What do the great expeditions of the early 20th century have in common with some of today’s digital projects in the field of archaeology? They both make use of large teams and require a passionate dedication and attention to detail. Today the Giza Project, based since 2010 at Harvard University, is a non-profit international initiative that assembles all available archaeological data concerning the Giza Pyramids and surrounding cemeteries and settlements.
A Queen's Seat “Experimental archaeology” at the Harvard Semitic Museum
Harvard Magazine, July/August 2016
Much is still unknown about the world of the ancient Egyptian elites, whose lives are fossilized in the riches of the ruins at Giza —and reflected by the luminous throne that sits on the second floor of the Harvard Semitic Museum. Crafted from cedar wood, covered in delicate gold foil, and inlaid with turquoise-colored faience tile, the piece replicates a 4,500-year-old chair that belonged to Queen Hetepheres, the mother of King Khufu, who built the Great Pyramid
Wrapping her mind around the past: Rivka B. Hyland thrills to the details in history and culture
Harvard Gazette, May 20, 2016
Rivka B. Hyland ’16 always keeps an embroidered handkerchief in her pocket.
“My grandmother sends one to me every month,” said Hyland, a Lowell House resident whose grandparents live in the Czech Republic. “I grew up watching Czech movies from the 1940s. My Czech is old-fashioned, and so are my habits.”
Archaeology. Bankruptcies, inheritance feuds, financial crises: Four thousand years ago Assyrian merchants left behind 23,500 clay tablets that provide a fascinating insight into an astonishingly modern ancient life – and into the birth of Capitalism and Democracy.
Eleven faculty members have been awarded 2016 Walter Channing Cabot Fellowships for their outstanding publications, among them NELC's own Khaled El-Rouayheb, the James Richard Jewett Professor of Arabic and of Islamic Intellectual History.
His book is “Islamic Intellectual History in the Seventeenth-Century: Scholarly Currents in the Ottoman Empire and the Maghreb” (Cambridge University Press, 2015)
Between $10 and $50 million would be needed to renovate the museum building and gallery spaces, increase digitization efforts, and pursue international collaborations among other initiatives, according to Semitic Museum Director and Egyptology professor Peter Der Manuelian ’81. “My goal is to revitalize the place further,” Der Manuelian said. “So I want to make this an exciting destination on campus. I’d love it if every undergraduate would set foot in the building at least once, and preferably more than once before they graduate.”
Tunneling deep below ground, archaeologists with a joint Harvard University/Museum of Fine Arts excavation team knew they were onto something big. It was 1925, and after weeks of clearing a burial shaft at Giza, Egypt, they had an unprecedented find: the undisturbed tomb of Queen Hetepheres, an Egyptian royal who lived some 4,500 years ago.
"Last semester, students in Gojko Barjamovic’s general education course “Ancient Near East 103: Ancient Lives” touched the ancient past. For class credit, undergrads spent hours helping recreate plaster casts of ancient reliefs that once hung in the Assyrian royal palaces at Nimrud and Nineveh, territory in Northern Iraq today controlled by ISIL." See complete article and video.
Gojko Barjamovic is quoted extensively: "The details of daily life are amazing, but another scholar, Gojko Barjamovic, of Harvard, realized that the archive also offered insight into something potentially more compelling...