Mummies of Aline's Daughters, Hawara

Mummies of Aline's Daughters, Hawara

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Fayum mummy portraits

Fayum mummy portraits were realistic portraits made on wood, which were folded at the Egyptian mummies of the reign of the Romans. It was a so-called array painting, which was extremely popular in ancient times. About 900 such paintings have survived to our times.

The first discovery was made in 1615 1 , when the Italian explorer Pietro Della Valle transported some of the mummies and portraits to Europe. The mummies’ masks were taken from the graves and mass-exported as souvenirs, while the corpses were often destroyed.

Portraits were found mainly in cemeteries in the Fayum oasis (most found in the Hawara necropolis) and the Roman cemetery in Antinoopolis. It is worth mentioning that after the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE) and his conquest, Egypt was flooded with many Greeks and the Hellenic people who settled in Alexandria and Fayum. With time, the population came to adopt the Egyptian customs of mummifying the dead.

With the subordination of Egypt by the Romans in 30 BCE the custom of placing dead wooden signs with painted portraits in the graves of the deceased appeared. They were painted using an encaustic technique (using paint dissolved in hot wax) or tempera, and both techniques were often mixed together. The paintings were painted on various types of wood: oak, sycamore, cedar, cypress, fig or citrus.

A painted portrait was put on the body of the deceased in such a way that the body of the deceased and partly the plaque were wrapped with strips of fabric, leaving a hole where one could see the image of the deceased. Sometimes, the bandage plate was simply glued.

Portraits usually had dimensions – from 30 x 15 cm, up to 50 x 35 cm and mainly show young people. Mostly the figures are in a relaxed position, face slightly tilted to the side. They are characterized by realism in rendering the smallest beauty defects, but the whole is relaxed thanks to the soft modelling. Some of the portraits have captured the personality of the model.

Portraits of Fayum were made in various periods of the Roman Empire: from the times of Augustus (27 BCE – 14 CE), up to the reign period Constantine I (306-337 CE).


The difficulty is, however, that while there are more than 1,000 mummy portraits, less than 100 are still attached to the people they depict.

In some of the images noses have been made to look smaller than in reality, jaw lines more chiseled.

So much so that in one Brier initially thought it had been mistakenly paired with the wrong mummy.

A mummy from the Glyptotek Museum in Copenhagen was a young man in his 30s with a wide nose, broad cheekbones, thick lips and rounded jawline

This mummy from the British Museum was a large man in his 50s with a broad face, thick brow, flat nose, and heavy jaw. He looks a little younger in his portrait

'It is possible that during the mummification procedure, when several bodies were being mummified at the same time, a mismatch occurred,' Brier told Abc .

But on closer inspection they noted enough similarities to be satisfied that it was in fact the right one.

Portraits of the mummies are surprisingly life-like, with accurately proportioned features.

They shed light on the purpose of the portraits and the study demonstrates the shift from symbolic art to realistic art after the Romans conquered Egypt in 30 B.C.

A mummy from the Glyptotek Museum in Copenhagen was a young man in his 30s with a wide nose, broad cheekbones, thick lips and rounded jawline

'This is a very sound manner of testing the hypothesis that the mummy portraits were made when the individual was alive,' said Salima Ikram, a professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, who was not involved with the study.

'It enhances our understanding of the concept of portraiture and its importance at this time.'

'The difficulty is finding portraits that are still bound to the mummy. Many portraits were taken off the mummies and sold during the 19th century and early part of the 20th century.'

No Mummies were ever found in Egyptian Pyramids

You often hear that from people who believe the pyramids were not tombs.

I looked into that claim and compiled a list of what was found in/under pyramids.

(All pyramids were broken into before modern times and whatever might have been removed by intruders of the distant past is obviously not listed (including possible mummies). Neither are portcullis the many finds in the vicinity of the pyramids.)

Summary of FindsPyramids
Human Remains19
Sarcophagus (incl fragments)39
Canopic Box/Chest (for organs)14
Pyramid of DjoserSquare Granite vault with plug, several bones of later burials, 3 false door stelae showing Djoser, doorways framed with Djoser's name, faience tiles
Eastern Shafts and Galleries: 2 Alabaster Sarcophagi and fragments of others, Hip-bone of woman, 40.000 vessels, mostly Alabaster, most made before Djoser
Pyramid of SekhemkhetAlabaster Sarcophagus, wooden remains
Meidum PyramidPieces of Wooden Coffin, Cedar Logs embedded in masonry
Bent PyramidWood Plank still holding back blocking stone
Red PyramidFragments of human remains
Great PyramidGranite Sarcophagus, Diorite Ball, Cedar Plank, Copper "Hook", Iron Plate, hieroglyphic graffiti in the relieving chambers several of which spell out Khufu's names
Pyramid of DjedefreInscribed stone fragments
-> Subsidiary PyramidLimestone Sarcophagus fragments, stone and ceramic pottery, faience tiles
Pyramid of KhafreOpened Granite Sarcophagus with Lid, bull bones found inside (probably added later)
-> Subsidiary PyramidWooden box containing wooden fragments (possibly a furniture item)
Baka PyramidSealed Oval Granite Sarcophagus with remains of a burial, small stone slab inscribed with the Pharaoh's name
Pyramid of MykerinosBasalt Sarcophagus with Palace Facade containing Wooden Anthropoid Coffin inscribed with the Mykerinos' name containing bones of a woman (later burial)
-> Queen's Pyramid aGranite Sarcophagus containing pieces of pottery and earthenware.
-> Queen's Pyramid bBones of young woman in Granite Sarcophagus
Pyramid of UserkafBasalt Sarcophagus fragments
Pyramid of SahureBasalt Sarcophagus fragment
Pyramid of Khentkaus IIMummy Wrappings, Granite Sarcophagus fragments, alabaster pottery
Pyramid of Neferefre6 pieces of mummified remains of a young man (hand, clavicle, fibula, etc.), Granite Sarcophagus fragments, pieces of 4 alabaster canopic jars, alabaster pottery
Lepsius XXIV Pyramiddamaged mummy of a young woman, Granite Sarcophagus fragments, remains the burial equipment: models of alabaster vessels and copper tools used for the ritual of the opening of the mouth, alabaster canopic jars, etc.
Double Pyramid-EastScanty remains of a female burial, the fragments of limestone canopic jars, model vessels of alabaster, model chisels of copper and shards of pottery.
Double Pyramid-WestTiny fragments of a female burial and few remnants of the burial equipment – a model vessel of alabaster and several corroded model vessels and instruments of copper.
Headless PyramidBroken Sarcophagus lid
Pyramid of Djedkare IsesiMummified remains of an old man, Basalt Sarcophagus fragments, broken pottery, faience bead on a gold filament
Pyramid of Unasmummied remains of a human (incl. right arm, skull and shinbone), wooden handles of two knives, Greywacke Sarcophagus, chambers richly decorated, pyramid texts
Pyramid of TetiMummified remains of a human (arm and shoulder blade), Greywacke Sarcophagus with inscriptions on the inside, damaged lid, decorated walls including the pyramid texts, club heads with the pharaoh's name, canopic jar containing the viscera
-> Pyramid of Iput (Mastaba transformed to pyramid by Pepi I)Iput's intact remains with jewelry in Cedar Coffin in Limestone Sarcophagus, 5 crude canopic jars, model vessels of alabaster, pottery and copper, alabaster slabs inscribed with names of sacred oils, model gold-leaf covered copper tools, pyramid texts on walls
Pyramid of Pepi IMummified remains of a human, Inscribed Black Stone Sarcophagus, Granite Canopic Chest, 1 intact canopic alabaster canopic jar and fragments of others. complete packet of viscera (organs), Pyramid Texts on walls, 1 sandal (of Pepi), flint knife, inscribed linen, 2 fragments of a thin gold plate (the body rested on), 2 scraps of a loincloth
-> Pyramid of NebuunetGranite Sarcophagus, cylindrical wooden weight, wooden ostrich feather
-> Pyramid of Inenek-IntiGreywacke Sarcopagus, pottery
-> Western pyramidGranite Sarcophagus fragments, gilded sandal, wooden weights and ostrich feathers, copper fish hooks, and fired-clay vessels
-> Pyramid of Meritites IVFragments of Greywacke Sarcopagus, Wooden Fragments inscribed with formulas of the pyramid texts, inscription on hallway with Queen's titulary
-> Pyramid of Ankhesenpepi IIBone fragments of the arm, leg and foot of adult woman, Basalt Sarcophagus with inscribed titulary, pyramid texts on walls
-> Pyramid of Ankhesenpepi IIIBone fragments found in Sandstone Sarcophagus with Granite Lid, Sarcophagus inscribed with name and titulary, palace decoration on walls
-> Pyramid of BehenuFragments of Sarcophagus, inscribed and decorated walls
Pyramid of MerenreMummy of young man in Basalt Sarcophagus that shows traces of gilding and has a Lid, Pyramid Texts on walls, Granite Canopic Box, 2 Alabaster Vessels
Pyramid of Pepi IIGreywacke Sarcophagus inscribed with pharaoh's titulary, lid, fragments of Alabaster and Diorite canopic chest, golden spatula, Pyramid Texts on walls
-> Pyramid of NeithGranite Sarcophagus, Canopic Chest, Pyramid Texts on walls
-> Pyramid of Iput II (and Ankhesenpepi IV)Granite Sarcophagus of Queen Ankhesenpepi IV inscribed with Annals of the 6th dynasty
Pyramid of WedjebtenPyramid Texts on walls
Pyramid of Qakare IbiFalse Door, walls decorated with stars and Pyramid Texts
Pyramid of ReherishefnakhtWalls inscribed with a combination of Pyramid Texts and Coffin Texts
Queen's Pyramid 3 of Senusret IQuartzite Sarcophagus, Remains of gilded, wooden Coffin, bone fragments, deteriorated wooden staff, broken but complete Canopic Chest
Pyramid of Senusret IILeg Bones, Granite Sarcophagus, Alabaster Offering Table inscribed with the Pharaoh's name, Golden Uraeus
Pyramid of Senusret IIIGranite Sarcophagus with palace facade, pottery vases, broken bronze dagger with ivory handle
-> Pyramid of Nofrethenut2 Sarcophagi, one inscribed with titulary
-> Pyramid of ItakaytSarcophagus, a canopic chest, two canopic jars
Pyramid of Amenemhat III at DashurDecorated Granite Sarcophagus and Canopic Chest for the King (unused because substructure was collapsing),
Several Chambers for Queens (or Daughters), 6 mummies found in total:
Aat: Mummy, Sarcophagus, 2 mace heads, 7 duck-shaped Alabaster cases, Alabaster Unguent Jar, pieces of Jewelry, Canopic Chest, 1 Canopic Jar
Chenmetneferhedjet: Mummy in Sarcophagus
Unknown Queen: Obsidian Vase with Gold bands, 3 duck-shaped Alabaster vessels, Granite and Alabaster mace heads and jewelry
Pyramid of Amenemhat III at HawaraBone fragments inside Quartzite Sarcophagus, 2 Canopic Chests, Alabaster Offering Table and duck-shaped bowls in baring the name of his Queen Neferu-ptah
Southern Mazghuna pyramidGranite Sarcophagus, 3 limestone lamps, duck-shaped Alabaster vessel
Pyramid of Ameny Qemau4 broken Calcite Canopic Jars bearing hieroglyphic inscriptions that include the pharaoh's name

In summary: Many pyramids contain evidence for a funerary purpose: mummies/human remains, sarcophagi/coffins, funerary equipment, canopic jars and boxes for organs, burial items, funerary texts and other inscriptions.


1869 to 1976: Pioneering for women's education Edit

The early feminist movement began to argue for the improvement of women's education in the 1860s: Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon met through their activism at the Society for the Employment of Women and the Englishwoman's Review. [3] They shared the aim of securing women's admission to university. [4] In particular, they wanted to determine whether girls could be admitted at Oxford or Cambridge to sit the Senior and Junior Local Examinations. [5] Davies and Bodichon set up a committee to that effect in 1862. In 1865, with the help of Henry Tomkinson, Trinity College alumnus and owner of an insurance company with good contacts within the University, [6] 91 female students entered the Cambridge Local Examination. [7] This first concession to women's educational rights met relatively little resistance, as admission to the examination did not imply residence of women at the university site. [8]

At that time, students had the option of doing a Pass degree, which consisted of "a disorderly collection of fragmented learning", [9] or an Honours degree, which at that time meant the Mathematics Tripos, classics, natural or moral sciences. An Honours degree was considered more challenging than the Pass degree. In 1869, Henry Sidgwick helped institute the Examinations for Women, which was designed to be of intermediate difficulty. [10] This idea was heavily opposed by Emily Davies, as she demanded admittance to the Tripos examinations. [11]

The college was established on 16 October 1869 under the name of the College for Women at Benslow House in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, which was considered to be a convenient distance from Cambridge and London. [12] It was thought to be less "risky" and less controversial to locate the college away from Cambridge in the beginning. [13] The college was one of England's first residential colleges for women. (Whitelands College, now part of the University of Roehampton, was established as a college of higher education for women earlier, in 1841.) They worked with Fanny Metcalfe to develop the curricula. [14]

In July and October 1869, entrance examinations were held in London, to which 21 candidates came 16 passed. [15] The first term started on 16 October 1869, when five students began their studies: Emily Gibson, Anna Lloyd, Louisa Lumsden, Isabella Townshend and Sarah Woodhead. [16] [17] Elizabeth Adelaide Manning was also registered as a student, although with the intention of staying for a single term, and her step-mother Charlotte Manning was the first Mistress. [18] The first three students to unofficially sit the Tripos exams in Lent term 1873, Rachel Cook and Lumsden, who both took the Classical Tripos, as well as Woodhead, who took the Mathematical Tripos, were known as "The Pioneers". [19] [20]

Through fundraising, £7,000 were collected, which allowed for the purchase of land either at Hitchin or near Cambridge in 1871. [21] By 1872, sixteen acres of land at the present site were acquired near the village of Girton. [21] [22] The college was then renamed Girton College, and opened at the new location in October 1873. [21] The buildings had cost £12,000, [23] and consisted of a single block which comprised the east half of Old Wing. [24] At the time, thirteen students were admitted. [25]

In 1876, Old Wing was completed, and Taylor's Knob, the college laboratory and half of the Hospital Wing was built. [24] In the following year, Caroline Croom Robertson joined the management team as secretary to reduce the load on Emily Davies. [26] In 1884, Hospital Wing was completed, and Orchard Wing, Stanley Library and the Old Kitchens added. At that time, Girton had 80 students. By 1902, Tower Wing, Chapel Wing and Woodlands Wing as well as the Chapel and the Hall were finished, which allowed the college to accommodate 180 students. [24]

In 1921, a committee was appointed to draft a charter for the college. By summer 1923 the committee had completed the task, and on 21 August 1924 the King granted the charter to "the Mistress and Governors of Girton College" as a Body Corporate. [27] Girton was not officially a college yet, nor were its members part of the University. Girton and Newnham were classed as "recognised institutions for the higher education for women", not colleges of the university. On 27 April 1948, women were admitted to full membership of the University of Cambridge, and Girton College received the status of a college of the university.

1976 to present: Pioneering for sexual equality Edit

Social and cultural changes in the post-war period led to an increasing number of British universities to become co-educational. In Cambridge, Churchill College, King's College and Clare College were the first men's colleges to admit women in 1972. [28] Girton had already amended its statutes in 1971 in such a way as to allow the admission of men should the Governing Body vote in favour at an unspecified date in the future. [29] The decision to become mixed came in November 1976, when the Governing Body voted to act upon the statute, which made Girton the first women's college to admit men. [30] In January 1977, the first two male Fellows, Frank Wilkinson and John Marks, arrived, followed by male graduate students in 1978, and, finally, undergraduates in October 1979. [31] One reason for the change was that the first mixed colleges in Cambridge immediately shot to the top of the Tripos league tables, as they seemed to attract bright students, who preferred to stay in co-educational colleges. [32]

Girton became co-residential as well, which meant that male and female students shared the same facilities. Only one all-female corridor in which rooms were reserved exclusively for women remained. Upon the arrival of male undergraduates, JCR and MCR social facilities had to be enlarged. The college bar was opened in 1979 as well as rugby, cricket and soccer pitches provided from 1982 onwards. [33] [34]

In the 22-year period from 1997 to 2019, the Tompkins Table annual ranking of Cambridge colleges by undergraduate academic performance ranked Girton College an average of 20 out of the 29 colleges researched. In 2019, it came 20th, with 22% of all undergraduate students gaining a First class. [35]

Mistresses Edit

The Mistress is the formal head of the college. Her main task is to exercise general superintendence over the college's affairs. She presides the College Council and several college committees. The Mistress is elected by the council, and has to reside at the college precincts for at least two-thirds of each term, or 210 days of each academic year. [36] Ever since the establishment of Girton college, this position has been held by a female, even though male candidates have had equal rights for running for the office since 1976 and would, if elected, be called by the female term "Mistress". [37]

The current Mistress is Susan J. Smith, who has held the position since 2009.

The cost of undergraduate and graduate accommodation at £180.50 per week is the most expensive of all 31 Cambridge colleges. But Girton is unique in setting a cohort charge, which means that the price of accommodation is fixed for an incoming cohort for the three years of their degree, whilst students at other colleges are subject to unknown rent rises every year. The college consults regularly with the JCR and MCR on its policy of charging equal rents for all non-en suite rooms.

All students, regardless of whether or not they live in college, are also charged a £100 per term (£300 per year) "facilities charge" for the right to use college grounds and services, which is in effect a tuition fee specific to Girton students. Students at Girton can expect to pay several thousand pounds more for the cost of accommodation over the length of their degree than at most other colleges. The Cambridge Student writes in 2018: "An investigation carried out by TCS has revealed that, at the lower end of the scale, £70 a week is enough to stay at Peterhouse and Trinity Hall, while Girtonians must shell out £160 for even the worst rooms. Such a huge spread of minimum rents creates significant disparities in a less well off student’s ability to enjoy Cambridge life, especially given that many are not aware of the price of accommodation when applying." [38]

Undergraduates Edit

Girton, along with Newnham College, are the only colleges to charge the same fee for undergraduate accommodation on their premises. [39] The main site offers 348 rooms, [40] rented for the entire year (38 or 39 weeks, depending on the term dates). [41] The weekly rent for the incoming undergraduate cohort of 2019/20 was £180.50. [42] According to the Varsity student paper: "All students at Girton have to pay for 37 weeks a year, making it the most unavoidably expensive college on an annual basis - with an average termly rent of £1973.33." Among all Cambridge college, Girton's fees have been rising the fastest at 7.5% annually for the past five years. [43]

Rooms in the main site are arranged along corridors, which makes it possible to walk from one location in the building to another without going outside. [44] Some of the rooms originally designed as sets by Alfred Waterhouse. [45] The rooms range in several quality grades but are all charged at the same weekly rate. [46] Every year, a ballot is organised by the JCR to determine room distribution. [46] To first years, rooms are allocated randomly. [44] It is customary for Cambridge colleges to provide accommodation for the first three-year undergraduate students. [47]

Most undergraduate students live in the main site, and second years have the option of living at Swirles Court, or at one of the college houses: The college owns six houses along Girton Road, another one located opposite the college on Huntingdon Road called The Gate and one house located on the college grounds, called The Grange. [48] These houses are available for second and third year undergraduates.

Graduates and Fellows Edit

Since 2017, Graduate students live in Swirles Court. It is part of the Eddington development in West Cambridge. [48] One house on Huntingdon Road is used to accommodate research fellows. [48] The Graduate Union specifically identified Girton as providing an insufficient amount of housing to married postgraduates, with no rooms available at Swirles Court for married students. [49] Girton is, however, one of only two Cambridge colleges that guarantees ensuite accommodation for all graduate students.

Swirles Court Edit

Swirles Court, part of the Eddington neighbourhood of the North West Cambridge Development, opened in 2017.

Girton's graduate accommodation is the farthest from the city centre among all Cambridge (and Oxford) colleges, the most expensive of all Cambridge colleges, and a kilometre further from the college main site and dining facilities. The bus ride to the city centre takes approximately 20 minutes. [50]

Named after Bertha Swirles (Lady Jeffreys), a Girton alumna, it provides 325 en-suite rooms for graduate students. [51] Unlike the main college site, which closes for two weeks during Christmas break, Swirles is open year-round to student living. It also has a college porter on staff 24/7, separate laundry facilities, and a separate mailing address from the main college. Girton College does not own Swirles Court but leases it on a five-year renewable contract from the university.

Wolfson Court Edit

In 2017, Girton College moved the graduate accommodation from Wolfson Court (half a kilometre from the city centre) to Swirles Court (five kilometres away). [52] Wolfson Court was an annexe to Girton College built on a 3-acre (1.2 ha) site. It was funded by the 1969 Centenary Appeal, and designed in 1971 by Cambridge architects David Roberts and Geoffrey Clarke. [53] It had its own catering and accommodation facilities (106 single student rooms). [54] Queen Elizabeth Court, which was linked to the main building and comprised two blocks of three linked houses (36 large single student rooms), was built for the purpose of graduate accommodation in 1992. [44] It was frequently used as a location for conferences. [54] The site also contained a nursery, operated by Bright Horizons. [55]

Architecture Edit

The initial and defining parts of the college were designed by Alfred Waterhouse: The architect built the main site with the Old Wing, the Hospital Wing, the Orchard Wing, the Stanley library and Old Kitchens between 1873 and 1886, [24] as well as the parapetted gatehouse tower in 1886 and 1887. [45] The red brick design (English bond) is typical of Victorian architecture, and is enhanced by black mortar courses and terracotta details to the eaves, windows and doorways. [56] The roofs are steeply pitched with crested tiles. [56] In 1913, the site consisted of 33 acres. [57]

Library Edit

Girton's first library, the Stanley library, was established in 1884 with a donation from Lady Stanley of Alderley. [58] It was considered to be luxurious and comfortable, as it contained stained-glass windows, leather furniture and a large chimney. Books were acquired mostly through donations. By 1932 the collection had become so large that a new library was opened. Designed by Michael Waterhouse, descendant of the architects Paul Waterhouse and Alfred Waterhouse, the new library consisted of an upper reading room, crafted in oak, and a ground floor, in which the book collections are held. [59] An annexe containing archives was added in 1967. [24] The Duke building, a modern library extension offering IT facilities and a reading room, was opened in 2005. [59] Named after Alison Duke, a fellow and major donor, the building was designed by Allies and Morrison. It won a national RIBA award in 2006, [60] [61] a SCONUL Library Design Award in 2007, [62] and a Civic Trust Award in 2007. [63]

Chapel Edit

Emily Davies first mooted plans for a chapel in Girton college in 1890 however, building only started in 1899, [64] four years after the death of Henrietta Stanley, Baroness Stanley of Alderley, who had opposed the idea and instead favoured improving staff salaries and equipment. [65] The chapel, which was designed by Alfred and Paul Waterhouse, was completed in 1901, and inaugurated on 23 May 1902. [64] It seats about 200 people and the interior is held very simply with the exception of oak carvings at the Chancel end and on two long desks in front of the choir seats, which were crafted by the mathematician Margaret Meyer, along with students and friends of the college. [66] In 1910 came a fine Harrison & Harrison organ, the purchase of which was made possible through donations from students and friends of the college. [67] The organ was rebuilt in 1974 and can still be found in the college chapel. A second organ was acquired in 2002. [68]

In 1952, the year of the Golden Jubilee of the inauguration, a stained glass window was erected. [69] In the Girton Review, the college's official termly newsletter, from Michaelmas term 1955, a description of the glass window can be found:

The centre light depicts Our Lord in Majesty, as it were the culmination of the Tree of Jesse and in the form described in the book of Revelation. The Lamb who may alone open the book sealed with seven seals is shown at the foot of the light, while the descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove is shown at its apex. The flowers and fruit in the centre light represent the Tree of Jesse. The two lights flanking that in the centre depict scenes from the Passion of Our Lord. On the left are the entry into Jerusalem, the Betrayal of Judas and the Ecce Homo: on the right, the Scourging, Christ bearing His Cross, the Crucifixion. The scenes are linked with a pattern of leaves. Palm is used for the Entry into Jerusalem, and among other plants represented are the Star of Bethlehem, the Passion Flower and the Thorn. The lowest medallion on the right, portraying the crucifixion, is darker than the others, suggesting the darkness that was over the land. The uppermost tracery light depicts the Pelican in her Piety, and the remaining tracery lights contain the symbols of the Passion the betrayal money, Peter’s lantern, pillar and scourges, dice, ladder and nails, hammer and pincers, crown of thorns and chalice. [69]

In the original statement of aims and scope for the 'Proposed College for Women' in 1867, it was announced that religious services and instruction would be in accordance with the principles of the Church of England, but where conscientious objections were entertained, attendance would not be necessary. A modified version of this statement appears in the modern college statutes, where it reads that "services in the Chapel shall normally be held in accordance with the practice of the Church of England, but other religious services may also be held there." [70] At the outset, Chapel was used for morning prayers, usually said by the Mistress, and for Sunday services, taken by clergy of various denominations. [71] Today, at least two services are held on a weekly basis: Evensong on Sunday at 5:30pm, and Compline on Tuesday at 10pm. They are organised by the college's part-time chaplain, who is assisted by student chapel wardens. [72] The Mistress holds general responsibility in regard to services in the chapel, which she partly delegates to the Chapel Committee. [70] The current Chaplain is the Reverend Dr Malcolm Guite, a poet and singer-songwriter, who is also a bye-fellow at Girton. [73]

Gardens Edit

When the land was bought, trees were planted on bare land. [74] Today, the gardens of Girton are large compared to those of other Cambridge colleges. [75] They became a preoccupation for the college in 1875 when Miss Davies handed over the responsibility for developing the gardens to Miss Bernard. [76] A pond, which originated from excavations for the construction of the Stanley library and the Orchard Wing, dates from 1884. [77] A 1983 report of the college ornithologists' society found sixty species of birds, and a moth report from 1986 recorded over 100 species. [78] The Fellows' garden was redesigned in 1992 and hosts a green theatre. [79] Outdoor plays are no longer performed in the Fellows' garden because of noise from the A14. [80] A rare breed of black squirrels can sometimes be seen in Girton. [81]

Lawrence Room Edit

In 1934, the Lawrence Room on the college main site was dedicated to be the college museum. [82] Named after Girton natural scientist Amy Lawrence, it houses an Anglo-Saxon, an Egyptian and a Mediterranean collection. [83] Before the establishment of the Lawrence room in 1934, antiquities had been stored in and around the college library. [82] Donations allowed for refurbishments in 1946, 1961, 1991 and 2008. [82] In 2010/11, Lawrence room is opened once a week to visitors. The exhibitions are free of charge. [83]

The Anglo-Saxon collection stems from excavations on the college main site made during construction work in 1881 and 1886, when an Anglo-Saxon cemetery, presumably from the fifth and sixth century AD, was discovered. [82] Most findings, such as domestic utensils and personal items, were long held in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge. Some were only returned to the college as late as in 2008. [82]

The highlight of the Egyptian collection consists of a portrait mummy bearing the inscription Hermionê Grammatikê (translation: 'Hermione the literary lady' or 'Hermione the language teacher'). [82] It is one of the most widely reproduced and famous portrait mummies. [84] Dating from the first century AD, it was discovered in the Roman cemetery of Hawara by the archeologist Flinders Petrie in 1911. [82] 'Hermione' is thought to be an 18- to 25-year-old girl from a wealthy background. Petrie and his wife Hilda wanted the mummy to go to a women's college due to its inscription. Funds were gathered, and in 1911 'Hermione' moved to Girton college, where she has remained since then. [82] The Egyptian collection also holds four mummified baby crocodiles, which were thought to bring favour of Sobek, the ancient god of fertility and water. They were presented to the college by Alfred Waterhouse senior, the father of architect Alfred Waterhouse. [82]

The Mediterranean collection offers both Classical and pre-Classical material. A collection of Greek Tanagra figurines, which date to the fourth and third century BC, form the most remarkable pieces of this collection.

People's Portraits Edit

Since 2002, Girton has held the millennial exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, entitled People's Portraits. [85]

The exhibition, aimed at showing "ordinary" British people at the verge of the 21st century, toured Britain in 2000. [86] [87] Girton then won the bid to house the collection, to which new works are added annually. [87] [88] All pictures were created by members of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. [85] The collection currently comprises 45 paintings, and artists include Anthony Morris, Daphne Todd, June Mendoza and Alastair Adams, the current president of the Society. [85] [89] The choice of Girton, one of the largest and thus most diverse colleges in Cambridge, to hold the collection is believed to reflect the college ethos of community and interest in art. [85] [88]

Formal Hall Edit

Among all Cambridge colleges, Girton and Kings have the fewest Formal Halls at only once per week. There are only around 160 spots available per week, and tickets sell out within minutes each week. The cost of formal hall is also higher than average compared to other colleges. [90] Reservations must be made a week in advance at 8am Thursday morning. Unlike many other colleges, reservations made the day or morning of the Formal Hall are not allowed.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Session A (Roemer-Saal, Basement)

Section A2: Egyptian Mummies of the Graeco-Roman Period

Section A3: Mummies in Museum Collections

11.00 – 11.30
Gabriela Jungová/Pavel Onderka (Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures, Prague)
Egyptian Mummies in Czech Collections

14.30 – 15.00
Nathalie Kayser-Lienhard (Sorbonne University, Paris)
Searching for mummies in the Rodin museum (Paris)

Session B (Schafhausen-Saal, Ground Floor)

Section B3: European Crypt Mummies

10.00 – 10.30
Dario Piombino-Mascali (Dept. of Cultural Heritage and of Sicilian Identity, Palermo/University of Vilnius)
Spontaneous and Anthropogenic Mummification Methods in Sicily (1600-1900)

Section B4: Mummies from Different Cultures and Contexts

14.00 – 14.30
Naoko Wolze/Waldemar Wolze (University of Göttingen)
Selbstmumifizierung in Japan nach japanischen Quellen: "Sokushinbutsu" und historische, kulturelle sowie religiöse Aspekte

15.30 – 16.00
Ildikó Szikossy (Museum of Natural History, Budapest)
A post mortem Cesearean section case from the 18th century, Vác, Hungary

16.30 – 17.50
Guided Tour of the Special Exhibition ‘Mummies of the World’ and (parallel)
Guided Tour of the Special Exhibition ‘China – Treasures for the Emperor’

Keynote Lectures (Roemer-Saal, Basement)

18.00 – 19.00
Regine Schulz (Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum Hildesheim)
The Egyptian Mummy – Representations in Image and Text

19.00 – 20.00
Ildikó Pap (Museum of Natural History, Budapest)
The incidence of tuberculosis in the 18th century's Vác population, Hungary

By Jaya Narain for MailOnline
Updated: 19:44 BST, 21 May 2008

The last time they had the chance to offend anyone was 2,700 years ago when they were wandering around ancient Egypt.

Since then the mummies have led a blameless existence, spending the last 120 years in a museum where countless thousands of visitors have managed to see them without anyone becoming in the least bit upset.

Not any longer, it appears.

BEFORE: Asru, a 2,700-year-old chantress with Egyptologist Rosalie David

AFTER: Bob Partridge, chairman of the Manchester Ancient Egypt Society, has described the decision to cover up the mummies as 'Incomprehensible'

Complaints have led to the naked remains of Asru, a chantress at the Temple of Amun in Karnak, plus the partially-wrapped male Khary and a child mummy, all being covered in shrouds to protect their modesty.

The decision, which has prompted wholesale derision, came after Manchester Museum said it had received 'feedback' from the public saying it was 'insensitive to display unwrapped mummies'.

Having ordered the cover up, managers claim they are following Government policy and are carrying out a public consultation.

Last night the museum, whose Egyptian department has a worldwide reputation, was accused of being ridiculous and told it risked becoming a 'laughing stock'.

Naked truth: Mummies at Manchester Museum are being covered up after visitors complained about them being displayed 'naked'

Bob Partridge, chairman of the Manchester Ancient Egypt Society, said the cover-up was 'absolutely incomprehensible'.

'The mummies have always been sensitively displayed and have been educational and informative to generations of visitors.

"We are shocked this has been done in advance of any results from the public."

Josh Lennon, a museum visitor, said: "This is preposterous. Surely people realise that if they go to see Egyptian remains some of them may not be dressed in their best bib and tucker.

"The museum response to complaints is pure Monty Python - they have now covered them from head to foot rendering the exhibition a non-exhibition. It is hilarious."

Manchester Museum has several mummies - embalmed bodies tightly wrapped in cotton bandages - and is home to one of the most important collections in Britain.

George Mutter, a professor at Harvard medical school in the U.S. said: "For decades the Manchester Museum has been a leader in the scientific study of human mummies.

"The decision to hide the mummies from view is a step backwards."

He added: "In the interest of inclusiveness, the museum has become a playground for those who do not understand the subject at hand, nor respect the interests of scientists and public alike."

But the museum's Nick Merriman said: "We get a stream of feedback saying it is insensitive to display unwrapped mummies.

"We are trying to follow Government guidelines about how they should be displayed with respect and sensitivity."

<p>If the public wanted the mummies unwrapped, the museum would take that "very seriously'," he added.

Mummy with Portrait, Roman Period, Ancient Egypt

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 137. Excavated by Flinders Petrie at Hawara with funds from the Egyptian Research Account. Acquired by Petrie and the ERA in the division of finds. Purchased from the ERA by the Museum, 1911.

This mummy retains the panel inserted over the face. The portrait depicts a youth with large deep-set eyes and a down-turned mouth. His downy moustache indicates that he is no older than his early twenties. A number of mummy portraits represent youths with their first facial hair, a feature that had particular connotations in the Greek-educated society of Roman Egypt. The incipient moustache was both an indicator of the young man's entrance into important social groups and a signal that he was at the prime of sexual attractiveness and vigor.

In this era mummies might be kept above ground for periods of some months up to several years before final burial. Most probably they were deposited in chapels in cemeteries, where they were visited by relatives for ritual meals.

Title: Mummy with an Inserted Panel Portrait of a Youth

Geography: From Egypt, Fayum, Hawara, BSAE excavations 1910-1911

Medium: Encaustic on limewood, human remains, linen, mummification material

Dimensions: mummy: l. 169 cm (66 9/16 in) w. 45 cm (17 11/16 in) panel as exposed: l. 38.1 cm (15 in) w. 18 cm (7 1/16 in)

13. Not Today Satan

Menkaure was a pharaoh who ruled sometime in 26th century BC. He hatched a brilliant scheme to fool the gods into keeping him alive indefinitely. If only it didn’t backfire spectacularly…

Menakaure got the idea that if night never came, the new day couldn’t start, and time would basically stop (shower thoughts: Ancient Egypt edition). To pull this off, every night he lit as many lamps as possible and tried to pretend that it was still daylight. For the rest of his life, Menkaure didn’t sleep. Instead, he stayed up all night drinking and celebrating until his death inevitably came.

Pseudoarchaeology and the Racism Behind Ancient Aliens

A female Egyptian head with an elongated skull is likely a depiction of the child of Amenophis IV/Akhenaten, (1351-1334 BCE) and is a forgery executed in the 18th Dynasty, Amarna Period style, limestone and red paint, Walters Art Museum (image via the Walters Art Museum creative commons).

At the ancient site of Hatnub, a quarry in the eastern Egyptian desert not far from Faiyum, archaeologists have recently discovered a sled ramp system used to transport alabaster blocks. Post holes and a ramp with stairs on either side indicate that the contraption allowed Egyptian builders to move heavy blocks up and down steep slopes. Inscriptions have now helped archaeologists from the Institut français d’archéologie orientale and the University of Liverpool to date this groundbreaking technology to at least the reign of Khufu, who ruled from 2589–2566 BCE. Khufu is known as the pharaoh who likely commissioned the building of the Great Pyramid at Giza. Discovery and reconstruction of the ramp allows us to better understand ancient construction techniques. It also chips away at the long-held but fringe theory that the blocks were so heavy and the distances they would have to travel so lengthy that aliens must have built the pyramids.

Where did the theory of aliens building the pyramids actually come from? Since the late 19th century, science fiction writers have imagined Martians and other alien lifeforms engaged in great feats of terrestrial engineering. Earlier alien theories surrounding Atlantis may have spawned fantasies about alien building. The most substantial evidence for non-earthly creatures arrived in the wake of H.G. Wells’s success.

The Pyramids of Giza (Egypt) are often the focus of extraterrestrial theories (image via Wikimedia by Ricardo Liberato).

Capitalizing on the fervor surrounding Wells’s The War of the Worlds, astronomer and science fiction writer Garrett P. Serviss penned a quasi-sequel titled Edison’s Conquest of Mars in 1898. Serviss posited that “giants of Mars” had moved large blocks and built the Great Pyramid. He even noted that the Sphinx had Martian features. Edison’s Conquest was part of a number of science fiction works published as books or serialized in newspapers in the late 19th century which imagined alien invasions fought off by great inventors of the time. Thomas Edison was a favored hero in these science fiction fantasies much later collectively called Edisonades.

Cover of Serviss’ Edison’s Conquest of Mars (1898) Illustration by G. Y. Kauffman (image via Wikimedia)

The popularization of the theory of alien architects as having a basis in science rather than consisting of only fictional musing can be attributed to Swiss author Erich von Däniken’s 1968 publication of the book Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past. Originally published in German and subsequently translated into English, it was one of the first popularly sold books to suggest that extraterrestrial life forms, not humans, built structures associated with our ancient civilizations. In 1966, Carl Sagan and Iosif S. Shklovskii had already speculated that contact with extraterrestrials might have occurred in their book Intelligent Life in the Universe, but von Däniken took this theory to new levels.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of that book’s publication with over 65 million books sold to date. While its ideas might be laughable to most, the creation of doubt is a pernicious and rhetorical agent. The questioning of human building projects in Chariots of the Gods? remains a bedrock for many within the field of pseudo-archaeology. Far from innocuous, these alien theories undermine the agency, archaeology, and intellect of non-European cultures in Africa and South America, as well as the Native peoples in North America by erasing their achievements.

Cover of the translated edition of Chariots of the Gods (image by Christo Drummkopf via Flickr), first released in the United States in 1970

A potent combination of tabloids and television helped to make von Däniken’s book a bestseller in the United States. Historian of pseudoscience John Colavito has remarked that while the book became a bestseller in Europe, it was the National Enquirer’s underscoring of von Däniken’s work through a serial series published in the tabloid that introduced it to readers in the US in 1970. Three years later, NBC aired an adaption of the book retitled In Search of Ancient Astronauts (featuring a cast of all white men) which translated and visualized pseudo-theories of archaeology and science for broad popular consumption.

It is notable that many (though not all) extraterrestrial theories focus on archaeological structures at sites within Egypt, Africa, South America, and North America — a fact that has led some academics to see beliefs in ancient alien engineers as a stalking horse for racism. In a piece for the online journal The Conversation rather frankly titled “Racism is Behind Outlandish Theories about Africa’s Ancient Architecture,” Julien Benoit, a postdoctoral researcher in vertebrate paleontology at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), addressed the continued harm of these theories:

Firstly, these people try to prove their theories by travelling the world and desecrating ancient artefacts. Secondly, they perpetuate and give air to the racist notion that only Europeans – white people – ever were and ever will be capable of such architectural feats.

Belief can indeed lead to action. In 2014, German pseudoscientists and “hobbyists” defaced a cartouche of Khufu inside the Great Pyramid in their misguided search to prove their alien theories. The Pyramids of Giza and the Great Zimbabwe site are commonly cited by pseudo-archaeologists as structures built by extraterrestrial beings, along with the Moai heads on the tiny Easter Island off the coast of Chile.

Martians build the Sphinx as a portrait of their own leader in an illustration from Serviss’ Edison’s Conquest of Mars (Image via Hathitrust)

Stonehenge, in the English countryside of Wiltshire, is one of the few structures built by European ancestors placed in this category structures allegedly built by aliens, though in the original printing of Chariots of the Gods? von Däniken does not discuss the site any more than to say its massive stone blocks were from Wales and Marlborough. The disproportion of speculation surrounding non-European versus European structures is noticeable. As medieval historian Chris Reidel noted,

That’s what the ancient aliens theory does: it discredits the origins of civilizations, and almost entirely of non-white civilizations. People may suggest Stonehenge was built by aliens — but do the[y] suggest the Roman Forum or Parthenon were? No.

We must question what is at stake in these cases. While the British are not in any danger of having their overall intellect or capability as a culture questioned, many non-European cultures are historically more vulnerable to such questioning.

If we look to von Däniken’s work, there can be little doubt that his racial beliefs influenced his extraterrestrial theories. After a short stint in jail for fraud and either writing or appropriating the material for a number of other books that developed his ancient astronauts theory, von Däniken published Signs of the Gods? in 1979. It is here that many of his racial views are most boldly stated. British archaeology officer Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews points out on his Bad Archaeology blog just a few of the many racist questions and statements posed by the author: “Was the black race a failure and did the extraterrestrials change the genetic code by gene surgery and then programme a white or a yellow race?” He also printed beliefs about the innate talents of certain races: “Nearly all negroes are musical they have rhythm in their blood.” Von Däniken also consistently uses the term “negroid race” in comparison with “Caucasians.”

What does it mean to deny a non-Western civilization their accomplishments? As Everisto Benyera, a lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences at the University of South Africa, has noted, these “Western denialists” prefer to revoke agency and skill from ancient Egyptians or the Shona people of the Bantu civilization, rather than recognize their intellectual ownership of these structures. In a chapter addressing “Colonialism, the Theft of History and the Quest for Justice for Africa,” Dr. Benyera remarked:

Western denialists would rather attribute the Great Zimbabwe to aliens, who do not exist, than attribute them to the Shona people and the Africans who exist and who built them. The denial of the Shona people of their intellectual ownership, among others of the Great Zimbabwe, Khami ruins, is theft of history.

And while many may consider theories of ancient aliens to be an outlandish and ultimately harmless belief or meme, Benyera points out that there is an extant spectrum of western denialism whose occupants seek to rescind and reallocate great accomplishments from African civilizations in particular.

The Great Zimbabwe National Monument is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and dates to about 1100-1450 CE. Legends say that it was the capital of the Queen of Sheba. It is a stunning testament to the Bantu civilization of the Shona (image by Simonchihanga via Wikimedia).

To Benyera, one example of western denialism lies in the writings of the historian Niall Ferguson. Benyera notes that Ferguson underscores the colonial gifts of parliamentary democracy and the English language to the countries that they colonized in his book Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World. Like von Däniken, Ferguson’s views have been disseminated by television shows. A six-part series also called Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World aired on Channel 4, ostensibly to hype the book’s release. Arguing that aliens brought magnificent structures to many African civilizations erases accomplishments, but so does arguing that colonizers brought gifts (rather than imposed obligations) upon the nations they colonized.

Colonization coded as the gift of civilization remains an entrenched defense of colonialism.

In recent years, academics have increasingly called foul on alien theories as cultural erasures outside of Africa as well. A year ago, Christopher Heaney, a professor of Latin American history at Pennsylvania State University, wrote an article addressing the racism behind notions that Pre-Columbian bodies were evidence for extraterrestrial life. Others have sought to dispel the racist theories surrounding Native mound-building cultures.

In comments to Hyperallergic, Morag Kersel, an archaeologist at DePaul University, noted the connection between ancient aliens and the idea that an ancient and superior race had originally built mounds like those at Cahokia in southern Illinois. The myth supported racist policies and has done lasting damage.

It’s an extension of the 19th-century myth of the mound builder. No way could the North American mounds and artifacts have been made by people of the First Nations, it had to be an “alien” (non-local) race. Rather than set up a white supremacy model, which may have not been as popular, von Däniken takes the “alien” further to “aliens” from outer space.

Kersel noted that the use of pseudoscience revoking the accomplishments of Native American cultures is a sad part of American history. Journalist Alexander Zaitchik pointed out in an article for the Southern Poverty Law Center that there was widespread popularity and belief in the “Lost Race of the Mound Builders” in 19th century America. It was used by Andrew Jackson and others to undermine the intellect and abilities of Native peoples as we removed them from their native lands.

The “astronaut” geoglyph in the Nazca Desert of Peru has been attributed to extraterrestrials by Erich von Däniken’s and others (image via Wikimedia).

Today, many of von Däniken’s theories can still be found in television shows like Ancient Aliens on the History Channel. Since 2009, the show has featured a mix of mostly white male conspiracy theorists posing harmful questions about the legitimacy of human involvement in archaeological structures. As of recently, they have at least begun to incorporate actual Egyptians such as Ramy Romany. Despite his history of racist views, Von Däniken appears to still be a paid producer on the show Ancient Aliens.

Most Egyptologists see shows like Ancient Aliens as a program that capitalizes on the bizarre rather than endeavoring to be out-and-out racist. In comments to Hyperallergic, Salima Ikram, distinguished university professor and Egyptology unit head at the American University in Cairo, noted that even Egyptians viewing the History Channel find the program more fantastical than factual: “I think that often it is more that people want the extraordinary and the bizarre, and do not want anything too real, as they crave the fantastic — look at the types of films being made and their popularity.” For most watching these programs, they are indeed about escapism through conspiracy theories — and internet memes.

For others, the attraction to books and television touting ancient alien conspiracies may be a bit more racially motivated. In comments to Hyperallergic, Robert Cargill, an assistant professor of Religious Studies and Classics at the University of Iowa who also served as an academic counterbalance on a number of episodes of Ancient Aliens, discussed the role of the program in supporting racist ideas of ancient capability:

There is an underlying ethnic bias against people of color that many white people don’t even recognize when the magnificent achievements of the ancient world are attributed to aliens instead of to their rightful creators — the ancestors of modern Egyptians, Iraqis, Guatemalans, Peruvians, etc. This is not to say that belief in ancient alien theory makes one racist. However, attributing the achievements of the forerunners of darker-skinned peoples to aliens because you believe they couldn’t have possibly done it themselves might be perceived as racists to the people of color who descend from these ancient innovators.

As Cargill and many other right-minded academics now make clear, the necessity for scientists, archaeologists, and academics in general to talk to the public about the ethnic biases of pseudoscience is becoming ever more apparent. In 2015, bioarchaeologist Kristina Killgrove already discussed the need for archaeologists to dispel pseudoscientific myths through public outreach. Public-facing scholarship in the humanities and STEM fields can serve as strong rebuttals to pseudoscientific narratives broadcast on television and online.

In July, the 50th anniversary edition of Chariots of the Gods? was published along with a new foreword and afterward by the author. Yet it is notable that the punctuation that originally posed the book’s title as a question has now been removed. The title stands more as a statement than a question, but it is up to archaeologists, historians, and the public to continue to interrogate the insidious arguments that it contains.