The Egypt Exploration Society Congress

The Egypt Exploration Society Congress (formerly the British Egyptology Congress) provides a platform for international researchers to present their ongoing projects and discoveries to a broad audience of peers and the interested public through presentations or posters.

Presentations can be given by scholars at all levels of their career including independent researchers with no current affiliation. Presenters do not need to be British or be based in Britain to present.

The Congress is held by the Egypt Exploration Society every two years in collaboration with a British host institution. Applications to host EESC will be advertised on the EES website in the intervening years immediately following a Congress.

In 2020, the Fifth British Egyptology Congress was hosted by Durham University (hence the choice of banner image). Due to the disruption caused by COVID-19, the Congress was held online between September and December 2020. Thanks to the success of this format, future Congress are expected to be held online or a hybrid. 

Please find below the posters presented during BEC5. You will find a pdf download of the poster as well as an abstract for each one.

Poster abstracts and downloads

Click the image to download the poster as a pdf

Museums social commitment within Crisis: The Islamic Art Museum. Changes and Challenges
Samar Saeed Abady & Catalina Ponce Vargas

Understanding museums as cultural institutions not only dedicated to the safeguarding of their collections but also as experiential spaces that convey the community's social concerns and raise awareness among them, have an essential obligation to promote peace, national unity, cross- cultural understanding, tolerance, heritage awareness, reconciliation of communities, and most importantly, to preserve the national identity, especially in current times of unforeseen outbreaks such as wars, armed conflicts or civil unrests. In this way, undesirable social behaviours such as looting could be prevented, while triggering individuals to protect their heritage. The main objective of this study is to examine the ways museums can best promote their educational role, in particular after the time of conflict. For this purpose, this study provides a theoretical framework around five main themes for the museum’s fulfilment of their educational role, and analyses the Islamic Museum in Cairo before and after the Crisis that left the Egyptian Revolution, focusing on the changes the museum experienced in terms of its educational programs, and in the interpretation and display of its collections .The study concludes with a number of recommendations that include suggestions for improvement of the current educative performance of the Islamic Museum.

Click the image to download the poster as a pdf

 The Cairo Museum collection's preservation in Collection Management Software
Marwa Abdel Razek Mahmoud

The idea of the Registration, Collections Management and Documentation Department (RCMDD) was born in 2006. The department began in January 2007 as a training project for Egyptian staff, by the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE), with a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The actual training project began in 2007, with three trainers and four trainees. The department currently has six registrars. The RCMDD is considered the first centralized system for the care, maintenance, and documentation of the collections of a museum in Egypt. It is responsible for overseeing all the collections of the Egyptian Museum in both paper and digital format. This poster presents the history of the department, in addition to its current role in the Museum also the software used in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo before and now.

Click the image to download the poster as a pdf

The Transformative Power of Dress: Sobekneferu and Statue E27135
Kelly-Anne Diamond

We can see Sobekneferu through the few remains she has left to us. There is one distinctive statue in the Louvre that provides the residue of practices relating to dress and adornment in ancient Egypt. This statue (Louvre E 27135) was purchased by the museum in 1973 and its provenance is unknown. It is a life size (or larger) quartzite statue, of which only 48 cm of the torso remain, and shows Sobekneferu with the addition of male garb. All of the known statues of Sobekneferu show her as female, but with the creation of the Louvre statue Sobekneferu intentionally modified what she was doing by changing her dress.

Representations like this one have traditionally been used as a proxy for real-life dress experience. However, representations as such can be highly constructed, static images of dress that demand more interpretation. Semiotic theory has elucidated the notion that dress can be understood as encoding a primary visual language, but more recently the body's surface has been interpreted as a deliberate "social strategy" that helped to shape embodied identities, and not just signal them. Likewise, "dress" has come to encompass any collection of bodily modifications or supplements to the body. This poster approaches dress through Sobekneferu's representation in the Louvre statue and it explores the dynamic role of her dressed body in terms of the construction, negotiation and reception of her identity.

Click the image to download the poster as a pdf

New aspects of Ancient Egyptian tattoo
Mohga Ellaimony

We are indebted to Ludwig Keimer; the first to shed light on ancient Egyptian tattoos in his study. Since then, few studies about ancient Egyptian tattooing have appeared with many assuming that tattoos appeared in Egypt from the Middle Kingdom and were restricted to women, started as geometric designs and developed during the New Kingdom into abstracted figures of Bes.

In 2014 a heavily tattooed female mummy dated to the end of the New Kingdom was rediscovered by IFAO at TT291 at Deir el-Madina. Unlike tattooed mummies discovered previously, the tattoos found on this mummy were figural and represent pharaonic Egyptian imagery.

In 2018 a British Museum project re-examined male and female predynastic naturally mummified bodies from Gebelin. Both were heavily tattooed with figural motifs similar to those seen in predynastic decorated figurines.

This poster aims to review the ancient Egyptian tattoo according to these new discoveries proving that tattoos existed in Egypt from early periods and were applied to both genders, probably for different reasons. While women might have applied it for fertility and religious reasons, men might have had it as an indication of their social status.

A recent evidence of tattooed man from predynastic period shed a light on the possibility of tattooing for social status reasons, thus we should begin to focus on whether or not rulers were tattooed.

And so assumed that king Narmer was tattooed on his right hand and arm according to the new RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging) by Kathryn E. Piquette applied on Narmer palette which revealed invisible details on the palette.

Click the image to download the poster as a pdf

Study of the territorial grid of Lower Nubia during the Graeco-Roman period
Audrey Eller

During the Graeco-Roman period Lower Nubia was known as the Dodekaschoinos, or the Triakontaschoinos, depending on the size of the territory controlled by Egypt. Different settlements were spread all over this region, along the Nile but also within the oriental desert and on the Red Sea coast. Their diverse locations created a territorial grid which allowed a better control over the region by the Ptolemies and then the Romans. Nowadays different sources can be used to understand the role of these settlements and the reasons why some of them were newly founded during this late period. Classical authors, papyri and inscriptions compose the majority of the corpus, while the archaeological evidences help to build a comprehensive overview. What can we say from the sources and the archaeological remains? Do they shed some light on the purpose of these settlements (economic, military, religious)? Can we unravel a grand design in the distribution of the different sites?

This poster will present the aims and the research problem of my new project about the territorial grid of Lower Nubia. This is considered as a first step which should lead to a global study of the Lower Nubia’s Egyptian governance during the Graeco-Roman period.

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The Role of Silver as a Raw Material in the Ancient Egyptian Metallurgy
Eman Nabil Khallaf

Although some excavated silver finds date back to the Naqada Period, the origin of silver ores in Ancient Egypt is considered a matter of debate. Ag element is thought to be extracted from other metal alloys rather than being of pure Egyptian silver. At an early period, the ancient Egyptians learned how to work with metals; they had possessed considerable proficiency in metallurgy, chemistry, crafting and production. They employed their expertise to explore mineral ores in Egypt and other borders. The most ancient silver mines known were the Greek Mount Laurion in Attica, hence, silver was mainly imported as a raw material from foreign regions and was produced in large quantities of various objects that have passed by a manufacturing cycle of proficiency and expertise led by the ancient Egyptian manpower.

This study based on the historical and archaeological analysis concerning the existence of silver in the ancient Egyptian mines, supported with the science of metallurgy including the standard archaeometric techniques. Applying the latest technologies of; radiometric dating, spectroscopy, remote sensing, X-ray radiography, and mechanical cleaning, employing the latest mining technology of the tunnelling system referring to the sort of its usage in ancient Egyptian times to reveal the missing facts of the Egyptian identity of this white metal.

Click the image to download the poster as a pdf

A Transdisciplinary Approach to Reconstruct Nilotic Socio Ecosystem in Luxor West Bank during the Ptolemaic Period: The Contribution of the Study of Modern Cartography
Giulia Nicatore

The focus of my PhD research is the reconstruction of the Nilotic socio-ecosystem of Memnoneia (Luxor, West Bank) during the Ptolemaic period using a transdisciplinary approach that combines the analysis of 34 land sale and lease contracts together with the study of paleogeomorphological data. In this perspective the analysis of the available - and thus far poorly exploited - cartography of the region proves to be decisive. The integration of maps from the 19th and early 20th centuries is essential to better understand the anthropic and geomorphological changes that occurred in the alluvial plain and to establish how quickly the landscape has, and is still changing, and by comparing the cartographic data with lexicographical and geophysical data, to reconstruct the geography during the Ptolemaic period. The analysis of modern maps, especially those dating from before the agrarian reform of Muhammad Ali (1804-1848), provides information on the presence and movements of both anthropogenic and alluvial structures in the study area, such as canals, islands, and roads, as well as the position of the Nile. For this reason, I have selected and georeferenced old (Jollespin 1821; Régnauld de Lannoy de Bissy 1890) and more recent maps, as well as satellite images, for comparison. Their visualization allows us to draw some preliminary conclusions on the evolution of the landscape of this part of Egypt.