25 Oct 2016

Autumn study day and AGM

Exploring the relationship between the EES and Abydos - a report on the study day and AGM

What do the site of Abydos and the EES have in common? Well, it would seem an awful lot! Almost a century-long relationship stretching from Kom es-Sultan to the temple of Seti I, cemeteries to cenotaphs all condensed into a single study day on 15th October 2016.

Abydos, a vast landscape of religious and ritual symbolism

This day was also the launch of a revised edition of Temple Ritual at Abydos by EES Vice-President Professor Rosalie David. This book, a seminal work on the history of religious ritual in Ancient Egypt, has already undergone two previous editions but has been out of print for some time. The new version includes more archival prints and watercolours than ever, thanks to the EES Lucy Gura Archive and Oriental Institute in Chicago.

Prof David’s new book includes more images than previous versions, including colour reproductions of the original watercolours by Amice Calverley and Myrtle Broome

Alas, as one thing arrives, we have to say goodbye to others. The study day marked the final day of Society Director Dr Chris Naunton. He will be familiar to many of you, not least from his appearances on TV. A pillar of the Society for many years, he will be sorely missed – though we look forward to seeing him out in the audience, rather than on the stage, in the future.

D3CA-GetImage.jpg Dr Chris Naunton opening the study day, image by Dr Margaret Maitland

The AGM, following the study day, was also the last for Dr Aidan Dodson (as Chair) and Susan Royce (as Treasurer). The Society would like to thank all three of them for their time and commitment in their roles and wish them all the best for the future.

We welcome new Treasurer Emma Duncalf and Trustees Jan Morton, Sami Sadek and Katharina Zinn.

As well as the usual official business, the AGM provided a welcome opportunity to engage with members on the Society’s future and strategic development of its mission and provision to members. There was a comprehensive discussion, prompted by the Board’s unanimous decision that we should sell the Doughty Mews premises and find a new home for the EES library, where it can be used more effectively. Many members participated in the debate and everyone’s opinions were gladly heard and openly deliberated.

The future of the Society is in the hearts of all our members and we appreciate the time that those attending, and those who had contacted us beforehand, took to present their thoughts. The overwhelming conclusion was that the current premises are no longer fit for purpose, but we would like to reassure those who were unable to attend the AGM that no decisions have been taken as to the location of our new premises, or the process of moving, whether to buy, rent or share; all options will need to be considered. We would also stress, as was made clear at the meeting, that the Board’s intention is that the library should be rehoused by another institution.

We are still at a very early stage in all this. We are planning more engagement, both face to face and on-line, and will let you know the arrangements as soon as we can. In the meantime, for those who could not be present, we are posting [below] the presentations made by our President, Prof Alan Lloyd, on the reasons the EES came into existence and its continuing purpose, and by our outgoing Treasurer, Susan Royce, which set the context for the discussion at the AGM.

We hope to see you all at future events!