Donnerstag, 03.05.2012, 19:00 Uhr, Rosshofgasse 2, CH-4051 Basel: "Schnitz" S 01 (Tram 3, Bus 30 und 34: Haltestelle Universität)

Prof. Dr. Stephen Quirke, Curator and Lecturer, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology / Institute of Archaeology, University College, London:
Beyond Words? Late Middle Kingdom Birth Imagery

Abstract des Referenten


Beyond Words? Late Middle Kingdom Birth Imagery

In the history of Egypt, the period 1850-1750 BC stands out from previous and following ages in its material culture and administrative organisation. During this century, a special art flourished in Nile Valley cities, with palace and regional artists producing an array of forms in different materials to protect the wealthier inhabitants against the mortal dangers of childbirth. Faience glazers, ivory-carvers, sculptors in fine wood and soft stone: all work towards the same goal, to defend, or perhaps to discover birth as a life force. At once, their art raises the most fundamental questions over experience in human society. Is the mother-and-child motif universal? Or always alien from one time and place to the next?  Where does the focus fall: on the safety of the child, male or female, or the mother and child, or the mother? on infancy or childbirth, antenatal or postnatal care? And are we meant to see these images? and, seeing them, how do we participate in their continuing human drama? These questions are addressed from the specific example of late Middle Kingdom birth imagery, as part of a general enquiry also into both how and whether we may enter the past.



Photo: @ UCL

Photo: @ S. Quirke
Update: 19.04.2012 Webdesign: H. Jenni © Basler Forum für Ägyptologie