LOST IN TIME & SPACE: UNROLLING EGYPT'S ANCIENT DEAD
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Saturday 9 February 2019 2.00 pm Venue Coronation Hall
By John J Johnston
A frequent souvenir of wealthy travellers, the mummified cadavers of ancient Egyptians were not confined merely to museums but became an increasingly popular feature of salons and lecture theatres throughout London and, indeed, the Western world during the mid-nineteenth century. The practice of publicly 'unrolling' mummies has been viewed as both a ghoulish spectacle for affluent sensation seekers and as an early scientific approach to the emerging discipline of Egyptology. This lecture places the practice within its social, cultural, and historical contexts.
John J Johnston is a freelance Egyptologist, Classicist, and cultural historian. A former Vice-Chair of the Egypt Exploration Society (2010 - 2015), he has lectured extensively at institutions such as the British Museum, the British Film Institute, the National Museum of Scotland, the Royal College of Surgeons, and the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. His research interests encompass mortuary belief and practice, gender and sexuality, Hellenistic and Roman Egypt, the history of Egyptology, and the reception of ancient Egypt in the modern world. In addition to contributing numerous articles to both academic and general publications, John sits on the Editorial Board of the bi-annual journal Egyptian Archaeologyand has co-edited the books, Narratives of Egypt and the Ancient Near East: Literary Linguistic Approaches(Peeters, 2011), A Good Scribe and an Exceedingly Wise Man(Golden House, 2014), and a collection of classic mummy fiction, Unearthed (Jurassic London, 2013). His introductory essay for the anthology was shortlisted for a prestigious British Science Fiction Association Award in 2014. John has also contributed substantially to the documentary extras on a number of Blu-Ray releases of gloriously restored Hammer Films, made between 1959 and 1972.