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"The Business of Death in Ancient Egypt: The Discovery of a Mummification Workshop at Saqqara"
Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 05:00pm
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World Artists Experiences

in Partnership with


Educational and Cultural Bureau




Presents a series of LIVE LECTURES featuring the CULTURE OF EGYPT


The second live lecture,


"The Business of Death in Ancient Egypt:

The Discovery of a Mummification Workshop at Saqqara"


followed by questions and answers 


JUNE 23, 2020, at 5 PM

On ZOOM  (see the link below)


The Business of Death in Ancient Egypt:

The Discovery of a Mummification Workshop at Saqqara


Ramadan Hussein

University of Tübingen



Mummification has always been in the minds of the public an ancient Egyptian mystery, but it was indeed a ritual process, a cultural practice, and a large industry. While the body of a deceased is treated in a mummification house during a 70 day process, the embalmers performed a set of rituals in order to transform the deceased into a divine.


In March 2016, the University of Tübingen, Germany, launched a project of documentation, conservation and publication of a number of Dynasty 26 tombs (ca. 664-525 BC) at Saqqara. These tombs were discovered between 1899 and1903, and the team employed a 3D digital technique to document them. While mapping the site of the tombs, the clearance activities fortuitously unearthed an unparalleled mummification workshop complex dating back to the Saite-Persian Period (Dynasties 26 and 27, ca. 664-404 BC). This complex is comprised of a subterranean embalming room, a purification house, and a communal burial shaft. A large and diverse corpus of pottery vessels was found in the embalming room. They are inscribed with instructions and names of embalming oils and resins.


The mummification workshop is indeed unprecedented in Egyptian archaeology, and the communal burial shaft is remarkable for its six tombs and tens of mummies. The burials provide insights into the socio-economic background of people embalmed and buried in the mummification complex. In fact, this discovery opens a new avenue for research on what I call the archaeology of mummification and the business of death in ancient Egypt. This lecture introduces particulars of this discovery, some of which was recently filmed by National Geographic for its documentary series 'Kingdom of the Mummies'.





Mohamed Hamza is inviting you to a scheduled ZOOM meeting.


Topic: The Business of Death in Ancient Egypt

Time: June 23, 2020 5:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


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Ramadan Hussein


University of Tübingen, Germany


Ramadan Badry Hussein is currently the Director of the Saqqara Saite Tombs Project and a professor of Egyptology at the Eberhard Karls Universität, Tübingen, Germany. Born in Bulaq, a historic neighborhood of Cairo, Ramadan first became interested in archaeology at the age of nine while on a public school field trip to visit the pyramids in Giza. After studying Egyptology at Cairo University, Ramadan returned to Giza, this time to work as an inspector at the site. He went on to pursue his PhD in Egyptology at Brown University in the United States from 2001-2009, focusing on ancient Egyptian language and religious texts. He returned to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities as Chief Staff to the Minister of Antiquities and helped in the curation of Egypt's archaeological heritage drafting emerging strategic plans for personnel training, documentation and conservation of monuments, improvement of museum infrastructure, and promotion of research and excavations.  


His extensive resume includes excavations at Giza, Saqqara and Bahariyya Oasis in Egypt, and impressive research and publications. In 2018, he made the sensational discoveries of a Mummification Workshop Complex (Funeral Home) at Saqqara, and the first gilded silver mummy mask in Egypt since 1939. His discovery was rated among the Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2018 by the Archaeology Magazine in the United States of America.


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