THE EGYPT SOCIETY OF BRISTOL
Tue 9 December 2014.
Sounds familiar: kinship and social relations in the First
by Leire Olabarria, University of Oxford
at 1845 hrs in the Department of Archaeology & Anthropology, 43 Woodland Road, Bristol 8.
Egyptology in Bristol
Bristol was the home - and burial place, in Henbury Churchyard - of one of the most important figures in the history of British Egyptology - Amelia Blandford Edwards, founder of both the Egypt Exploration Fund (now Society), and of the UK's first Chair of Egyptology, at University College London. Bristol Museum was, indeed, an early subscriber to the Fund's excavations, and holds a very fine collection of Egyptian antiquities. It is also possible that Sarah Belzoni, wife of the celebrated explorer Giovanni, was also a Bristolian.
In the late 1890s, University College Bristol, soon to become Bristol University, was one of the very first institutions to teach Egyptian hieroglyphs, two early students (Gerald Wainwright and Ernest MacKay) later becoming important figures in Egyptian field archaeology. The language was taught by Ernest Sibree (1859-1927). Click here for a summary of his career.
Sadly, in the 1920s, teaching of the subject died out, although the link was maintained through the fine collections of the City Museum and Art Gallery. Its post-war Curator, Leslie Grinsell had a deep interest in ancient Egypt, and was the author of an excellent book about the pyramids - written while he was serving with the RAF in Egypt during the Second World War!
Over the past few years, Egyptian archaeology has returned to the university, both in its public and undergraduate teaching, and now the Egypt Society of Bristol has been formed to provide a focus for all of those in Bristol, Bath and the surrounding area who are interested in the land of the Nile. It offers lectures, social events and study visits to places of Egyptological interest, at home and abroad.
The ESB issues a regular Newsletter. Click here for the latest issue.
Egypt Society of Bristol Lectures
The Society aims to offer at least six lectures a year between October and June. The emphasis is on ancient Egypt, but there may also be talks on more modern topics, as well as people associated with the country and its exploration.
Click here for the current ESB programme, and here for a complete list of ESB events since its foundation.
Lectures are held in the Department of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Bristol, 43 Woodland Road, Clifton (number 23 on the map) starting at 18.45 (doors open at 18.15), followed by an informal gathering over a glass of wine. Street (and limited off-street) parking is available in the vicinity, and the venue is wheelchair-accessible.
Visits and Study Tours
Other events of interest
Pip Jones (1950-2011)
For a certain generation of Bristol Egyptologists, Pip Jones was the person who either kindled or fed their interest in the subject, through her evening classes at the University of Bristol and lectures to local groups. I know at least one person who has studied Egyptology at university, held various museum posts and is currently working for the Egyptian Council of Antiquities, who started with Pip’s evening classes at the age of about 8.Pip came late to academic life, having worked in the NHS for some years before deciding to go to university as a mature student and study the subject that had always interested her. She volunteered at the museum, where she helped to unwrap the mummy of Horemkenesi and research the collections for the old Egyptology gallery. She became the admin assistant in the Archaeology department, and helped with enquiries on Egypt, mostly from school pupils and sometimes very obscure, such as how heavy is a pyramid? When she left the museum, she worked at the University, wrote Egyptology books and novels and historical books. She also developed a sideline in erotic novels, published under a pseudonym. Pip could always surprise people!She developed breast cancer some years ago. Treatment was at first successful, but the cancer came back. Pip dealt with it as she dealt with most things, in public shrugging it off and making a joke of it. In the same spirit, at her funeral she was carried out for burial to the strains of Meatloaf’s ‘Bat out of Hell’. It’s how she wanted to go.