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Performance and Ritual in Ancient Egyptian Funerary Practice

By Harvard Museums of Science & Culture and Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East

Mariam Ayad uses the Opening of the Mouth ritual as a case study to illustrate the power of imagery and the efficacy of the spoken word as performative aspects of Egyptian funerary practice.

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6pm – 7pm

Ages Young Adult to Senior Adult.

Contact

Harvard Museums of Science and Culture
hmscpr@hmsc.harvard.edu
617-496-6064

Registration required

  • Sign-up is ongoing

Free!

Location

  • Only virtual (online or over the phone).

(Virtual) Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East

6 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Additional information

One of the best documented Egyptian rituals—occurring in both cultic and funerary contexts—is known as the Opening of the Mouth ritual. Performing this ritual was believed to animate statues and temples, while also restoring the senses of the deceased, thus ensuring that they could eat, drink, and breathe in the afterlife. Textual and iconographic references to the ritual are found in different time periods, from the Old Kingdom through the Roman Period. In this lecture, Mariam Ayad uses the Opening of the Mouth ritual as a case study to illustrate the power of imagery and the efficacy of the spoken word as performative aspects of Egyptian funerary practice.

Mariam Ayad, Associate Professor of Egyptology, The American University in Cairo, Visiting Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Near Eastern Religions and Research Associate of the Women’s Studies in Religion Program (2020-21), Harvard Divinity School

Advanced registration required. Visit the event registration page to reserve a spot for this free virtual event.

Presented by the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East and Harvard Museums of Science & Culture

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