EGYPTOLOGY IN IDAHO - Egypt and Roman Artifacts
The College of Idaho's Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History opened the first Egyptology exhibit by Archaeologist and Curator, Jan Summers Duffy which was preceded by a lecture about her ongoing work in Egypt. The exhibit will continue indefinitely. Following the lecture was the unveiling of the first Ancient Egypt/Roman artifact exhibit at the college and museum including Falco tinnunculus, a mummy of a kestrel falcon. The Falcon was very important in Egyptian history. HORUS was the name of the Ancient Egyptian God associated with the falcon and the most popular. This bird was the perfect symbol for the Egyptian god of the sky, light and goodness who soared above and protected the land of the Pharaohs. It was believed that each Pharaoh became Horus on Earth and was reborn as Horus after death. To Ancient Egyptians, Life after Death was as important as living. Falco tinnunculus is a small falcon and cousin to the larger peregrine falcon. Kestrels (once called sparrow hawks) belong to the kestrel group of the falcon family – Falconidae. Also known as the European, Eurasian and Old World Kestrel, it covers a large range and is widespread in Europe, Africa and Asia. Their smaller size is what separates kestrels from peregrines.
The exhibit features artifacts from the museum's own collections and ancient Egypt and Rome (18th Dynasty-1st Century A.D. ), Faience Ushabti figures, inscribed scarabs, beads, and 2 Roman pots from the ruins of Pompeii belonging to the museum's collection, both donated to the Museum in the early 1900s. Highlighting the Exhibit and exciting for children is the falcon mummy (described above) dating from the 20th Dynasty, 1,069 B.C. According to the Summers, the exhibit took almost a year in planning stages with preservation continually of the falcon which is in poor but mummified condition. Sitting alongside the falcon mummy is a colorful modern day Kestrel Falcon, from the museum's Ornithology collection. The lovely Egyptian motif needlepoint wall hanging made in the late 1970s highlights the exhibit and was donated to the Museum.
The Museum's Egyptology collection is also represented worldwide by the website Desheret.org, which has the objective to display and catalogue all museums world wide containing egyptological collections or objects concerning or relating to Egypt's Archaeological and Philological history. Besides an inventory of the museums, private collections, public institute collections (e.g. universities... etc.), any other source will be included as well. http://www.desheret.org/updates.htm - then click on the world map for US, Idaho.
Egyptology enthusiasts are encouraged to contact Jan for special programs and tours. She has worked in Egypt on various sites including excavations at Mendes, in the Nile Delta, and is a member of the SACP Conservation project of three tombs near Qurna, Luxor, Valley of the Kings. Ancient Egypt magazine highlights her work there and research into KV62, the tomb artifacts of the famous Tutankhamun. Jan writes for Ancient Egypt magazine and the Ancient America magazine concerning her work in the US and Egypt. An upcioming article is scheduled for Summer 2014 on her work at the Delta site in Mendes, Egypt. A lecture on Ararna by Barry Kemp was held in September at the American Research Center of Egypt which she attended. Please Visit Jan's Facebook pages (Jan Summers) to view her Egyptian Archaeology page and Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History page.