Birds of Egypt
University of Vermont, Classics Department
Waterman 413 - 4:00-5:30 p.m.
The Winged Jewels of the Nile - Birds in Ancient Egypt
Birds and bird imagery filled the world of the ancient Egyptians. Every fall, the arrival of millions of waterfowl in the Delta marshes coincided with the Nile flood. The Egyptians saw in these natural and cyclical events a symbolic reenactment of the moment of creation when, according to some versions of the myth, a divine goose laid an egg on the mound emerging from the primeval waters. From this egg hatched the sun god Re, who flew high in the sky and created the other gods and humanity.
From cradle to coffin, birds permeated Egyptian society from religion, art, and hieroglyphic writing, to diet. Using artifacts from the Oriental Institute Museum's Egyptian collection as illustrations, this lecture illustrates how, at every stage of a person's life, birds were present as deities and protectors; as rulers and citizens; as food supply and commodity.
Rozenn Bailleul-LeSuer is a PhD candidate in Egyptology in the NELC Department of the University of Chicago. She was also guest curator at the Oriental Institute for the special exhibit Between Heaven and Earth: Birds in Ancient Egypt (October 2012-July 2013). After studying Chemical Engineering in France and completing a MA in Greek & Latin in Vermont, she is now able to combine her passion for birds and her academic interest in ancient Egypt. Her dissertation is entitled "The Exploitation of Avian Resources in Ancient Egypt: A Socio-Economic Study."
For more information, contact Pam Cunov at 656-3210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.