Middle East Studies Center Lecture Series: In the Realm of the Ancient Egyptian God Montu: Temples & Rituals
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 7:30pm
Middle East Studies Center Lecture Series: In the Realm of the Ancient Egyptian God Montu: Temples & Rituals

Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 238, 1825 SW Broadway
Free & open to the public


The Egyptian god Montu was an important influence on the sacred and ritual landscape in the area of Thebes (ancient Luxor) for two millennia, from the Early Middle Kingdom to the Ptolemaic Period, and even under Roman rule.

How did Montu appear and where was his sacred realm? Montu the falcon – an Upper Egyptian Horus – watched from his temple nest atop the Theban cliffs, while Montu the bull appeared in processions to his river valley cult centers at Medamud, Thebes, Tod and Armant.  Montu legitimated the Pharaoh at times when Thebans reunited Egypt. Popularly called ‘the god of war,’ Montu the griffin protected the New Kingdom empire. Montu and Amun headed the gods of Karnak, the state religious center.  During the 23rd and 25th Dynasties, priests of Montu helped Libyan rulers pushing south from the Delta and Nubian rulers coming north from Kush to solidify control of Thebes.

At that time, Montu’s priests transformed the New Kingdom mortuary temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari into their elite necropolis. Still later, during the late first millennium as animal cults proliferated, the cow mothers and bulls of Montu had their catacomb at Armant.  
In her slide-illustrated lecture, Cynthia Sheikholeslami will interpret the archaeological evidence from temples and tombs, providing us with unique insight into the Realm of Montu.


Cynthia May Sheikholeslami is an American Egyptologist who has lived and worked in Egypt for over three decades. She has published a number of studies dealing with the cult and priests of Montu in Thebes during the 25th Dynasty and is currently working with the Polish-Egyptian Mission at the Hatshepsut Temple to prepare a publication on funerary equipment discoveries. In addition to her doctoral research at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago and at the Sorbonne, Paris, she has taught at the American University in Cairo, consulted with art museums in Bellevue and Seattle, and worked on Egyptian field expeditions.


The Oregon Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt is 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