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Middle East Studies Center lecture series: What Maritime Archeology Reveals about Ancient Egypt
Thursday, August 9, 2012 - 7:30pm
Middle East Studies Center lecture series: What Maritime Archeology Reveals about Ancient Egypt

Smith Memorial Student Union, room 294, 1825 SW Broadway

When Napoleon’s expedition in 1798 sought to locate an ancient canal that linked the Nile River and Gulf of Suez, it may have been the beginning of maritime archaeology in Egypt. Since then, discoveries of ancient ships, shore side facilities, cargoes, and submerged artifacts--from the pharaonic temple at Abu Simbel to the Ptolemaic harbor at Alexandria—are exciting clues to the relationship between the ancient Egyptians and their maritime environment.

In a slide-illustrated lecture, Dr. Creasman describes a wide variety of maritime cultural clues to understanding ancient Egyptians, among them the surprising Dynasty I boat burials at Abydos; cargo taxes; ingenious projects by Egyptians, Greeks and Romans to circumvent geologic barriers and redirect waters for irrigation or transportation; and underwater discoveries that reflect the earthquake-shattered Ptolemaic harbor at Alexandria.  And, with their longstanding, necessary reliance on the Nile River, spring-fed oases, the Mediterranean and Red Seas, it should come as no surprise that ancient Egyptians chose to reflect the life-sustaining waters in their spiritual world through ceremonies, representational models, boat burials and funerary practices.        

Pearce Paul Creasman is Assistant Research Professor of Dendrochronology at the University of Arizona, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research.  He holds a number of positions with the University of Arizona:  Director of the University’s Egyptian Expedition; Assistant Research Professor of Dendrochronology; Curator of the Laboratory of the University’s Tree Ring Research collection; and assistant editor of the publication Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections.  He is also president and founder of the Institute for Maritime Research and Discovery. He currently serves as President of ARCE/Arizona Chapter. He obtained his Ph.D. in Nautical Archeology/Anthropology at Texas A&M University. He has an avid interest in underwater exploration and is a leading researcher on the timber of ships and shipwrecks in an effort to better understand the relationship between the ancient Egyptian people and their culture/environment.

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Cosponsored by

The Oregon Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt, a private, nonprofit organization that supports research on all aspects of Egyptian history and culture, fosters broader knowledge among the general public, and strengthens American-Egyptian cultural ties.

The Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University promotes understanding of the people, cultures, languages and religions of the Middle East. As a National Resource Center for Middle East Studies under the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI program, the Center serves as a resource on issues pertaining to the Middle East through activities that reach students and scholars, as well as businesses, educators, and the media. The Middle East Studies Center supports academic conferences, workshops, cultural events, lectures, and a resource library. | | 503-725-4074