Northern California: Preparing for Eternity: Funerary Models & Wall Scenes from the Old and Middle Kingdoms

Presented by: Dr. Georgia Barker, Macquarie University/CSU San Bernardino

  • 3:00 PM PTNorthern California
  • Room 20 Social Sciences Building (Formerly Barrows Hall)University of California, Berkeley
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Lecture Information

The Bersha Procession of Djehuty-nakht. Photograph © 2022 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: 21.326.

During the late Old Kingdom to the end of the Middle Kingdom, there were two principal types of artistic representation in the ancient Egyptian elite tomb: funerary models and wall scenes. The two media exhibit several similarities in design, with both depicting people and animals engaged in activities of everyday life. This has caused scholars to regularly label funerary models duplicates or substitutes of wall scenes, implying that they served the same purpose in the tomb. However, there are several notable differences yet to be acknowledged. This lecture presents the results of a detailed comparative analysis of the two artistic media, focusing on representations from the sites of Meir, Deir el-Bersha and Beni Hassan in Middle Egypt. It will highlight the distinguishing characteristics of each medium and propose that funerary models should be understood as a distinct type of representation that was specifically conceived to provision the deceased for eternity.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Georgia Barker is the W. Benson Harer Egyptology Scholar in Residence at California State University, San Bernardino, for Fall 2023. Before joining CSUSB, she completed a Doctor of Philosophy and a postdoctoral research fellowship at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Her research investigates the purpose and historical significance of funerary art from the Old and Middle Kingdom periods. She has worked extensively with museum collections, including the Macquarie University History Museum and Sydney Living Museums in Australia as well as being a member of the British Museum’s Circulating Artefacts Project and an intern at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is also a member of the Australian Centre for Egyptology’s expeditions at Meir and Beni Hassan.

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