April 22, 2018

Last week, I attended a lecture given by Italian Egyptologist on Mystery Religions and Plague in Egypt. 

“The Italian Archaeological Mission to Luxor has worked in the Funerary Complex of Harwa (TT 37) and Akhamunru (TT 404) since 1996. Over 4000 square meters in scale, the Cenotaph of the Great Majordomo of the God-Wife Harwa (7th Century BCE) is one of the largest monuments ever built by an official. The fine decoration is inspired by an archaizing style with innovative tendencies that make it a masterpiece of the cultural movement known as “25th Dynasty Renaissance”. Furthermore, texts and images from the site trace a virtual journey through cultural notions of life, death, and resurrection. Some of the ideas expressed by the “Journey of Harwa” remind and anticipate peculiar features of Greek Mystery religions. The most recent field researches led to the discovery of a 3rd century AD phase with unique archaeological traces of the so-called ‘Plague of Cyprian’. The results are at the center of a multi-disciplinary and international project.”

Many of themes and ideas that were brought up in this lecture overlapped with information that was brought up in my Origins of Christianity class. I learned a lot about archaeology and the mystery surrounding it all fascinated me.

The speaker was incredible humorous and passionate about the work that he had done in Luxor at the Tomb of Harwa. I have never been particularly interested in Egyptian History, but as he showed images in his gorgeous powerpoint, I was imbued with a great yearning to see places that were very different than ones that I had seen before. I could imagine the heat and the sun beating down on my skin, as I joined research to unlock puzzles of the past that had never been known before. I thoroughly enjoyed his lecture and even sat next to my Latin professor.