Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Ethics of Artefact Ownership

Who owns the past? This is a question we’ve been looking at this week in the Brown course (more details on this in a later post).

Guildhall in Northampton (England)

In response to this we had an exercise to look at the question of ownership and I took as my example the current debate going on in Northampton surrounding the statue of Sekhemka.

If you aren’t already aware of what’s going on with this you might like to read this short article….

Who Owns The Past – Sekhemka


A Short Chat About Nile Boats

One of the exercises on my Brown course was to try out the Screenr platform. It’s surprisingly difficult to keep it inside the 5 minute limit and record something that sounds sensible even if (a) you script it and (b) you have a reasonable amount of presenting experience.

Still for better or worse here’s a link to the chat on the role of Nile shipping in Egyptian history.

A punt on Punt

The quasi legendary voyage on behalf of Queen Hatshepsut to the “Land of Punt” was the subject of a documentary last night on BBC Channel 4. Worth a watch if you’ve not seen it for both the discussion of the issues and the reconstruction of one of the Punt ships as represented at Deir el-Bahri. Its on iPlayer until July 10th. I’m not sure I’d have wanted to be on that boat in the Red Sea though, the way it was rolling!

Most interesting were the finds at Mersa Gawasis where Katharine Bard and others have discovered examples of what they believe to be ship’s ropes with a 12th – 13th Dynasty context (1991 – 1649  BCE) and wooden boxes with hieroglyphic inscriptions referring to Punt..

English: An illustration from the Encyclopaedi...

English: An illustration from the Encyclopaedia Biblica, a 1903 publication which is now in the public domain. Fig. 1 for article “Ship”. Image of Queen Hatshepsu’s sailing boat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One quibble on this programme – it gave me the impression that the finds at Mersa Gawasis could be contemporary with Hatshepsut. They aren’t. They predate the supposed Punt voyage (some time around 1490 BCE)  by around 500 years.