Wednesday, February 19, 2014

‘Rites of death, afterlife and beer in ancient Egypt’

Two more great events coming to Observatory on two Thursdays next month that I can’t resist. On March 13 and March 27, Ms. Ava Forte Vitali, of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will present illustrated lectures discussing the ancient Egyptians’ myths and rituals built around death, the afterlife—and beer. These are part of Morbid Anatomy’s Death and the Occult in the Ancient World Series.

From the publicity:

The Ancient Egyptian End of the World
and the Mythology of Beer
Illustrated lecture with Ava Forte Vitali
with free beer provided
by sponsor Brooklyn Brewery
Thursday, March 13 at 8 p.m.
Admission: $12


Join us for a pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebration of one of the world’s oldest and most beloved drinks—beer! Ava Forte Vitali, from our Death and the Occult in the Ancient World Series, will give us a quick glimpse into a few of the gods, goddesses, myths, and ancient festivals associated with the drink, paying close attention to the “Ancient Egyptian Legend of the End of the World,” celebrated March 12.

Then stay and mingle with other like-minded enthusiasts and enjoy a few bottles on us, provided by our sponsor Brooklyn Brewery!

The ‘After’ Life: Death in Ancient Egypt
Illustrated lecture with Ava Forte Vitali
Thursday, March 27
at 8 p.m.
(Rescheduled from February 13)
Admission: $8


When one considers “Death and the Occult in the Ancient World,” often the first culture that comes to mind is that of the ancient Egyptians. Known for their elaborate tombs, complicated religious texts, and captivating mummies, the ancient Egyptians’ fascination with death has captivated public interest for centuries. This lecture in our monthly series will introduce the mortuary beliefs, traditions, and archaeology of the ancient Egyptians, and will examine whether they were as morbidly focused as they traditionally have been portrayed.

Ava Forte Vitali completed her Master’s Degree in Art History and Archaeology, with a specialization in the Egyptian and Classical World, at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Her research interests include the interaction of the physical and spirit worlds in ancient Egypt, archaeology of the household, and ancient Egyptian domestic and ancestor cults, on which her Master’s focused. She has excavated at sites in Egypt and Turkey, and is a Collections Manager for Greek and Roman Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is currently writing a contribution on the arts and archaeology of ancient Egypt for an upcoming introduction to art history textbook.

Death and the Occult
in the Ancient World Series

This is a new series of monthly lectures, workshops, and tours that aim to examine the way people along the ancient Mediterranean interacted with the unseen forces in the world. Many basic ancient myths and mortuary traditions are known, but often this barely scrapes the top of a rich wealth of information and long history of interesting, engaging, and surprisingly weird traditions and beliefs. Through illustrated lectures, guided tours, and occasional workshops, we will strive to understand the different approaches that the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans employed to explain the world around them, and to challenge popular misconceptions held by the public today.

Through this series we hope to bridge the gap that often exists between academic disciplines and the public audience, bringing the two together in an approachable forum. Led by Vitali, this series will expand on topics including religion, art, archaeology, and texts, to further our understanding of both our world and theirs.

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