hear your comments.

29 March 2008

Welcome and Howdy

Welcome to the Deep in the heart of Egypt blog where Egypt gets a Texas perspective. We are affiliated with the American Research Center in Egypt, one of the most well-known contributors to Egyptology. We, the North Texas Chapter, are comprised of a group of friendly people fascinated by all aspects of the archaeology and culture of ancient Egypt.

If you are interested in Egypt, we will have knowledgeable, accurate posts of happenings in Egypt, Dallas and anywhere else our traveling members find Egypt. If you live in the Dallas area, please feel free to stop by our monthly FREE lectures at Southern Methodist University.

Our next meeting is this evening at Southern Methodist University in Fondren Building Room 123, Dr. Nigel Strudwick from The British Museum and the University of Memphis will be speaking on the use and reuse of tombs. Again it is FREE.

If you can't make it, please keep track of this blog and maybe we can see you next month.