EGYPTOLOGY IN IDAHO - Egypt and Roman Artifacts
The College of Idaho's Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History opened an 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 large range and is widespread in Europe, Africa and Asia. Their smaller size is what separates kestrels from peregrines.
The exhibit features artifacts from 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 Archaeologist and Curator, 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, a program to highlight every museums in the world that carries Egyptian artifacts. The purpose of this project is to display and catalogue all museums world wide containing egyptological collections or objects concerning or relating to Egypt's Archaeological and Philological history. Besides the museums, private collections, public institute collections (e.g. universities... etc.) or any other category are implemented as well. http://www.desheret.org/updates.htm - then click on the world map for US, Idaho.
Egyptology enthusiasts are encouraged to contact the the Archaeologist and Curator for special programs and tours of the exhibit. Jan Summers Duffy has worked in Egypt on such excavations as Mendes, in the Nile Delta, and recently is part 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 of the famous Tutankhamun. Visit me on Facebook for my Egyptian Archaeology page!