CFP: Health and Life in Ancient Egypt

Call for paper – Aegyptus et Pannonia 6:

Health and Life in Ancient Egypt
Mummies in Focus
Conference 27-30 August 2019, Budapest

The Hungarian Egyptian Friendship Society (HEFS / MEBT) with its partners, the Hungarian Natural History Museum and The Hungarian National Museums’s Semmelweis Medical History Museum, invites all colleagues and specialists to participate in the conference. The conference aims to provide a forum for the discussion of the situation of ancient Egyptian health state mirrored by the mummies.
As it can only be investigated with scientific methods, anthropological, medical, ethnographical, physical knowledge, Egyptological and environmental studies, it will cover a broad range of lectures and posters. The conference addresses the subject in a multidisciplinary way, and by embracing a broad chronological and cultural span, from Predynastic to the Coptic Period.
We invite colleagues of diverse research backgrounds and of differing specialisms. Theoretical questions and comparative approaches to other cultures are invited as well and all other topics which develop our understanding of ancient Egypt in this respect.

Many questions emerged from the examination of the Egyptian mummies curated in the Department of Anthropology of the Hungarian Natural History Museum which gave the idea to organise this conference. We are particularly interested in topics as

  • What new possibilities the technological development provides for the study of health conditions in ancient Egypt
  • How new data can be generated from mummies and what are the pitfalls of investigations   
  • Did aspects of physical symptoms or alterations change over time, and how are they tangible?
  • What are the role and attitudes of museums and excavations to the scientific examination of the mummies?
  • How can changes in lifestyle or economic conditions studied on mummies?
  • What are the benefits and disadvantages to compare the Egyptian mummies to other ethnical population? How valid these results are?
  • How can we find similarity, connection or coincidence between written sources and human remains?  
  • How do texts help to investigate health and physical remains?
  • What new techniques and possibilities are to restore mummies?
  • What mummies can tell about health and way of life of specific individuals in ancient Egypt; or their involvement in particular activities, eating habits?
  • What they can tell about relationships in communities, cultural milieu, about (historical or private) events or their concepts of life/afterlife?
  • What mummies say about the relationship to animals and relations with the environment?
  • What mummies tell about the social status or principal/marginal role of people in society?
  • How can scientific investigations of Egyptian mummies be standardized with regard to scientific rigor and considering ethical aspects?

The conference will be held in Budapest, and the conference language is English.
Participants need to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses.

We ask for abstracts up to 500 words. Please e-mail the abstract to nephthysproject@gmail.com. Deadline for the submission is: 30 April 2019.

The publication is envisaged in the Aegyptus et Pannonia series by the end of the year, thus the deadline for full paper submission is the conference itself.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Scientific committee:
Prof.dr. Salima Ikram – American University of Cairo
Prof. dr. Rosalie David – University of Manchester
Prof.dr. Wilfired Rosendahl – Reiss Engelhorn Museum
habil. dr Albert Zink – Eurac Research
dr. Pap Ildikó PhD – Hungarian Natural History Museum
habil. dr Pálfi György – University Szeged, Anthropology Chair
dr. Győry Hedvig PhD – HEFS

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(Photo: "Handwritten" by A. Birkan, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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