Northwest: The Egyptian Colossus: Ramesses II’s Giant Statues & the Worship of the God-King by his People

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Presented by: Dr. Peter J. Brand

  • 7:00 PM PTNorthwest Chapter
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Lecture Information

This lecture explores how Ramesses II built and transported dozens of giant royal statues and their political and religious function in his regime. Among the hundreds of royal statues Ramesses II commissioned, the dozens of giant colossi stand out as among his signature achievements that earned him the distinction Ramesses the Great. His name brings to mind the shattered wreck of the Ozymandias in the Ramesseum that Shelley immortalized, and the majestic giants enthroned in the cliff face at Abu Simbel that moved the world to save all the archaeological heritage of Nubia in the UNESCO salvage campaign of the 1960s.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Peter J. Brand (Ph.D., University of Toronto 1998) is an ancient historian and Egyptologist specializing in history and culture of Ancient Egypt during its imperial age (ca. 1550-1100 BCE). His fourth and latest book, Ramesses II: Egypt’s Ultimate Pharaoh, is the culmination of 30 years of research on the 19th Dynasty. He has also penned numerous articles on Egyptian kingship, monumental art & construction, history, popular religion, warfare, and diplomacy during the late Eighteenth Dynasty and Ramesside period.
Since 2001, Brand has served as director of the Karnak Hypostyle Hall Project, which is recording, conserving, and interpreting hundreds of scenes and hieroglyphic texts carved on the walls and columns of the Great Hypostyle Hall (www.memphis.edu/hypostyle). The Project uses cutting edge technology to model and reveal the inscriptions on this forest of 134 giant columns. Brand has appeared in over 20 documentaries for the History Channel, Discovery, and National Geographic.

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