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30.08.2013

Palaces and Residences Conference and Study Day June 2013: Report

In June 2013, the EES, in collaboration with the Austrian Academy of Sciences and University of Wuerzburg, hosted the conference Palaces and Residences: Reaching Beyond the State of the Art. It is hoped that this will form the first of a series of conferences, designed to investigate the architecture, archaeology, significance and function of these structures. 

Speakers at the conference included Dr Felix Arnold, Prof. Manfred Bietak, Prof. Gunter Dreyer, Dr Renee Friedman, Dr Ulrich Hartung, Dr Clara Jeuthe, Dr Peter Lacovara, Dr Eva Lange, Dr Manuela Lehmann, Dr Dietrich Raue, Dr Kate Spence, and Dr Alexander Tzonis (keynote lecture).

The Society's Vice-Chair, John Johnston, introducing a session

The papers covered all major palace sites in Egypt and Nubia, from the Early Dynastic structures at Abydos, Hierakonpolis and Tell el Fara'in/Buto, to the Apries Palace of the Late Period. Much discussion was devoted to the comparisons between palaces and residences found in ancient Egypt and those of the ancient Near East and early Mediterranean cultures, with particular reference to Minoan palaces. 

Conference speakers and delegates discussing key issues

The abstracts for the papers are still available here, and it is hoped that in due course, the conference proceedings will be published. Further details will follow. 

The conference was followed by a Study Day, at SOAS, bringing together some of the major themes of the conference, and featuring speakers who had contributed to the conference, bringing their research to a wider audience.

Prof. Guenther Dreyer of the German Institute of Archaeology, Cairo, speaks about Early Dynastic Palaces

The Study Day was intended to bring a flavour of the conference proceedings to a wider audience, and the speakers not only discussed their own research into palatial and residential structures, but also touched on general points of commonality which were raised during the course of the conference proceedings. 

This is the second time the Society has run a summer conference, followed by a Study Day designed to complement and elucidate on the conference proceedings, and it was great to see how well attended this event was, and how lively the discussion, provoked by questions from the audience. 

Questions from the audience during the discussions at the end of the day

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