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Weekly Lectures

The NVIC organises weekly Thursday lectures on a variety of subjects. The lectures start at 6 pm sharp. The doors open at 5.30 pm. Please note that seating is limited. The lectures start as scheduled and late admissions are not allowed. After the lecture refreshments will be served in the hall of the Institute.

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Cynthia Sheikholeslami - P. Turin 55001: A Pictorial Mystery


Thursday, 17th of January 2019 at 6:00 pm.

One of the most famous papyri in the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy (Museo Egizio, Torino), is the so-called ‘satirical-erotic papyrus’ (P. Turin 55001), said to come from Deir el-Medina, and known since the time of Champollion.

The profusely illustrated papyrus containing little text has been interpreted in various ways, and said to be either one or two different compositions. The first part has been connected to the genre of animal fables, and seen as a satire on New Kingdom Theban society. It has also been viewed as a parody for private entertainment. Another interpretation relates it to royal New Year’s festivities. It could be a manual for ritual activities during the Hathoric festival of drunkenness, celebrated in temples and at tombs.

Should the papyrus be considered as two separate documents or one? Which interpretation of its varied scenes is most probable? What can it add to our understanding of Egyptian visualization of knowledge at the end of the New Kingdom (ca. 1000 BC)? These are the main questions Cynthia Sheikholeslami will address during this talk.

Cynthia May Sheikholeslami is an Egyptologist who has lived for many years in Cairo. She studied Egyptology at the The Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, the Oriental Institute - University of Chicago, and UCLA. Her interests are in the history and society of the New Kingdom and the Third Intermediate Period in Egypt. She is a member of the Polish-Egyptian Mission in the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari at Deir el-Bahari. She has published a number of studies dealing with the cult and priests of Montu in Thebes during the 25th Dynasty, and was invited to lecture on this subject at the Sorbonne in November-December 2013. She was invited to present a paper entitled “Cultures in Contact: Libyans in 22nd-23rd Dynasty Thebes” at the NVIC Cleveringa Seminar on “Libyans in Ancient Egypt” in 2015.

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