ARCE NY: Amelia Edwards: The Founding of the Egyptian Exploration Fund and the Exodus
Registration is required
Presented by: Dr. Peter Feinman; President of the Westchester Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and the Vice President of the American Research Center in Egypt, New York Society
- 6:00 PM ET New York
ABSTRACT: Amelia Edwards was the driving force behind the creation in 1882 of the Egyptian Exploration Fund (EEF, now Egyptian Exploration Society). The story of this individual is a remarkable one. As a woman of no money and no formal training in Egyptology who had spent decades of her life in totally unrelated activities, her formidable presence in the world of Egyptology would have been a surprise to those who had known her.
Along with her determination to promote Egyptology was her desire to find the route of the Exodus. She had written extensively about the Exodus and was certain she knew who the Pharaoh of the Exodus was. The first archaeology campaign by the EEF was to find the route of the Exodus and it appeared to have succeeded.
Edwards wrote before such discoveries as the Amarna Tablets, the Merneptah Stele, and Avaris. It is interesting to read her forcefully stated views based on the information she had available to her. One wonders what impact such discoveries would have had. But as important as finding the Exodus was at the dawn of Egyptology (as the Bible was at the dawn of Assyriology), the biblical emphasis soon was eclipsed by solely Egyptian concerns. The Exodus subsequently vanished from Egyptology save for some Evangelicals to where no self-respecting Egyptologist would take the Exodus too seriously.
In this presentation, I will examine the life of Amelia Edwards at the dawn of Egyptology and how quickly things changed after she died.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Peter Feinman received his B.A. in history from the University of Pennsylvania, a M.Ed. from New York University, an MBA from New York University, and an Ed. D. from Columbia University. He is the founder of the Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education. His interests are: cross disciplinary boundaries including American history, ancient civilizations, biblical history, and New York history. He is the president of the Westchester Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and the Vice President of the American Research Center in Egypt, New York Society. He advocates for the importance of local and state history in the curriculum, community, and tourism and is the author of a blogs on The State of State History and The State of American Civics. He is a contributor to the recent book Five Views of the Exodus (Zondervan, April 2021). His current book is The Exodus: An Egyptian Story (Oxbow, November 2021).