Chicago: Robert Andresen Annual Graduate Student Symposium

Presented by: Catherine Witt; Egyptology PhD Candidate at the University of Chicago

  • 5:00 PM CTChicago
  • In-Person(OI LaSalle Room) 1155 E 58th St, Chicago, IL 60637
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ARCE Chicago Chapter sponsors the Robert Andresen Annual Graduate Student Symposium each year, during which chapter student members preview their presentation for the ARCE Annual Meeting. This is a 20-minute talk, in keeping with the national meeting lecture format, and this year there is one speaker, so this will be a short meeting. This event is named in honor of Robert Andresen, a long time chapter member and  former ARCE Chicago president.

New Evidence of the 25th Dynasty God’s Wives of Amun at Luxor Temple

Lecture Information

The 25th Dynasty kings along with the God’s Wives of Amun built extensively throughout the Theban region with Karnak, the Mut Precinct, and Medinet Habu all receiving Kushite period additions. Due to the presence of large column drums found within the Luxor Temple complex, some scholars such as Leclant, van Siclen III, and Hourdin have suggested that a kiosk or colonnade was also added to the Luxor Temple complex in the 25th Dynasty, though no monuments dating to this period are left standing today. Despite this and other evidence, Luxor Temple has been left out of discussions of the building programs of the God’s Wives of Amun.

Today, the site of Luxor Temple falls under the concession of the Epigraphic Survey of ISAC of the University of Chicago, who have been working continuously to organize and record the numerous carved monumental limestone fragments found in and around Luxor Temple. While conducting research with the permission of the Survey in the Luxor Temple block yards in 2023 and 2024, I identified several more unpublished blocks belonging to monuments depicting and naming at least two of the Third Intermediate Period God’s Wives of Amun, Amenirdis I and Shepenwepet II. In this paper, I will discuss these blocks, their reuse, their possible origins, as well as what they could tell us about Luxor Temple’s connection to these powerful and influential women in a tumultuous period of ancient Egyptian history.

Speaker Bio

Catherine (Catie) Witt is currently a PhD Candidate in Egyptology at the University of Chicago. She obtained her M.A. in Ancient Middle Eastern Studies from The University of Chicago’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies (2018) and her B.A. from the University of Evansville (2015), majoring in Archaeology, minoring in Theological Studies, and completing the IBASE business certification for humanities students. Her dissertation research focuses on the estates and landholdings of New Kingdom royal women, including the God’s Wives of Amun. She has worked extensively with ISAC in various capacities and is passionate about museum outreach and public education, using ancient Egypt as the springboard for engaging students of all ages with the humanities.