Ancient African Queens: New Perspectives on Black History
- 8:30 pm
27 October 2022
Online | Free
In the 19th and 20th centuries European and American Egyptologists appropriated ancient Egypt into an idea of ‘Western civilisation’ and set it apart from other African cultures. This historical colonial bias against Africa has ramifications on how we interpret ancient Egyptian and Sudanese collections today.
Although less well-known, ancient Egypt’s southern neighbour, Nubia also had a long and fascinating history. Through focussing on powerful queens, including the Qurna burial featured in the Ancient Egypt Rediscovered gallery, the panel speakers will demonstrate how ancient Nubian culture was equally important to that of ancient Egypt.
Curator Dr Margaret Maitland and Dr Solange Ashby will examine colonial-era biases which cast ancient Egypt as culturally superior and consider the politics of representation. They will reassess the cultural connections between ancient Egypt and Nubia, applying this new perspective to historical collections in recognition of the importance of Nubian material culture.
Dr Margaret Maitland is Principal Curator of the Ancient Mediterranean and Head of the Mediterranean, Africa, Americas and Oceania Section at National Museums Scotland.
Margaret will discuss recent research on the ‘Qurna Queen’ burial group, the first major reassessment since its excavation over a hundred years ago.
Dr Solange Ashby is a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Solange will discuss her current research which focuses on the roles of royal and noble women – Kushite queens, priestesses, mothers – in traditional Nubian religious practices.
This event includes a live Q&A chaired by Professor Katherine Harloe.
Professor Katherine Harloe is Director of the Institute of Classical Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. Katherine is the first woman Director of the Institute and the first Black Professor of Classics in the UK.
National Museums Scotland is committed to presenting the colonial and imperial histories of its collections in line with rigorous and up-to-date research.
The Qurna Burial and Nubian collections can be seen in the Ancient Egypt Rediscovered gallery on level 5 of the National Museum of Scotland.
Register to attend here