Summer Day School, June 10th 2012

Speakers: Dr. Joann Fletcher, Dr. Stephen Buckley & Dr. Hourig Sourouzian

Dr Hourig Sourouzian

Dr. Hourig Sourouzian is Project Director of the Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project at Luxor and one of the world’s leading authorities on Egyptian Royal Statuary, ‘probably the best Egyptian art historian of our time,’ according to an Egyptologist at John Hopkins University.

She showed us a film of a computer generated reconstruction of the temple precinct that demonstrated the size and complexity of the original mortuary temple of Amenhotep III. We were then brought up to date on the progress of the excavation and the wonderful finds that are being brought to light, including more colossal statues of Amenhotep with his wife and mother. Hourig hopes that at the conclusion of the dig an open air museum will house the enormous quantity of finds including the large series of Sekhmet statues.

Horus has made contributions to the financing of the Colossi Project from its early years and was pleased to be able to present Hourig’s Project with a cheque for £1,000, at the conclusion of the day school.

Dr Stephen Buckley and Prof Joann Fletcher

Dr. Stephen Buckley, archaeological scientist and Research Fellow in Bio-molecular Science, at the University of York, brought us up to date with the science of 18th dynasty mummification processes including the definitive evidence obtained from the mummification of Alan.

Dr. Joann Fletcher is an Egyptologist and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of York, lecturer and author. She is the Patron of Horus Egyptology Society and will be giving the lecture at our final meeting of the season in July. Joann linked Stephen’s work to the historical and textual evidence in the context of Amenhotep III and his antecedents.

Joann and Stephen recently won the Royal Television Society Award in the Science and Natural History category for their Channel 4 documentary ‘Mummifying Alan: Egypt’s Last Secret’ and most recently a BAFTA Award in the Specialist Factual category. Among their numerous areas of ongoing research, they undertook a three year project to provide insights into Harrogate Museum and Art’s Egyptology Collection which resulted in the permanent display of much of the collection. Part of the remit was also the engagement of young people in science which they continue to do in schools and colleges around the UK and abroad in addition to their teaching at the University of York.
We wish them well.

We had a most informative day. Horus members felt very privileged to be listening to such world class scholars explaining current developments in science, history and archaeology. Joann, Stephen and Hourig were also happy to talk to us individually and answer our questions. All credit goes to Joan and John Johnson for making this occasion a reality, not an easy thing to arrange. The relaxed atmosphere was enhanced by the hospitality laid on for us at the D.W. Stadium and it was extremely enjoyable to meet up and share a whole day with our Horus friends indulging our mutual passion for all things Egyptian.

by Mary Bonsall

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