The American Research Center in Eygpt

LECTURE : Archaeological Battles of the Great War in Egypt: George Reisner, Clarence Fisher, Sa‘id Ahmed, Mahmud al-Mayyit, and American Claims to Archaeological Land and Labor in Egypt during the First World War

LECTURE : Archaeological Battles of the Great War in Egypt: George Reisner, Clarence Fisher, Sa‘id Ahmed, Mahmud al-Mayyit, and American Claims to Archaeological Land and Labor in Egypt during the First World War

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LECTURE : Archaeological Battles of the Great War in Egypt: George Reisner, Clarence Fisher, Sa‘id Ahmed, Mahmud al-Mayyit, and American Claims to Archaeological Land and Labor in Egypt during the First World War

Date: Saturday, February 23 2013, 3:30pm

Chapter: Pennsylvania

Presenter: Wendy Doyon, University of Pennsylvania

Location: Anthropology Room 345,3rd Floor, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Entrance fees are: free for ARCE-PA members, $5 for University Museum members and PennCard holders, and $8 for the general public. Please join us...for coffee, tea and cookies before the lecture at 3:00.

Description: Egyptian Archaeology and Egyptology today are in many ways the legacy of a struggle between the competing forces of imperialism and nationalism in Egypt at the turn of the last century. On the eve of the First World War, American claims to archaeological territory in Egypt were in the ascendant among the contemporary yet older claims of Egyptian, British, French, German, and other archaeologies.

American interests in Egypt at this time were represented to a large extent by the work of George Reisner, working on behalf of Harvard University and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and Clarence Fisher, on behalf of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, as well as Herbert Winlock of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and others. At the height of the War, American archaeological interests expanded into many sites and areas throughout the Nile Valley, both intersecting and coming into conflict with Egyptian and European interests.

This lecture will explore a fascinating moment in the struggle to claim the “land” of ancient Egypt for the United States, in part by tracing how two Egyptian foremen, brothers Sa‘id Ahmed and Mahmud al-Mayyit of Upper Egypt, through a quiet battle over labor rights at Giza and Memphis, shaped the limits of American archaeology in Egypt, and in many ways helped to set its trajectory for the 20th Century.

About the Speaker: Wendy Doyon is a Ph.D. Candidate in History at the University of Pennsylvania, where she specializes in the history of the modern Middle East, especially Upper Egypt, with a focus on the social history, labor, and ethics of archaeology and Egyptology since 1800. She holds an M.A. in Museology and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Washington. In 2005, she was a Research Associate at the American Research Center in Egypt, where she completed a study on the history and politics of Egyptian museums.

After Lecture Dinner: Interested in joining the board for dinner with Wendy Doyon following the lecture? Please contact Kyle Raymond at treasurer@arce-pa.org to reserve a spot. The location of the dinner is TBD, but will be at a restaurant in the vicinity of the museum.

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